There are many important logistical issues that many startup owners completely forget to think through, but focus solely on the issues regarding digital marketing and e-store. E-commerce sales continue to rise each year, which shows that there’s more room for this market to grow. This is why it’s important to smartly handle delivery options and warehouse management to secure an unobstructed flow of merchandise and money. Logistics can often make a big difference between success and failure.
If you’re planning to launch a successful startup in this market, you’ll need some tips about e-commerce logistics. We have compiled a list of 4 important tips that you could apply. Have in mind that many of the same rules apply for brick-and-mortar companies, however, with e-commerce, the emphasis is more on delivery rather than on store operations.
1. Offer more delivery options
When compared to the free delivery option, the importance of next- or same-day delivery often gets disputed. However, these two options don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The majority of customers would always prefer free shipping rather than a next-day delivery (according to some statistics, 74% of buyers would choose free shipping, which makes it a key purchase driver). Since it isn’t very likely to create a perfect scenario, which would be a free next-day delivery, you could offer to your buyers various conditions to choose from. By doing this, you can appeal both to those 74% of your audience and the rest (26% is a quarter of your target audience, which shouldn’t be underestimated).
2. Research warehouse options
Every e-commerce startup owner would prefer to handle their storage in-house, but it’s likely that most of them can’t afford to construct or buy a warehouse. This is why you need to think about all of your warehouse options. A modern warehouse requires a well-trained crew and sophisticated software, while some of the e-commerce giants, such as Amazon, even go as far as using warehouse robots. As startups have very limited funds, the best option is outsourcing for warehouse solutions. This way, you won’t need to spend your precious funds on the warehouse technology for storage and packaging, and you can use services from an experienced customs agent in Sydney – all in one bundle.
3. Tracking and insurance
Shipping tracking and insurance can provide a great deal of security, which is extremely important if what you’re selling is valuable. Tracking and insurance are relatively inexpensive with most couriers, and provide recourse in case a package gets damaged or lost. As for tracking, including a GPS tracking system is one of the simplest, yet revolutionary ideas when it comes to package delivery. It helps you find optimal routes for delivery, making it more cost-efficient and safer, and provides tracking information to your buyers. This kind of transparency between your startup and customers builds a trustworthy relationship. When comparing various courier prices, you should know that some shipping services already have insurance included in the price.
4. Drop shipping
Turning towards drop shipping is always an option if you want to further simplify your logistics process. Drop shipping is a retail method where a seller doesn’t keep their products in stock. Once a product gets sold, they purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer, not getting in touch with the product. This way, you become the middleman between the customer and the manufacturer (or another supplier). The upside of drop shipping is that you’ll work with a smaller risk, as your operational costs are drastically reduced, while the downside is that your profits will be modest and it becomes easy for customers to bypass you.
When it comes to e-commerce business, flexibility is essential for survival because there is not a universal solution for logistics issues. Sometimes, the nature of your products may require specific storing conditions, while in some other scenario, it may not be possible to arrange a reliable drop shipping chain. The options are numerous, and you should pick the ones that are the most suitable for your specific business niche.