Contemporary retail sales take place online, in omnichannel and with a growing share of mobile technologies. Bricks-and-mortar stores are giving way to global online stores and market places such as Amazon and Aliexpres. Social media entered the lives of consumers using the potential of interpersonal relationships to promote products. The world of online shopping has entered the era of Voice Assistant, personalization, marketing automation and data analysis. Polish e-commerce is on the 13th place in the list of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world.
Our country is at the forefront when it comes to using modern forms of payment and banking technologies. On the European scale, we are on the 5th place of payments using wearables (dressed devices such as smart watches or fitness bands). It is also worth mentioning here that the domestic banking sector is one of the most innovative
in the world, and Polish banking clients are quickly adapting technological innovations in finance. Over the past years, there has also been a dynamic development of the widely understood e-commerce industry which has also significantly affected the landscape of logistics services and changed it forever. Well-known global brands
and online sales platforms locate logistics centres and return service centres in Poland due to attractive employment costs, availability of space and resources,as well as a location enabling distribution in the region. Last mile logistics also follows "fast and furious" e-commerce. We can choose here in many options such as a courier delivery, pickup in parcel machines and in PUDO points. Pick up drop off (PUDO) are places that we regularly visit, such as a grocery store, gas station or press stores. A new solution that has recently entered the market is the option of a free delivery as part of sales platform subscriptions – here is the example of the domestic AllegroSmart. Sales have no boundaries, it is not associated with a specific place and time, it happens constantly, but reliable logistics is necessary for complete happines.
The success of an online shop is a good product, an efficient IT platform for online sales and reliable customer service. The Global e-commerce Logistics Market 2018 report also indicates the key role of logistics in e-commerce which is the fulfillment of orders. E-commerce logistics requires from the operator: a non-standard approach, perfect realization and high flexibility. Fulfillment is a broadly understood as outsourcing of logistics services such as storage, packaging of individual and business clients' orders, shipping, courier delivery and returns service. The fulfillment services also include a number of value added services, including proper packing of goods,personalization of orders, adding an invoice and a thank you letter for shopping and much more. Online sales are associated with unpredictable increases and high seasonality, which is a challenge for every online store. Handling sales peaks requires not only proper, several months of preparation, but above all experience that has been gained for years. Developing resource management procedures, organizing temporary employees, or reorganizing the warehouse space require time and commitment. In addition to a perfectly organized ERP system for e-commerce and reliable information flow in the implementation of online orders, we are dealing with the physical aspect of the process. Storage, order picking, packaging and other manual operations take place in a logistics warehouse. Smaller stores implement this process within their own resources. Large stores and online sales platforms outsource fulfillment services to specialized service providers of this type. The external operator has both experience, developed procedures and resources, that can be used in sales peaks and allow full flexibility while maintaining high quality of order procesing. It does not matter to the customer whether the warehouse is going through a period of increased sales. The customer expects the highest
quality, no mistakes and efficient returns service regardless of whether it is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Chinese shopping festival or December Christmas shopping
Logistics for e-commerce varies depending on the scale of the project and the products offered. Material flows in the fashion industry look different, which is characterized by seasonality resulting from the change of seasons, as well as high peaks during the holidays and sales, and different in the online sale of furniture or the DIY industry. In each process, efficiency and cost optimization are essential. Automation and the use of modern technologies are the way to achieve satisfactory results. However, the use of automation must be cost effective and adapted to the actual needs of the client. As long as employee employment is possible and labour costs are lower than technological solutions, advanced process automation in e-commerce logistics will have a limited use. Online sales are characterized by high unpredictability, and the organic development of projects year by year achieves surprising results which is difficult to predict how a given project will develope in the perspective of the next few years. One thing is certain, without efficient e-commerce logistics and well-organized customer service, the so-called positive customer experience in online sales cannot be achieved. In the traditional sales channel, the store had a direct contact with the customer, currently the impact on this relationship is limited. That is why the role of logistics for e-commerce is becoming so important.