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5 Ways to Improve your Online Retail Supply Chain

5 Techniques to Reinforce your On-line Retail Provide Chain

Whether selling through your own online shopping cart or selling through online marketplaces such as Amazon or Jet.com, online retail has become the mega-giant your sales organization needs to master. According to a report by Needham & Co., Amazon will own half the total US retail market in 5 years!

Although online retail through shopping carts, online marketplaces and various other online outlets offers every organization tremendous opportunities for sales growth, this growth must be supported in a controlled, disciplined and cost effective manner in order to get the right product to the right customer in the right time frame.

Here are 5 areas where your organization can improve its supply chain in order to offer consumers a seamless and pleasant online retail experience:

1. Use Cloud Based Software Systems.

Your organization should use the benefits of anytime, anywhere access to cloud based systems such as Accounting Software (ERP), Order Management Software (OMS), EDI and Warehouse Management Software (WMS) systems to track and manage inventory and communicate seamlessly and effectively with all relevant parties in your supply chain.

2. Outsource to a 3PL (Third Party Logistics Provider)

Take the headache out of operating and running your own warehouse and outsource to a specialist. There are many 3PL’s on the marketplace today and many have divided their services into specialty niche markets such as catering to organizations that sell chilled goods, goods that need a bonded warehouse and of course the online retailer.

3. Use Tagging and RFID to keep track of stock levels.

Tagging will give your organization increased awareness of the location of your inventory across all the parties in your supply chain, this will hopefully allow your organization make informed decisions and eliminate ‘out of stock situations’.

4. Commit to Delivery Dates

If you can’t live up to a delivery date, many customers will lose faith. Many online retailers are offering same or next day delivery. Speed and accuracy of delivery is crucial to your organizations online success. The seven-day delivery window is just not acceptable anymore.

5. Align your Marketing and Operations Teams.

It is essential that your marketing and sales teams inform your operations and supply chain teams of any large promotions or expected spikes in sales that are coming up, this way operations can plan accordingly to make sure demand is services as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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