Organized Order Management with WareIQ
January 12, 2021
Customer Speaks for WareIQ | Timios
January 11, 2021
WareIQ Company introduction and overview
January 07, 2021
WareIQ Shipping Insights & Billing
January 07, 2021
WareIQ’s warehouse walkthrough
January 06, 2021
4 Common eCommerce Pain Points and how WareIQ can help
There can be nine good reasons to place an order on your eCommerce platform but a single bad reason is enough to drive the customer away. Even something that might seem trivial can have a huge impact on deciding if the customer wants to place orders on your platform. In fact, only about 30% of the potential customers complete the same. Why is it so? The answer is simple- you fail to deliver what you promise or your competitor offers a better service and you simply don’t meet the customer expectations. There are two broad ways to tackle this- Enhance the user experience on your website. Ideally, it should be as seamless and optimized as possible. Enhance the overall customer service delivered beyond your website. With changing consumer trends and fast-tracked digital adoption and eCommerce growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customer expectations have increased rapidly. It becomes quintessential to improvise subtle aspects of your website and service to beat the competition. In this article, we will discuss various pain points of the supply chain and logistics that can cost your business and how WareIQ can help you in dealing with the same. Hiding shipping costs can be an expensive mistake Cart abandonment (wherein the customer adds items to their cart but doesn’t complete their order) is one of the major problems for eCommerce websites. According to a study by Baymard Institute, up to 50% of the customers quoted extra hidden charges from shipping as the reason for abandoning the cart at checkout. Customers prefer to know the total cost of the product right away. Any additional costs popping up during checkout can be an unpleasant experience. It can suddenly feel like too much or out of their budget. Conversion becomes difficult and the customer would be prompted to explore other options to try to get a cheaper deal. The solution - Let the customer know the shipping charges before the final checkout. Ideally, a modern-day customer expects free shipping (at least at a certain price threshold). Firms like Amazon have set high benchmarks for the same with their free prime delivery. What if you are unable to provide free shipping or even reduce the cost of the same? Showing it upfront can make everything look costly for the consumer. This can be addressed in multiple ways. You can modify your pricing strategy to cover the shipping charges within the product cost but brand yourself for free deliveries. You can bore the shipping expenses from your side on behalf of the customer to improve loyalty/retention and hope that the net long term revenue is improved. You make a smart choice to partner with WareIQ and actually reduce your shipping charges significantly- a win-win for both the seller and the buyer. So, how exactly is WareIQ able to do it? It is the result of a PAN-India decentralised network that WareIQ hosts to make shipping efficient and cost-effective. With optimised inventory placement closer to the customer, shipping charges are reduced. Customer service can get affected by things beyond your control The level of customer service provided is directly reflected in the online reviews and word of mouth recommendations. In many cases, mistakes by a 3PL provider or some external agent in the supply chain can affect the consumer-facing brand value. For example, a delayed delivery by your logistics provider brings a negative review to your brand. The reputation you hold among your customers is influenced both by how you deal with customer complaints or assist them online as well as the offline ecosystem you work with. What’s worse than a delayed delivery is not addressing it on time and being accountable by giving personalised feedback to the customer. With WareIQ in the picture, a lot of things become easy to manage. Firstly, you need not worry about the delivery part and how shipments are handled by the offline staff. You will also be provided with a branded tracking page to take timely actions as required. RTOs/NDRs are also efficiently handled by WareIQ without any delays. It enables you to have faster returns processing with quicker and more efficient returns approval, pickup and cash recovery cycle. Ageing inventory and how to deal with it Have you ever faced issues with your stock cluttering up in your warehouse? Slow-moving products