E-Commerce logistics for start-ups

ecommerce logistics for startups

If you are running or planning for an e-commerce logistics for start-ups, then you should be very particular about the a lot of things. This aspect of your business can be the reason for your success and if not properly dealt with it can be the reason for your downfall. If you are failing to ship the products according to your customer’s desires or if you are spending an excessive amount on shipping, then your business is bound to failure. Maybe you are selling items that are very sustainable like apparel, environment-friendly décor items for the home, or non-toxic toys, etc. whatever may be the product mix, you should always be ready to deal with the present e-commerce situations. Your company should be able to outgrow its current e-commerce levels. All your dreams related to your business can become your worst nightmare because when it comes to logistics everything is unpredictable. You may be an expert in your industry; logistics can still ruin your business, as it is a science on its own. It is always very tricky to master all the logistical tactics. 

A logistics firm is an inventory network process that executes, plans, and controls the proficiency, viability, and capacity of the products, its benefits, and data related to it from the purpose of origin to the point of utilization to meet client prerequisites. Strategic assets, for example, tanks, pipelines, and boats, have the fundamental goal of making items, gear, and crude material, stream simpler all through the process to amplify benefits. The calculated assets arrangement generally is applied to frameworks for its reliance and related requests and supply of items. Overall, in the calculated model appraisal, hardware with unwavering quality, which profoundly influences benefits, is not considered. Much of the time, logistics is additionally not considered in the RAM examination. The primary conversation right now is the significance of including plant dependability issues and calculated assets, which together have a perplexing model. The fundamental strategic assets in a treatment facility are tanks, which give oil to refining plants. Such tanks diminish framework inaccessibility at whatever point siphons or other hardware that supply oil to the tanks shut down.

The best advantage of a native digital brand start-up is that your company is not bound by procedures and legacy systems. You can apply best practices for your business from the beginning itself rather than just discovering later along the way. You can start with the best and proved practices that can help your business grow and flourish from the beginning itself. You can incorporate new technology and better analytics for your business which will help you in cost control and will help you deliver your brand promises. 

After all, any inventory that is stacked up on your shelf represents the investments that you have done for your business. You should always track your inventory so that you can look after your cash flows. This will open a broad way of complex analysis of inventory which guides you to your strategic business planning. 

Understanding how the supply chain works and why it is important?

As an e-commerce start-up company, you should be very efficient when it comes to the supply chain. Logistics and supply chain is inter-related and your business needs both to operate. As the supply chain is a big part of eCommerce logistics, let us discuss its importance: 

Supply chain visibility is table stakes today. It wasn’t too long ago that visibility was a “nice to have”. Now it is “a must-have”. It is important to know what is going on inside the supply chain at all times. At times, there are potential disruptions in the supply chain; there are market opportunities, and things keep on changing with time. Therefore, it is very important to have visibility on both the upstream and down streams. This gives you the feeling of comfort to see all those processes taking place and you have full control over everything. This helps you to respond to potential disruptions or opportunities that might arise when a shipment is in transit. 

The supply chain is all about getting the right product in the right place and at the right time along with suited quality and cost. Supply chain management is the management of the complete flow of goods and their particular services. This gives full information on the movement of raw materials, and their respective work in progress inventory. This is a very basic definition. However, if you see clearly, the supply chain is a fascinating topic because it is present all around us. It is everywhere whether it is building, or restaurant, or any product, supply chain works wholesome for everything.

Every company whether it is a big or small company, supply chain visibility is important for every business or company. If you are an importer or exporter or even have a multi-national shop, you still have all the same fundamental components involved in your supply chain. You got a lot of things that can happen and go wrong when a shipment is in transit. The smaller companies are a lot easier to communicate internally. They have fewer people involved in the supply chain in servicing your customers. Bigger companies have more stakeholders and more finance groups. They also have many buyers and several logistics people are involved. Overall, it is a big crowd. Therefore, internal communication becomes difficult. This is the reason why a good visibility tool is required to not only manage shipments and supply chains effectively but also it gives all those stakeholders insides the visibility of your company. This latter part is important too as it makes the internal flow of communication much easier to manage. When supply chain visibility is concerned, there are certain things you need to focus on.

