The e-commerce market offers smaller and larger brands alike the opportunity to reach a large number of customers very easily. At the same time, competition is greater than ever and the competition is only a few clicks away. So the challenge is to compete against established fashion brands with a strong direct-to-consumer focus as well as smaller brands. One of the most important factors for success in online retail is fulfillment. To stay competitive in this market in the long run, there are some typical e-commerce fulfillment mistakes you should rather avoid. What these are will be explained in more detail in this article.
Table of contents:
- The returns process is only a secondary consideration for you
- Sustainability is irrelevant for your logistics
- You do not consider seasonal fluctuations in logistics planning
- They see new technologies as an expensive luxury and prefer to stick with the "tried and true"
- You don't care what customers want
The returns process is only a secondary consideration for you
Returns are as hated by e-commerce retailers as they are loved by shoppers. Returns rates of around 50% in fashion e-commerce, for example, make this sector a real logistical challenge for retailers. This is because returns are always associated with costs and effort. Goods have to be checked for any defects or damage before they go back on sale. Processes such as textile preparation in fashion fulfillment are essential in this respect. Garments have to be reprocessed, goods repackaged and re-entered into the system. All of this costs time and money, and therefore demands quite a bit of attention from online retailers. After all, a survey by Supplychainquaterly.com found that over 80% of respondents who experienced a smooth and uncomplicated returns process would shop at an online store again. It is therefore advisable to make the returns process as uncomplicated as possible for its clientele. This can have a positive effect on customer loyalty and thus lead to a competitive advantage in the long term. The process should also be cost-optimized so that returns do not have too much of an impact on margins.
Sustainability is irrelevant for your logistics
For most customers and consumers, sustainability has long played a central role in online shopping. Green fulfillment, sustainable packaging, and environmentally conscious and resource-conserving actions by online stores are just as important to them as fast shipping of goods and the quality of the products themselves. At the same time, sustainable processes such as sustainable procurement or supply chain optimization also offer many advantages for e-commerce retailers. As a result, retailers become less dependent on global fluctuations, can improve the image of their brand, and save resources and thus often money. Store operators should therefore never lose sight of the aspect of sustainability. If you would like to learn more about sustainability in logistics, you can find out more in our new whitepaper: Sustainable logistics for e-commerce brands.
You do not consider seasonal fluctuations in logistics planning
Just like brick-and-mortar retail, e-commerce is subject to strong seasonal fluctuations. Christmas sales, Valentine's Day or sales at the end of the season always present online retailers with special challenges, especially in terms of fulfillment personnel. During these peak periods, the total volume of shipments usually increases sharply at certain points and then quickly levels off again. The same applies to the returns rate. It is therefore advisable to always be well prepared for these peaks. In the event of fluctuations, online retailers benefit from having the entire fulfillment process handled externally. Alternatively, retailers can also outsource certain promotions, for example a Valentine's Day promotion. This allows day-to-day business to continue undisturbed. External and scalable setups enable brands to respond to any peaks at short notice without having to maintain capacity and personnel themselves at great expense, which are only utilized for a few weeks a year.
If you are interested in outsourcing your fulfillment to be better prepared for seasonal fluctuations, please contact us for a free consultation. Our logistics experts will be happy to advise you and evaluate the possibilities and advantages of external fulfillment with you.
They see new technologies as an expensive luxury and prefer to stick with the "tried and true"
From autonomous and fully automated warehouses, to last-mile deliveries by drone, to route planning using artificial intelligence - the logistics industry is currently undergoing a technological transformation. And this is progressing rapidly. Logistics & supply chain managers should get to grips with new technologies at an early stage so as not to be left behind in the end. Because technologies are evolving rapidly. Not to mention essential technological prerequisites such as a store system connection to all systems relevant for fulfillment or the digital tracking of warehouse stocks. If your store system is properly connected to the corresponding logistics, this will result in great advantages and retailers who can use the corresponding dashboards and analytics systems will have something ahead of the competition. The responsible management should ensure that the entire IT is always up to date and also look beyond the end of its nose in order to follow the corresponding trends and to remain competitive in the long term. If you would like to learn more about trends and forward-looking technologies, you can find more information in our blog post about 5 technologies that could influence the logistics industry in the future.
You don't care what customers want
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important KPIs in e-commerce. Period. Because satisfied customers are not only important for the image of your own brand, they are also crucial to prevail over competitors in the long term. That's why it's important to always listen to your customers' needs and take appropriate action to stand out from the competition in the long run. Central cornerstones for high customer satisfaction here are topics such as the customer experience throughout the entire sales funnel, the performance of your online store, and a satisfactory shopping experience. Concrete measures can be implemented here, for example, in the form of free shipping and free returns or extra-fast express shipping. So put yourself in your customers' shoes, determine their needs, and don't shy away from short-term investments in customer loyalty. In the long run, it's guaranteed to pay off.
In e-commerce and e-commerce fulfillment, there are numerous mistakes that you should avoid in your day-to-day business. It therefore makes sense to constantly put your own business model and internal processes to the test. At the same time, in a market as fast-moving and dynamic as the e-commerce market, it is essential to always stay up-to-date so as not to miss out on any new developments and thus ultimately perhaps be overtaken by the competition.
Are you and your company currently facing challenges in logistics? Then Warehousing1 is just the right contact. Our logistics experts will be happy to advise you on optimizing your fulfillment and returns processes. Make an appointment today for an individual one-on-one meeting. Send us an inquiry - one of our customer consultants will get back to you within 24 hours.