Is the e-commerce distribution center still a warehouse or is it a store? How e-commerce has affected logistics industry?
For over a decade, the Polish logistic market has been experiencing intensive development of e-commerce projects. According to the Cushman & Wakefield report, published in June this year, the share of e-commerce projects in the warehouse market in Poland amounts to 24,5% and accounts for 4 million m2 of space. Modern sales models have not only an impact on the development of the warehouse space market, but also on the use of this area from the operational point of view.
The new dimension of the warehouse
E-commerce projects in Poland are still projects based mainly on human resources. Warehouse facilities for e-commerce are characterized by additional solutions in the field of warehouse ergonomics and an extensive social space. Appropriate, the organization of workstations and their continuous improvement, as well as the lighting of the picking and packaging area have a significant impact on quality and performance. Modern warehouse equipment, technological solutions in the form of large and small automation, such as automatic conveyors and autonomous robots, are beginningmore popular, especially in large international logistics projects. Nevertheless, the human aspect of a living logistics organism for e-commerce still remains crucial. In connection with this, more and more emphasis is placed on comfort of work and rest of warehouse employees. Social areas include not only a spacious canteen, locker rooms, parking and bicycle spaces. Relaxation zones equipped with comfortable armchairs, TV sets and food vending machines are becoming a standard. Large stores and online platforms also pay attention to this aspect of work in the warehouse and often enter the emloyer branding activities into the cooperation with logistic service provider. Positive work atmosphere also influence the quality and efficiency of processes.
To some extend the logistic warehouse for online sales enters into the store's role. Whether the product was completed correctly and how it will be packed is of great importance for the given store. Depending on the logistic concept, we can have various operations on the product within the standard warehouse processes, i.e. in storage, picking and handling returns. A good example of this may be the fashion industry, where both the storage, picking and packing of orders requires additional care for the product. The aesthetic arrangement of clothes, labeling, adding information materials or the packaging itself can involve a number of additional activities. Attention to the smallest details of the order is a conscious and well-thought-out operation of an online store aiming at building a brand and achieving a positive customer experience.
The most important is a customer
Shopping experience of individual customers will decide about further purchases in the online store. Perfectly organized logistics of the purchasing platform allows for error-free order processing, a customized delivery and the possibility of free, convenient and quick return of goods. Transparency of the website, well-described and presented products will cease to be reliable in the absence of correctness of picking, damage due to mistakes in picking or late delivery. The online store will suffer the consequences of logistic errors, losing the image and trust of the customers. Flexible logistics allows for dynamic sales development and focuses the store's activities on promotion and marketing, which give the opportunity to build a strong online brand.
Sources: Jak ugryźć e-commerce w magazynie? Cushman & Wakefield 2019