We all know that ecommerce shopping has changed the world of retail. In fact, it is safe to say that the only business model that has shown significant growth in the past decade is the online retail space. While the ecommerce world continues to expand in popularity, with the expansion comes a variety of new hurdles and the constant need to keep up with the pace. Because of this, many online merchants struggle to complete ecommerce deliveries in a timely and cost-effective manner.
When this happens, many decide to partner with a reputable 3PL to leverage technological tools such as RedwoodConnect 2.0 or RedwoodInsightthat aim to streamline many common logistics tasks. Yet others are still trying to grasp the foundational concepts needed to scale their business or simply get it off the ground.
In this blog post, we are going to explore the most common hurdles of ecommerce deliveries...
Understanding the Last Mile Concept
Ecommerce deliveries have changed dramatically over the past five years. And without question, one of the most popular tactics employed in ecommerce today are things such as white glove or last-mile services that are baked directly into the delivery process.
Essentially, last-mile logistics is the final phase of the delivery of consumer purchases. With ecommerce orders, the last mile begins as soon as the customer hits that ‘buy now’ button on the website. When the order is processed, frequent updates on fulfillment are sent to customers through their preferred method of communication until the product is finally delivered.
However, effective last-mile programs give customers the ability to update their delivery preferences, change order(s) right before the picking and packaging process, and much more. Before any ecommerce business activates a last-mile logistics program, it’s best to consult with a professional 3PL who can outline the big picture or customize a solution that fits the business best.
Finding the Right Platform for Processing E-Commerce Deliveries
Most ecommerce order processing and delivery functions are completed with advanced software or technology integrated into warehouse management solutions. For instance, a WMS platform submits customer and order data through to the fulfillment and delivery chain.
The main problem is that not all WMS platforms are the same. In fact, they’re all really quite different. Some are cloud-based, others are dependent on a local server, but all are customized to meet the demands of specific industries. To ensure your delivery process goes smoothly and meets your customer’s expectations, it’s crucial to first look at what deficiencies or weaknesses your order fulfillment processes currently face.
From there, it is much easier to look at a selection of solutions and determine which one is going to best address your operational gaps.
Keeping Your Customers Updated
White glove or last-mile service keeps customers engaged through the ecommerce order and fulfillment process. One thing that ecommerce businesses face is determining how their customer wants to be updated. Many WMS solutions offer text message notifications, email alerts, desktop or app updates, and then some are simply all-inclusive.
While this isn't really so much of a hurdle as it is a preference, it is still a critical component to success with doing business online. If your business exists solely through an ecommerce model, you have to connect with and stay in contact with your customers in a much different way than a traditional retailer does. However, not only do these notifications keep your customers updated throughout the entire ordering and shipping process, but it also allows you yet another opportunity to bolster your rapport with the customer.
Reducing Missed Deliveries
This is probably one of the most commonly faced issues across the entire logistics industry.
Missed deliveries can destroy the reputation of any business model, ecommerce or otherwise. Typically, when a customer does not receive their goods on time, and in good condition, they’ll go out of their way to let everyone know about that experience – especially through their social media feeds. From there, it is like a snowball effect and for a business that does all of their business online, it can turn devastating extremely quickly.
Want to know how our RedwoodConnect 2.0 platform may be able to help you jump your ecommerce delivery hurdles? Contact our management team here to schedule a free consultation.