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How ecommerce companies can thrive during times of economic change
Turn on the TV or radio or read the news these days - and chances are it will be filled with grim tales of economic doom, UK recession and the cost-of-living crisis.
British consumers are tightening their purse strings as prices rise at rates that have not been seen in decades.
Retailers might be wondering if the downturn of the UK economy signals the end of the ecommerce boom that gained serious momentum during the pandemic, when shopping habits moved rapidly and predominantly online.
Data from IMRG and Capgemini shows a decline in most ecommerce conversion-related metrics such as ‘checkout’ and ‘payment’. This suggests a more cautious customer who is browsing as much as they used to… but not as inclined to spend their money. European ecommerce revenue has seen a 13% decrease during recent times.
Ecommerce companies need to design strategies in order to cope with economic turmoil.
Riding an economic rollercoaster
Fullers Fulfilment has been providing high quality, multichannel, end-to-end fulfilment services to retailers from a wide range of sectors since the 1960s, so we’ve witnessed a few economic ups and downs. We’ve helped D2C and B2B businesses navigate good times and bad with scalable, flexible, outsourced 3PL solutions.
Here are a few approaches you might find useful if you are an ecommerce business leader who is looking for ways to evolve your business in the face of economic uncertainty…
Outsource fulfilment and 3PL to improve efficiencies and cut costs
As revenue and profit fluctuates, every company will need to monitor budgets and adjust costs. You might think that keeping 3PL and fulfilment in-house is the most efficient and cost-effective option. However, outsourcing your fulfilment to an external provider such as Fullers could actually save you money.
Pick, pack, and dispatch happens faster. Our fulfilment professionals automatically pick orders same day for next day delivery so your customers get their goods sooner. With all the other commitments of running a business, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to match that timeframe and satisfy their expectations yourself without some costly overheads.
By outsourcing the storage of your products to a specialist such as Fullers, you can also relax knowing that your number one asset – your stock – is safe in our ambient warehouse conditions. Minimise the need to write off or waste expired or damaged stock thanks to our rigorous stock rotation and batch control process, along with careful stock movement.
Fullers Fulfilment also links up with the UK’s leading and most trusted worldwide couriers, including Royal Mail, DPD, DHL, Evri and others. We’ll partner with your preferred courier to get the best delivery rates to your destinations.
Keep investing in ecommerce technology
In uncertain times, it’s not unusual for businesses to put a freeze on new investment. Yet, technology is improving all the time and can offer your business many cost-effective solutions and automations. Most companies will cut their tech spend and generally de-invest, so companies who maintain or increase it will gain a competitive advantage.
Popular ecommerce platforms used by retailers are Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. Be sure to keep up to date with ecommerce innovations as they happen and learn how they can support your business. Whatever ecommerce website you’ve chosen, Fullers can integrate our Warehouse Management System (WMS) with it.
Real time visibility of stock levels will help you manage supply in line with demand, so that you don’t under- or over-order goods that don’t sell. Apply relevant discounts and promotions to stock you want to shift and we’ll take care of picking and packing bundles and deals.
We’ll email you reports to offer you vital intelligence on your orders. Technology will be your best friend when it comes to getting the insight you need to empower your business strategy during challenging times – so keep it up to date.
Understand buying habits and speak to value-conscious customers
High inflation means your ecommerce business is at risk of losing some customers to other cheaper brands. On the flipside, changing budgets could bring a few new customers your way too. Do your market research and get analytics to help you trial campaigns targeting new consumer segments, helping balance (or even improve on) your previous success.
Find ways to promote the value of your products to savvy shoppers. Will your product last longer than that of a competing brand? Explain why. Validate the purchase by focusing on the unique performance, style, versatility and sustainability features your product offers.
The fulfilment experts at Fullers can help you add value by creating a more meaningful customer journey and impressive unboxing experience (hello, social media shares) with bespoke packaging, personalisation, complementary samples and gifts, vouchers and coupons. We can also include marketing collateral to cross-promote other products your customers might buy in future.
Last but definitely not least, think about your returns. An inconvenient returns process that costs the customer time and money will not encourage repeat business. We can take care of all your returns and accommodate a hassle-free, printer-less returns process that encourages people to order from you again.
Nobody can predict the twists and turns of the economy but a scalable fulfilment partnership with Fullers Fulfilment can help you adapt to changes in smart ways. To find out more about the benefits of outsourcing your fulfilment, contact us today.
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