and those in low demand can be difficult to sell. They end up taking your precious inventory space. This can directly increase your operational costs. On top of this, going out of stock frequently for high demand products is a huge red flag for the business. If customers don’t get the products they want and when they want it, they will simply lose their trust and loyalty in your services. Poor inventory managed can also lead to misplaced orders, delayed deliveries, and poor tracking- all of which can directly affect your sales and have a long term impact on your business. All these issues can be tackled with smart inventory management that WareIQ provides. Once you plug in WareIQ into your supply chain, you can generate insight on inventory placements by locations to offer fast shipping. WareIQ will then take care of optimally shipping the inventory to the customers. It can also recommend inventory placement across their decentralised network based on supply and demand trends ensuring that the stock is available where it should be. WareIQ shipping engine is integrated to all major national couriers & same-day delivery providers. Sellers can go by default “Intelligent Mode” or easily configure their own preferences. Handling the issues due to low quality/untrained on-ground personnel Your customer has placed the order and you have taken care of all the logistics required smoothly and shipped it successfully. What can go wrong now? In fact, a lot of things in the last-mile delivery, which actually puts the product in your customer’s hands- the ultimate end goal. We have seen in a previous article on how WareIQ can help you deal with these challenges. One of the major issues you can face is with the on-ground personnel who don’t handle the packages well and make mistakes with the delivery. A lot of the last mile challenges due to poor handling can be overcome with smart customized solutions that WareIQ provides. Customers expect to get their package delivered without any hitches and experience a smooth unboxing. Branded packaging helps. It also makes it easy for delivery personnel to handle it. Amazon is a great example in this context, and WareIQ can provide the same level of experience with its predefined packing guidelines. Sellers can also avail discounted rates from the supplier network with branded packaging options. With a robust tracking system in place, things get easy to monitor. Endnotes Addressing the eCommerce pain points where a third party is the cause of them can be difficult. If there is some issue with your online website, you can probably seek some optimization with your in house developer team or your software vendor. In case of offline issues in the supply chain like we have seen, things get tricky with a lot of variables involved. Partnering with someone trusted and efficient like WareIQ, which has the technology and infrastructure to deal with such issues at scale can immensely help in mitigating the same.
December 10, 2020
The Importance of Last-Mile Delivery for your E-commerce Business and how WareIQ always “Delivers”
Processing and delivering an online order isn’t as direct as it sounds. Once an order is placed, it goes through several stages in the supply chain before the delivery is complete. One of the most important and the final step of this process is “Last-mile delivery”. It involves dispatching the products to the end customers. Ultimately it is the last-mile delivery that determines if the product reaches the customer safely and on time, and this doesn’t come cheap. A report from Frost & Sullivan estimates that up to 40% of total logistics costs can be associated with the last mile. Given the importance of the last-mile in the supply chain, businesses including the e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart have been investing their resources to address these key challenges. How exactly does the last-mile impact your business? The last-mile carriers generally work towards delivering the product from an intermediate shipping centre to the final destination. