Based on previous years of holiday consumer results, we have seen and will continue to see, a rise in shopping online. With many big-box retailers developing creative solutions to enter the online market, many e-commerce business owners are struggling to compete. In this article we will look at the top 5 determining factors for why individuals participate in shopping online. We will also look at how supply chain management can impact each one of these determining factors. By the end of this article, you will be able to determine if your order fulfillment strategy is getting in the way, or not, of your e-commerce success.
Shopping Online #1: Speed
In the fulfillment word, we like to call this “Time-to-Home.” That is, how long does it take for a customer to receive a product from the moment they hit the buy button to the moment it reaches their door step. From the consumers perspective, it is simply put as how soon can they get their hands on what they want. If an individual can get a product delivered to their home in two days, instead of having to wait until the weekend when they have time to go out shopping, they maybe more inclined to shop online. It is critical that e-commerce business owners offer a fast time-to-home option for their buyers. Even better, getting that fast time-to-home at the best price. Working with a third-party fulfillment partner allows e-commerce businesses to achieve both of these critical elements.
#2: Difficulty in Getting to a Physical Store
There are many reasons why someone may not be able to get to the store that has their select product. Perhaps the store is too far away or they do not have the means of transportation. Maybe they physically cannot leave their home or simply just don’t have the time. Whatever the reason is, it is enough to make someone purchase online. This is a great opportunity for e-commerce business owners to capture a sale. With the desired items at their finger tips, it makes shopping much easier for the consumer. It is important for e-commerce stores to have ease-of-access to their website and have their CRM accurately processing orders to their order fulfillment team. When partnering with a fulfillment center, it is important that the integration of your CRM is seamless.
Shopping Online #3: Price of an Item
With computers in our back pockets, consumers can price hunt like never before. Within minutes online shoppers can troll the internet and find the best price possible for any given item. Being competitively priced while still receiving the profit you seek can be a tricky balance. It is critical e-commerce business owners cut costs in ways that do not cut quality. One way to leverage cash flow is to team up with an order fulfillment partner. By managing inventory and shipping products at incredibly low rates, e-commerce owners can allocate money saved back to customers without negatively effecting profits.
#4: Cost to Have an Item Delivered
Shipping rates should be top of mind for all e-commerce business owners as mailing their products to online shoppers is the core of their business. Fulfilling online shopping orders from home, or even a private warehouse causes business owners to miss out on discounted shipping rate opportunities. When working with a third-party supply chain management partner companies benefit from bulk shipping discounts. In addition, if the chosen order fulfillment partner has multiple locations, shipping products will cost even less. This could allow e-commerce businesses the opportunity to offer FREE shipping or incredibly low shipping costs to their online customers.
Shopping Online #5: Availability of an Item
This one is huge! Backorders can break an e-commerce business overnight. Owners must do everything they can to prevent them. Why? If a site does not have a product that they offer, the online shopper will go elsewhere in a matter of seconds. Availability is key when there are hundreds of other options out there. Inventory management is a service only the top fulfillment partners can offer. Keeping products safe, organized, in stock, and ready for shipment are the key features to this service.
Third-Party Fulfillment Partner’s Can Increase Your e-Commerce Success
Bottom line, when it comes to a consumers decision to shop online, it is best an e-commerce store meets all of the above factors if they want to remain competitive. As you can see, partnering with a fulfillment center can help online businesses within all of these areas. The question you must ask yourself now; is your order fulfillment strategy hurting or helping you obtain these factors? If the answer is hurting, reach out to QuickBox Fulfillment today and discover how we can help optimize your supply chain management.