Optimising eCommerce Logistics: A Step-By-Step Guide

May 14, 2024
16 min read

After a successful marketing blitz, your online store is experiencing a surge in sales, pushing your operational capabilities to their limits. The influx of purchases demands not just more inventory but a robust fulfilment system to manage this growth without compromising customer satisfaction. 

The challenge now lies in maintaining a timely and efficient eCommerce supply chain and managing the burgeoning order volume without sacrificing quality. This scenario underscores the critical role of efficient logistics in scaling operations seamlessly. 

This article explores the essentials of eCommerce logistics, highlighting benefits, challenges, and best practices to ensure your logistics processes support rather than hinder your business expansion.

What Is eCommerce Logistics?

In simplest words, eCommerce logistics refers to the comprehensive framework and techniques needed to ensure the uninterrupted flow of goods from online retailers to buyers. It encapsulates everything from the initial online purchase to the final delivery at the customer's doorstep. 

This intricate system is built on the seamless integration of physical operations with sophisticated digital processes, including inventory management software and efficient order processing systems. 

The ultimate goal of the eCommerce logistics process is to orchestrate the entire supply chain network in a manner that aligns with the brand's commitment to delivering orders accurately and promptly. This will, in turn, lead to a high level of customer satisfaction.

Components of eCommerce Logistics Chain

ManufacturersAt the start of the eCommerce supply chain are the manufacturers, who produce the goods and initiate their journey towards the buyer. In scenarios where dropshipping is employed, these manufacturers dispatch products directly to consumers upon order. 
For other business models, brands might order in bulk, storing these items in a warehouse to be sent as customer orders are received, ensuring a smooth flow within the supply chain.
Warehousing FacilitiesWarehousing facilities store inventory in proximity to consumers to facilitate quick shipping. Owned by the eCommerce business or managed by third-party logistics providers (3PLs), these facilities are tasked with efficiently packing and dispatching orders. 
Larger online retail entities might utilise logistics hubs to manage and distribute inventory more effectively across different storage locations or transportation methods. This approach allows for tailored strategies, especially for B2B and direct-to-consumer (DTC) orders, which may have distinct requirements regarding packaging and shipping routes.
Logistics Management SoftwareLogistics management software streamlines supply chain operations, optimising the flow of goods and information from procurement to delivery. With features like inventory management, route optimisation, and real-time tracking, it enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and improves customer satisfaction. These platforms integrate with ERP systems, enabling seamless data exchange and decision-making.
Fulfilment CentreFor online stores that receive high volumes of orders, sorting centres are crucial for managing and distributing large quantities of products. These centres ensure that goods are properly organised and sent to the correct fulfilment or distribution centres, streamlining the logistics process and improving operational efficiency.
Transportation ProvidersThe final leg involves transportation providers, who pick up packages from warehousing facilities and ensure their delivery. 
Some eCommerce brands opt for private transportation services to achieve quicker delivery times, underscoring the significance of flexible and dependable logistics partners in promptly fulfilling buyer expectations.
Returns and Reverse LogisticsOnline retailers must guarantee that their reverse logistics systems are as streamlined and efficient as their order fulfilment operations. Misplaced returns can cause refund delays, negatively impacting customer happiness. 
Furthermore, lost returned items represent a compounded financial hit, as these goods become unsellable even after a refund has been processed.

Types of eCommerce Logistics 

In online commerce, managing order delivery is crucial for ensuring that packages reach customers efficiently and on time. This involves various strategies and models, each created to meet the exact requirements of businesses and their customers. 

Here, we explore the main types of online commerce logistics:

Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PL)

3PL providers offer a balanced solution for businesses looking to streamline their delivery operations without relinquishing control over their inventory. These providers deliver comprehensive services, including storage, order fulfilment, and shipping from their fulfilment centres. 

Utilising both human and robotic resources, they efficiently manage the picking, packing, and movement of products once an order is placed online. This model not only saves time but also significantly reduces the logistical burdens associated with online selling. 

Selecting the right 3PL partner is important. Businesses should consider factors such as delivery speed, shipping costs, and the provider's integration capabilities with their online store to ensure alignment with their operational needs and online shoppers' expectations.

In-House Logistics

For eCommerce businesses with physical stores or warehouses, managing logistics in-house is a viable option. This approach involves setting up a dedicated team responsible for receiving goods, managing inventory, and processing orders. In-house order delivery allows for greater control over the entire supply chain network, from inventory management to the order fulfilment process. 

While this model offers direct oversight of the fulfilment process, it requires significant investment in infrastructure and tech, such as an inventory management system and staff training, to ensure efficiency and meet buyer satisfaction levels.


Dropshipping is a simplified delivery model in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock. Instead, when an online order is received, it is forwarded to a third-party supplier, who then handles the shipping directly to the shopper. 

This model reduces overhead costs, making it an attractive option for new or small businesses. However, it also means relinquishing control over the shipping process and relying heavily on suppliers to meet delivery times and shopper expectations.

eCommerce vs Brick-and-Mortar Logistics: Understanding the Differences

The table below highlights some of the differences between eCommerce order fulfilment and that of a physical store. 

