Using Logistical Efficiency to Improve the Customer Experience
For any business, but especially e-commerce ones, your longevity is going to be determined not just by how many customers you attract but by how many you are able to convert into regular, loyal patrons. Logistics management and logistics efficiency can both play an important role in this task, primarily because of how central the shipping experience is to the e-commerce customer. The delivery is the most direct form of interaction between an e-commerce business and the customer after all, so it makes sense that logistic performance would have a lasting impact on their goodwill and willingness to buy from you again. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking to see if your logistics strategy can give a good customer experience.
Be Specific and Be Transparent
Be direct and clear about what your shipping options are, their terms and conditions, and any associated costs. This is not the time or place to try some marketing twists and make customers sort out the difference between “Light Speed,” “Quick Speed,” and “High Speed” delivery. Be concise and to the point and ideally your page should be able to give an estimated delivery date for each option you have available. Clearly lay out how much each shipping option costs, as well as any conditions you may have for free or reduced shipping costs. This also applies to any reverse logistics services or logistics strategy you may have—make sure terms and conditions for returns are clearly laid out and understandable.
Once the order is placed and the shipping process has begun, customers will appreciate being kept updated on its progress. Any effective supply chain service will have a way of tracking your shipments, ideally in real time, and letting customers have access to this information for their orders can go a long way to improving their experience. People don’t like unknowns and the piece of mind these trackers can bring should not be underestimated.
Use a Good Information Management System
An information management system is any software that helps you coordinate and/or monitor supply chain activities, warehouse inventory levels, order tracking, customer orders, and so on. An integrated information management system enhances logistical efficiency by providing a central hub through will all information flows and can be accessed. On the customer end of things, a good information system means that your website will have up-to-date stock counts, be able to process orders faster, and can help keep customers informed on the status of their deliveries.
Automate Your Communications
Automating your communications technology is a basic step that helps streamline and speed up the order fulfillment process. Being able to relay orders between departments, inform customers of the status of their order or any delays, and otherwise take actions without requiring manual sign-off or initiation can be a huge enhancement to logistical efficiency. Naturally, there will be some processes that can’t or shouldn’t be strictly automated, but if there are ever any tasks that are simply “take info from point A and give it to person B” then you’ve got a great candidate for automation.
Maximize Your Storage Space
Your storage space should ideally have a “Goldilocks” relationship with your inventory needs—not too big, not too small, but just right. Being unable to store enough inventory to regularly meet customer demand only leads to shortages, delays, and lost opportunities to enhance the customer experience. Engaging in a warehousing solution or third-party partnership that lets you expand your inventory as needed is an effective form of logistics management that is worth consideration by any ecommerce business.
Look to Lean Supply Solutions for Logistically Efficient Order Fulfillment Services
Lean Supply Solutions is a third-party order fulfillment company in Toronto whose operations are based around the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chain. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about the Lean Methodology, outsourcing to Lean Supply Solutions, or to ask any questions, give us a call at 905-482-2590.