Every company’s business strategy is driven by achieving (and maintaining) a competitive edge.
In today’s crowded marketplace, many products and services are “me-too” offerings.
It takes something extra to set your business apart. One company that epitomizes this is Amazon.
When Amazon.com was launched in 1995, the company did everything differently.
From being a virtual bookstore, Amazon has become a innovator in many aspects of sales and marketing.
Their vast assortment and sourcing strategies make them almost impossible to beat on price. Add their new delivery options and they seem poised to deliver yet another round of firsts.
A few years ago, that’d be bad news for smaller retailers, but not today. Now it’s no longer about big business edging out the small.
The race is between businesses that adapt to change the quickest.
In today’s eCommerce arms race, companies are looking for ways to fulfill orders faster.
Over 60% of customers now look for next-day delivery options, when shopping online.
But while they may be willing to pay for the service, not every company has the logistics to offer it.
Despite the presence of these huge players, gaining a competitive edge is still possible.
At Floship, we’ve rounded up the top five practices you must adopt to maintain an edge in eCommerce.
Data Collection & Analysis
How many units of your flagship product were sold:
- In the last quarter?
- In the last month?
- In the last week?
If you don’t have these figures at your finger tips, you need to get a better grip on your numbers.
eCommerce merchants must continually collect and analyze order data. This allows them gain meaningful insights and run the business efficiently.
Order profiles, customer preferences, identifying fast and slow movers remaain some key data points to track.
Analyzing these can help with making logistics and marketing decisions.
Develop Better Reverse Logistics
Customers discover brands online and interact with them, long before they make a purchase. But customer service doesn’t end with the completion of a sale.
Even the fulfillment process must be adaptable to changing customer needs.
Some customers change their orders after shipping, others may return goods purchased.
Is your business ready to handle every scenario, with no inconvenience to the customer?
One Comscore survey showed that 85% of customers wouldn’t return to a company with a difficult returns process.
Developing a strong reverse logistics strategy can become an advantage on its own.
Adjust Windows for Faster Fulfillment
Faster fulfillment can expand your potential customer base, opening the market to additional customers.
One way to do this is to adjust your current order processing window.
By making picking, packing, labeling, more efficient, you can offer later order cut-off times.
This can increase sales, as you can accommodate last minute orders.
Find the Best Fit for You
With the holiday shopping, many eCommerce sellers are experiencing a higher volume of sales.
Some manage to fulfill orders by hiring more staff, adding more shifts and renting more storage space.
But the increased picking, packing and distribution will eventually outgrow a manual operation. At some point, profit margins and efficiency will drop.
To keep up with customer demand, sellers should consider other fulfillment solutions.
Popular ones include drop shipping and wholesaling, or using big box retailers.
Keep an eye on customer demand and choose the best order fulfillment solution for that period.
Take Advantage of Expert Order Fulfillment
The long term success of your eCommerce business relies on more than more than a pretty website.
Order fulfillment a.k.a the last-mile, is just as important.
While the first 500 SKUs may be shipped out of your basement, can you ship the next 5,000 too?
Order fulfillment companies exist to help you with every aspect of fulfilling a customer’s order:
- Running low on space?
We’ve got miles of warehouse space.
- Not sure of how much inventory you have left?
Our software can tell you in just a few clicks.
- Worried about getting the best shipping rates?
Because we negotiate bulk shipping rates, we can offer your customers guaranteed speedy delivery.
Why do all the work, when you can outsource to Floship?
For more information on how to gain a competitive edge with your orders via e-fulfillment, contact our team today.
Looking to expand your successful eCommerce offering into new international markets, get your free guide to the 150 Biggest Online Marketplaces that are not Amazon.com.