AspecteCommerce LogisticsBrick and Brick-and-Mortar Logistics
FocusConcentrates on delivering products directly to the customer's residence.Aims to ensure products are available in physical stores for customer purchase.
Number of End DestinationsCapable of shipping packages to a vast array of consumer addresses globally.Brick-and-mortar stores primarily deal with distribution to a limited number of stores or wholesalers.
Size of Shipments and Order VolumeTypically handles orders ranging from a single item to several items, shipped individually to various customers via parcel.Shipments often consist of large quantities of items sent to a single destination on pallets through freight services.
Delivery OptionsOffers the ultimate convenience with direct home delivery to the consumer.Physical stores are increasingly being used as fulfilment centres, providing options like in-store or curbside pickup and enhancing customer flexibility.

By understanding these differences and adaptations, businesses can better align their operations with consumer expectations, driving growth and enhancing the customer experience in the competitive retail environment.

Why Is Logistics Important in eCommerce?

Logistics serves as the operational heartbeat of any online business, and its importance cannot be overstated. Here are some of the key reasons why mastering the process is crucial for success:

Customer Retention and LoyaltyA well-managed logistics system contributes to buyer satisfaction by ensuring timely, well-packaged, and perfect-condition deliveries at reasonable rates, thereby increasing customer retention and loyalty.
Competitive AdvantageOffering a variety of shipping options and reliable service can set you apart from competitors, making customers more likely to choose your platform.
SustainabilityImplementing eco-friendly practices like route optimisation and sustainable packaging can attract environmentally-conscious consumers and reduce your carbon footprint.
Risk MitigationReal-time data and analytics provided by a robust logistics system can help mitigate risks related to inventory management, such as overstocking or understocking.
Brand ReputationYour performance directly affects your brand image. Poor order fulfilment can lead to negative reviews and lower customer trust.
Financial HealthAn efficient process not only reduces operational costs but also improves overall financial health by enabling better cash flow management.
Global ExpansionA streamlined logistics system can ease international expansion by facilitating partnerships with reliable 3PLs and aiding in compliance with international shipping regulations.

Challenges in eCommerce Logistics

Navigating the complexities of eCommerce delivery is no small feat. Businesses often encounter several challenges, each with its own set of solutions. You can choose to manage these challenges internally for full control, though this requires substantial investment in technology and staff, or outsource to a 3PL company to cover everything from inventory to shipping and returns.

Shipping DelaysWeather conditions and carrier issues can cause unavoidable delays.
Inventory MismanagementData inaccuracies can lead to overstocking or understocking. Human error can also contribute.
Handling ReturnsHigh return rates in some industries can complicate logistics. Poor quality control can increase returns.
ScalabilityAs your business grows, your logistical needs will change.
International ShippingComplexities of international transportation include customs and regulations.
Cost ManagementBalancing costs with customer expectations for free or low-cost transfers is challenging.

Best Practices for eCommerce Logistics

Implementing best practices can significantly boost efficiency, lower costs, and enhance the overall shopping experience.

Strategic Inventory Distribution

Relying on a single inventory location may appear cost-effective initially, but as your business expands, this approach can lead to higher long-term expenses due to shipping zone implications. Consider a scenario where your inventory is centralised in New York, but you receive an order from Texas. The cross-country shipping costs significantly increase due to distance. 

Conversely, fulfilling a Texas order from a Texas-based warehouse substantially reduces shipping costs. Therefore, employing a network of fulfilment centres across various strategic locations is crucial for minimising shipping expenses and enhancing delivery efficiency.

Optimise Shipping Strategies

Developing a strategic approach to shipping is also necessary. This involves selecting the right mix of shipping carriers and options to offer flexibility and reliability to your customers. By analysing shipping data, you can identify trends and adjust your strategy to balance speed and cost-effectiveness. This will ensure timely delivery and minimise costs. Incorporating efficient inventory management and leveraging regional fulfilment centres can further streamline the shipping process, reducing delivery times and enhancing satisfaction.

Incorporate Inventory Management Software

Effective inventory management, particularly when operated from multiple locations, demands precise monitoring and real-time visibility into stock levels across all products and locations. Transitioning from manual methods like spreadsheets to specialised logistics management software can revolutionise your operations. Essential features of this software include real-time tracking of inventory levels, automatic reorder notifications, seamless integration with your existing tech ecosystem, and analytical insights into turnover rates.

Adopt Warehouse Management Systems

For businesses that operate their warehouses and handle the entirety of their logistics, implementing a Warehouse Management System (WMS) [1] is vital. A WMS enhances operations by offering detailed performance tracking and insights, which are instrumental in optimising the fulfilment processes. Plus, working with an eCommerce logistics partner that utilises an advanced WMS allows for direct access to data and analytics. This will empower you with the information needed to make the right decisions and improve delivery strategies.

