How to Successfully Navigate the Canadian eCommerce Logistical Landscape as a Startup
Starting your own eCommerce business is an exciting, albeit sometimes overwhelming, time for an entrepreneur. It’s a new beginning, filled with passion and hopes for what could be a very lucrative future.
According to Statista, the market volume of the Canadian eCommerce market is projected to be $118.20 billion by 2027, which means the potential for success is greater than ever.
However, such massive growth in the Canadian eCommerce industry brings a lot of tough competition and hurdles to overcome. As your Canadian eCommerce startup grows, this begs the question: What can your brand do to achieve higher efficiency, lower overhead costs and more satisfied customers ready to become repeat buyers?
While others offer advice on improving your website, the pros of investing in social media marketing, and where to find financial investors, one key component they forget to mention is logistics!
McKenna Logistics works closely with eCommerce businesses on a daily basis to help them navigate the Canadian logistics and warehousing industry. With our years of experience and expertise, we have put together a few tips and tricks to help Canadian eCommerce startups that are on the rise handle their online business logistics.
eCommerce Startup Tip #1: Be Prepared to Handle Returns with Reverse Logistics
When running a Canadian eCommerce startup, it quickly becomes apparent just how vital it is to have a reverse logistics (returns management) plan.
30 to 40% of customers will return an item when shopping online compared to only 9% with brick-and-mortar stores. This is a big deal, considering the negative financial impact returns can have on an eCommerce startup that already has thin profit margins as it is.
Reverse logistics helps to simplify a company’s returns process and identify ways to reuse or resell products that would typically just go to waste. Returned items are documented, tracked and sent to the correct location to be dealt with appropriately.
Besides providing a way to prevent money from being lost, reverse logistics also come with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. Any items that can’t be resold or recycled will be disposed of safely and properly.
Learn more about how McKenna Logistics can handle your eCommerce startup’s reverse logistics.
eCommerce Startup Tip #2: Find Warehouse Partners to Store Finished Goods Near Your Target Market
Location, location, location! This isn’t just an important factor when buying a house; it also matters when choosing the right warehouse partner for your business.
Customers’ expectations regarding shopping online and shipping times have changed dramatically in today’s digital world. Thanks to eCommerce titans such as Amazon, two-day free shipping has become the norm and a requirement for many.
Researching and understanding where most of your core demographic resides can be highly beneficial. With this information, a business can select the right logistics partner to manage and store their finished goods based on their warehousing locations.
Choosing to store your goods in strategically placed warehouses gives your startup a competitive advantage, as products can make it to the consumer much more quickly.
eCommerce Startup Tip #3: Optimize Last-Mile Delivery
Last-mile delivery is the final step in the delivery process and directly affects the customer experience. Failure to pay attention to this step in the logistics process can be detrimental to consumers’ first impression of your Canadian eCommerce startup.
It’s essential to evaluate what is and isn’t working currently to create the best last-mile delivery operation possible. Using analytics and technology used by third party logistics (3PL) companies can help you determine the most efficient routes, automate processes and find gaps in your overall performance.
Pay attention to what other competitors in your industry are doing and find ways to do it better. Should you offer various options for delivery, push the consumer towards the most cost-effective one for your business.
With that in mind, it’s always good to prepare for unexpected events such as bad weather or heavy traffic with contingency plans. When in doubt, always communicate with your customer and manage expectations. Being honest about delays in delivery times will keep the consumer in the loop and build a level of trust with your brand.
Learn more about McKenna’s effective order fulfillment and delivery solutions available for Canadian eCommerce startups.
eCommerce Startup Tip #4: Maintain Visibility with Inventory Management
In the early days of operating a Canadian eCommerce startup, keeping track of your business’s inventory is not such a big issue. However, managing inventory becomes much more difficult as your company begins to scale and grow.
Investing in inventory management is important to maintain the same level of control and visibility over your stock. Third party logistics companies offer systems with up-to-the-minute inventory tracking from manufacturing to delivery.
As an eCommerce business, you’ll always know how much stock is available without needing to visit the warehouse in person. When items are running low, automated alerts ensure you have time to order more products before they sell out.
Not only that, but inventory management systems provide valuable analytics that can help forecast demands and guide business decisions. This can be incredibly useful for newer businesses lacking historical data to decide what move to make next.
Discover how your Canadian startup can leverage McKenna’s Inventory Management System.
eCommerce Startup Tip #5: Outsource Your Canadian eCommerce Logistics to a 3PL
Trying to do everything alone can be tempting for a startup. However, it’s more valuable to spend your time and energy on what you do best, which is running your business. That’s why partnering with third party logistics experts is the secret to success!
A good 3PL like McKenna Logistics will work with you as your business expands! When you’ve grown beyond your ability to fulfill orders out of your home or garage, or you want to expand into the Canadian market from your own country, contact McKenna, and we would be happy to provide our expertise and customized solutions.
We offer the ability to scale, providing more warehouse space and the resources to handle day-to-day operations so you can focus on the other core competencies of your business.
Contact us to explore a logistics partnership today!