Over the past few years, ecommerce stores have become the preferred shopping method for many people. In 2016, there was $2 trillion in ecommerce sales, in 2017, that number was $2.3 trillion, in 2018, it was $2.9 trillion, and it’s projected to be $3.46 trillion in 2019. Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2019 broke records in online sales with $7.4 billion and $9.4 billion spent. Because of this surge in sales and demand, the number of ecommerce businesses worldwide increase every year. As this type of shopping evolves, user experience and customer service expectations are higher than ever, which has led to fierce competition. In order to stand out from competitors and remain profitable, businesses must implement ecommerce best practices. These include friendly features on ecommerce sites, fast shipping, easy returns, and a streamlined checkout process, like Amazon’s 1-click ordering—as well as efficient supply chain and logistics management on the back end.
In 2016, there was $2 trillion in ecommerce sales, in 2017, that number was $2.3 trillion, in 2018, it was $2.9 trillion, and it’s projected to be $3.46 trillion in 2019.
Ecommerce Best Practices in Logistics
When a shopper clicks “buy now” in their shopping cart, logistics spring into action. Because many online shoppers expect two-day shipping, user friendly websites and free returns, your logistics process must allow you to exceed these expectations. With the nature of shopping today, if you don’t offer what customers are looking for, someone else does. By offering an excellent customer experience, you are more likely to attract repeat buyers and ultimately increase sales. The constantly building sense of urgency on ecommerce shipments means the logistics behind your business need to be strong to allow you to implement ecommerce best practices and keep your customers happy.
A great example of this is consolidating shipments to create more predictable demand to keep your carriers happy, and increase the likelihood that shipments can be expedited, which leads to faster shipping, happy customers and more effective prices for you. Performing continuous improvement inside your fulfillment center to ensure you are storing all items in the best places based on order volume to maximize efficiency is critical, as well. By implementing these ecommerce best practices in logistics, you can be confident that your operations are running in the best possible way, and that you are not losing money due to inefficiencies.
Ecommerce Best Practices in Supply Chain Management
One of the most essential things for your business is creating a supply chain with the flexibility to handle fluctuating amounts of inventory, shipments and returns. With high demand for fast shipping, having a supply chain that allows you to fulfill orders quickly and effectively is key. To achieve this, you could rent warehouse space, opt for drop shipping, or potentially hire a 3PL. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to be able to perform inventory management, order fulfillment, an efficient shipping strategy, reverse logistics programs, and manage overall operations with a warehouse management system. Another best practice in this area is utilizing analytics for real time management of your entire supply chain. This will give you an idea of any issues and can help you fix any inefficiencies before they become problematic. At ITS, we have dedicated an entire department to Business Intelligence that allows for real-time data visibility, operational efficiency, and continuous improvement opportunities.
Ecommerce Shipping Best Practices
Offering your customers the right shipping options is crucial to your business success. By taking the time to implement ecommerce shipping best practices into your operation, you can improve efficiency and increase profits. It’s highly important to consider your product size and weight, and shipping destinations when coming up with an effective strategy. Because larger corporations like Amazon and Walmart have set the bar very high when it comes to speed and punctuality, offering comparable shipping and tracking options is a necessity. Transparency in this area is key.
Studies show that 50 percent of shoppers will abandon their carts because shipping costs made their orders more expensive than expected. Managing expectations of whether buyers will get free or fee shipping throughout the purchasing process will ultimately help you increase sales. If you’re not able to offer free shipping on all orders, consider implementing it in some regions, offering free shipping when customers make a purchase over a certain amount of money, as a time limited promotion, as a reward for signing up for your newsletter or as a perk of a customer rewards program. It’s also a good ecommerce best practice to manage your shipping costs, no matter whether you choose free shipping or fee shipping. Creating a comprehensive strategy that prices shipping into your total cost of doing business is advantageous for your customer satisfaction, your budget and your brand.
Studies show that 50 percent of shoppers will abandon their carts because shipping costs made their orders more expensive than expected.
Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Best Practices
Since today’s consumers expect fast and transparent shipping, fulfilling orders quickly and accurately is vital. However, it’s also important to have order fulfillment best practices that ensure that your packages are fulfilled with care. You wouldn’t want to have to send a replacement for free if something in your package broke during packaging or shipping. There are several processes you can implement to help avoid fulfillment mistakes and keep your customers happy.
An example of this is a transparent, efficient and simplified return policy. It might seem counter intuitive to have a liberal return policy, but your customers enjoy having the peace of mind knowing they have the option to return products and are more likely to buy more items. By placing your return policy in an easy to find place on the website, potentially providing return shipping labels in packages, and consistently updating the policy, you can re-engage customers and build loyalty. Some best practices to avoid losing money on returns are offering store credit as an option for a returned item, suggesting a similar item for exchange during returns and optimizing your in-store return process, if applicable. Learn more about ecommerce returns.
Partner with ITS Logistics to Achieve Ecommerce Best Practices
At ITS, our supply chain managers and industry experts have years of experience with ecommerce fulfillment—and know what works, and what doesn’t. Our long-standing relationships with carriers mean that you’ll never have to worry about whether or not your products will be shipped on time and that you’ll know our shipping rates are highly competitive. We also take great care to ensure maximum productivity for our clients with a comprehensive data warehouse that is updated in real time and analyzed daily for you, and with a continuous improvement program that allows us to improve our quality of work and keep efficiency at a maximum. For more information about our services or to learn how we can help you, contact us today.
Fulfillment & Distribution Case Studies
Learn how we’ve tapped our vast partner network to solve logistics problems for clients.