  • The functionality of the supply chain you are working with: In functionality, there are two dimensions. One is the real-time web-based environment where you can see what is going on with your supply chain and manage all of the moving parts inside your supply chain. The second part is reporting where you can pull data out of a system so that you can see what is going on inside your supply chain. This allows you to measure suppliers, manage vendors, and manage on-time delivery. Therefore, real-time functionality and reporting are the two critical components that you should be focusing on. Thus, if you are thinking about which visibility tools you should use, this is the real deal.
  • The ease of use your supply chain holds: Somebody can provide you with the best system with all the components available, but if it is too hard to implement or if it is not user-friendly then you know you are not going to use it. Then you lose the real value that a good visibility tool represents.
  • Is it cost-effective: One other value of having good visibility to the solution is the ability that it can create for a company to help drive efficiencies internally and manage costs taking place inside companies. This helps the company to manage all those moving parts.

Therefore, a good visibility tool with good automation is certainly going to give an organization a much better opportunity to be lean.

6 major things you should know as a start-up before anything

Demand planning

Retailers mostly use historical data to base their forecasting about the inventories. If you are a start-up you will not have the luxury to know the exact counts of inventory that you will need. Therefore, you can use some strategic techniques to build sales. The first thing you need to do is analyze your site traffic and check your social sharing engagements. If the social media influence starts gearing up for your site, so will be the demands for. Then you will want to be ready for actual business. You need to keep your focus on irregular purchases due to holiday demand spikes or seasonal changes. Only after analyzing all the key factors, you need to draft a plan for your inventory.


As you are more focused on the growth of your business, many times you fail to see the big picture. Companies that excel at a rapid pace fail to keep a clear eye on the logistics segment. This leaves the organization with an incomplete picture of the sale performance and inventory counts. It is very difficult to keep a clear vision of the entire inventory and have that reflected on your website as well as in your internal system. You need to be able to balance the wheel between having enough stock and not having an excess amount of inventory. Therefore, you need proper visibility of your entire inventory to balance out that wheel.

Free shipping

According to a recent study, almost 73 percent of online shoppers have confirmed that proving unconditional “free shipping” to them can be very “critical” for their purchase decisions. It is both a curse and a blessing for the e-commerce sellers. The thought of free shipping excites many online shoppers. However, free shipping is offered only to customers. The shippers need to be disciplined enough while carrying out their duty so that they can reduce costs while providing customer service.

Last-mile Delivery

Last-mile deliveries are very popular and they represent about 28 percent of the entire shipping cost. Customers can be very particular about deliveries and they can judge the reliability of your entire organization based on just the delivery. A suitable last-mile strategy may be a key element in satisfying the customers while balancing the resource requirements and costs at the same time. Regarding the excessive competition in the e-commerce industry, companies focusing on the last yard services more. The last yard refers to the point where the customer receives the package and moves to the end-user.

Managing returns

Managing returns can also be termed as reverse logistics, this by far the most difficult aspect of the e-commerce business. You should be able to handle the returns very carefully and properly. This is the point where your customers can be disappointed with your organization if you fail to offer them proper return policies and proper pick-ups and refund of the returned items. If you delay in the return process, you can leave a bad impression on your customer and they might shift to other alternative platforms for making a new purchase. As a start-up, you should be particularly careful about this.

Decentralized warehousing

The recent trend that has been very popular recently, is doing the most to move the product closer to customers. Companies are using smaller facilities that are closer to the population for the delivery rather than using distribution centers that are a thousand miles away. The smaller facilities are much better when it comes to responding to customers and reducing delivery times. This is a great strategy that shortens the last yard service. These facilities are mainly mini-warehouses or specific fulfillment centers. Some physical stores are converting into shipping centers, and putting some or all of their footprints into fulfillment.

Things you should maintain as a start-up to incorporate proper logistics management 

There are different components associated with compelling logistics management, for instance, computerization and impeccable coordination. However, there is always scope for improvement in the process. Effective administration is the way to progress, particularly when it comes to supply chain management. At the point when your business observes development, you should discover newer approaches for logistics planning. This will substantially help in arranging forms for improving yield.

