The importance of logistics in the eCommerce revolution

The importance of logistics in the eCommerce revolution

Logistics and eCommerce

The increasingly numerous eCommerce businesses have been a real revolution for the logistics sector.

 Over the last few years we have seen the number of eCommerce businesses grow exponentially all over the world. Although it is true that there are more and more online stores, the giants of eCommerce such as Amazon, Alibaba or eBay, acquire day by day greater importance and leave behind the business figures of other retail brands which were recently the real Kings & Queens of eCommerce. 

As revealed by the 2018 data of the European eCommerce Report, this phenomenon is accompanied by a very rapid increase in internet penetration in territories such as the European Union which is already around an average of 83%. In relation to online purchases these depend on the country in particular. 

The Netherlands and Switzerland are the European states with the highest level of online purchases (82%), while others, such as Macedonia, Bulgaria or Croatia, register much lower levels (less than 30%).

In contrast to the above, it is clear that cross-border eCommerce still has certain challenges to face such as the time margin of arrival of orders, technical failures, the number of orders that arrive damaged to the final customer or the concerns of the users on topics such as the guarantees of the products or services that they acquire.

According to the same report, Amazon and eBay dominate the EU in general. Aliexpress is already the most relevant Marketplace in the countries of Eastern Europe. And what users buy most through the Internet are fashion products, accessories and sportswear, travel and technology products.

But this extraordinary growth of eCommerce is nothing without good logistics. Although the entire process begins with a click, the transfers nationally, in Europe and internationally must consider the management of possible returns, security throughout the process and shipping costs that must be borne by the buyer. These factors must be very well thought out and tried, to avoid generating incidents, bottlenecks and in general, problems both at the level of the company and from the point of view of the final customer.

Logistics management from an eCommerce perspective 

There are two ways to manage logistics from an eCommerce perspective depending on the size of the business. Internalising all the processes or depending on an external supplier that will manage each product from its exit from the warehouse until the arrival to its final destination. 

In general, we will opt for the second way particularly when we talk about SME’s trying to have everything under control to ensure a good pre and post sale service to the customer who will recommend and repeat their purchase.

It is also possible to organise the logistics of an eCommerce business through a logistics operator or a courier company. In the first case the operator will take care of everything that concerns the management of orders, stock, packaging, shipping, inventory and reception of the package, managing the needs and possible incidents of the company and the client. In the second case the courier companies will only be responsible for the product arriving at its destination. In the first case it will not matter which logistics operator is involved since the user will always resort to any problem to the company in which he has decided to buy the product. That is why it is important to take into account the perfect functioning of the entire chain so that absolutely nothing fails and that at all times a fast simple and secure service can be offered. Although it costs us a little more.

For any type of eCommerce in logistics it is essential to have the products checked at all times in order to be able to make an optimal management of the stocks and to initiate orders and returns urgently and without problem. Likewise, storage must also play a key role, for which the proper packaging and traceability of the product must be considered, using a labeling system that allows knowing which batch each product belongs to and locating it at the moment and wherever needs to be.

Finally, the product distribution system is also particularly relevant. We must ensure that we have a system in which absolutely everything is working so the product always reaches the customer in the shortest possible time and always guaranteeing the best conditions. No need to have the same logistics provider for all countries although it would be the most advisable since being a fundamental leg of the company will be perfectly integrated into the process.

Nowadays, eCommerce businesses have the possibility through larger companies such as Amazon to organise different types of deliveries with the user. Depending on their needs in store, at collection points, at ticket offices, automated and at home. These are only different ways with which we will have greater probabilities for a better functioning of the whole process which will make the report positive, recommending the product or service to its acquaintances, and helping to increase billing. Optimising storage, shipping, pricing, distribution, returns policies, during and after sales service could turn an eCommerce model into a successful project.