End-to-End eCommerce Logistics

Written by 
Dee Set Staff
28 April, 2023

As a top ten seller on major online stores, Amazon and eBay, we know a thing or two about eCommerce logistics. In today's digital world, with an increasing focus on convenience and speed, getting your logistics right has never been more important. Customers expect their orders to be shipped on time and arrive in one piece. Sound simple? Far from it! There are several steps to account for and each has to be coordinated effectively, especially if you operate as a multi-channel business. Any inefficiencies in the process can lead to delays, order inaccuracies, and, worst of all, customer dissatisfaction. 

Don't despair! At Dee Set, we have a wealth of experience in the world of eCommerce. Whether you need support with the fulfilment process, inventory storage, data-driven insights, or everything in between, we have the tools and know-how to turn your logistics nightmare into a streamlined operation that delivers, every time (pun intended). 

Get in touch today to discover how our end-to-end capabilities and bespoke eCommerce solutions can take your online retail business to the next level. 

What is eCommerce logistics?

In a nutshell, eCommerce logistics is the end-to-end process that gets your products into the hands of your customers. To the untrained eye, it's a bit like waving a magic wand. The customer falls in love with a product on your website (as they should) and, a few clicks later, it's on its way.

If only it was that easy! There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make this work, including inventory management, packaging, order fulfilment, shipping and delivery. We like to think of this process as a complex puzzle. When solved correctly, your orders will flow seamlessly and your customer satisfaction rates will go through the roof. If any pieces go missing, your customer complaint team will become a lot busier and your reputation will be on the line.

For any product-based online business, this process is the glue that connects the manufacturer with the consumer. But what does effective eCommerce logistics look like? We're glad you asked. It will provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers, ensuring products are delivered quickly, reliably, and in good condition, while also cutting unnecessary costs and optimising inventory levels. Oh, and with our innovative technology at your fingertips, you will benefit from actionable customer data that can help to inform and improve your operations. 

eCommerce vs traditional logistics

Managing an online retail store comes with its own unique set of challenges. Yes, traditional logistics involves a great deal of expertise and technical support to ensure the products are being effectively delivered to brick-and-mortar stores.

However, eCommerce logistics is a whole other ball game. Firstly, you need the technology and infrastructure that can cope with the increased volume and complexity of online orders. Then there are the additional steps in the fulfilment process to consider, such as processing payments and picking and packing products. These require a higher degree of accuracy to avoid costly errors. You will also require real-time inventory visibility to ensure levels are being correctly managed across multiple channels. Quite frankly, there are enough operational elements to make your head spin! And it doesn't stop there...

With a wider variety of products to choose from and greater access to information, including those nail-biting reviews, the digital space fosters higher consumer expectations. Not only are you competing against a large number of other online retailers, but your logistics must meet the increased needs of your customers. With the additional complications of tracking shipments and managing customer communication, the success of your online business demands a robust logistics process. In short, provide an excellent customer experience and your business will thrive. No pressure or anything...

The eCommerce logistics process - a 5-stage breakdown 

Whether you're selling skincare or sofas, you have to nail the basics if you want your customers to keep coming back for more. Failing to optimise this process will cause a chink in your eCommerce supply chain and no amount of marketing pizzazz will save you from delayed shipments or damaged orders. For businesses of all shapes and sizes, this is an essential but time-consuming and often troublesome process. You want to focus on the bigger picture while having peace of mind that your logistics are ticking along nicely. That's where we come in. 

With the support of our fulfilment services and forward-thinking strategies, as well as an impressive team of logistics geniuses, we can help you to scale at pace without compromising on quality. Being prepared is key and, once you have the right systems in place, you can start to take advantage of larger order influxes.

1. Demand planning and inventory management

Nothing is more disappointing than an out-of-stock notice. Not only is this harmful to the shopping experience but it will push your customers into the open arms of your competitors. In fact, a study found that 37% of shoppers who experience stockouts will look elsewhere. Scary stuff!

It's all in the demand planning. If you want to improve the efficiency of your supply chain and logistics operations, you have to know how much stock you need to be able to fulfil each order. Inventory issues can be an expensive business, to say the least. Being faced with last-minute procurement or having excess stock lying about is not ideal, particularly if your products have a short shelf life. Through the combined power of historical data and marketing trends, you can accurately forecast the expected demand for your products. 

In many ways, your inventory is the beating heart of your business. Having the right products in the right place at the right time will keep your customers happy and your revenue rising. You need an effective inventory management system to be able to control the flow of products in and out of your eCommerce business. 

