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why SME's need responsive ecommerce logistics and how to get one

JULY 29, 2021

In a recent study, 49% Indians said they preferred ecommerce sites and apps for shopping in the last 12 months. Before the pandemic, this would have been unthinkable. Today, the convenience and controllability of ecommerce has accelerated its growth. Especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Cash on delivery is a preferred mode of payment and constitutes 65% of orders booked online. Cancellation due to delayed delivery is a logistic nightmare as it leads to reverse logistics and increased cost. Today your online business is as strong as your logistics. Partnering with one of the best courier partner for ecommerce is the key to success.

The impact of ecommerce on SMEs in India has changed the landscape. Ecommerce adoption is growing rapidly in tier 2 and 3 cities. Small businesses are making niche products and selling through their own storefront (website/WhatsApp store/Facebook store etc.) as well as through large marketplaces. This is opening up opportunities across the board.

However, while orders are coming in, aggressive lockdowns have disrupted supply chains, making it harder to fulfil them. As even some of the largest ecommerce players are struggling, it can only be tougher for SMEs. Small businesses are especially struggling to:

  • Ship products on time
  • Predict delivery timelines
  • Prevent returns and refunds due to lockdown-related restrictions

What if every small and medium enterprise could have the power of a responsive ecommerce logistics strategy that multi-national online players have? Well, now you can.

It’s a far-fetched dream in India due to the size and varied geography. To ensure accurate, safe, and on-time deliveries, you would need a network of warehouses, trucking terminals, transport fleet, and expertise and knowledge to do it right every time.

What is a responsive ecommerce logistics strategy?

Responsive ecommerce logistics companies are alert to the changes in the market, resilient in the face of disruptions and adaptive to stakeholder needs. Especially now, when the present is in flux and the future is unpredictable, a responsive ecommerce logistics strategy helps you respond to these changes intelligently.

To understand better, let’s look at how your business will be with and without a responsive logistics strategy.

Without a responsive logistics strategy

Imagine an inter-state shipping of a paid order. There are multiple levels of problems you can face in fulfilling this order. Some of them are:

Inability to transport: There might be lockdowns in certain states, where you can’t even get the product through the borders. Without knowing the details in advance, you might ship a product that can’t be transported, incurring both real and opportunity costs.

Inability to deliver: Your customers might be from localities which are marked as containment zones, where you can’t deliver the product. By shipping such orders, you will be wasting time and inventory.

Inability to communicate: Without knowing in advance whether a product can be shipped/delivered, you can’t let the customer know either. A customer might place the order, wait for 8-10 days only to realise they’re not getting the product after all. This will cause dissatisfaction among your customers, who might never give you another chance.

Inability to re-sell: When a product can’t be delivered, it’s often stored in the local fulfilment centre, without being swiftly returned to you. As a result, you can’t re-sell or re-purpose such products either.

Without a responsive logistics strategy, you can lose not just revenue, but also reputation and long-term customer loyalty, despite having exceptional products!

With a responsive ecommerce logistics strategy

A responsive ecommerce logistics strategy prevents all these problems even before they occur. Here’s how.

Proactive communication for better customer relationships: When your customer tries to place an order, they will be notified immediately whether their order can be fulfilled or not. Delhivery’s solutions such as Addfix, Trace Pipeline and Geocoding will check whether a pin code is a containment zone or in any level of lockdown to identify whether you can deliver there. If not, you’ll know instantly.

This way, you can inform the customer whether they will get their order or not. You can even offer discounts or other incentives to those who are willing to wait, thereby retaining the customer even while you can’t deliver.

Real-time monitoring for better inventory management: If you know that you can’t deliver to a certain pin code in advance, you can save yourself from shipping it. You can also retain the product in your own warehouse, which you can ship to another customer whose locality is not under lockdown.

Timely cancellations and refunds: Situations are changing every day. Governments are announcing lockdowns at short notice. This is causing large scale disruptions on ecommerce fulfilment services. But by tracking lockdown/containment data, you can offer cancellations and refunds to orders placed from localities that later became containment zones.

Let’s say a customer places an order on Monday and the government announces a complete lockdown on Tuesday. You can proactively reach out to your customer and let them know that the order can’t be fulfilled and process their refund. This way, you’ll allow the customer to make alternative arrangements as soon as possible.

As you can see, the advantages of a responsive logistics strategy are many. Across your operational efficiency, sales performance and customer engagement metrics, you can leverage a good logistics strategy to overcome the pressures of our pandemic-ridden present. This is exactly what Delhivery SME offers you.

Choose Delhivery SME for a responsive ecommerce logistics strategy

Delhivery SME is an ecommerce-grade logistics solution designed keeping India’s small and medium businesses in mind. With Delhivery SME, you can ship to 19400+ pin codes across 2825+ cities. We also have 67+ state-of-the-art fulfilment centres, which help us adapt quickly and effectively to changing situations on the ground.

In the last year, we’ve made significant additions to our solutions to make them adaptable and responsive:

  • Our technology backbone and data science capabilities enable us to track, monitor and predict disruptions in real-time.
  • This gives us — and you — the power to respond quickly and adapt to evolving situations.
  • Our 24x7 helpline is available to solve issues and address any concerns you might have in the process.

Strengthen your business with Delhivery SME. Speak to us today!

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