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in this phase that can impact your brand and the overall profits. Some of the major issues businesses can encounter in last-mile delivery include- Return of orders and the rising cost of logistics While order cancellations are common in e-commerce, one of the major reasons for the return of orders by customers can happen due to the mistakes occurring in the last-mile of delivery. Delayed deliveries, inability to track the packages properly, delivery of damaged goods and misplacing orders- all of them can lead to higher returns. Most of these mishaps can happen due to the negligence of the 3PL partner or lack of technological capabilities that can prevent these issues. Return of orders increases your logistics cost further. They also affect your market share and customer loyalty. According to a report by KPMG, up to 20% of the total e-commerce shipments are return orders. This shows the scale of the problem and how much costs can be saved by minimizing the same. Return to Origin (RTO) This is another major issue that sellers face. It simply refers to sending back the order to the seller when it cannot be delivered to the customer. This can happen due to wrong addresses mentioned in the order or when the customer is not present/denies to accept the order, etc. Such incidents can lead to additional reshipping costs. Unable to address the rising demand in tier 2 and 3 cities With better internet connectivity, e-commerce demands have been rapidly rising in tier 2 and 3 cities of India. The last-mile delivery in this case presents its own unique challenges. The fulfilment centre of your 3PL partner might be far from the delivery location. The interconnectivity between them can affect delivery speeds. Flipkart and Amazon are trying to solve this by partnering with local retail owners and creating pickup points from where the customers can collect their order. Remote locations are even difficult to handle. Not meeting customer expectations Given the benchmarks that e-commerce giants like Amazon set, customers tend to expect the same elsewhere. They expect fast deliveries and may not care about the complications that can happen in the last mile. For example, harsh weather conditions, or a local lockdown can disrupt the delivery timelines. Customers also expect durability in their deliveries. They seek flexible timings and cheaper costs at their end- like the Amazon prime free delivery. Such a level of service is almost impossible without optimising the supply chain in the last-mile. What can you do to improve your supply chain? With a growing fragmented market, there is a lot of unpredictability in the supply and demand trends. Having a decentralized inventory stored across multiple warehouses and demand centres across the country can cater to such dynamic markets. Data-driven and analytics-based solutions can further help with business intelligence and are vital to understanding these trends better. They can guide businesses with smart inventory placement, cost optimization, etc. Having better order tracking solutions will be beneficial to both customers and businesses by ensuring that the orders are not misplaced or rerouted at any stage and are delivered on time. How WareIQ is able to solve the challenges in last-mile deliveries? The distance of the final shipping centre from your customers’ location is one of the major factors that can determine how fast the last mile delivery can be performed. The closer the fulfilment centre is to the final delivery location, the faster it can be delivered. It also implies that you will be travelling a lesser distance to make that delivery, saving some transportation cost. The math is direct, and this directly affects the volume and costs involved in handling your return orders too. WareIQ is able to bring your inventory closer to your customer with its PAN-India fulfilment network. For example, Organic Riot, a consumer brand was able to leverage this network to perform a 2-day delivery to over 85% of their orders. This was only 22% earlier when they shipped through their central warehouse. With WareIQ handling the logistics, the return rate was reduced to just 3 per cent. In another instance, a prominent D2C brand faced a high RTO rate (25-30%) due to various last-mile challenges like non-verified COD orders, fake delivery attempts by courier partners, and slower speed. WareIQ enabled COD and NDR verification through automated SMS and IVR calls to prevent these issues. It was also possible to bring their inventory closer to demand centres using the fulfilment network in metros. This resulted in a reduction in the RTO rate to just 6%. Conclusion Last-mile delivery is one of the most discussed topics among e-commerce brands due to the high costs it incurs and the scope for innovation. As such, optimising it with the help of modern-day technologies is important to stay ahead in the e-commerce race. Some of the key metrics to track in this context include the rate of return of orders, failures and delays in deliveries and RTO. With its multifaceted nationwide network of fulfilment centres, WareIQ is a proven solution that can help you deliver your orders faster.