2. Order fulfilment

Our time to shine! The order fulfilment process involves a series of steps that begin at the click of the golden 'order now' button and end at your customer's front door. These can be broken down into 3 bite-sized chunks: receiving and processing the order, picking and packing the products, and delivering the order to the customer, wherever they are.

Previously, offering checkout incentives such as free delivery or a gift with purchase was enough to win over your customers. But times have changed and the stakes are even higher. Nowadays, speed is everything, with delivery times swaying 68% of customers' purchase decisions. So, it's fair to say that efficient order fulfilment is fundamental to the success of your logistics process and, by extension, your ability to retain customers and continually grow as a business. 

We've covered the importance of optimising your inventory management, but what about the fulfilment process itself? Keeping this in-house can be costly and time-consuming - it's time to bring in the professionals. When you choose our outsourced service, your orders will be picked and packed with 99.8% accuracy. 'Pretty impressive', we hear you say... 

With improved productivity, and a sprinkle of specialised expertise, you are now able to meet customer demand and maintain a high quality of service.  

3. Warehousing

In our humble opinion, warehousing doesn't receive the attention it deserves. This is the central hub of your operations, where storage, inventory management, and distribution all takes place. Covering everything from keeping your products safe and secure to tracking inventory and determining how products are shipped, it's so much more than simply stacking a few cardboard boxes. 

It's virtually impossible to stay on top of stock without a dedicated storage space and streamlined system in place, particularly for large-scale operations with a high volume of orders to fulfil. We've said it before and we'll say it again: organisation is your best friend. 

We get it, warehouse and storage planning is far from the most exciting task on your to-do list. But good warehouse management can be the difference between a fruitless stock scavenger hunt and a profitable business, so it's well worth the investment. As industry experts, you can count on us to provide reliable warehousing solutions that truly make a difference to your day-to-day operations.  

4. Returns management

Returns have become an integral part of the customer journey, and eCommerce as a whole. As online shopping continues to rise in popularity, the inability to physically interact with products has contributed to a dramatic increase in the volume of returns. This is further heightened by certain customer behavioural patterns, such as purchasing multiple products at once. 

Implementing effective returns management is therefore essential in reducing the impact on your bottom line and improving customer satisfaction.

As we move towards a greener future, keeping a close eye on returned products is more important than ever. Ensuring they are either restocked, repurposed, or properly disposed of will allow you to prevent excess waste and minimise your impact on the environment.

Returns management can also help your business to identify patterns, enabling you to address any issues that may be contributing to high return rates. Armed with this information, you are now able to make the necessary improvements to keep your shipping costs competitive, your delivery times down, and your products at a high quality.

5. Actionable analytics

Are your eCommerce logistics operating at maximum efficiency? Without access to valuable analytics, how can you be sure? 

Capturing data at multiple points of your operations will enable you to make informed decisions about countless aspects of your business. This can be related to inventory, shipping, or even trends in customer behaviour. For instance, reviewing delivery times, carrier performance, and customer preferences will present opportunities for improving your shipping processes.

In an ever-evolving marketplace, staying static is not an option. Don't be the dinosaur of the eCommerce world! With our game-changing client portal in your tech toolbox, you are able to respond to real-time operational insights and evolve with your customers. By effectively leveraging analytics, you can stay ahead of the game and kick out the competition. 

eCommerce logistics - looking to the future

As customers continue to demand more from online businesses - more delivery options, more sustainability, more convenience, and more personalisation - your ability to remain agile and adapt your operations is vital. Logistics is no longer just about packing and delivering orders. It is now an integral part of the customer experience, with accurate tracking, flexible shipping options, and easy returns becoming an expectation rather than an added bonus. 

This is a daunting, if not exciting, time for eCommerce stores. Developments in technology are changing what constitutes customer convenience at a rapid pace, while the rise of mobile shopping is pushing businesses towards an omnichannel model. 

On the one hand, online retailers need to expand their digital reach, enabling them to improve customer engagement and increase visibility. On the other hand, having a simple logistics solution in place that lowers costs and effort is central to the long-term survival of any eCommerce store. By partnering with the Dee Set team, you can have both! We'll take care of the operational side of things so you can focus on building a show-stopping business that takes the market by storm. 

Is your eCommerce logistical process giving you a headache? Whether you're looking for an end-to-end logistics solution or help with a few operational hiccups, we've got you covered.

Give us a call on 01782 266667 or contact us at enquiries@deeset.co.uk. 

Dee Set Logistics Ltd/Dee Set Confectionery Ltd, trading as Dee Set, registered in England, Scotland and Wales. Registered No: SC208421/04297287.Vat No: 896110414.