Although e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment in Central America are gradually becoming more than just alternative and complementary sales channels, it cannot yet be said that full maturity has been reached. This method of distribution must continue to be gradually refined and improved.
The component parts that make up e-Commerce in Central America, such as a website, a store, payment media integration, and digital marketing mechanisms, are all showing good performance. However, the same must be ensured during the post-purchase process. This is the process related to the preparation and dispatch of what the customer has acquired. This process is called e-Fulfillment.
In e-Commerce, customer expectations and concerns are different from those related to traditional channels of commerce, so effective e-Fulfillment in Central America is extremely important.
The key elements of e-Commerce success are logistics and distribution. It would be correct to say that e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment in Central America would not be possible without logistics and transportation provided by companies such as the Central American Group’s Loginter.
Logistics keys in e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment in Central America
Within logistics and transportation, what surrounds the distribution “in the last mile” is of particular importance. This is the part of the process that is related to urban distribution. This is where the battle of e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment success or failure is currently being played out.
The exponential growth of this sales channel, with an increase of 23% per year worldwide, makes the urban distribution of goods vitally important for the future of this mode of commerce. It should not be forgotten that customer service remains one of the most critical differentiating elements when it comes to offering a good e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment service in Central America.
e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment logistics are composed of three pillars:
- Fulfillment or logistics. The area in which a business stores and prepare orders. This is an especially important link in the overall process of e-Commerce.
- Delivery or Last Mile Distribution. This pillar of e-Commerce contains several different modalities.
- Customer Care. This is another crucial part of the ecosystem for e-Commerce and e-Fulfillment services in Central America
These three pillars are the key elements in the online shopping experience. If the customer makes a positive assessment of each of these three component parts of the buyer experience, the making of a repeat customer will be a high probability.
Fulfillment must meet the customer’s expectations, requirements, and desires. Order fulfillment must be completely efficient For this to be the result, it is necessary to consider a working methodology that ensures consumer satisfaction, based on a service where punctuality and accuracy in the delivery of the product are viewed as fundamentally important factors.
Every organization must coordinate a series of supply chain activities ranging from interactions with its suppliers to relations with its customers, with the aim of improving its service, reducing its costs, and increasing its profitability.
While information technologies play an extremely important role throughout the supply chain, this document focuses primarily on the part of the process related to the operation between company and customer – the final user.
To make the e-Fulfillment services in Central America optimal, there are a number of key elements that should be considered:
o Rapidity: products must be delivered on time on all occasions to ensure customer satisfaction.
o Accuracy: the exact product must be delivered under the conditions that it was offered.
o Scalability: Speed and accuracy must be maintained as business volumes increase, even on specific holidays and occasions, such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Child’s Day, cyber days, etc.
o Service: The customer must be informed. follow up on orders receive must receive feedback, and must ensure satisfaction levels, (including return and refund options).
E-Fulfillment services in Central America consist of different stages, policies, and well-defined processes for the conduct of e-Commerce:
o The customer makes the purchase on a website: This includes messages to customers and payment processing.
o The vendor receives the order: There is “picking” and “packing,” according to a determined distribution model.
o Shipping: This includes the collection of the products that have been requested.
o Tracking: In addition to visibility, this part of the process contains provisions for returns (reverse logistics) and customer feedback.
Currently, in many developed countries, the standard for all last-mile distribution companies in a conventional 24-hour service is that 2 to 3 deliveries, out of 10, are failed, i.e. “success on the first attempt” is registered around 75% to 80% of the time. In Central America, companies such as the Central American Group’s Loginter are working hard to meet or exceed these numbers.
B2C delivery is made at purchaser homes. Some problems that this can pose in cities include parking restrictions, buildings without elevators, time restrictions, and traffic congestion. Despite these obstacles, however, customers expect the products that they have purchased to arrive on time.
Additionally, some customers do not see logistics expense as a part of the cost structure of e-Fulfillment services in Central America. Furthermore, some websites confuse the customer with the term “free shipping” by giving the purchaser the idea that everything in the background (fulfillment and distribution) is free and does not have a related cost. This is not the case, however. All of this has a cost and a retailer that offers free shipping is, in effect, assuming it
Delivery modes in eCommerce
Push Model: It is a logistics company such as the Central American Group’s member company, Loginter, that pushes the package or product to the final consumer and makes delivery to the buyer’s home. The standard delivery service is 48 to 72 hours for e-fulfillment services in Central America.
In this type of order, the customer expects there to be no associated cost. Or if the purchase is greater than a certain amount, there will also be no shipping costs. All logistics companies have this service, which may have the following alternatives:
o AM or PM, in which the made in the morning or afternoon. In this way, the customer has expanded choice.
o Time frames, such as between 2 pm and 4 pm; or on Saturday or Sunday.
o After work services are services generally offered only for the most important cities.
Pull Model– The other mode of delivery is to convenience points, which are called drop points or pick up drop off (PUDO). It is the option in which there is a request that the order be delivered to the customer somewhere for some reason concerning location, schedule, or other preference that may suit the buyer.
Among the main reasons why online purchases are made are two factors that have to do with logistics:
o Shipping costs
o Delivery time
If the customer has a good experience in these areas, there is a significant possibility that he or she will become a repeat buyer.
When a customer comes back for a follow-up purchase, Loginter gets its machinery back up and running and the retailer sells more through its e-fulfillment services in Central America. This action represents part of a positive feedback loop, which benefits all the links in the chain of commerce: the seller, the logistics company, and the buyer.