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Are Your Online Operations Keeping Up With eCommerce Trends? Here’s What You Should Be Doing

Consumer buying patterns are ever-changing, and as you look to optimize the eCommerce experience for web visitors, this moving target poses many challenges. To hit the bullseye, you need to constantly monitor trends and make changes at all phases of operations, including eCommerce fulfillment. Here are three ways to adapt to help your business keep up with evolving industry eCommerce trends.

Invest in Strategically Located Warehouse/Fulfillment Space

One direct effect of the increase in eCommerce retail sales as a percent of total sales is the growing demand for warehouse storage in convenient locations near major transit hubs.

If you are in this scenario – or anticipate it as you continue to grow – here are factors to consider to make the best decision:

  1. Identify your key markets and target fulfillment providers that can help you better reach those areas quicker. This helps you reach more potential shoppers by being able to provide fast and convenient shipping.
  2. Choose facilities located close to major transportation hubs. Easy access to railways, airports, and highways can expedite the delivery process.

With rental rates rising, you also need to make the decision whether you’ll want to keep fulfillment in-house or work with a third party provider. One of the benefits of working with a third party provider is that you won’t be paying direct rental costs monthly.

Ensure Your Technology Is Inventory-Management Focused

Whereas brick-and-mortar retailers are restricted to selling only what they can fit on the shelves, eCommerce brands are less limited. Though offering more SKUs can be beneficial, inventory mismanagement can negatively impact your business. Working with a third-party logistics (3PL) partner that understands this is crucial.

Here are key things to look for in a capable fulfillment partner:

  1. Experience in your specific market niche so it can help grow your business according to your specific fulfillment needs.  
  2. A robust inventory management technology stack (such as being able  to accurately track SKU velocity.) The ability to identify the fast and slow movers will allow you to make more efficient use of storage space, keep your eCommerce operations running smoothly, and help create a positive brand experience for customers.

Be Subscription Fulfillment Friendly

Whether it’s food, clothes or cosmetics, shoppers, especially Millennials, value online subscription services. The convenience factor means customers can receive items specified to their individual styles, tastes or interests. They can count on orders being delivered on a recurring basis. At the same time, brands who use this model can benefit from an increased long-term customer value and revenue associated with recurring invoices.

Adding a subscription model to your revenue streams can be strategic, but you’ll need to work with a fulfillment partner that understands subscription fulfillment needs. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Have strong customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and order management systems (OMS) can monitor customers’ purchase histories and cater recurring orders to each specific shopper. These technologies are often used by fulfillment providers.
  2. If the recurring orders fit monthly themes, ensure that the packaging design reflects this. This maximizes the emotional response elicited in each customer, increasing their excitement and likelihood of repeating or even sharing the encounters.  

Invest in eCommerce Operations for Healthy Growth

eCommerce brands who are investing in operations improvement, including eCommerce fulfillment solutions, are more likely to experience healthy growth. To learn more about how you can make sure your current fulfillment operations are in line with evolving eCommerce trends, contact Dotcom Distribution today.