December 04, 2020
Decentralized Inventory for changing Indian buyer behaviour
For a very long time, operating via a central warehouse has been the de-facto approach for businesses to store and distribute their inventory to consumers. It is easy to manage everything in one place. It might also appear cost-effective compared to having a decentralized network where you have multiple warehouses spread across different cities. The complexities associated with it is what prompts businesses to not opt for it. However, the market trends have changed dramatically in the last few years in favour of decentralized inventory. The rise of Amazon and the COVID-19 pandemic have been an eye-opener to the pros of this approach. Online shopping is no longer limited to the metros or major cities in India. In fact, over 60-70% of the orders come from Tier 2 & 3 cities. With better access to fast and affordable internet, this share is expected to increase even further. Handling this demand via decentralized inventory could be a game-changer for any business as they try to scale in the highly competitive e-commerce market. When does a centralized inventory fail? In a fast-paced world, speed is everything. Customers would prefer to shop with brands like Amazon that are able to offer it. With a centralized inventory, it is almost impossible to compete with the modern-day expectation of superfast delivery. To add to it, any system with a single point of failure is risky. It brings down the entire network along with it. Your central warehouse is just like that. The supply chain can be disrupted due to unforeseen consequences like natural disasters and emergencies. A centralized inventory also fails to capitalize on many modern-day technological advancements for supply chain optimization and data-driven decision making. Why should a business move to decentralized inventory? At a high level, there are two simple reasons- (1) You want to serve your customers faster and better. (2) You want to stay efficient in your operations by building a resilient supply chain network. Let’s take an example of a business based out of Delhi where they have their central warehouse. You notice a sudden surge in orders from Chennai. The traditional approach would be to ship your inventory to the customer location directly from Delhi, no matter the distance. It is almost impossible to make a quick delivery in this context. If a competitor is able to deliver a similar product faster than you, the customer would most likely prefer to shop with them instead. Now, what if you are under a local lockdown, have some issues with transportation, or if there was some power blackout? Longer delays can make the customer cancel their order. If you have a portion of your inventory stored at Chennai, you can seamlessly make the deliveries on time. That’s exactly what decentralized inventory helps you achieve. You can also stock up beforehand by observing trends and predicting market demand. The overall service will become more agile, competitive, and efficient. What might have taken 15 days to process and deliver before can now be done in 1 day? Amazon is able to do it with its warehouses present across more than 12 states in India. This has significantly improved its brand as a fast delivery network, an important factor that makes the customer place more orders with them. Once an Indian buyer is used to such a seamless service, their expectations for faster delivery grows. Failing to meet them can affect customer retention. How can you do it too? Establishing a decentralized network and managing the logistics of the entire supply chain can sound like a lot of work. For businesses that don’t have multiple self-owned warehouses, it can seem costly and time-consuming. That’s exactly where the WareIQ platform comes into the picture. It can help you seamlessly decentralize your inventory and manage the necessary logistics in an efficient manner. WareIQ does all the work for you including procuring and storing the inventory at their network of fulfilment centres spread across the country. What does having such a decentralized inventory/supply chain mean to your brand and service? Faster Pan-India delivery with better shipping timeline/tracking. Data-driven optimization of your business. Efficient and smart inventory placement powered by the philosophy of “supply where there is demand”. Helping meet the customers’ expectation of an Amazon level service. Reducing cancellations due to delays in delivery. Benefits to business and consumers- a win-win situation. Managing a central warehouse is cheaper but it comes at the cost of the cons we have discussed earlier. Outsourcing the decentralization of your inventory to a platform like WareIQ can actually bring down the overall costs as it improves business and customer retention. It also helps in achieving better operational efficiency- i.e provide superior services to the customers at the same cost. Also, managing local demand surges and scaling your business in new cities becomes easier. For a customer, it means faster delivery (within 1 day) and options like same-day pickups. They may no longer be bound to Amazon when they expect the same. It also increases their reliability and trust in the brand. Endnotes E-commerce isn’t the only industry that can benefit from decentralized logistics. The same applies to pharma, healthcare, hardware industry, etc. that may operate on a B2B level. With changing customer expectations, the older way of doing things no longer works. Centralized warehousing is not well equipped to deal with fragmented demand and the dynamic markets that exist today, the positive impact on sales and overall growth due to decentralized inventory can surpass the costs incurred in setting it up, especially when using platforms like WareIQ. The ultimate USP of decentralization is rather straightforward. No matter what product we sell, if it is not put in the consumer’s hands before the competitors, businesses risk losing their market share.
November 26, 2020
How Organic Riot covers 80% of its demand centres under 2-day delivery
WareIQ fulfillment network allows Organic Riot to utilize pan-India WareIQ hubs and be quick to customers, and offer custom experiences like branded tracking page.
