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Consumer Demand Supports 3PL Growth in 2014

Posted on 19/01/15, filed under 3PL | No Comments

2014 was an excellent year for ecommerce businesses. Central to the success was the increase in omni-channel distribution. Omni-channel distribution is the multichannel approach to retail in which retailers create a seamless shopping experience both on and offline.

Consumers have become more demanding as technology has improved. They want to buy what they want, when they want it and where they want it. This always-on shopping experience includes:

  • The ability to buy online and collect the item in-store (known as click-and-collect)
  • A choice of multiple delivery options – including next day delivery or in-store collection at their convenience
  • Mobile-friendly so that they can browse when and where they want
  • The ability to try an item in store, but have the option to get it delivered at home if the size or colour they want is out of stock in store
  • Being able to return an item to a store even though they bought it online
  • Deliveries every day of the week

Convenience is central to today’s consumer and as a result third party logistics (3PL) companies are being pushed to deliver an ever more responsive service to the consumer. Whilst distribution centres have been providing a warehouse-to-customer service for years, the omni-channel supply chain is a new service the industry must tackle.

More than two thirds of UK consumers have used a click-and-collect service, 56% of John Lewis’ online sales were represented by click-and-collect sales – showing the importance of this new home delivery alternative. This coupled with their 19% growth in online sales over the Christmas period, which accounted for 36% of all trade, shows again the importance of a reliable third party logistics company to ensure an all-round seamless shopping experience.

To find out how our 3PL warehousing services can help you meet the demands of today’s consumers contact us now on 01903 736300.

Royal Mail Price Increase Brought Forward

Posted on 12/12/14, filed under News | No Comments

Royal Mail has announced to customers using their Royal Mail Wholesale services that they will be bringing forward their annual price review and increase, from the beginning of the financial year in April 2015 to the start of the calendar year in January 2015.

The new prices, which have not yet been announced, will start from the 5th January 2015 and are expected to affect the following services:

  • Royal Mail Advertising Mail
  • Royal Mail Business Mail
  • Publishing Mail
  • Some response services and pre-sorted deliveries

For further details and updates please read Royal Mail’s official price changes announcement.

The Ecommerce Warehouse of Tomorrow

Posted on 26/11/14, filed under 3PL, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments

Today, more businesses are turning to the web to retail their products and, as a result, their customers now expect a quicker and more efficient service from them. This means ecommerce businesses have to adjust their warehousing and logistics to meet their customers’ needs and compete for online market share.

How does this trend shape the future of warehousing?

Location – improving convenience and speed of delivery are becoming key factors to achieving a competitive edge. For some ecommerce businesses this could mean localising their warehouse facilities to their customers’ doorsteps or expanding abroad to facilitate overseas customers. Local warehousing solutions can therefore play a key role in the battle for online market share.

Flexible storage – as more businesses go online, the flexibility of warehouse space is also crucial. Online retail allows many more customers to shop at the same time compared to a physical store. Businesses need to make sure their warehouse space and operations can cope with the increased ecommerce demand.

All under one roof – the high speed and demand of online retail has forced businesses to make their supply chain leaner. To achieve this, many are now conducting multiple processes under one roof or outsourcing to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to manage their supply chain, right the way through from collecting orders and stock management, to delivery and returns. This streamlines their supply chain and makes their customers happy by providing a quick and easy service.

Warehouse technology – with online retail and order complexity increasing the warehouse must be designed and operated to accommodate changes in space requirements and stock selling at different rates, in order to deliver an efficient service. As a result there is a growing interest in adopting technology such as a warehouse management system (WMS), hardware scanning and automated storage and retrieval systems, which drive operational effectiveness and productivity.

Warehouses will become an evermore important part of the retail supply chain if they offer a clear way to drive efficiencies and please customers in the ecommerce process. Choose the right 3PL provider to make your business excel and be future-proof by contacting RT Page on 01903 736300 or info@rtpage.co.uk

Related Articles:

Is it time to outsource my warehousing?
How to Choose the Right 3PL Provider
Shipping & Returns: What the Customer Wants

Deck Your Shelves with the Right Stock this Christmas

Posted on 14/11/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments

Christmas sales can account for nearly half of some companies’ annual profits. But did you know the average retailer loses potential revenue, equivalent to 10% of the revenue they would have taken, from items being out of stock?

Christmas shopping has already started and if an item is out of stock the consumer is far more likely to go and buy it from your competitors than wait and order it from you. Make it the season to be jolly for both you and your customers by keeping your warehouse shelves well-stocked and managed effectively and fulfilling each customer order cost-effectively.

3 Tips to Manage Stock Levels this Christmas:

Ensure outsourced teams are reliable – if you outsource any part of your supply chain, such as manufacturing, storage or delivery, ensure your suppliers are reliable, easy to communicate with and can cope with the increased demand that the festive season brings. If not, you could be facing delays, backlog or cancelled orders and ultimately unhappy customers.

Track and organise stock – 80% of demand will be for 20% of your products so knowing which 20% will be popular will help you order the right amount and avoid over-stocking, improving your profits. Professional third party logistics (3PL) companies use specialised software to help track stock (including popularity) and organise it for the larger demands, helping to deliver orders more easily and speedily.

Choose a ‘just in time’ (JIT) approach – retailers such as high street clothing chain Zara have shown that if your stock suppliers can deliver on demand in small, regular batches it can be a very cost-effective way to manage stock. So if your sales suddenly soar over the Christmas period you can easily replenish stock and accurately order the requisite amount. You can also save on storage costs and become reactive to any stock changes in future.

Maximise your profit potential this Christmas and become a pro at managing your stock all year round. To find out more contact RT Page on 01903 736300 now before the busy Christmas rush comes to town.

Related Blogs:
Making Sure Your Stock Sells Out Every Time
Maximise Christmas Ecommerce by Switching to a 3PL Provider
6 Top Tips to Plan Now for a Blockbusting Christmas

Delivering an Excellent Customer Experience to Protect your Brand

Posted on 29/10/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Supply Chain Logistics | No Comments

Providing an excellent customer experience is more than selling a great product. Other important factors are delivering helpful and friendly communication and an efficient and satisfying service. Delivering an excellent customer experience can provide incredible benefits for your ecommerce business, from creating loyal customers and being referred to others to helping to flourish your brand’s reputation.

4 tips to provide an excellent customer experience:

1. Keep in touch – after customers place their orders, stay in touch with them by sending order confirmations and tracking emails. Not only will these communications give them piece of mind that their order is in safe hands but it also reinforces your brand so they remember you.

2. Streamline your logistics – provide an easy and efficient service that they will want to use time and time again. This means getting your internal processes streamlined from taking orders, picking and packing to delivery.

3. Offer customer support – a customer service phone line or email for customers and visitors of your website is the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation to support them if they have any queries. It also projects the personable face of your brand.

4. Show appreciation – nothing can be more powerful than a follow-up. Thanking customers for purchasing from you adds value to their custom. Also sending them exclusive offers can help turn them into returning customers.

Start streamlining your business NOW with RT Page’s dedicated logistics team so you can focus on providing a brilliant customer experience and build an excellent reputation. Find out how by calling RT Page on 01903 736300

Related Articles:

Customer Communication Reduces Unsuccessful Deliveries
Ecommerce: Finding Customers & Keeping Them
Shipping & Returns: What the Customer Wants