The e-commerce revolution has made it second nature for us to expect everything from a washing machine to a wedding dress, at our doorsteps, in mint condition, at the click of a button. Today’s customers demand fast, smooth and error-free delivery, no matter the product. But what happens when shipments are delayed, the products are not as described or worse, the product arrives in a damaged condition? Customers can be unforgiving in this regard and rightly so. Poor deliveries almost always ensure that customers will not return to the same online retailer. So, as important as it is to produce and stock high-quality products, it’s equally important to ensure that you have set up and fine-tuned the logistics for e-commerce businesses.The growth story
The advent of mobile commerce has seen an unprecedented growth in e-Commerce and the upward swing is likely to continue in the coming years. Smartphones coupled with cheap data plans, along with several other factors like an easing of regulations for business ventures, the ‘Digital India’ push, the SEBI’s recent move to ease listing norms and the rise of venture capitalism, have are all contributed to the growth of a new breed of online entrepreneurs in India. Established retailers are also going ahead and augmenting traditional brick-and-mortar store sales with e-Commerce divisions. So logistics has a crucial role to play in the success of any e-commerce venture.The integrated logistics platform
Gone are the days when retailers use to directly source goods from suppliers and manufacturers. Today, e-commerce fulfillment distribution centers stock and distribute the products. Various aspects of warehousing, inventory management, billing, packaging, labelling and shipping are part of this system. Logistics firms use specialist enterprise mobility software to track, manage, package and fulfil orders. Online retailers can choose to partner with reputed courier companies or specialist third-party logistics providers or create their own logistics companies for speed, accuracy, and cost management. Either way, an efficient delivery model is an absolute must for retail success.
Online retailers also need to ensure a seamless return and exchange policy as a part of their business strategy, as that is something e-Commerce customers have come to expect.
A reliable framework of logistics for e-commerce is the backbone of any online shopping venture. The experience can make or break a brand’s image. In order to take things a step further and beat the competition, a lot of e-commerce portals offer features like same-day delivery service or free delivery after a certain price point. These initiatives go a long way to retain consumers.The Amazon advantage
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