Logistics of the online store
In order for the execution of orders in the online store to be effective, a number of logistics activities must be implemented. Some novice sellers do not realize the importance of logistics. The role of logistics in running an online store is discussed in the article below.
Which logistics model to choose?
People planning to start their own online store have to make a number of important decisions. The basic question is: what logistics model do we choose? We order goods from wholesalers and build our own warehouse, we focus on the increasingly popular dropshipping or maybe fulfillment? This decision will have an impact on the operation of our business at a later date.
Building your own warehouse is a solution that is still most often chosen by owners of online stores.In this case, the seller orders certain goods for his warehouse and then offers his customers only those products that he physically owns. The undoubted advantage of such a logistics model is the fact that we have full independence and we can make decisions about the time and method of order fulfillment.
At the same time, the purchase of an assortment and construction of a warehouse requires large financial outlays, therefore it is not the best choice for people with a small investment budget. At the same time, when buying a product, we are not sure whether there will be buyers for it.
Dropshipping or pseudo-just-in-time?
In recent years, the aforementioned dropshipping has become more and more popular. The essence of this logistics model is the transfer of competences in the field of ordering, storing and shipping goods to an external wholesaler. The role of the seller is reduced to running an online store, updating the offer and customer service.
Another solution that has a large group of supporters is the so-called pseudo just-in-time. Its essence is to present the full offer of our suppliers in the online store. In this case, after placing the order by the customer, the goods are sent by the wholesaler to the store owner. Then the seller independently carries out the shipment to the customer. A big challenge in the logistics model in question is updating information about the product range. It often happens that stores operating under pseudo just-in-time have a problem with timely shipment of orders.
Full outsourcing of logistics services
An interesting model is fulfillment, i.e. 100% outsourcing of warehouse logistics. It consists in transferring many competences in the field of logistics to an external entity. His tasks include ordering and storing goods as well as preparing and shipping orders. Many companies offering full logistics outsourcing also deal with customer service and handling complaints and returns.
Some online store owners choose to combine several logistics models, i.e. hybrid variant. Namely: they have their own warehouse and assortment, and at the same time also sell certain goods in cooperation with external wholesalers via dropshipping. This solution is a great way to diversify the offer and arouse the interest of demanding users who are constantly looking for something new.
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Do the shipping options meet customer needs?
One of the basic needs of customers shopping online is not only fast, but also convenient form of shipping. Some people like it when the parcels are delivered by a courier, and others prefer parcel machines, i.e. parcel lockers. The report "E-commerce in Poland 2017. Gemius for e-Commerce Polska" indicates that the most popular form of delivery for Polish consumers is courier. At the same time, providing only one or two forms of delivery in the store is definitely not enough, because the preferences of users are very diverse.
It turns out, however, that in 2017, almost half of small and medium-sized online stores offered only one delivery option to their customers (the study "Logistics in Polish e-commerce 2017"). So what delivery options are the best to invest in? It is best to bear in mind customer comments and check how it looks with competing companies.
When it comes to shipping, the price is also very important. It should not be too excessive, otherwise it will lead to an enlarged phenomenon of abandoning the shopping cart. You cannot lead to a situation where the cost of shipping exceeds the price of the goods themselves. In addition, if there are a lot of delivery options in the online store, each customer will be able to decide whether they prefer to pay more for fast courier delivery or save on delivery and wait a little longer for a registered letter.
Which logistics model is the best?
Each of the logistics models discussed above has certain advantages and disadvantages. Currently, there is a trend in the e-commerce industry to implement a hybrid model, i.e. to combine various possibilities. Many stores have their own warehouse and at the same time cooperate with various wholesalers on the basis of dropshipping. By acting in this way, we are able to offer customers a very diverse range and shorten the delivery time to a minimum.