WHAT COMPRISES E-COMMERCE SHIPPING SOLUTIONS?
Thanks to the recent pandemic, we have experienced a sharp increase with online shopping and e-commerce transactions. There is a definite correlation between the increased volumes of goods being purchased online to the increased need to offer the most transparent, efficient, and economical e-commerce shipping solutions for both the customer and the supplier of goods. To successfully execute superior e-commerce delivery solutions, you need to understand the steps involved at each point from receiving the order, identifying the inventory, confirming delivery addresses, picking and packing of the goods, printing the label, verifying the order is complete and then progress to the shipping and delivery of the products to the customer’s doorstep. Keep in mind customers may be ordering products on online stores from which the goods themselves may originate in an e-commerce store warehouse or even be fulfilled from a brick-and-mortar store. These factors may also play in the choice of shipment solutions or pickup of the product once the order fulfillment is complete.
WHAT E-COMMERCE SHIPPING AND DELIVERY SOLUTIONS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?
First, it is important to realize that one size does not fit all. In other words, what e-commerce shipping and delivery solutions are a perfect fit for one vendor, it may be useless to other e-commerce businesses. Also, by choosing the right shipping methodology for your brand may boost your brand and profit margins. Current shoppers of online and e-commerce stores may find the goods they like but have been noted to walk away from their online shopping carts if the shipping process and costs offered are not appealing. These days customers expect to receive their ordered goods same day, next day or possibly a two – day delivery without being overburdened with shipping costs. Generally, they look for the suppliers to offer free shipping, or flexible and reasonable flat rate shipping options. Regardless of the shipping solutions chosen by the customer, they expect to easily watch the progress of their order online from the status of the fulfillment services to the start of shipping through to the delivery to their doorstep. Offering access to shipment tracking numbers can allow the customer the ability to view the shipment’s progress.
KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING ON OFFERING SHIPPING SOLUTIONS
- Geographic shipping area of goods – locally or further
- Size and dimensions of goods for shipment
- International shipping
- Is it a vendor owned shipping fleet, or employing shipping carriers who can provide a variety of trucks in their fleets to meet different product needs? For example, shipping carriers can offer short or long-haul delivery, refrigeration trucks, air delivery and other services
- Use of third-party logistics and shipping services that can offer assistance in additional areas, such as providing on demand shipping labels, fulfillment services, packaging, and customization while some may also partner with e-commerce platforms like Shopify Shipping
COMPARISON OF ATTRACTIVE E-COMMERCE SHIPPING SOLUTIONS
- Flat rate shipping
- This can be scaled to benefit both the supplier and the customer. You may choose to have a stepping shipping costs scale with transitional points for price points, or distance or weight of the goods. For instance – all purchases in certain geographical areas will receive a flat rate shipping price, and will increase as the distance increases
- Tie your system into large logistics company can give your customer the option to improve delivery time by seeing the costs for enhanced shipping that would be charged to them if chosen
- Free Shipping
- Can be a blanket offer of free shipping within 1 – 2 days
- Can offer free shipping after a certain purchase threshold is met
- Offering a certain period of free trials to enable your customer to become familiar with your products and services
- Determine return shipping policies to attract customers – often the assurance of the ease to return goods will cause customers to proceed with their purchases
PROOF OF SHIPMENT
The proof of shipment is the beginning of the Last Mile delivery process. A driver takes the parcels and notifies the WMS by using his Datalogic PDA. This step avoids any possible disputes on item responsibility/delivery and is typically a value added feature of the logistic center ERP.
Virtually every transport and logistics supply chain nowadays demand end-to-end visibility and real-time tracking of every sub-assembly or component, from receiving incoming materials, storing individual items, combining items according to orders received, and shipping of these items to the next destination or to the end user. The use of barcodes ensures that logistics processes are efficient and free of any human error, whilst maintaining end-to-end traceability of all components.
