So you started a business and have outgrown your bedroom and garage. You need someone to help you pick & pack orders every day so you are able to work on the important stuff. You look into ecommerce, and stumble on this blog post. Well, you've come to the right place - as freight forwarders for over 30 years, here are the top tips from us on how to scale your ecommerce logistics.
Sort out your packaging
First things first, streamline your packaging. Do you need boxes? Do you need parcel bags? Bubble wrap? Then, figure out where you can buy these supplies, wholesale. You'll save more that way, and trust me, every cent counts.
Keep in mind that your customer cares how their parcels look, but only if they have a personal touch. Keeping it minimal, such as a thank you card, will suffice to increase your customer happiness and loyalty.
Trust the system
Your back-end will be the backbone to your fulfillment success. Consider which integration you need for your ecommerce platform. For instance, if you are shipping overseas, how can you integrate your international courier account to your backend (orders) system? Softwares such as StarShipIT can reduce the time manually keying in addresses, reduce errors, and speeds up the fulfillment process.
Then, consider having an inventory management system that works together with your fulfillment applications. Which product should you ship first? What products are low in stock and need replenishing? Softwares such as Trade Gecko can help further integrate your multi-channel ecommerce inventory.
Finally, how will you let customers know when their shipment will arrive? Setting up order notifications should be done yesterday, but did you know you can also send them text notifications? Consider adding this into your customer onboarding process to encourage happy, repeat buyers.
Hiring vs. outsourcing
If your ecommerce has come to the point where picking & packing orders have consumed too much of your time, your options are either to (1) hire help, or (2) outsource operations.
Hiring help is the easiest way to fulfill your orders whilst keeping up the personal and professional level of your parcels. However, you may find it is not the most economical when you have 100+ orders a day to pack.
Outsourcing to a warehouse or ecommerce fulfillment center has the benefit of being able to leverage economies of scale. You can further streamline your entire operations by having your inventory management, back-end courier management, and pick & pack done for you. Your parcels may also be dispatched faster, resulting in happier customers. However, this may mean less control for you, and certainly standard procedures need to be established on how you want the final package to be delivered to your customer.
Of course, you know your business best, but we would recommend only outsourcing when you have more than 100-150 orders a day, as any less will not make sense economically. Alternatively, approaching a 3PL fulfillment center will be good for those who want a complete supply chain management solution.
So, where are you in the ecommerce fulfillment journey? Let us know in the comments below or contact us to chat about our warehousing & 3PL fulfillment options.
Whale Logistics are Australia’s leading Freight Forwarder and Logistics company located in Sydney and Melbourne. We deliver digital services such as Australian customs parcel tracking, parcel delivery box, and comprehensive ocean, air and road freight solutions. For cost competitive and innovative ocean freight solutions, please click the link below to contact a Whale Logistics Ocean Freight Specialist today for a quote.