As the world grew accustomed to the use of e-commerce to find those obscure products, it presented new challenges for shippers, explains Datex. In fact, 12% of world retail sales are business-to-business e-commerce, and with returns rates of up to 30%, it is simply impractical to manage everything from a single distribution center or warehouse. E-commerce attracted customers from around the globe, and regardless of region, customers expect Amazon-like service. If your company cannot deliver, Amazon will. At the same time, the challenges of final mile logistics have been exemplified through the actions of those with malicious intent, seeking to rob customers of their paid packages. Shippers need to understand these challenges, including those arising from necessary changes to stay competitive with Amazon, how e-commerce and final mile logistics allow for faster, direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping and a few best practices for using this combination to drive sales.
Challenges in E-Commerce and Final Mile Include Problems With Shipper-Initiated Changes to Inbound Logistics
Significant difficulties in e-commerce in the final mile continue to plague the industry. Consumers want their products today, not tomorrow, and shippers are turning to every trick in the book to increase speed to market. Unfortunately, the primary tactics used by shippers to achieve this feat, such as drop shipping, further increases the complexity of supply chain management. Shipper-initiated changes to inbound logistics management in this manner will result in additional trials with maintaining visibility and accountability within the supply chain. In addition, disruptors within the industry, such as Uber and Doorman, will continue to drive more customers back toward OEMs and wholesalers, explains Supply Chain 24/7. The industry is changing significantly, and shippers must focus on non-traditional ways to increase both efficiency and speed within final mile programs.
Using a TMS to Execute a Final Mile Strategy that Yields Desired Outcomes
Successful E-Commerce and Final Mile Logistics Enable More DTC Transactions
Successful e-commerce and final mile logistics mean taking advantage of all available resources to get products in the hands of consumers faster. Dropshipping, cross-docking, and ordering products directly from the manufacturer can alleviate the burden of final mile logistics management. At the same time, these measures will lead to an increase in the amount of data and communication between a shipper and its vendors. Therefore, shippers need a dedicated system that can handle this complexity. As the rate of DTC transactions increases, shippers will reap higher profitability, and since the onus of managing final mile is effectively moved to the hands of vendors in this application, manufacturers and vendors become responsible for its costs. Of course, shippers can also work with their supply chain partners to augment efficiency, and in some cases, taking advantage of DTC shipping may increase eligibility for “Shipper of Choice” status, especially when vendors go the extra mile to ensure timely, ready for pickup shipments.
Best Practices for Leveraging E-Commerce and Final Mile to Bolster DTC Sales
Any effective plan for combining e-commerce in final mile logistics through DTC shipping should follow these best practices:
- Take Advantage of Final Mile Disruptors.
- Increase Traceability Within the Final Mile, As explained by Digital Commerce 360,
- Eliminate any Freight Rating Systems that don’t include final mile capability.
- Increase Data Accuracy.
- Improve Warehouse Processes.
- Work With More Couriers.
- Continuously Optimize Transportation Routes.
- Work With 3PLs and 4PLs.
- Develop an Omnichannel Returns Strategy.
- Integrate Systems From Vendors Through Consumer-Facing Platforms, Including Brick-and-Mortar Stores and Online Platforms
Shippers can reap faster, more effortless fulfillment with integrated shipping platforms. Of course, that also demands to offer Amazonesque customer experiences, regardless of your sector.
Enable Faster, Easier Fulfillment With Integrated E-Commerce and Final Mile Shipping Now
Shippers can reap faster, more effortless fulfillment with integrated shipping platforms. E-commerce continues to grow at a phenomenal pace, and consumers will expect Amazonian delivery options. Shippers must implement the technologies and resources, including a TMS, to manage the entire logistics process, including when such actions fall outside of the traditional scope of a shipper’s warehouse, such as and drop shipping or cross-docking.