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11 Actionable steps to optimise ecommerce delivery
Shipping trends

11 Actionable steps to optimise ecommerce delivery

Versha Kamwal
March 27, 2022
mins read

India's $14 billion Indian ecommerce market has been gaining momentum rapidly—projected to reach US$ 111.40 billion by 2025.

While ecommerce is catalyzing the growth of India's retail industry, it is also revitalizing consumer demand. However, only selling online is not sufficient, you need to deliver your customer orders—while keeping customers’ expectations of fast and free delivery in mind.

However, ensuring proper, fast and accurate order delivery is not at all an easy job. Ecommerce businesses must keep costs under control, embrace efficiency, and deliver their brand promise to the masses each and every time to penetrate the Indian market in the long run.

In this blog, you will learn what is ecommerce delivery, what are the steps involved in ecommerce delivery, what ecommerce delivery options are available to ecommerce brands, and how can ecommerce brands optimise ecommerce delivery.

What is ecommerce delivery?

Ecommerce delivery refers to all of the services necessary to transfer online orders from an ecommerce brand’s warehouse to the customer's delivery location.

Once a customer places an order on your website or a marketplace, several steps go into the order processing to prepare the order for delivery.

Ecommerce delivery
Ecommerce delivery

What are the steps involved in ecommerce delivery?

  • Warehousing (storing inventory)
  • Inventory management
  • Order fulfilment (picking, packing, and shipping orders)
  • Order delivery (handing over orders to customers)
  • Returns management (refunds and exchanges)

Steps involved in ecommerce delivery
Steps involved in ecommerce delivery

What ecommerce delivery options are available to ecommerce brands?

1. Handling ecommerce delivery on your own (DIY)

‍Ecommerce brand can choose to handle ecommerce delivery on their own. It is suitable for small businesses who are just starting out—when the daily order volume is very low. Eventually, when the order volume increases, it's mandatory to make huge investments to keep up with the increasing orders. So it's better to switch from this model at the right time.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a method of ecommerce delivery in which ecommerce sellers don’t have to store or ship the products they sell. Instead, they purchase the products from a manufacturer or a third party and get them shipped directly to the customer via a dropshipping provider. It generally means that the ecommerce business has no control over the supply chain, quality of the products delivered, or the shipping speed—making it very difficult to build a creditable brand image.

3. Outsourcing ecommerce delivery

Outsourcing ecommerce delivery to a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider can help ecommerce businesses maintain seamless order fulfilment. 3PLs provide the most efficient and cost-effective way of ecommerce delivery with their extensive experience and fulfilment infrastructure. Ecommerce brands can focus on their core business and the rest is taken care by the 3PL provider.

How can ecommerce brands optimise ecommerce delivery?

1. Distribute your inventory to provide express delivery

You can split your inventory in multiple ecommerce warehouses located across India, rather than keeping all the inventory in one location. This way, you can ship orders from a warehouse closest to your customer’s location. Multi-warehousing can help you offer express delivery to your customers and significantly reduce shipping costs.

Eshopbox's distributed network of fulfilment centres across PAN India helps you optimise and speed up ecommerce delivery.

2. Manage your inventory efficiently

In order to deliver your orders on time, you need to ensure you have sufficient inventory at all times. This means you must track and manage your inventory levels with an inventory management system (IMS) to:

  • Track real-time inventory by status, quantity in hand, across ecommerce warehouses and sales channels
  • Set reorder points to maintain optimum inventory levels and avoid stockouts by planning timely replenishment
  • Analyse historical data to avoid overstocking
  • Implement batch tracking for Food and Beverages (F&B), cosmetics, and more

To optimise ecommerce delivery, Eshopbox enables you to track your inventory levels in real-time. With Eshopbox’s actionable dashboard you have complete visibility of your inventory to deliver your orders on time.

3. Ramp up your order processing

To optimise your ecommerce delivery, you must ensure a streamlined pick and pack process.

