E-Fulfillment Strategies for E-commerce
Satish Jindel • Air Cargo World
E-commerce, e-business, e-tailing, whatever “e” you want to call it, Internet merchandising is booming. However, as Internet-based businesses are learning, once the sale has been made, the work has just begun. “Putting up a Web site is fine, but let’s not forget the real work starts, when you’ve taken the order,” says Srikant Srinivasan chief executive of online toy store KBkids. . “You have to make sure the order gets there, gets there in good shape and gets there quickly.” The lesson for the “e” merchants is that e-commerce begins, ends, lives or dies with e-fulfillment.
The recent peak buying and shipping season showed that fulfillment – the business of getting goods from manufacturers and merchants to consumers – was something that many e-tailers failed to consider. Hence, the countless horror stories of online businesses unable to deliver on orders. E-fulfillment has spawned an entire industry itself and, in fact, must be an integral part of any e-commerce plan. For logistics companies, this awakening marks new opportunity. Logistics firms such as the new UPS e-Ventures, GATX Logistics and ASD Systems are seeking to take the headache of e-fulfillment away from e-tailers – for a fee…