Ecommerce has come a long way since Books.com started taking sales online in 1992, when few people had even heard of the internet. Today, we use our phones to buy anything and everything we desire and expect our purchases to delivered in just 1-2 days. The rate of change has been unprecedented over the last three decades, and as consumers have learned to demand more, retailers have responded by making their processes as efficient as possible to shave hours off the time it takes to get products from their shelves into the hands of their customers.
Small producers and brands are finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace with large efficient retailers and the short times they offer for deliveries, with some places like Amazon offering delivery within 24 hours in many cases. If a small company of one or two people are doing the packing and shipping for their products and then running down to the Post Office before the end of the day, they cannot compete with larger retailers and producers who have teams of people doing the same job.
Luckily, there has been a growing trend for some ecommerce platforms have started to offer their services to smaller brands and producers for a fee, so they can once again compete on a level playing field. These ecommerce order fulfillment services can save small businesses both time and money, as it leaves the storage and delivery up to logistics companies, leaving them free to grow their business, improve their products, and push new sales.
No longer are small businesses left with storing their stock in boxes taking over the sitting room. Now, they can ship these products to a warehouse, and outsource all the storage, packing and delivery, where orders made before 2pm will be shipped on the same day. One in four of us in the UK has a side-hustle, and with advances in these warehouse storage and logistics as a service offerings maybe it’s time for you to launch that clothing brand you’ve always talked about?
Photograph by CDZ