Here’s How London Retailers Are Tapping into the Ship-from-store Revolution
People have always been obsessed with the future. F
Whether that means positioning your business at the forefront of a burgeoning field or simply utilising the latest technology to ensure your e-shop is getting as many hits as possible, everyone would love to have a crystal ball. But alas, just because you want something doesn’t make it possible.
Determined not to let the disappointing realisation of not having a magical business foresight get them down, a growing majority of London boutiques are changing the way they handle online orders, thus allowing them to better compete with online behemoths like Amazon and ASOS.
London boutiques such as W.A. Green and Soda Says are doing this with a brand-new logistics superpower, completely different to traditional 3rd-party order fulfilment. This new method takes up less time, delivers a superior packaged product and handles all communication with carriers on your behalf. But to better understand the significance of this switch, we have to first understand what came before.
The Old Guard
The boutiques in question were originally sole physical stores who sought out expanding their presence online, offering their wares to customers regardless of their location. But with this comes another set of challenges, key among them – how would they fulfil these orders? As a shop owner, doing one or two yourself is more than feasible, but when the numbers begin to soar into the tens and sometimes hundreds, it becomes eminently harder.
Do you employ more staff to handle this side of the business? Do you take your already employed workers away from the shopfront? Or do you outsource the whole lot and have an outside agency take over the process for you? While the last option is probably the most feasible in terms of business growth, it also comes with some drawbacks.
The major flaw with traditional 3rd-party order fulfilment is the fact that it requires you to double your stock overnight. Not only does this bring with it a huge cost, but it also confuses your online orders as you’re not sure which location you’ll need to send the item from. Managing stock across multiple locales makes the whole process that bit more time-consuming.
Additionally, each of your items that gets sold will receive a one-size-fits-all packaging, with no options for bespoke materials. This is usually because a warehouse will be sending multiple products from various companies at the same time, leaving no opportunity for customisation.
This kind of solution is perfect for several types of retailers but not for many others. For example, if you have a huge surplus of stock and need somewhere to store it as well as send it out, this could be a great option. Alternatively, if your items are essentials or non-branded and you sell large quantities, this could also work.
However, if you want something more from your online orders, something with more of a human touch, something with more malleability when it comes to packaging, delivery options and presentation, then this isn’t the way for you.
Many London boutiques were experiencing similar issues but the one that was causing the most problems was that of their products.
Not Quite Twice as Nice
A New Type of Order Fulfilment
In order to stay competitive with online stores while maintaining the same level of standards in-store, lots of London boutiques have begun partnering with a new type of order fulfilment. One which allows you to go about your normal day-to-day as your orders are fulfilled around you for the ultimate convenience.
With this new type of order fulfilment, you still outsource the boring job of packaging and fulfilling the actual orders, reclaiming valuable time in the process, but it also means you don’t have to magically double your stock overnight.
Weengs offer a unique type of order fulfilment which includes a regular collection slot from your business address, professional packing and complete end-to-end delivery with a variety of different couriers.
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Weengs instead of a traditional 3rd-party logistics service, you get:
- Convenient daily pick-ups direct from your shop
- A hassle-free pay-as-you-send model
- Greater control over packaging
- Access to the UK’s biggest carriers