E-commerce: The Building Blocks for Logistics
E-commerce has already changed the landscape of a wide range of online business activities, product sales and services. Logistics cannot escape the encompassing culture that e-commerce has embodied, creating an informal, convenient form of distribution for end-users, helping generate continuous growth for the logistics/freight forwarding industry.
However, the e-commerce revolution impacts different business inversely. The influence it has on distribution may be completely unlike the impact on warehousing and storage. Whilst it has been presumed that e-commerce has a positive effect on end-users, the increased pressure on retailers has pushed the logistics industry into uncharted seas, with an innovative approach to the future of e-commerce integration within the industry.
Understood that the world of e-commerce is one filled with intricacies, let FORWARDER advise you on 3 points to remember as a logistics practitioner.
The 3PL market is one in which e-commerce has had an incredible impact. New logistics technologies and the use of robotics, changes in volumes that are less predictable and changes in geographies can all, in theory, or in time, be eradicated for the logistics sector through correct e-commerce practice. It remains to be seen how promised delivery times will be influenced by the rise in e-commerce demands, as it’s likely that providers will hope for retailers to provide 48 -72-hour turnarounds, along with 24-hour or same day delivery as an option.
With the Reuters Institute predicting a rise in subscriptions for outlets across the globe, an educated guess would be that this speedier form of delivery for both B2B and B2C will be a paid for premium service, adding to the already steady growth e-commerce provides. This could be detrimental to the way people view your brand, products or services in the future, so understanding the complexities and providing these services is a must.
Platform, theme, e-commerce plugins, SEO, marketing, content and the checkout process all lead to successful ROI and repeat business for anyone in the logistics sector who works primarily, or entirely, within the logistics sector. Understanding and practical usage of the latest CMS’s can allow for impressive sales and engage long-term customers than you may not have expected to become so loyal. This repeat business can lead to success in other areas and it is vital that you pay attention to the platforms and styles, that you are marketing your products/services on.
Supply Chain Management
Resources, implementation, and developing a business model are all tactics that can start to increase your brand and revenue, however, once these have been mastered visibility on your market is vital, and the explosion of e-commerce has allowed logistics/freight forwarders to have complete visibility on their supply chain. They have been able to track and communicate with drivers and end-users with such clarity and confidence that the e-commerce market, that so many reside within, is now at the crossroad of integration. AI and visual merchandising are making the end-user experience through e-commerce reliable and easier, with Amazon currently trying to adopt the AI to help search engines adopt a more visual style of product search.
Innovation and technology have allowed the e-commerce market to thrive within the logistics industry, and with the pace that the Internet continually grows, the only issue is keeping up with developments that may arise.
Matt Dailly | Editor | FORWARDER Magazine