As consumers continue to rely heavily on online shopping, many companies have elevated next day delivery to same-day delivery. Services such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Amazon Fresh can now drop food and essentials to your doorstep in a matter of hours but how is this possible?
Fast same-day dispatch is all down to on-demand logistics. The rise of consumer expectations and the demand for increased efficiency has led to the emergence of a ‘convenience economy’, where speediness has become the driving force behind purchases.
With consumers now expecting same-day deliveries, e-commerce platforms are significantly bolstering their logistics efforts. This article covers what on-demand logistics entails and how this can benefit your business in 2021.
What is on-demand logistics?
On-demand logistics is a logistics strategy that aims to fulfil customer orders as soon as possible, usually, once they are placed. A successful on-demand logistics strategy requires a combination of technology, an extensive distribution network and automated process to ensure complete efficiency.
On-demand logistics and COVID-19
It’s not surprising to learn that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the need for on-demand logistics. E-commerce has naturally grown in popularity over the years, but COVID-19 encouraged a surge in online purchases throughout 2020. With people across the globe ordered to stay at home, purchasing online was deemed the safer option than venturing out to a supermarket.
A survey conducted by WESA observed 150 small businesses based in Pennsylvania found that 77% shifted their business to online-only as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, research undertaken by Retail Economics in 2019 forecast that 53% of retails sales would turn online-only by 2028. However, with COVID-19 accelerating online pruchases, this date will likely be considerably earlier.
While the pandemic has encouraged retail to shift online, traditional brick and mortar stores declined years before COVID-19. With consumers gradually turning to e-commerce, many brands refocused from conventional stores to dark stores, also known as micro-fulfilment centres.
Online businesses have had to ensure that their supply chain management is in perfect order to accommodate the convenience economy. From manufacturing to transportation, each stage of the supply chain process must be well-organised and accurate to ensure customers receive their orders quickly.
There are various ways in which companies can establish supply chain resilience:
- Distributing inventory in multiple fulfilment centres across the country
- Partnering with multiple couriers
- Inventory visibility to ensure stock levels are optimised
How can on-demand logistics benefit e-commerce businesses?
With customers now expecting orders to be delivered as soon as possible, on-demand logistics helps to meet the escalating standards of today’s buyers and can lead to increased conversions.
Stepping up your order fulfilment strategy to accommodate on-demand logistics will be a significant selling point for your business. Research has shown that 36% of customers will abandon their shopping cart if they deem delivery options unacceptable.
Amazon Prime became the pioneer for next day delivery, and as a result, consumers now expect deliveries to arrive within two days.
With this in mind, it pays to ensure that your order fulfilment strategy allows for the fastest shipments to customers. Ensuring your inventory is distributed across multiple fulfilment centres means that stock can be shipped from the centre closest to the customer, reducing delivery times and keep customers satisfied.
Reduced fulfilment costs
Order fulfilment costs cover a wide range of processes from warehouse storage, inventory management, picking & packing and shipping. It can seem like a financial challenge to elevate these processes to allow for on-demand logistics. However, establishing on-demand logistics within your budget may not be as impossible as you initially think.
Outsourcing your order fulfilment to a third-party logistics (3PL) company like Pointbid can help you meet customer demands at an affordable cost. At Pointbid, as long as orders are received within our cut off time, we will ship the same day.
Using the services of a 3PL provider helps you save significant amounts of time and allows all aspects of the order fulfilment process to be covered at a price tailored to your business needs.
Meet customer demands
3PL providers like Pointbid use the latest technology to monitor real-time data and analytics regarding inventory and delivery updates to integrate with your existing platforms. Having constant access to this information ensures that inventory levels are optimised in line with customer demands and allows you also to forecast demand.
Enhanced technology can also help you provide improved customer service. If customers have a question regarding their deliveries, you can instantly view this information and track progress to provide updates, keeping them informed at all times.
When looking to offer on-demand order fulfilment, e-commerce businesses must have the tools and flexibility to ensure customers receive fast and accurate deliveries every time. To take your order fulfilment to the next level and meet customer demands, please give Pointbid a call today on 0121 326 7368.