Cost- effective ecommerce distribution solutions with latest technologies and trends

As a distributor, ecommerce will bring you not only the greatest opportunity but also the most challenging obstacle. However, the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Thus, you need to ask ecommerce distribution solutions with modern technologies for help. In this article, ArrowHiTech will deliver you several cost-effective solutions every business needs to know. Then, explore with us right now!

The big impact of eCommerce distribution 

Thanks to the development of new technologies, the role of distribution and logistics in retail is continually changing. However, the rapid rise of ecommerce is the greatest impact on the structure of warehousing and distribution. Besides, the desire for online marketplaces that guarantee quick delivery and correct service has radically altered the business models of many traditional brick and mortar stores. As a result, it has shifted order fulfillment criteria for logistics providers. Moreover, as this tendency spreads over the world, supply chains and distribution routes become more complex, and manual processes become more expensive to operate.

ecommerce distribution

#1. Choosing the best possible solution

In fact, retailers require not only just an online presence but also an efficient distribution method to support their sales. Hence, it will remain competitive as well as develop their consumer base. Besides, with huge ecommerce marketplaces, especially Amazon which sets the bar for excellence in direct to consumer services, merchants and distributors must guarantee that their fulfillment operations are both quick and precise to meet customer expectations and cost-effective to save money.

#2. The altering of pattern of eCommerce distribution

In the past, distribution centers were used to working with bulk orders and large order lines before the appearance of e-commerce, and automation technology was focused on handling pallets of goods. Distributors must now not only supply stock to retail locations, but also ship individual items for “purchase online, pick up in store” alternatives and direct to end consumer deliveries, thanks to online sales.

What’s more, order line size has shrunk as omnichannel distribution of smaller order sizes comprising a wide range of SKUs has increased. Plus, picking has grown more sophisticated and labor-intensive. In addition, as you know, manual processes and outdated technologies cannot keep up with the fast-paced world of e-commerce and match consumers’ needs today for same-day shipping and next-day delivery.

#3. The cost-benefit ratio must be balanced

There are a huge number of companies that are attempting to automate omnichannel delivery in the best way possible. Then, integrating flexible goods-to-person technology with manual operations could bring you a lot of benefits such as: boost efficiency, reduce errors, and lower labor costs. For instance, goods-to-person technology can be up to six times more efficient than a manual one. As a result, it will allow facilities to pick even more orders per shift. Furthermore, rather than wasting time and energy travelling across the warehouse collecting individual SKUs for minor orders, employees can have the items delivered to them at a picking station.

Alternatively, a shuttle system and an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) can convey commodities in totes, bins, or trays to these stations in the right picking sequence. And then, as soon as the required items have been pulled, they will be returned to storage. Moreover, with its unparalleled precision, this technology can eliminate human mistakes, resulting in more precise orders and happier consumers.

ecommerce distribution solution

#4. The access to data 

In terms of data, the traceability given by an automated solution combined with a warehouse control system (WCS) can contribute to higher customer satisfaction. Besides, businesses can deliver the real-time tracking information and updates that end customers not only desire but expect when shopping online if they have access to history and geographical data. Not only that, thanks to the warehouse control system, you can also keep track of inventory. Hence, ensuring that the right products are on hand for quick fulfillment when a consumer orders. 

Additionally, in order to keep up with eCommerce, you also need to select an automated system that maximizes space. Plus, to meet client’s needs for diversity, eCommerce fulfillment often necessitates the storing of a large number of SKUs. Best of all, distribution centers can maximize space by using high-density automated storage to support a wide range of SKUs and have all products available at one location for easy management.

#5. The effect of customers’ demand

Moreover, meeting the needs of e-commerce has become vital to customer loyalty and business growth as retailers place a greater emphasis on customer pleasure. In addition, great customer service may be done by incorporating automated goods-to-person technology. Therefore, it will enable for later order cut-off times, faster fulfillment, real-time updates, and accurate items. In reality, eCommerce will never decrease in the next few years. Thus, your company will require the correct ecommerce distribution technologies to maintain its position in the online marketplace. 