You should be big on valuing all relations

The team is a basic part of an association that is answerable for the development. Regardless of whether it is the warehouse supervisor or the delivery person, everybody ought to be flawless in his or her particular field of work. For this, you have to put resources into the appropriate training of the workers. Workshops conducting regular training keeps the employees completely updated with the ongoing trends prevailing in the logistics associations. These aides in expanded productivity and fulfillment of the customers. Logistics manager with perfect relational aptitudes is critical for the association. There are times when things do not work as per the planning. You will need a dependable individual who can handle such issues with extreme effectiveness. Besides, the supervisor should have definitive contacts in the business. This can be advantageous in tapping the business openings.

Efficient transportation

The transportation system can be broken down into two aspects that are the costs of the logistics firm and the quicker conveyance of the items. Following components ought to be considered for effective transportation: 

  • Deciding the best conveyance course. A logistics firm ought to settle on the briefest yet most secure course. This helps set aside cash just as time. 
  • Well-informed packaging guarantees low venture and wellbeing of merchandise too. Streamline the packaging with the goal that it possesses less volume and it does not expand the heaviness of the bundle.

You need to have a proper plan

The initial step to achieving an errand is planning. Presently, planning exemplifies different components. It includes obtaining the merchandise, storerooms, and conveyance of items to the specific area. Other than these, parameters that are considered is– transportation, time, and expenses. An inventory network usable ought to have the option to devise the stream diagram for the entire activity. The reason for planning is to accomplish the most extreme work at all conceivable time. Simultaneously, arranging should target expanding the benefits. Appropriate planning is a shrewd arrangement, yet an accomplished administrator will have the option to get ready for the unexpected conditions too. These circumstances can be identified with:

  • Products
  • Problems of transportation
  • Choose accurate freight class
  • Research

For this, a contingency plan should be formulated for avoiding further problems or failures related to logistics. The process of logistics planning is incomplete if an emergency plan is not formulated along with it.

Warehouse management

Proper Logistics management is deficient without the proper functioning of the warehouse management. Warehouse management form the backbone of the logistics industry. It looks after every little inconvenience that can lead to huge losses. The warehouse activities are significantly subjected to the kind of products being manufactured. For instance, short-lived merchandise, for example, dairy items, needs refrigeration systems. Grains should be stored in a place that is particularly free of any kind of dampness or moisture. Correspondingly, the specifications fluctuate according to the items being stored. The logistics firm should target building up a proper warehouse inventory so that there is the least wastage of merchandise. Besides, expanding the capacity limit of the distribution center. The utilization of vertical stockpiling sections is suggested. Moreover, proper software should be installed. This helps in the execution of the product for sequencing the items so that there is no delay while finding the particular items while the order is already been placed. The staff working in the warehouse should be efficient enough to perform the warehouse activities whenever called for.  

Welcome new technology and adopt complete automation

In this era of automation, technology and innovation play a significant job in expanding the proficiency of an association. Automation has an indispensable job in the business procedure streamlining. There is significant programming software that can be sent in the logistics framework. This saves a lot of time because manual dependence for the management is not considered relevant anymore. Additionally, precise tracking helps in improving the executives of process management. The worker subtleties and record subtleties can be overlooked by utilizing explicit programming framed for these particular assignments. Subsequently, the logistics firm should grasp the newer technological evolutions for expanding its efficiency and credibility.

Improvise and measure

Logistics managements organize streamlining that is deficient without incorporating estimation, examination, and inputs. You have to quantify the amount of yield when you introduce new processes in the system. This is significant as it suggests the achievement or disappointment of the procedure. Estimation devices and programming ought to be incorporated that effectively decides and arranges the data according to the prerequisite. Your future arranging is intensely reliant on the deliberate data. The measurements identified with various tasks. This includes:

  • Cost metrics
  • Cycle-time metrics
  • Service metrics

Liberal criticisms help in extemporizing. The thoughts and recommendations of the representatives ought to be recorded occasionally. This guarantees you produce a pool of thoughts and simultaneously, it uncovers any imperfections in the framework.


If you are a Start-up Company in the industry, you have to very careful before getting into Nitti gritty of business, first you need to learn, and then you need to strike. Some aspects are mentioned above that you need to keep in mind while doing business in the e-commerce industry.

Looking for an e-commerce shipping solution? Get started with iThink Logistics