Be Transparent About Shipping Costs

Transparency in shipping charges is vital for building trust with your customers. Clearly communicate shipping carrier fees, taxes, and any additional charges upfront to avoid surprises at checkout. Consider offering free shipping thresholds to encourage larger purchases, but ensure customers are aware of the conditions. Transparency not only builds trust but also lowers cart abandonment rates, contributing to higher buyer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Care Throughout the Process

Providing exceptional customer service throughout the logistics process is key to retaining buyers and encouraging repeat business. This includes offering detailed tracking information, proactive communication regarding any delays or issues, and a straightforward returns process. Ensuring a positive post-purchase experience, including efficient reverse logistics for returns and exchanges, reinforces your commitment to your customer's happiness and can turn one-time buyers into loyal customers.

Diversify Supply Chain

A mixed supply chain is more resilient to disruptions. By working with multiple suppliers and logistics partners, eCommerce business owners can mitigate risks such as stock shortages, regional disruptions, or carrier delays. This strategy ensures that you have alternatives in place to maintain operations smoothly and keep your promise of timely delivery to customers. In addition, regularly assessing and optimising your supply chain network for efficiency and reliability is crucial for long-term success.

Optimise Delivery Routes and Times

Efficiently planning delivery routes and times can significantly reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. Utilise logistics software that analyses delivery addresses and optimises routes for speed and efficiency. Offering delivery time slots can also enhance the customer experience, allowing shoppers to choose a convenient time for their delivery. This level of personalisation and efficiency in the delivery process underscores your brand's dedication to customer convenience and satisfaction.

Find a Logistics Partner

Collaborating with the right eCommerce logistics partner, like Bezos, is crucial for optimising your supply chain. Hence, look for a partner with experience handling online shipments, a robust logistics network, and advanced technology for tracking and managing orders efficiently. Consider factors like shipping speed, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. A reliable provider can streamline the order fulfilment process, provide real-time visibility into inventory and shipments, and offer flexible solutions tailored to your business needs.

Implementing these best practices can transform your operations, drive growth, and build a loyal customer base through exceptional service and operational excellence.

Why Choose Bezos for Your Operations

Navigating the labyrinth of logistics can be overwhelming. From inventory management to last-mile delivery, the complexities are endless. But what if there was a way to simplify this intricate web? 

Enter Bezos, your full-service fulfilment partner. Here are some of the benefits of partnering with us: 

The logo of bezos.

Save Time and Money

Bezos offers a product-led fulfilment service that saves you one to five hours a day on logistics tasks. Imagine what you could do with that extra time – focus on product development, ramp up your marketing, or even take a well-deserved break. And it's not just time you're saving; we also cut your costs by £1 to £2 per order and up to 80% on international orders.

Technology-Driven Solutions

We employ cutting-edge AI technology to identify and resolve logistics issues before they escalate. To this end, our proprietary software offers real-time tracking of your inventory and orders, giving you complete transparency and control.

Exceptional Customer Support

Customer service is the backbone of any successful business, and Bezos understands this. With a dedicated account manager and a ticket response time of just two hours, you can rest assured that your orders are in safe hands.

Global Reach

Operating in regions like the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the US and Canada, we give you the geographical reach you need to expand your business.

Flexibility and Transparency

With Bezos, what you see is what you get. No hidden fees, no long-term contracts, and the freedom to cancel your monthly subscription at any time. It's this level of transparency and flexibility that sets us apart.

Get Started in Just 4 Simple Steps

Embarking on your journey is straightforward and swift. Here's how you can streamline your eCommerce logistics with us and go live in less than 72 hours:

  1. Create Your Account: Sign up with Bezos and set up your profile to kickstart the process.
  2. Integrate Your Sales Channels: Seamlessly connect your eCommerce platforms with our intuitive system.
  3. Ship Your Inventory: Send your products to us, where they'll be securely stored and managed.
  4. Go Live: Everything is now in place. Watch as orders are fulfilled and shipped with precision and care.

So, why navigate the eCommerce logistics maze alone when you can have a partner like us to guide you every step of the way? Get a quote now and experience the Bezos difference today.


The journey through eCommerce logistics is filled with pivotal moments that can make or break your business. From the initial stages of order management to the complexities of international shipping, each step presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. By understanding these intricacies and implementing effective solutions, you can enhance customer satisfaction and achieve cost efficiency and scalability.

Moreover, whether you’re a brand in the UK or Australia aiming for expansion, the importance of choosing the right partner cannot be overstated. And that's where Bezos comes into play. With our cutting-edge technology, exceptional customer support, and global reach, we offer a one-stop solution for all your logistics needs. Contact our team today!


What is logistics in eCommerce?

In eCommerce, logistics encompasses the processes involved in storing, managing, and delivering goods to customers after an online purchase. It includes inventory management, order fulfilment, warehousing, and transportation, ensuring products reach consumers efficiently and effectively.

How does e-logistics work?

E-logistics leverages digital technology to simplify the supply chain and distribution processes in eCommerce. It involves using software for inventory management, automated warehousing systems, and online shipment tracking, enabling seamless order processing and delivery to customers.

How important is logistics in eCommerce? 

Logistics is vital in eCommerce because it ensures quick delivery, efficiently manages inventory, minimises transportation costs, and provides a seamless customer experience. Thus, it ultimately influences customer satisfaction and business success.



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