>>> Read more: Powerful ecommerce solutions for the electronics industry to accelerate your business growth

#1. B2B E-share Commerce’s of total sales in Germany’s selected industries

First and foremost, companies should steal their online activities against future challenges in line with the channel shift from offline to online on the sales side, which is emerging in all markets worldwide. This is because there is another aspect to this “BIG SHIFT” than the mere shift from offline to online channels: the associated shift in market shares. 

Besides, not only are market shares shifting from competitor A to competitor B, but market shares previously held by large traditional businesses are also being lost to ecommerce ones. Moreover, the appealing potential of the online B2B market, as well as the growing movement from offline to online, will attract an expanding number of industry participants.

#2. The movement from offline to online channels

effective ecommerce distribution solutions

To enable enterprises to endure, and greatly, easily profit from this market evolution, it is recommended that they design a systematic eCommerce strategy that covers all key channels.  

#3. eCommerce-relevant classification of existing sales channels

eCommerce channels are building new ties between manufacturers or vendors and end users in the B2B and B2C areas. As with traditional sales channels, the connection to the vendors can be made via both non-automated order processing (NAOP) and automated order processing (AOP). The key distinction is the end-user interface, as eCommerce purchases are made entirely online by definition. 

Moreover, Online Marketplaces, Third Party eRetailers, and Direct Sales & Affiliates are the three pillars of eCommerce. In fact, each ecommerce form has distinct properties. The strategic importance of the pillars for a manufacturer or vendor varies depending on a variety of circumstances. For instance, product, target group, implementation competence, and so much more. 

Online marketplaces
online marketplace

The first pillar of eCommerce is the online marketplace. First and foremost, the expansion of B2B online marketplaces is being accelerated by the market entry of seasoned B2C companies such as Amazon and eBay. For more details, Amazon Business now offers business clients a marketplace that is fully adapted to B2B demands. For example, ERP connection, net price, scalability conditions, multi-user accounts, etc. And, it has proven B2C user friendliness, in keeping with its advertising slogan “Everything you love about Amazon. For work”.

Besides, by listing their items on Amazon, manufacturers and other sellers can have access to this tried-and-true infrastructure, as well as the current ecosystem, which includes a wide range of service activities such as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). Furthermore, despite these significant opportunities, a specific online marketplace approach must be employed to evaluate the product categories for which the platform is actually fit. Not only that, it must also specify the requirements that must be satisfied, as well as the hazards that come with them.

Third Party eRetailers

Third party eRetailers, also widely known as online pure players, are companies that do their entire business online. Besides, these companies frequently have a laser-like focus on a single product category. As a result, manufacturers and other vendors can expect access to a highly relevant target audience when they list their items with a third-party eRetailer. In Germany alone, however, there are almost 600,000 internet stores. Hence, a specific third-party eRetailer approach must be used to determine whether merchants are truly worth onboarding and the accompanying connection expenses. 

Direct Sales & Affiliates 

Direct sales are sales made through a company’s own online store. In general, sales can be accomplished in one of three ways. To begin with, a producer can sell straight to end customers in the traditional manner. Second, clients from the manufacturer’s online store can be sent to “affiliates”, or partners. Finally, a mix of direct sales and affiliate sending is achievable. Overall, the goal is to provide interested end-users with a smooth buying experience, no matter if they buy directly from the manufacturer or through a suggested partner. 

Everything you need to know about eCommerce distribution

#1. eCommerce distribution via mobile devices is a reality

The first thing you must know is that mobile eCommerce distribution is real. For more details, the majority of internet shopping is done through smartphones and apps. And, your business could take advantage of this by offering services to businesses who offer app-based and mobile-optimized shopping experiences to their clients.

