E-commerce logistics requirements differ from traditional sales channels. Often a more traditional warehouse is not optimised for dealing with online-based fulfilment operations, where a small volume of products need regularly picking and packing throughout the course of the day.
Businesses that were set up to distribute medium-sized or orders in bulk to retailers, who subsequently add-on e-commerce options direct to consumers, very quickly learn that the online buying habits of the consumers can severely impact the regular despatch operation of the B2B arm of the business. Compounded by the increase in returns as many internet shoppers take advantage of free returns policies by ordering variations of the same product to try, it’s imperative that your logistics partner is equipped to deal with this.
Business to consumer logistics is higher volume, quick-turnaround, whereas business to business logistics is often lower volume, higher quantity and controlled strictly by booked-in delivery times at their destination.
Quite simply e-fulfilment and e-commerce logistics is different.
There isn’t a right or wrong option, however, it pays to have an experienced logistics partner with competitive packages
It’s undeniably possible to have a combined facility for B2B and B2C order profiles, however, opinions on how to do it and its success rates vary; but there are logistics partners in Wellingborough and beyond that are equipped to deal with this and doing a great job of it.
Our Managing Director, James, has worked with many logistics operations, large and small, and has observed some of the following:
- Fledgling e-commerce businesses with great products often grow, fast, often resulting in a hybrid of in-house (sometimes literally) fulfilment and some level of external pallet storage
- The most optimised pick-face layouts are harder to curate when picking both consumer and business orders from the exact same pick locations due to disparity between fast and slow moving products. This can extend the travel and pick times in the warehouse for e-commerce orders, resulting in increased logistics costs
- Some companies keep separate pick-faces for business to consumer and business to business orders, even if it’s for the same products. Factors in this are the range and mix of products, and the ratio mix of the business (B2B vs B2C).
- Some companies bulk pick at the pick-face and then seperate B2B and B2C orders at a secondary location
- Many businesses will outsource their complete e-commerce business to an expert e-commerce logistics partner with the knowledge that it needs a specialist picking regime and a partner that’s able to deliver value-for-money and quality service
It’s all about keeping the end-customer happy
Whilst it can be cheaper and with higher margins to move away from bricks and mortar and the associated overheads, it’s important to still consider the true costs of selling online. You will require a quality website, payment systems, admin and customer service facilities (for example there are tight schedules and strict rules if you also want to sell on the likes of Amazon), digital marketing agency in Wellingborough or elsewhere to get the volume of website visits and sales up. Then there’s the costs of storage, pick and pack, delivery fees… it can all add up, particularly if you are relying on a variety of different suppliers.
That’s about to change! Market Boosters is the one-stop-shop for e-commerce businesses looking for a reliable partner for their website development, digital marketing and logistics needs. We have decades’ experience in the industry and a track record for delivering high quality solutions at much more affordable rates. Contact us for a free no-obligation quote today.