More and more people prefer to purchase many items online. At least 80% of people who are online have made a purchase there and at least 50% have done it more than once. By 2018, ecommerce sales will amount to almost $500 billion. What do people like about shopping online? Nearly 83% report they like how easy it is to check out. The next most popular feature is the variety of what can be bought (82%), which is followed by the ability to track purchases (79%). Given all of that, it makes sense that finding logistics solutions is important for any business that sells its products online.
When thinking about logistics solutions, it is important to remember this is really about the ecommerce order fulfillment process. You can do everything in your business right but if your a customer receives a shipment and there are problems with what they find, all of that hard work was for naught. Your credibility is gone. If you are an online retailer, there might be times when it is worth it to outsource some of your logistics.
When evaluating companies that offer logistics solutions, there are some things you need to consider.
- Does the logistics management company have a warehouse near my customers? You will lower your shipping costs if the company you hire for your logistics solutions is closer to your customers than your business. After all, you are not shipping your product to your business.
- Ask them about their turn around time. Do they have a cut off time for shipping orders? If your customers order something to be delivered with next day shipping and it does not arrive on time, the company providing your logistics management services will not be held responsible, you will be and your reputation will suffer.
- How are orders entered? Some companies that offer ecommerce order fulfillment services use web based systems while others get emails from you with orders and invoices. If you ship a lot and have a lot of orders, you should go with a company that either uses the web based system, where customer orders are sent immediately to them or an automated email system. It is worth the money. You cannot afford to have orders get held up because of the way they handle them.
- How much does this ecommerce order fulfillment services company charge? Every company charges something different. You need cost effective logistics solutions. Get quotes from several companies. Remember, price is not always an indicator of quality. The most expensive company may not be the best. The flip side of that is that the cheapest may end up costing you more later on. If you find one company charges a lot more than others, ask them why that is. What service do they provide that warrants such a price difference?
If you are an online retailer, you know the importance of logistics and finding good logistics solutions. Your business depends on them.