Warehouses and Distribution Centers rely heavily on shipping barcodes to complete order fulfilment. Shipping barcodes are printed, applied to items, and scanned in each stage of the delivery process to identify the merchandise as it is moved from the manufacturer or fulfillment center to the end customer. Sorting systems identify and convey shipping cartons to the correct shipping lane using Datalogic laser readers.
Manifest systems make use of dimensioning and weight systems, as well as correct destination details to produce accurate labelling for the products to be shipped. Datalogic products are seamlessly interfaced with Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) to help generate stock reports, minimize human errors, and keep accurate track of stock levels.
The final stage is when the item is loaded onto the delivery vehicle, when the driver uses a fully connected PDA such as the Memor 10 to notify the WMS directly that it is no longer at the facility. Both devices will maintain connectivity outside of the 4 walls of the Distribution Center, ensuring that no mistakes are made, and that there are no possible future disputes over item responsibility.
Route optmization is an expensive process for e-commerce companies: everybody is thinking of how to keep these costs under control. Route optimization is therefore key to making the business profitable. A PDA such as the Memor 10 is precious both to optimize the delivery and to easily communicate to the driver.
Once items leave a warehouse or Distribution Center they are transported to their next or final destination. Just like every other step of the e-commerce process, travel distances and times are kept to a minimum wherever possible to meet on-time delivery targets and maximize company revenues.
Rising fuel costs and increased traffic congestion during peak times are just two factors to take into consideration. Modern PDA device such as the Datalogic Memor 10 helps the driver maintain connectivity throughout the delivery journey and provides accurate GPS and traffic data to help optimize the route, making sure that not a second is wasted.
The PDAs maintain constant communication with WMS and ERP systems, providing valuable feedback to the manufacturer, shipping company, vehicle driver, and end user on the current status and location of a product in transit.
PROOF OF DELIVERY
Delivery is the final step of Last Mile Delivery, and the Proof Of Delivery (POD) is the very last step of the journey. The Memor 10 is the ideal solution to identify the goods and collect customer signatures. A similar, opposite sequence is the starting phase of returns in reverse logistics.
Last mile delivery is the final stage of transporting goods to the delivery destination, which is either a business or residential address.
Now that the items for delivery have been transported using optimized routing software and GPS technology, it is time to complete the process by confirming Proof of Delivery (POD).
Datalogic PDAs such as the Memor 10 is the perfect delivery companion throughout this process, and can be used to scan barcodes, collect signatures, and take photographs as evidence of delivery.
As connected devices, utilizing 4G technology, all collected data is communicated back to operations throughout the delivery process. In case of any product recalls or returns, the same process is applied in reverse when collecting goods from delivery destinations and transporting them back for repair or replacement.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN ANALYZING WHAT IS THE SHIPPING SOLUTIONS RIGHT FOR YOUR ENTERPRISE
Remember a successful e-commerce shipping solution has multiple facets that all must interact successfully and accurately with each other for a completely successful shipping process to be in place. Quick, efficient, accurate, transparent, and traceable factors all come into play in the different facets of successful order fulfillment and e-commerce shipping solutions. Datalogic technologies can meet and surpass these needs from the moment the order is received, through the inventory management, picking and packing, labeling, the loading, and shipping to the tracking all the way through to the last mile delivery.
Datalogic PDAs are the most flexible tool for e-commerce logistics management. Features that make these devices unique include a very large display, use of Android OS, excellent reading performance, durable and easily swappable batteries.
Here are two PDA units from Datalogic that offer all the needed characteristics both inside and outside of the four walls of the warehouse:
- Memor 10
- High performance 1D/2D scanning in a slim robust case with the ease of a swappable battery
- Complete with easy-to-use Android™ 9 which is upgradeable to Android™ 10
- Features Google Mobile Services (GMS) and is validated by Google to their ‘Android Enterprise Recommended’ program for rugged devices
- Runs on a superior octa-core platform
- Incorporates Datalogic’s industry first wireless charging system
- Embedded with wireless technologies for both indoor and outdoor activities