Supply chain logistics continues to be dominated by business to business (B2B) needs. A large amount of products are moved from factories to distribution centers or stores to stores. Traditionally, the supply chain ends at the stores. Consumers must go to a store, buy the product and get home.
But with e-commerce, the supply chain has only been extended. Dealers now have the responsibility to deliver packages to the customer, a situation that dealers did not meet before and become a challenge.
Growth in online sales
According to Deloits logistics study, online sales have increased faster than total sales. The spread of online shopping has driven the demand for faster package deliveries, which presents complex opportunities for resellers and their logistics partner.
Logistics for Business to Consumers (B2C) is experiencing strong growth as a result of online shopping. The main use of B2C is postal delivery. But it still does not resemble the needs of e-commerce logistics delivery, which requires packet management. When you send a letter, the sender must release them in the mailboxes (increase disappears), the mail collects them and sends the mail to the sorting center. The letters are redistributed to the recipients.
What are the options for a retailer to reach the e-commerce promise?
Manage your own fleet
Dealers must buy their vehicles and hire delivery people to deliver. Vehicle leasing is an option to consider, but it is generally the most costly and capital-intensive flight. If you do not have special requirements such as a cooling chain or large volumes, it is not advisable to configure internal delivery.
Sells via third party e-commerce platforms
Many online retailers, especially the new ones, dictate the physical stores and their own websites online. They start using established marketplaces to sell their products. From Amazon in the United States to TaoBao in China, retailers can directly tap the wide range of marketplace sites and also their logistics capabilities. Amazon offers fulfillment of Amazon. You sell it, Amazon sends it. After 10 years and millions of orders and customers, Amazon has created one of the worlds most advanced monitoring networks and your company can now benefit from Amazons expertise. When a customer places an order, selects, packs and sends the package. There is no handling of the products. The challenge is that you will be completely dependent on the 3rd party for fulfillment and can only sell through a channel. Many marketplaces impose penalties for excluded situations. Therefore, it is difficult to manage stocks across multiple online platforms.
Use third party fulfillment
Online resellers might want to build their own brand and not quite comfortable with leaving everything to online marketplaces. eCommerce marketplaces charge fees for listing your products, ordering for each sale and introducing many other terms of listing on their platforms. In the longer term, it may be better to manage your own web page. There are many suppliers that offer delivery for the packages but not the product sales. They help you store and deliver the packages, but you will be able to handle the sales and marketing. But they charge storage and fees for each product sold.
Outsourcing only delivery
There are delivery partners like DHL, Fedex and UPS who have been handling deliveries for a long time and they extend their opportunities to e-commerce.
You can also consider delivery partners on request and pay for each delivery made. Many offer door to door delivery bookings on mobile apps and secure delivery is a breeze. You can also send a package, which is a good start for new online sellers. Choose a delivery partner with transparent pricing and fees at fixed price regardless of distance. Many traditional couriers still charge based on the distance they need to deliver. Remote charging is not ideal for online sellers because you do not take customers based on where they live as well. I guess you do not sell locally internationally.
With the delivery sorted you can focus on what you best do. Manage and increase sales.