For an eCommerce owner, the supply chain is the backbone of every eCommerce business. Research shows that 79% of eCommerce businesses that optimize and improve their supply chain witness a notable revenue growth than those that don’t.
Looking at this number, it is clear that whether you’re an eCommerce retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer, it’s critical to always be on the lookout for the best ways to smooth your eCommerce supply chain.
However, learning how to smooth your supply chain can be quite challenging, not only for eCommerce startups but also for large, well-established businesses.
To help you streamline your eCommerce supply chain, we’ve shared the best 5 tips to make significant improvements consistently and boost your revenue growth.
What is Supply Chain in eCommerce?
The eCommerce supply chain is a series of logistics processes that starts from raw materials being turned into finished products to warehousing & inventory management and ends with the sale & delivery of the finished products to the customers.
The goal of an eCommerce owner for their eCommerce supply chain is to save time, effort, and cost while maximizing profits by modernizing the processes of various aspects of the supply chain.
That said, here are the top 5 tips to smooth the supply chain in your eCommerce business.
5 Tips to Smooth Your eCommerce Supply Chain
Whether you’ve just launched your eCommerce startup or it’s already a well-established brand, improving the supply chain has always been a momentum task for an eCommerce owner.
If you’re not sure how to begin, here are 5 tips to smooth the supply chain in your eCommerce business.
1 – Magnify Your Supply Chain Visibility
To smooth your eCommerce supply chain, start by increasing the visibility of your supply chain operations. For this, as an eCommerce owner, you can consider implementing certain inventory management strategies to track every inventory level as they move through different stages of your supply chain.
Aside from the strategies, reliable inventory management software can play an equally crucial role in increasing the visibility of your supply chain and access to real-time inventory tracking.
This, in turn, can help in eliminating backorders, stockouts, and overpaying carrier costs. Plus, access to real-time data and analytics can help to make far better decisions in your eCommerce supply chain.
2 – Simplify & Automate Documentation
Documentation has somehow always been in direct connection with supply chain inefficiencies. But if done right, documentation can be supremely useful in the eCommerce supply chain.
Automation using Barcode technology, for instance, has proven to be revolutionary for tracking various elements of inventory in warehouses and overall supply chain operations.
Barcode technology is ideally suited for many domains such as packing, collecting, receiving, shipping, returns, and more. In fact, leveraging documentation automation should be a strategic goal for all eCommerce owners moving forward. It’ll smooth your eCommerce supply chain significantly.
3 – Outsource Expensive & Time-Consuming Business Activities
If your primary goal is to streamline your eCommerce supply chain, outsourcing expensive and time-consuming business activities is crucial.
Order fulfillment is one of the most important, yet highly complicated parts of a supply chain. In fact, it’s one of the primary reasons why as many as 86% of Fortune 500 companies rely on 3PL service providers.
Even if you’re just a small eCommerce brand, trying to manage every aspect of your supply chain in-house is only going to hurt your business in the long run. And since eCommerce order fulfillment is a complicated activity, it makes perfect sense to outsource it to a micro fulfillment center as soon as possible.
Furthermore, as your eCommerce business grows, you should even consider outsourcing other activities of your business as well, including procurement and customer service support to mention a few.
4 – Establish a Returns Management System
Returns are inevitable in the eCommerce industry. You just can’t eliminate them altogether, no matter how superior your product is, or how competitively it is priced.
So, establishing a returns management system makes perfect sense. For starters, It will help to track damaged inventory that needs to be sent to the manufacturer. Secondly, it will enhance customer satisfaction by accepting return requests for any damaged or wrong products swiftly.
Simultaneously, you can always try to curb returns to a minimum, preferably by writing crystal-clear product descriptions, identifying common trends in returned items, and increasing the return time window.
5 – Optimize Your Supply Chain at Regular Intervals to Maximize Efficiency
Supply chain optimization is a tried-and-tested technique that allows eCommerce owners to maximize sales and revenue.
It does this by putting the necessary tools as well as processes in the right place so that your supply chain operations are in the best possible state.
To optimize the supply chain, eCommerce owners should start by examining their existing policies and procedures to ensure that their supply chain is current and efficient. By reviewing your supply chain at regular intervals, eCommerce owners can catch any potential issues that may arise in the near future and correct them proactively before it’s too late.
The eCommerce supply chain almost always has a lot of scope for improvement. And by implementing the tips shared in this article, you can make considerable improvements to smooth the supply chain in your eCommerce business, while eliminating the negative elements that hinder its efficiency.