Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

Online Shopping Fulfillment: Make Your Data Work


Online Shopping Fulfillment: Make Your Data WorkFacebook became one the largest advertising platforms in the world by leveraging data.  After years of connecting you with your friends, family, and interests, the social media network became one of the biggest data aggregators ever.  By recognizing where you live, what TV shows you like, your favorite sports teams and music, and just about everything else in between, Facebook can offer advertisers a focused, qualified audience.  Now this information isn’t only available to major tech companies. E-commerce businesses of all sizes have access to their customers ordering behaviors and preferences; they just need to know how to use it. 

As an e-commerce company, leveraging a streamlined supply chain is a key advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar outlets.  Leveraging data and visibility technology can have a direct impact on pricing strategies as well as fulfillment and delivery optimization.  Using the data your customers provide allows you to stop estimating shipping quotes or offering options you “think” they want.  Here are five ways your distribution data can make your supply chain stronger.

1.) Improvement of Internal Processes:  Customer data is a never ending, ever changing stream of information that can provide invaluable insight.  Everything from destinations to purchasing patterns to delivery inclinations, this data can show you where your focus should be, and where it shouldn’t.

2.) Share Delivery Information: Transparency is vital when it comes to the success of a complex supply chain.  However, this transparency shouldn’t be limited when it comes to your customers.  Estimated delivery windows and the location of orders can help manage your customer’s expectations while keeping them engaged.

3.) Offer Customized Delivery: Having a wide range of delivery options sounds good in theory.  But by using the insight that your customers provide, you can offer them the options that they want.  Recognizing the trends and lifestyles of your consumers will give you the ability to give them more customized and preferred delivery methods.

4.) Learn Preferences (Speed or Cost?): Much has been made over the speed of delivery with major names like Amazon and Wal-Mart offering guaranteed two-day delivery.  Amazon even has same day delivery in some markets.  While speed is a concern for some, your data can tell you if your customers are willing to sacrifice an extra cost to receive their order sooner.  It is information like this that can help you prioritize your delivery options and meet your customers’ expectations.

5.) Improve Inventory Management:  Efficiently storing and managing your inventory can create a tremendous cost savings within your supply chain.  Using your customers’ data to notice trends and patterns in where deliveries are made and demand is highest can help you organize your inventory to shorten delivery routes and streamline other processes.

E-commerce is saturated with all kinds of user generated data.  Understanding what it means and how to use it can create many opportunities to improve processes, service, and revenue.  For over 75 years, Barrett Distribution Centers has been managing customized supply chain solutions for our clients.   

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Topics: Online Retail