November 20, 2020
Supercharging your e-commerce growth by partnering with the right fulfilment provider like WareIQ
Did you know that partnering with the right 3rd Party Logistics provider (3PL) can be the X-factor to growing your e-commerce business? Well handled logistics is what ultimately brings the value you promise to the doorsteps of your customers. Any mistake in this process, like misplacing inventory, damaging the stock, performing wrong deliveries, etc. can be costly for your brand. It not only affects your immediate profits but also long term potential as customers who fall victim to these errors may not place further orders with you. Whether you manage your own warehouse or partner with a 3PL provider, it is important to keep track of a few metrics in your business, given the scale at which this can affect you. It might also be possible that you are not tapping into the complete modern-day benefits that a good 3PL provider can give. Noticing the red flags- When should you consider changing your fulfilment provider? There are a lot of things that can hold you back when it comes to fulfilment providers. Here are some of the prominent signs that are an immediate red flag. The cost of your logistics are rising but not your profits. Your inventory is not in the right place at the right time to cater to the increasingly distributed demands of your customers. You are repeatedly failing to make those deliveries on the committed timelines. You see a rise in cancellations and return of orders. The customer reviews and ratings are plummeting. Remember that these ratings are heavily influenced by how the product is delivered to them by your 3PL partner. You are planning to scale your business to new cities but facing challenges in the same. You seem to miss out on the latest technologies and order tracking/reporting software that can collect key metrics and optimize your supply chain. All these observations are a direct result of how your 3PL provider manages your logistics. Once you notice that things are not working as expected, it is time to change your strategy and look for a new partner. Questions to ask while choosing your new 3PL provider (and why WareIQ is the perfect answer to your requirements) You have to consider a bunch of factors while choosing a fulfilment provider. Here are some important questions to ponder before you make your decision: Does the 3PL provider have a PAN-India presence? It is your key takeaway in partnering with a 3PL and cannot be compromised. For instance, WareIQ has a network that can cover 90% of cities in India with over a million population for next-day delivery. That’s the kind of presence you should look for. How easy is it to scale? Traditional 3PLs that have vertical integrations face certain limits in this aspect. A decentralised network that WareIQ has allows us to scale to new demand centres quickly. Does the fulfilment provider have minimum requirements or rigid contract sizes, terms, etc? You will find that most providers would have certain criteria which may not be favourable for all parties and at all times. A good provider must be flexible with client requirements. For example, WareIQ provides the option of micro-fulfilment where you can start with something as small as a single rack. Does the provider give technology-powered value-added services? In today’s data-driven world, analytics on inventory placement and supply chain can be extremely helpful in staying efficient and cost-effective in all our operations. WareIQ is able to provide the same with its in-house software platform. How easy is it to integrate your business into the supply chain of your 3PL partner? When you are shifting to your new partner, you might not want to wait for too long before the end to end flow is setup. A traditional 3PL firm might take from 3 to 6 months for the same. WareIQ is able to onboard new partners within a week! How will partnering with the right 3PL provider make things better for your business? The immediate and the most important benefit you can get is the ability to safely deliver your products across the country (including tier 2 and 3 cities) faster than ever before. It will give you the wings needed to provide an Amazon level service. Beyond this, there are other interesting benefits. Once you hand over the management of logistics to a right 3PL provider like WareIQ, you will be able to make time to focus on other important aspects of your business like brand marketing, launching new products, etc. The job of getting them to your customers is out of your concerns with a trusted partner. WareIQ platform is powered by cutting edge technology that makes it super easy to track and monitor your orders in real-time. Features like smart inventory placement offered by WareIQ can further help your business drive the sales on time at high demand locations. Conclusion The services offered by your 3PL provider play an important role in positioning your brand well among the customers. How your products reach the hands of your customer influences their loyalty. A seamless delivery can prompt them to place repeat orders and give positive reviews/ratings online. As such, choosing the right partner for your business can directly impact your growth. A great fulfilment partner is one that can provide maximum customer satisfaction by meeting their expectations and are very easy to do business with. WareIQ is able to deliver to these benchmarks and provide a robust solution to all your logistic needs.
November 19, 2020