With the consumer push for sustainable logistics, how are DTC brands rethinking order fulfilment?

The customer simply desires sustainable logistics.

Better planning for how boxes are packed and delivered ought to be a primary focus of any order fulfillment operation, even though many businesses only have time to focus on getting boxes out the door right now. This is to support the rapid changes that will occur in the coming years.

We should take a gander at why this is, and how a versatile, adaptable order fulfilment solution, like WMS System, lifts your capacity to follow through on these impending changes.

The trigger: unprecedented speeds of delivery 

Early adopter ecommerce customers were characterized as cash-rich but time-poor. They were thought to be looking for new products that had just come on the market and wanted them as soon as possible.

Leading Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) operators began targeting next-day and even same-day deliveries as a means of meeting this demand.

Fulfillment of DTC orders: connecting with the environmentally conscious customer 

Over time, however, that growing community of ecommerce buyers has included an increasing number of environmentally conscious customers who are aware of and sensitive to the effects that their orders have on the supply chain and delivery.

Sustainable logistics ought to be a fundamental part of any DTC ecommerce order fulfillment program right now.

Confined obtaining, planned conveyances, and request pooling

An example of this is the idea of “food miles”, with buyers progressively favoring local items that don’t need out-of-season products to be flown in all year.

They are also aware of the possibility of establishing ordering patterns that send a number of nearly empty delivery vans to the same location.

Customers of today favor, for instance, click-and-collect order fulfillment options, which permit pick-up to coincide with trips that have already been planned. 

In any event, they’re searching for planned conveyance to stay away from missed drops. Also, when it’s possible, combine sources and other local customers for those to-be-bundled orders in more effective delivery routes.

Options with zero emissions and sustainable logistics 

The local government has increasingly recognized the need to actively participate in the establishment of ultra-low emission zones in urban areas. The effect is that shippers will need to think about using zero-emission final-leg delivery options.

The implication of this is that the customer offer for direct-to-consumer service providers—whether they are manufacturers, retailers, marketplaces, shopping malls, or micro-fulfillment centers—must include the option of quick delivery methods that are also environmentally friendly.

What about all of those boxes made of cardboard? There are numerous articles suggesting that Amazon is now synonymous with “shipping air” and its direct effects. The difficulty of managing cardboard waste is real for customers.

Cartonization, or automatically selecting the smallest appropriate packaging, and order fulfillment technologies that enable you to offer sustainable packaging options are smart moves for DTC brands that want to connect with and build lasting relationships with their customers.

Fast delivery is no longer the only thing that matters

The fulfillment approach needs to recognize that immediate delivery is not the default. A variety of carrier options must be taken into consideration in order to identify the most cost-effective and suitable option for the customer.

Furthermore, in order for the packaging strategy to be considered “best fit,” it needs to be practical for the service provider in terms of lowering shipping costs.

In a recent survey of shoppers and retailers, DigitalCommerce 360 found that 41% of retailers viewed shipping costs as their top concern in 2022, and a third of them viewed this as a concern that would persist into 2023.

The evaluation of everything: it’s time to automate!

DTC brands that wish to expand will have no choice but to rely on technology to handle the load as volumes continue to rise and consumers demand sustainable logistics. 

Many people are looking into order management and DOM solutions with specific automation features like rate shopping and built-in shipping.

The best solutions will integrate directly with parcel and local carriers and have in-house capabilities for multi-carrier rate shopping. This makes it very simple to compare shipping rates, make labels, connect to billing systems and tasks, and provide complete real-time tracking and documentation.

Additionally, by continuously optimizing your operations, these order fulfillment solutions enable you to save a significant amount of money. For instance, the system can show packers which box size to use and automatically calculate the dimensions of the box. System-directed workflows show your employees how to combine multiple orders going to the same location and where it’s possible to ship all of the goods in a single box.

Work order management, custom label/packing slip generation by customer or trading partner, and EDI integration are all supported by these solutions without the need for spreadsheets or manual analysis. which also virtually eliminates human error, leading to significant enhancements in order accuracy and customer contentment.

Technology offers alternatives; options empower your brand 

Customers are expecting a more active, informed, and involved role from their order fulfillment providers. They would like to be able to specify the delivery’s parameters and then choose from costed options. They would also like to be aware of the impact of requesting sustainable logistics options.

Brands are becoming more aware of how their operating values are perceived by customers. Brands need to take control of the options for order fulfillment and delivery as the market moves inexorably toward a greater proportion of sales through direct-to-consumer (DTC) and ecommerce channels.

This empowers both effective and productive activities, as well as fundamentally furnishing their clients with the norms they anticipate from the brand.

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