Polish e-commerce is not going to slow down. According to the latest data from the Statista Digital Market Outlook report, domestic e-commerce is ranked 13th in the ranking of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world. Forecasts for 2019 indicate an increase to PLN 50 billion. The golden age of e-commerce is still going on, but as you know, nothing lasts forever. Market participants need to be aware that at some point the online market will become saturated and the competition will be even bigger. The future begins today, so let us think about what influences the loyalty of customers in online sales?
The success of the e-store depends on a good product, an effective online sales platform and an excellent customer service. The product, its price, quality or uniqueness constitute the offer of a given store. Promotion, efficient marketing and multi-channel sales opportunities make the store attractive. The online store engine itself is very important. A friendly store minimises the customer's effort. Purchases without logging in, unnecessary effort to search for information about the product and the possibility of contacting the store within several channels (mail, phone, chat) also have an impact on the customer willing to make purchases, not abandon the shopping basket and return in the future. Customer service during the entire online sales process turns out to be particularly important for building customer experience, the image of the store, and the loyalty of its customers. The comfort of communication with the store, the speed of its response to the customer's problem, as well as the post-sales service and quick return process are absolutely necessary. The report "Global e-commerce Logistics Market 2018" confirms the key role of logistics in e-commerce. To maintain competitiveness it is necessary to keep high quality of orders preparation, as well as have well-organised logistics of returns. In addition to the convenience of shopping at home, online sales provide a guarantee that the purchased products will be properly packed and delivered to the indicated place at the right time. The customer should also have the possibility to return the purchased goods quickly and easily.
The customer of the online store sees an attractive online store website with a beautifully displayed and described commodity and is not aware of how much must happen to get his order. The foundation of the online store's success is a reliable fulfillment of orders. E-commerce logistics requires from the operator: a non-standard approach, faultless implementation and great flexibility. Fulfillment is the broadly understood as outsourcing of logistics services such as warehousing, preparation of orders for individual and business customers, shipping, courier delivery and returns handling. The fulfillment services are also value-added services including, among others special packaging of goods, personalization of orders, adding an invoice and letters with wishes and many more. Online sales are associated with unpredictable increases and high seasonality, which is a challenge for online stores. Handling sales peaks requires not only adequate, several months of preparation, but above all, an experience that is gained over the years. Establishing resource management procedures, organising temporary employees, or reorganizing space in a warehouse requires time and commitment.
The customer who is buying from the online store and deciding about a particular product runs a logistic machine, which ultimately is supposed to cause that his order will arrive on time and include exactly what he expects. In addition to the perfectly organised ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system for e-commerce and the reliable flow of information in the realization of online orders, we are dealing with the physical aspect of the process. Storage, picking, packing and other manual operations are carried out in a logistics warehouse. Smaller stores implement this process within their own resources. Large stores and online sales platforms delegate services to specialized suppliers of this type. The external operator has experience, developed procedures and resources, which in relation to sales peaks give full flexibility while maintaining high quality of orders. For the customer, it does not matter if the store experiences a period of increased sales. The customer expects the highest quality, without mistakes and efficient handling of returns, regardless of whether it is Black Friday, Cyber Monday or shopping fever before Christmas.
In conclusion, without efficient logistics of e-commerce and well-organized customer service, it is impossible to build a positive customer experience in online sales. In the traditional sales channel the store had direct contact with the client, currently the impact on this relationship is limited. This is the reason why the role of logistics in e-commerce continues to grain importance in 2019 and beyond.