Brick and mortar stores are not the only ones that need warehousing and large-scale storage solutions. E-commerce stores require efficient warehouse operations to work, too. While a physical store may, to some people, be considered a great monetary saving, e-commerce customers are more demanding than those of traditional stores in many ways. For example, once orders have been placed and paid for, customers expect their goods to arrive within 48 hours, some within 24 hours.
Furthermore, without being as hands-on as traditional retailers, e-commerce store owners need to have the processes of ordering, payment, collection and delivery of goods totally refined in order to be successful.
Add to this the occupational hazard of having customers who accidentally order the wrong item. Not being able to physically touch, handle, try on an item etc., means that e-commerce owners are bound to have returns, and this must be accommodated for. Free returns and collections under reasonable conditions is a must in e-commerce.
E-commerce stores have indeed completely disrupted the traditional supply chain. In the past, manufacturers delivered to distributors, and these, in turn, delivered goods in bulk to various retail outlets. Nowadays, e-commerce stores frequently either go directly to the manufacturing source, or they have distributors deliver goods on an item-by-item basis directly to clients, or the manufacturer opens up his/her business direct to the public through an online store.
How do online store owners cope with these pressures?
Many of them turn to 3PLs (third-party logistics) to help them manage their supply chains. There is no doubt that an online business operation that is handled efficiently will bring in more customers, which makes 3PLs worth the cost. Let’s face it – people are quick to complain on social media (which is the hub of many e-commerce stores’ marketing activities) than they are to compliment, so ensuring efficient delivery of the correct goods is non-negotiable if you want to grow your online business.
Moreover, as mentioned, e-commerce tends to be itemised picking which often requires an individual and hands-on picking process. However, this is not to say that automation isn’t possible with e-commerce shops, and, once implemented, it can save owners a great deal of money in the long term. You’ll also have more accurate order fulfillment, which means happier customers.
If you’re an e-commerce store owner looking for affordable and efficient storage solutions for your goods, contact us today. We have 50 years’ experience in the shelving and racking industry, helping businesses in countless industries, as technology has progressed over the past half century.
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