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Ecommerce logistics in India: 8 Strategies you need to know
Order fulfilment

Ecommerce logistics in India: 8 Strategies you need to know

Versha Kamwal
January 11, 2022
7
mins read

The Indian ecommerce space is changing rapidly into a bigger landscape. Research by IBEF projects that the ecommerce market of India will grow by US$ 111.40 billion till 2025.

However, such great potential comes with the need for a great plan—logistics. Managing ecommerce logistics is critical to any ecommerce brand—whether you're selling on a website like Shopify store or a marketplace like Flipkart, Amazon, and more.

Properly coordinated logistics are the key to success if you want to control costs, introduce efficiency and deliver on your brand promise.

In this blog, you'll learn about ecommerce logistics, what constitutes modern logistics, and how can brands excel at ecommerce logistics.

What is ecommerce logistics?

Ecommerce logistics, also known as elogistics, is the process an ecommerce brand uses to get an order into the customer's hands. It includes:

  • Warehousing (storing inventory)
  • Inventory management
  • Order fulfilment (picking, packing, and shipping orders)
  • Returns management (refunds and exchanges)

The principal purpose of ecommerce logistics is to deliver online orders much faster, safer, and more accurately while creating a positive customer experience. However, all these activities can easily turn into a complex task if you don't have a full-proof strategy—resulting in a negative shopping experience.

Now that you know what ecommerce logistics entail, let's see its elements.

The modern ecommerce logistics chain

As ecommerce has grown exponentially, it has become much more complex with several factors.

1. Suppliers

Suppliers or manufacturers are the ones who have inventory ready to ship to a destination. They either manufacture or procure products from other sources and ship them to a warehouse or fulfilment centre to fulfil online orders.

2. Warehouses

A warehouse is a building or facility used to store inventory until a customer places an order and a product is shipped. The main attribute of ecommerce warehousing is to safely and securely store products in an organised way. It is done to track the location of items, the quantity on hand, and the time period that the items have been stored for.

Once an order is received, products are picked, packed, and marked “ready to ship” in the warehouse.

3. Fulfilment centres

Fulfilment centres are the large facilities used to store inventory close to customers, so each order is picked, packed, and shipped, ensuring speedy delivery.

Fulfilment centres are usually highly secure facilities that leverage powerful technology, such as barcode scanners, conveyor belts, intelligent robots, and more to automate traditional warehouse operations. Apart from just storing inventory, numerous activities take place in a fulfilment centre, such as kitting and assembling the product, performing quality checks, picking and packing orders, labelling the order for shipment, marking the orders as “ready to ship”, and managing customer returns. Moreover, fulfilment centres are often owned or leased by an ecommerce business or by a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.

4. Shipping carriers

Shipping carriers handle the transportation of online orders from a warehouse or a fulfilment centre to their customer location for delivery.

How to excel at ecommerce logistics in India?

Ecommerce brands can excel at logistics while focusing on supply chain efficiency. It often incorporates technology, resources, and streamlined processes to help you scale your ecommerce business.

1. Distributed inventory

Nowadays, ecommerce businesses are keen to split their inventory in multiple fulfilment centres located across India, rather than keeping all the inventory in one location.

Eshopbox's distributed network of fulfilment centres across PAN India helps you optimise shipping and overall ecommerce logistics.

Eshopbox's network of FCs across India
Eshopbox's network of FCs across India

2. Inventory management

Stock levels constantly fluctuate with every transaction in an ecommerce business. This means, managing your inventory requires powerful reporting and real-time insights across your business' logistics chain.

You need an inventory management system (IMS) to help you:

Eshopbox gives you access to an actionable dashboard to provide complete visibility of your inventory in real-time with valuable insights.

Eshopbox offers full inventory visibility for inventory management
Eshopbox offers full inventory visibility for inventory management

3. Lightning-fast shipping capabilities

The expectation of fast shipping and order delivery has now become elementary.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Ensure fast order processing by leveraging powerful technology to automate order fulfilment and eliminate human errors
  • Stick to SLA-driven shipping if you’re selling on marketplaces
  • Mark orders 'ready to ship' quickly with incredible order accuracy
  • Use expedited courier services and optimise delivery routes
  • Gain a geographic footprint with multiple fulfilment centres in India to expedite shipping drastically (as stated above)

Eshopbox follows a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to streamline order processing and achieve maximum fulfilment efficiency. The pick and pack process is also automated with an order accuracy rate of 99.75%.

4. Low ecommerce shipping costs

Shipping costs can drive up the entire cost of ecommerce logistics if you don't make strategic decisions.

  • The best way to reduce shipping costs is to distribute your inventory (as mentioned above)
  • You can also get shipping quotes from multiple courier companies and choose the best service at a reasonable price.

Note: Shipping costs become more expensive if your customers are located far away from your warehouse. So, consider that you have to ship your orders across India.

Eshopbox handles high order volumes and has strong tie-ups with ecommerce shipping providers. It means you get access to negotiated shipping rates.

5. Better return management

No matter how hard you try to minimise your ecommerce return rate, you cannot make it zero. Getting returned products back in your inventory can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, with modern ecommerce logistics, it's easier to make them simple and cost-effective.

  • Ensure a quick and easy process for initiating a return
  • Align return shipping of the product and conduct quality checks
  • Make sure that the returned product is restocked in your available inventory and is re-sellable quickly

Eshopbox can help you manage returns efficiently and turn refunds into exchanges with easy one-click exchanges.

Eshopbox's return management
Eshopbox's return management

6. Scalability

In ecommerce, the order volume doesn't stay constant all year long. Your inventory levels fluctuate based on seasons, flash sales, discounts, and more.

Here’s what you need or require:

  • A flexible infrastructure to manage the fluctuating order volume
  • Allocate your resources according to your current order volume

If you are not able to manage the variability in sales effectively, it can result in two things. First, you won’t be able to ship your orders quickly or efficiently resulting in a poor customer experience. Second, you can end up paying more for storage space, handling costs and manpower. Ultimately increasing your overall costs of ecommerce logistics.

Eshopbox allocates all the fulfilment resources according to your current order volume to effectively manage variability in sales.

7. Customer delight

Your ecommerce logistics should be an extension of the customer experience you offer. It can help you leave an everlasting impression on your customers and drive loyalty.

With an ecommerce logistics partner like Eshopbox, you can enhance the customer experience by delivering a great post-purchase experience.

Dot & Key's custom packaging
Dot & Key's custom packaging

8. Reporting and insights

With an ecommerce logistics partner like Eshopbox, you get access to actionable tools, periodic reports and key metrics to drive your ecommerce brand in the right direction with the help of valuable insights:

Eshopbox's actionable dashboard
Eshopbox's actionable dashboard

Eshopbox enables ideal inventory distribution
Eshopbox enables ideal inventory distribution

Bottom line

When it comes to ecommerce, customers expectations are growing exponentially. They want a great shopping experience regardless of the sales channel they shop from. Ecommerce brands can ensure such an experience with strategic ecommerce logistics. An ecommerce logistics company in India like Eshopbox can give you access to powerful technology, infrastructure and expertise to transform your ecommerce operations. Such partnership can help you maximise efficiency, reduce shipping costs, and delight your customers.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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