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3 ways to improve your ecommerce logistics

One of the keys to any successful ecommerce website or online store is having effective and well-organised logistics. This includes a smooth fulfillment process, the ability to package and ship quickly, and finally the ability to get the customer's order to them safely and timeously.

With the increasing popularity of online shopping, a company's logistics has never been more important to the success of their business. Here are three key ways to improve your company's ecommerce logistics.

1. Streamline your fulfillment process by testing and improving your packaging options so that all orders can be shipped out quickly.

It is essential to (a) get your packaging right and (b) streamline your fulfillment processes. As the sender of a parcel, you are the only one who knows exactly what is inside your parcel. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that the parcel is packaged to protect the contents as best as possible. It is highly recommended to follow general packaging guidelines; one of which is to cushion with at least 5-8 centimetres of packaging material all around the item. Another recommendation is that all items are packaged to withstand a one metre drop.

The fulfillment process includes the picking and packing of parcels to be shipped and should work as a well-oiled machine. A well-thought out, automated and streamlined process will save your company a lot of time and effort and assist you in getting your orders out as quickly as possible. If this step in the process is taking too much time, it is well worth looking into a warehousing and fulfillment service, such as Internet Express.

The fulfillment process also includes creating a returns process and mapping out what the whole experience will look like for the customer. Waybill creation, printing and attachment and booking courier collection services also forms part of this process. With all of these components, it becomes all the more important to stay organised, plan the process and perfect the execution.



2. Offer customers more choice in shipping options and set your company as a trendsetter in innovative technologies.

Who doesn’t love options? Give your customers various shipping options at checkout and allow them their choice of delivery. Offering numerous service levels or rate options is the way to go. Although it may add to the complexity of the fulfillment process for you as the merchant, it adds to the overall experience and value that you provide your customers with.



Next, invest in streamlining technologies. One option is to integrate with a courier aggregator or ecommerce tool where you can get various competitive quotes from multiple courier companies on one interface and fulfill your orders with a few clicks of a button. These types of tools and softwares only add to the ease of fulfillment and can even add to the overall customer experience.

Invest in an inventory management system, in order to ensure that you never sell something that you do not have in stock, as well as an email and tracking system that keeps customers updated on where their parcels are. There are various software packages that are worth investing in that allow you to do this. Technology is an extremely important instrument that you should take advantage of when setting up and running an online business.

3. Offer the best customer service possible to keep customers happy upon delivery.

The on- and after-delivery experience is perhaps the most important part of the whole customer journey. Providing your customer with great service can create a returning, regular customer. On-delivery experience is a friendly deliveryman and a well-packaged parcel. The finer details, like attractive wrapping or boxing and a personal touch creates an immediate positive experience for the customer.

After-delivery service can include a personal follow-up email to the customer to confirm satisfaction with the entire process, as well as the items that were ordered. A phone call is also a nice personal touch that can be added. Finally, continue offering great service and good prices (and maybe add some excellent deals) to provide your customers with the all-around best customer service possible.

Useful resources:
uAfrica.com
uAfrica takes the messiness out of running a successful online store. With quotes from various couriers, automated shipping labels and a multichannel feature that updates inventory and centralises order management. Logistics has never been easier!
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