Supply Chain: Online vs Offline Retail

When your brand enters the e-commerce market, simply integrating e-commerce into your existing supply chain for your retail stores seems like a great idea. Why separate e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores supply chain when you can just add the new responsibilities to existing teams? There won’t be much difference between e-commerce and offline stores supply chain so everything will go smoothly, right?

Except it won’t. Because e-commerce and retail stores supply chain are too different to be merged.

Different Customer Behaviour

E-Commerce Supply Chain

E-Commerce Supply Chain

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In e-commerce, after the customers pay, the order needs to be processed by the online store management team, who forward the order form to the logistic team. The logistic team needs to pick each product from the warehouse and pack the product individually, before sending them to the customers.

Supply Chain for Offline Retail Store

Supply Chain for Offline Retail Store

Picture by Southwest Tech

Meanwhile, in brick-and-mortar supply chain, brand’s distributor logistics and warehouse team manages products in bulk, by one batch fulfillment to retail stores. Each store then provides the products to end customers.

E-commerce supply chain requires more personalized effort to process each order. Consequently, more people and budget are needed to ensure each product is received by its respective end consumer. Considering e-commerce supply chain steps are different from brick-and-mortar stores, simply adding e-commerce to your brick-and-mortar supply chain – treating online store like a new offline store – is not only ineffective, it just will not work.

However, creating e-commerce supply chain and managing the process by yourself is a lot of work, not to mention the expertise needed to manage the logistics and warehouse for e-commerce is not completely similar to the ones needed to manage offline store’s logistics.

But you don’t have to do everything by yourself – you can hire e-commerce enabler. Specializing in helping brands entering e-commerce market – from setting up your official branded store in any marketplace of your choice, negotiating the best deals for you with each platform, managing the end-to-end process from product listing to customer service, to providing logistics and warehouse service – e-commerce enabler boosts your online brand presence and improves your sales. E-commerce enabler also helps you excel in the most important aspect of online retail: delivering satisfying customer experience.

Customer Expectation

Customer Expectation

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The benefits of working with e-commerce enabler includes having professional customer experience team to answer any inquiries and provide any support your customers require in timely manner. This can give you significant competitive advantage over your competitors, as half of respondents in 2018 Boston Consulting Group survey said their top concern is customer service.

The Faster You Deliver, The Happier Your Customers Are

Fast Delivery Makes Happy Customers

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Another advantage you get by hiring e-commerce enabler is quick order processing time – from the moment the order is placed until the product is received by the customer – because you will have a dedicated team of experienced experts to manage your brand’s flagship store. As simple as it sounds, faster service means better customer experience, which will result in higher ratings and reviews, attracting potential customers and influencing their buying decision.

SCI eCommerce

SCI eCommerce is an experienced high end e-commerce enabler and e-distributor company, with Singapore-based HQ and offices in Southeast Asia.

Adopting high-performance marketing concept and best management practices, SCI has helped brands including Unilever, Abbott, Midea, Oppo, Nestle, Vinda, and Danone successfully penetrate through Southeast Asia and CBEC e-commerce market.

Discover more about SCI eCommerce and our services here.