Good logistics performance and the best management of logistics are essential for a successful online retail business. Selecting the right third-party logistics partner can help improve supply chain efficiency, contain costs and enhance overall customer service. Wide reach, timely connections, and deliveries are key to meeting customers expectations who want shorter delivery times. Businesses need to be equipped with efficient logistics solutions to ensure that they deliver the right item in a timely manner to customers. Logistics is an integral aspect of any online retail business in order to optimize the end result ofthe order fulfillment service & process.
Finding the right logistics solutions provider is extremely crucial for the success of your business and to provide customer delight. Here are important aspects to consider when choosing a logistics partner to enrich your business and achieve success in your online retail business:
Online retail brands have logistics needs that varies from those of traditional businesses. Instead of conventional inventory management, e-commerce companies need to ship items directly to customers, who expect their orders to arrive on time and as assured. For instance, during peak seasons, brands need their e-commerce logistics solutions provider to scale fulfillment processes to accommodate soaring order volumes. When searching for a logistics partner, choose a company that is experienced and understands the nuances of handling the complexities of e-commerce supply chains so you don’t get stuck with an inexperienced provider which can hinder the growth of your business. Choosing a provider with an extensive range of services also gives your business more flexibility as it grows.
As there are multiple facets of the e-commerce supply chain, most companies prefer to have different vendors which cater to each of those segments. Once searching for the right partner, you will notice that just about all supplying corporations have one or the other specialties in areas of the supply chain, reverse logistics, modes of transportation, fulfillment centers network, and region-specific serviceability. Of course, there is always the probability that one company is able to be the one-stop shop for all your supply chain requirements and it is advisable to partner with one such company. However, you may choose to go with multiple vendors if you have the bandwidth to manage various operations related to logistics.
Before choosing a logistics service provider, consider the extent of PIN-code coverage it provides. Today, due to internet penetration and growing aspirations, customers order products online from anywhere in India, so choosing a provider with wide coverage helps to deliver order to maximum households. You might lose a substantial customer base if you would opt for a logistics company that has very limited PIN-code coverage. To fulfill your needs, you might require to tie up with many service providers for different cities/towns which will automatically increase the financial burden. Hence, always go with a logistics company that can provide maximum coverage.
The modern supply chain is becoming digital-oriented and traditional methods are gradually becoming redundant day by day in handling day-to-day logistics operations. New age APIs of artificial intelligence (AI) including network automation, address geo-coding, and data engineering amongst others are effective methods of improving TATs. As we know, the last mile is an essential part of the order fulfillment journey thus it essential to select a partner who deploys tools/methods for customer address navigation (especially for addresses that are not properly defined), route automation and geo-coded status update by field executives, so orderfulfillment service can be maximized. Airway Bill (AWB) based tracking is yet another new-age method that offers better visibility which ultimately lets you better control over delivery. Moreover, a robust network of fulfillment centers is equally important for impeccable last-mile operations. Thus, it is important to choose a courier logistics partner who understands the importance of integrating/updating new-age methods in every layer of its supply chain business to improve efficiency.
Many-a-time ecommerce companies, especially start-ups look at price consolidation and prefer to go with a logistics provider who quotes the lowest price. While it is certainly easy on pockets, however it may not be the best option. Sometimes, low costs mean sub-standard services, delays and other challenges, leading to lower reliability. Also, there are many hidden surcharges which are not divulged earlier, and an online retail owner comes to know of them only after availing the services, an added burden to the company. The logistical support you require from your preferred partner really counts if you wish to grow your business.
Finding the right courier logistics partner can be a daunting task but these check elements would definitely help you in the long run. When choosing, one must not merely take just the above points into account, but rather one should look for a logistics supplier backed up with a high level of experience and reinforced by a professional team focused on the constant improvement to ensure the success of your online store.