#2. B2B eCommerce account for a lot of market total share

In fact, the majority of your customers as a distributor are businesses. You will need to realign your business strategy with collaborating businesses in the new supply chain. To put it another way, you must become a business-to-business strategic partner and services provider.

ecommerce distribution solutions with latest technologies

#3. AmazonSupply.com is the most dangerous competitor

According to Insite Software, one of your largest challenges to keeping a role in the distribution network is AmazonSupply.com. Amazon has saturated the market with products, and it is now flooding the supply chain in the same way. You must accept that AmazonSupply.com will take some of your business. And, you must attempt to urge your consumers to stay with you. 

#4. Don’t invest on overseas manufacturing

If you solely aim to sell your products in the United States, outsourcing manufacturing is more like opening a can of worms than opening doors, according to Sean Ogle. While some international manufacturing can benefit your business, more buyers are opting for products made in the United States. And, this trend is expected to continue with the 2016 election. In another possibility, the 2016 election could have major ramifications for corporations that manufacture products overseas. Thus, today’s distributors must prioritize products made in the United States. Ultimately, today’s distributors can benefit from not relying on offshore manufacturing of products for sale in the United States.

#5. Concentrate on the experience of customers

One of the most difficult challenges in satisfying the needs of an e-commerce-driven environment is the consumer experience. In fact, clients are focusing more on cycle time, according to Bob Trebilcock of Logistics Management. Hence, as a distributor, your ability to get things out on par with, if not faster than, Amazon can be the deciding factor in whether or not your customers or clients continue to engage with your firm. Moreover, giving your clients options is the key to making this approach work. Then, for example, offer shipping options ranging from two days to one week. Some clients will not mind waiting a week, but others who require it sooner will be able to do so.

#6. eCommerce space is a dynamic and ever-changing industry

In fact, eCommerce distribution is not a static process. It is constantly changing and developing. There are more and more small businesses entering the world of e-commerce, and this also means you must face a lot of competitions. In order to bring your company in front of customers and other businesses, you must be proactive. Even if business appears to be booming, you must continue to work on e-commerce consumer marketing since the amount of clients you currently have may alter substantially in the future, and you must have a backup plan. 

#7. Align your distribution strategy with analytics data and insights

Stay informed on how your firm needs to adapt to the needs of e-commerce B2B businesses by using analytics. Your strategy should connect with your B2B clients’ strategies. And, you should be willing to use this knowledge to generate new ideas and ways of working in order to provide the greatest rates and services to your clients.

solutions

#8. Improve your brand’s visibility with Advanced Shipping Notifications (ASN)

By telling your carriers when you’re going to ship a specific purchase order, an advanced shipping notice (ASN) will surely make them happy. This offers customers an estimate of when the product will arrive, and you may put all pertinent information on the ASN for your shipment. In the end, this ensures that the supply chain is efficient and well-connected. 

#9. Vendors must be held accountable

Some merchants will disregard your procedures and refuse to follow business etiquette. So, you must hold vendors accountable as a distributor. Besides, in case a vendor fails to fulfill your expectations or follow your company’s rules and guidelines, devise a strategy to encourage them to do so. This could be a suspension or some other type of punishment. Advise the vendor that future occurrences may result in the B2B relationship being terminated. However, your rules and requests must be reasonable. 

#10. You should pay attention to the Returns process

eCommerce distribution will inevitably result in higher returns than traditional retail. For more details, clients could order the incorrect size, color, or product. Besides, you must prepare to manage a flow of goods from your consumers back into your warehouse and distribution network, and almost all online retailers provide free shipping on returns. As a result, you will need a system that can handle the entire returns process and generate return shipping labels on demand for customers.

>>> You can refer to: Ecommerce for manufacturers: Strategic ecommerce solutions for manufacturers

Wrapping up 

With the development of eCommerce, the role of ecommerce distribution has become more and more crucial than ever. Hence, no matter what you are doing in B2C or B2B business, you also need to know cost – effective eCommerce distribution solutions. ArrowHiTech hopes through this article, you will gain a lot of useful information on ecommerce distribution solutions. Then, in case you have any struggle on this topic, let’s CONTACT US right now. With a lot of experience in eCommerce development solutions, we will surely help you solve it instantly.

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