Commentary

Opinion: How innovations in logistics can grow your ecommerce marketplace

Putting logistics at the heart of your ecommerce strategy is vital for retailers today, says Richard Harris,  managing director of Diamond Logistics.

In this day and age of on-demand for everything, it’s important for businesses to be able to deliver excellent service to customers, as well as being focused on the core competencies. This means taking advantage of platforms and solutions that can empower a business to target and reach audiences for best profitability with the least amount of effort and time.

Ecommerce represents the latest big driver of change in logistics and physical distribution networks, which have evolved substantially in recent years. Currently, it remains the case that as e-commerce continues to grow, most logistics providers are only beginning to work out what its demands will mean for their distribution network infrastructures.

Customers expect more delivery options that are quicker, cheaper and also more convenient. This is the reason why more flexible and innovative delivery and production systems are on the rise. Consumers want to be able to choose whatever meets their needs – the fastest. As an e-commerce business owner, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with logistics and its implications on your customer service. After all – you can have speed and service and cost-effectiveness, but often not all at the same time!

The right kind of logistics infrastructure is essential. Ongoing urbanisation makes facilities and delivery points crucial in ensuring customer satisfaction. Same-day delivery is in demand which means it’s no longer business as usual for traditional fulfilment centres, as it puts additional pressure and strain on prioritising service.

Since logistics has become so complex and reliant on digital technology, there are options for you to keep an eye on your inventory and where it is in the supply chain. Inventory management solutions within your ecommerce platform give you visibility into precisely how much of a product you have left and where it is.

Most importantly, these tools give real-time insight into products so you know what point of the journey the customer’s order is at. Once the product leaves your hands, it may be a good idea to keep tabs on orders to ensure they reach the customer. To satisfy customer’s many demands, our network of fulfilment centres also acts as an extensive network of same day service centres, which in turn allows our clients to store across multiple locations nationwide and makes delivery of orders much faster.

Surrey-based consumer food brand, Le Mesuriers is one company that has incorporated ecommerce into its food distribution network after partnering with Diamond Logistics in July. Le Mesuriers chose to partner with us because we fully embrace innovative logistic technologies and processes.

With the ability to deliver seamless ecommerce integration for order processing, stock control, warehouse management and carrier management, Le Mesuriers did not need to invest in IT solutions to integrate all of their internal stock management. Having this infrastructure set in place allowed the company to scale their ecommerce business without concerning themselves with stock over-capacities or storage cost pressures.

While e-commerce is a decades-old business model, start-ups are still finding ways to innovate, in order to provide more access to users and more business opportunities to marketplace and platform owners. At the core of this, the challenge lies in logistics. If it’s a matter of bringing your products to customers, no matter where they are, finding the right solution can make or break your business. Given this, it’s imperative for companies to put logistics at the centre of their ecommerce strategy.

Richard Harris is managing director of Diamond Logistics.

 

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