  • 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
  • Perform quality check at the time of order processing to ensure that the items shipped to the customers are correct and in the right condition

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. Protect your orders in transit

The most critical step of ecommerce delivery is making sure that your customers don’t receive damaged products. Such damage mostly occurs in transit. To prevent it, you need to ensure appropriate materials are used in the packaging of the product. For instance, while shipping glassware, you need to use bubble wrap while packaging the order.

Eshopbox takes every precaution to safeguard your customer orders in transit against any damage. By using secure dunnage, packaging materials and paying special attention to fragile products, Eshopbox ensures that your customers receive their orders in the best condition.

5. Choose cost-effective shipping options

Shipping costs can drive up the entire cost of ecommerce delivery if you don't make strategic decisions. So it’s important to choose the most cost-effective shipping option.

  • The best way to reduce shipping costs is to distribute your inventory (as mentioned above)
  • You can get shipping quotes from multiple courier companies and choose the best expedited courier service with reasonable pricing

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

Eshopbox has a strong shipping network to reach customers across 29,000+ pin codes in India while saving 45% on shipping costs. Moreover, Eshopbox handles high order volumes and has strong tie-ups with ecommerce shipping providers. It means you get access to negotiated shipping rates.

6. Optimise delivery routes

In order to increase shipping speed and improve last-mile delivery, the first thing you must do is optimise your delivery routes. It means your order must be shipped automatically from the optimal warehouse based on inventory availability, customer location, and SLA (Service Level Agreement).

Let’s take an example, you have distributed your inventory in different locations, i.e. Mumbai, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, and Haryana. You received an order, and your customer location is Pune. Then, the order will be allocated to the nearest fulfilment centre, i.e. Mumbai, rather than the Kolkata fulfilment centre to ensure speedy order delivery.

Eshopbox leverages intelligent order routing that helps you achieve the most cost-efficient and faster ecommerce deliveries.

7. Manage fluctuations in order volume

In ecommerce, the order volume doesn't stay constant all year long. Your inventory levels fluctuate based on seasons, flash sales, discounts, and more. This means, you need and require two things:

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

Eshopbox allocates all the fulfilment resources according to your current order volume to effectively manage variability in sales without incurring extra costs.

8. Delight your customers

Your ecommerce delivery 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 fulfilment provider like Eshopbox, you can enhance the customer experience by delivering a great post-purchase experience throughout the order delivery. For that, Eshopbox has a self-service portal, i.e customer portal that enables you to delight your customers that provides:

  • An Amazon-like experience with real-time order tracking to give customers complete visibility of their online orders
  • Estimated date of ecommerce delivery

Eshopbox also provides:

9. Ask for customer feedback

You can conduct a survey to understand if customers are satisfied with your ecommerce delivery. It also helps customers to feel that their feedback and opinion matter. This way, you can gain insights into the order delivery you offer, work on areas that require improvement, and make your customers feel valued.

10. Manage returns effectively

The unfortunate reality of ecommere is returns. However, return shipping is as important as order delivery (forward shipping). As an ecommerce brand, you cannot just focus on order delivery and forgot about shipping back returned products. How you manage your returns and the returns experience you provide your customers impacts customer loyalty.

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 by aligning the return pickup with an upcoming order delivery—helping you save on return shipping.

11. Manage shipping exceptions

Shipping exceptions can cause unforeseen delays in ecommerce delivery. To rise above such issues, Eshopbox enables ecommerce brands to manage them with automation.

Failed delivery attempts

  • Eshopbox automates the verification process for checking customer availability to increase the success rate of ecommerce delivery
  • Eshopbox also empowers your customers to request another delivery attempt or change the delivery address on the customer portal whenever they want, without any assistance from the customer support team

Delay of shipment

  • Eshopbox enables you to track and see order updates for your customer orders. If there is a delay, you are notified proactively by the courier partner so that you can address the situation immediately.

Wrapping up

When it comes to ecommerce, customer 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 delightful order deliveries. An ecommerce fulfilment provider like Eshopbox can give you access to powerful technology, infrastructure and expertise to transform your ecommerce operations and order delivery. Such partnership can help you maximise efficiency, reduce shipping costs, and delight your customers—every single time.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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