E-commerce in a simple term can be explained as a transaction of buying or selling online. Electronic commerce focuses on technologies like as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange(EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. The three prime areas of e-commerce are online retailing, electric markets, and online auctions.
Logistics is more about the planning and control of material flows and related information in any organization. It is about getting the right materials to the right place at the right time while keeping in mind performance measure and taking care of a given set of constraints.
E-Commerce Logistics Models
Over the past 40 years, E-commerce logistics plays a major driver of change in logistics and physical distribution networks.
Let’s Take a Look at the Evolution of Logistics
The evolution of logistics has crossed through various general stages and very broadly in the timeline as follows:
In the 1970s, most retail stores were replaced by direct distribution from suppliers or wholesalers.
In the 1980s, centralization of store deliveries started through a new distribution centre which retailers had controlled.
In the 1990s, global sourcing started which led to developing of import centres to receive and process.
From around 2000, rapid expansion of e-commerce began with retailers leading the way in constituting e-fulfilment distribution networks
Key Trends In Logistics E-Commerce
E-commerce logistics are becoming a prominent driving force in the market. At the initial years, people did not have much belief in e-commerce. However, e-commerce is showing a steady rise compared to brick and mortar stores which often tend to remain stagnant.
As the popularity of e-shops and delivery companies are increasing and market trends are changing, the logistics being the backbone of the online industry is no exception.
Major challenges faced by the industry are the customers expect them to be quick and efficient. If an organizations want to get better results with less effort and stay ahead of their competitors then they need to focus on fast shipping, high quality and reliability.
Many tools and technologies that help logistics companies to organize their business to get the expected results and stay in the competitive market. These are top trends that are already rocking the market or are expected to do so soon.
Digitalisation And Automation For Logistics
It is always said that for a company to win in this competitive world, it should get digitalized and use automation. However, it is not that simple as it sounds! Each day new technologies are being invented which the company needs to obtain even before its competitors do and follow the latest trends in the market. Companies can use these technologies to make their service fast and convenient.
One of the technology now trending is Big Data. By using Big Data companies can solve the problem of gathering and analyzing the data of delivered goods
The following digital trends for e-commerce and logistics:
More convenient digital payment methods which led to the Decrease usage of cash and wallets. The traditional wallet will get replaced by mobile devices
Special software to predict market behaviour and to understand client requirement.
The automation of the delivery process.
Flying Drones And Other Unusual Logistics Solutions
Although the use of drones and automated cars is not yet implemented in the logistics industry it’s not far when logistics companies are now giving it a serious thought and will go this way very soon. This clearly means that companies are looking for unusual delivery methods as they are growing
Personalization And Collaboration With Customers
Personalization technologies are becoming the very common aspect of e-commerce. Every client needs to be made feel special with giving interesting offers.
Companies should focus on improving their communication with clients.
Using chat bots, a complete automated chat agent on websites and in applications that help clients get the needed information and solve their problems Through offering interactive, guided browsing.
Personalized news feed and offers to each client
24X7 support to solve the problem fast and give the information needed. Without a good customer support client will not stick with the company.
Same-day delivery and flexibility of process which helps to meet the needs of customers.
Loyalty rewards for customers.
Introducing weekend deals and festival offers.