SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES IN E-COMMERCE:
 
Today costumers seems to be tired of crowded marts, long checkout line, infuriating road traffic and all the interrelated shopping hassles. Have you ever wondered how better a shopping idea could be if only these hassles are eliminated with some clicks ! In today’s world customer prefers to switch to the best option with least effort therefore the best option for such customers is online shopping.

As we all are aware that it’s the end of year and thus the shopping season would soon be at its full bloom, So attention online retailers a great opportunity is again at your door step to attract more costumers this season with some easy n handy tactics. Here on this blog I would be sharing some of the useful tips that would make your costumer go for your site every time he feels the need to shop.

SUPPLY AND LOGISTIC CONSTRAINTS WITH E -RETAILERS
There are orders from metro cities and also from far off places. Increase in supply of products and lack of logistics in far off places can be a challenge for e-retailers. Few e-retailers have their own logistics network for intra-city and rely on third party services for inter-city. Others depend totally upon Third Party Service Providers (TPSP). Having warehouse at all places is also not cost effective solution. TPSP mostly use surface network to deliver the goods as this is the choice provided by e-retailers to keep their distribution cost low. Utilizing air network for delivery would be more costly. The challenge for e-retailer is to provide timely delivery at far off places.

Each TPSP have their own strength based on their delivery network and serviceable locations. Some pin codes can only be serviced by few TPSP. It would make sense for the e-retailer to tie up with 3 or 4 service provider based on his serviceable location pin code. E-retailers can carry out a one to one mapping for pin-code and service providers, which would be unique. Hence when the customer places the orders, based on his address pin-code automatically a delivery request will be directed to the concerned TPSP. Customer could eventually track their orders in third party service provider’s website by providing the Way Bill number or Order number.

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT:
Online customers are target oriented shoppers. If they don’t find what they are looking for they would immediately switch to another website. E-retailers tie up with different distributors to make sure they can get stock of products when they require. There is high value items for which the demand is unpredictable. It would be highly unlikely e-retailers would order high value items in bulk from supplier and stock at their warehouse. In such cases they keep only limited stock of high value items or in some cases no stock and tie up with distributors/ vendors to have stock, so that if high value item orders are placed it can be fulfilled on time. The challenge arises when the regular distributors or supplier does not have the stock, and it has to be arranged from other distributors. 
There must be forecasting done for each of the products. Based on this e-retailers can have at least minimum stock maintained at distributors to avoid stock out situation.

SUPPLIER SOURCE IDENTIFICATION:
If you are setting up an e-commerce business, you probably have some thoughts on sourcing. Even if that is not the case, you could start by reading trade magazines to find companies manufacturing products you are interested in. You could also attend the relevant trade shows. You could also contact trade organizations that are associated with the products you want to deal in, making valuable contact with their members. In fact, these organizations aim to connect manufacturers and retailers, even if they are from different countries. It is not difficult to locate relevant associations. You could simply look up a directory of trade associations.

Sourcing Directly From Manufacturers Is Desirable But Difficult for Small Players
A manufacturer usually does not want to fuss with small retailers. Wholesalers have a sales force, and resources, in place specifically for distributing the products to e-commerce businesses that will retail the products. Also, the manufacturer wants to sell very large quantities that are usually beyond the reach of smaller e-commerce players. If a manufacturer is willing to work directly with you, it is most likely because they are too small of a fish to catch the attention of wholesale distributors. They cannot keep up with volume demands and need to live life in the slow lane. The risk is that they will not be able to provide you with product every time you need it.

PRODUCT REVIEWS:
Since we know that word of mouth has been playing as a great advocate for any of your market product therefore keeping a room for costumer reviews on your page about your service, product quality and order delivery will definitely make your those costumers motivated who are still confused whether to buy a certain product or not. Allowing your customers to review products they’ve bought lets them express how they felt about the overall experience and the product itself is the perfect way to get your products validated by a third party.

PICTURE QUALITY OF YOUR PRODUCT
When buying a product online we want to make sure about all the related features we are looking for in a product and its quality, therefore adding a quality picture from a profession camera or a smart phone with HD results would definitely help your costumer to make a mind of that product appearance, therefore a nice and clear image with all the angles would be an edge for your product sale. For more information about taking quality shots, CNET suggests the following: 
 
• Clean your lens 
• Shot with lots of light available 
• Try different angles 
• Increase your resolution 
• Check out specialty shooting modes 
• Get help from apps (my personal favorite is Camera+ on iOS)

TRENDING OR RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS:
Previewing recommendations and trending product will help your costumers to broaden his option list, therefore suggesting some product based on your clients interest at the end will make a chance for another product purchase for example a costumer is buying a pair of heels from your page while he is making a click for details make an auto recommendation for a matching bag, you never know that he might be looking for a bag already from other page. If its so he will purchase bag as well. Therefore recommendation plays a handy role for you product sale.

EXCELLENT PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
 Describing your product completely is the moat essential tool for your sale, describe each and every part of your product including its size, color, most importantly price, weight and every thing that is important for your product therefore there is no ambiguity left in your costumers mind about its purchase. All you have to do is to focus on product benefits, avoid any jargons or in other words make it as simple as possible, add its USP, use motivating language for describing your product.

CONVENIENT PAYMENT AND CHECKOUT OPTIONS:
Your checkout page is the final stop on people’s shopping journey. And one of the best ways to increase conversions and sales is to make it hilariously easy for folks to pay you. After all, it’s the place where visitor finally become your customers. To help make your payment process as easy and simple as possible, follow these six tips: 
• Have several payment methods available 
• Don’t force people to sign up 
• Make sure your checkout page matches the rest of your store 
• Don’t redirect people 
• Make errors easy to fix 
• Don’t ask for unnecessary information

CUSTOMER SERVICE
Simply a customer is not only one time job the major emphasis when selling a product is to make your customer as happy that he will always go for your name when it comes to shop therefore Providing customer support, valuing their feedback, and providing them all access to negotiate about there product will make you to approach a never losing customer therefore customer support is a key to your after sale service word of mouth. 
Once you have applied these simple six strategies to your online shop you will be watching an improved sale and attracted costumers on your page. Let these spells work on your E-business to make their way toward success!

Happy shopping season to you!!