Robust infrastructure in fulfilment crucial for online retail success

Robust infrastructure in fulfilment crucial for online retail success

In light of recent research showing nearly half of online retailers are unhappy with their fulfilment and warehouse operations, a specialist multichannel ecommerce solutions provider claims a robust approach to fulfilment infrastructure and strict adherence to service requirements is the solution to online retailers’ success.

The findings, from the 2017 E-Commerce Fulfilment Report, highlight the need for an improved overall service for online retailers, which are under rising pressure as the growth of the ecommerce sector continues. According to Statista, online retail sales rose from £33.24 billion in 2012 to approximately £60.43 billion in 2016. This year, online retail sales are expected to surpass £67 billion.

Yet as online retail sales grow, so does the expectation from customers to experience a seamless service. Receiving the right product in the right condition and crucially, on time, is therefore paramount. But late deliveries are one of the key areas online retailers are struggling with, as they admit to not always shipping goods on time and subsequently, negatively impacting the customer experience.

Trojan, a leading provider of multichannel etail sales and fulfilment, suggests online sales through marketplaces are the most hostile commerce environments that have ever existed. Online marketplaces have created new benchmarks for customer expectation, where consumers expect merchants to perform every time to the requirements set against listings, which are then confirmed at checkout.

Yet many 3PL (third-party logistics) providers struggle to perform to the set service levels required online. Trojan claims this is because of deficiencies in infrastructure, soft systems, and staff deployment and training. Operations may once have existed where service demands were not as high, but with increasing pressure, non-performance with service requirements can cause huge issues with consumers. This can subsequently feed back to ratings and can result in sellers losing their marketplace stores.

Trojan suggests marketplaces need to be seen as premier shopping destinations – they will not allow any merchants who do not adhere to their strict requirements to continue to sell.

Trojan operates from a purpose built 180,000 sq. ft. facility in Swansea. It has been operating online stores, including eBay and Amazon stores, on behalf of its clients since 2009, supplying products across multiple categories. Major supermarket chains, British retailers and renowned brands such as cosmetics leader L’Oréal, are just some of the organisations using Trojan to manage their fulfilment needs.

The company claims a broken link in the fulfilment chain is often the cause of many problems when it comes to the online selling process. However a robust infrastructure that safeguards the whole fulfilment chain ensures the client and its customers are satisfied.

Clive Murphy, managing director of Trojan, commented:

“Trojan is proficient in operating in the current hostile commerce environments through our solid infrastructure. We entered fulfilment to specifically embrace online sales, and we’re the first company to operate an outlet store on eBay.co.uk. From day one we understood and adhered to the required service levels, and the operations necessary for compliance are hardcoded into Trojan’s DNA.

“Trojan’s soft systems are bespoke, and were specifically designed to ensure we could perform as demanded. System aspects like dynamic order receipt – providing for the automated receipt of orders for many stock sellers from a multitude of sales-channels – are at the core of the operation. The system ensures the right goods are picked and shipped via the right courier, in the right time-frame, with automated confirmations being passed back to consumers, stock owners, and sales channels.

“It’s about maintaining the highest standards. We know what we’re doing and offer so much more than your conventional 3PL, with a true understanding of what is needed to ensure the end user experience for our clients and their customers is second to none.”