Think about the amount of work that goes into your domestic e-commerce. You have to know all of the state regulations and how they change state to state, know tax regulations, and know restrictions on merchandise. Now imagine doubling, tripling—on and on—for switching to international e-commerce. Every country will have its own set of regulations and restrictions, so there’s a lot of homework to do before expanding to international e-commerce.
Reverse logistics are often an animal that no company particularly wants to handle, but for anyone in ecommerce, it’s necessary. No matter how efficient you are at picking the correct items, packaging well, and shipping, there will always be customers who decide to return an item for one reason or another. And reverse logistics aren’t necessarily cheap. They’re an added cost that must be factored in to ecommerce budgets.
Amazon already towers over all other providers when it comes to the B2C side of distribution, but now it’s making further strides to monopolize and become the world’s largest 3PL for B2B. Should you, as a business owner, be leery of that kind of relationship and involvement? How do you know if working with Amazon for order fulfillment is the right choice for you, or if their growth limits your specific needs?
You never want a product showing up damaged to your customer’s door, but it’s sometimes a reality of ecommerce. Whether it’s a clumsy delivery person dropping the package or a parcel delivery company’s machine flipping it in a way it shouldn’t be, damage happens. But, of course, there are ways to prevent against damage: namely, the packing materials you or your 3PL partner uses. Do you know what’s going in the box?