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.
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.
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.
Any effective plan for combining e-commerce in final mile logistics through DTC shipping should follow these best practices:
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.
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.
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