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For those unfamiliar with the term, eCommerce logistics is simply the multiple-step process of order fulfillment after a customer purchases a product. The ultimate goal is to ensure an excellent customer experience that starts from their online payment and ends with receipt of the item. Of course, this process may also extend to cover any returns, should that be necessary. Working with a reputable 3PL logistics company guarantees a seamless and efficient operation.
Ecommerce fulfilment providers handle every aspect of online order fulfillment, from eCommerce warehousing and inventory management to order picking, packing, and onward shipping. If required, the chosen eCommerce logistics company can also deal with customer refunds, which is known as reverse logistics.
An essential aspect of the entire eCommerce logistics process is the initial storage of the products. Realistically, a growing brand can soon realize that it's not practical to store all their own products. It is undoubtedly more cost-effective to outsource storage to an 3PL eCommerce fulfilment provider, who will also keep track of product inventory.
There are several considerations when looking at eCommerce warehousing, not least of which is the location of the property. Consumers expect fast delivery times, and this can be facilitated by warehousing near the primary customer base. The ability to handle fluctuations in demand is also a requirement. An influx of seasonal orders will need extra storage space as and when required. The order management system must run smoothly to allow communication with the warehouse.
A reliable 3PL logistics company will have a robust order management system that receives details of the purchase immediately following payment. The next step is when the order is picked from within the inventory housed in the warehouse. Packing the product is actually an important aspect of meeting the customer's expectations. Experienced staff will have the necessary knowledge on how to pack larger or more fragile items safely and securely.
The eCommerce brand can request specific packaging, such as using only recycled materials. There may be an offer of a free gift with purchase, and the packer will need to ensure that all the necessary items are packaged together. Unboxing has become an important part of the customer experience, as evidenced by its popularity on social media platforms. The final step is to apply the correct shipping label.
The eCommerce logistics company will need to be made aware of the required delivery times and may handle onward shipping in-house or outsource to a specified carrier. The future of eCommerce logistics is undoubtedly in the international markets, and there has to be a process in place to offer shipping to overseas destinations if necessary.
ECommerce logistics may appear to be a complex process, but it should be seen as simply taking individual steps to ensure the customer receives the correct order in a timely fashion. A reputable eCommerce logistics company will take on the responsibility of warehousing, picking and packing, and shipping, leaving the brand free to focus on product development and marketing.
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