e-Commerce and its Impact on the Fashion Supply Chain
Today’s customers are increasingly choosing online retail over brick-and-mortar retail stores to get the products they want. The fashion supply chain has seen significant growth in e-commerce interest from customers. Many brands have set up web sites along with their physical stores to meet customer demand and increase the number of sales they can get. Amazon is one e-commerce giant that has launched its own fashion department, providing clothing and accessories from a huge selection of brands to their customers. Fashion retailers need to keep up with this growing change in how consumers seek out the products they want, and to do this they will have to provide and improve their supply chain services and apparel logistics. Here are some ways e-commerce is impacting fashion supply chain management, and advice on how you can get on board.
Supply Chain: Inventory Levels
Inventory management and serving multiple sales channels (online stores, physical stores, wholesale customers, outlets, international stores, etc.) increases the complexity of the supply chain. To meet this growing demand, stock has to be properly managed and products need to move quickly from one channel to the next. To make sure that inventory is properly measured and managed, you will need to have stock visibility across every channel. Automating your inventory management and using technology in the warehouse can help you achieve this goal and become more productive and efficient on the whole.
An important thing to remember when adding an online store to your fashion brand is to make sustainability a priority. This is a huge trend based on the growing awareness of consumers that economic globalization and technological progress cannot be separated from environmental and social conditions and impact. Since customers are more aware of the possible negative implications of globalization, sustainability has to be an issue that the fashion industry considers, and this directly impacts you.
e-Commerce and m-Commerce
Not only are customers buying more over the Internet, they are also using their mobile devices to shop for added convenience. This is known as m-commerce. If you are delivering a negative experience to your customers, you can really miss out on this opportunity. When shopping on mobile apps, customers expect the products they want to be available and delivered to their home quickly at minimal cost. For your business, this can be both a complication and a benefit—your store has to meet high customer expectations when you receive and manage orders, but you can also increase your selling opportunities and have an optimal return on investment.
Since customers aren’t able to test out or try on products, e-commerce has led to an increase in return rates. This process can cost you a lot of money and set you back if you are not prepared to quickly meet this customer demand. You need to maintain the availability of your products and ensure that as much stock as possible can be resold at full price. If your returns process is not diligently managed, the cost of markdowns and lost sales will continue to increase. That being said, there is a commercial opportunity for your returns process to generate additional profit since it can create good will and provide a longer-lasting connection with your customers. This is a good opportunity for you to really impress them so that they will become repeat customers and recommend you to their friends and family.
Outsource Your e-Commerce Fulfilment with Lean Supply Solutions
Managing an online store can be a lot of work, so teaming up with e-commerce fulfilment services in Toronto can be helpful. If you’re looking for a reliable company that can help your business grow, Lean Supply Solutions is the answer. We rise to the challenge of meeting our clients’ needs through our services, which include product fulfilment, repackaging in the supply chain, pick and pack warehouse services, distribution, e-commerce fulfilment, and order fulfilment. Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.