The importance of logistics in retail product management

If there’s a sector where logistics play a key role, it’s certainly the retail product sector. From cosmetics, small household appliances, and toys, to connected objects, childcare, and gardening products, retail businesses require logistics that are adapted to their specific needs.

There are multiple, considerable challenges faced in this sector; strong seasonality, vast competition, consumption requirements, multiple sale and distribution channels. To overcome these, logistics for retail products need to be handled by dedicated specialists in the field. Logistics service providers, specialising in retail products, can provide support not only through ensuring the smooth functioning of a company’s supply chain, but also through ensuring smooth logistics for its supporting marketing and commercial campaigns too.

The logistics challenges encountered by retail products

When it comes to logistics for retail products, there are several challenges to overcome, including:

Seasonal activity spikes

Amongst the major logistical challenges encountered by retail products, there’s the need to effectively absorb product seasonality spikes. Depending on the company’s line of business or the commercial campaigns of its marketing teams, activity spikes can disrupt logistics processes and patterns. To overcome these variations and guarantee that customer satisfaction is consistently maintained, companies need to better plan and scale their stocks, anticipate fluctuations in demand, plan for an uplift in staffing levels, and track their logistics in real time. All of these elements of logistical expertise require support from a specialist service provider.

The growing number of distribution channels

From marketplaces and e-commerce to specialist networks and department stores, the destination of products is increasingly broad but each with very specific, crucial requirements. For each of these distribution points, you need to be able to adapt how orders are picked and packed. Receiving containers or pallets, preparing by item preparation or “by how much”, logistics service providers must be able to control a multitude of processes to specifically meet their clients’ distribution and shipment requirements, varying in line with the different sales channels.

Multi-channel deliveries

Last but not least in the array of challenges faced, there’s the delivery of goods with a multi-channel approach. Particularly tight delivery deadlines for retail products pose a major challenge for retail product companies. From receipt to delivery, right up until the last mile, orders must be traced, tracked, and optimised in real time, regardless of the channel used. Logistics for retail products thus entails total traceability and control over all channels in real time, regardless of their destination or local specificities.

Services offered by logistics service providers for retail products

To best support companies operating in the retail product sector, logistics and transport service providers need to offer a wide range of services.

Supply chain management for retail products

Logistics service providers oversee the inspection and receipt of goods. They manage product inventories, ensuring a lean stockholding, special storage conditions apply where required e.g. hazardous or temperature controlled, and maintain batch, BBE or serial number management  for relevant products, often on a FEFO or FIFO basis. They also need to manage order preparation. Depending on the volumes to be prepared, channels adopted, and methods of transport used, they’re able to adapt their picking, guarantee preparation lead times and eliminate the risk of errors. Finally, they support their clients’ growth over time by seamlessly integrating new products, regardless of the channel: BtoB, e-commerce, or marketplace.

Storage and management of returns for retail products

Logistics service providers specialising in the management of retail goods need to be able to scale, manage and optimise their clients’ stocks in line with the specifics of the products and fluctuations in their volumes. A key challenge here is supporting the customer experience of returns and the overall returns process. From product returns with simple stock reintegration to services including inspection, reconditioning, repairs, reuse and recycling, reverse logistics solutions can be adapted to each client, channel and product group.

Shipment and delivery for retail products

Once stocked, prepared, and packaged according to the specific requirements of the client and its distribution channels, retail product orders are shipped and delivered via various transport methods, all tracked and managed by the logistics service provider.

Transport solutions adapted to the specific needs of retail products

Parcel customisation, international shipment, eco-delivery, overnight delivery, urgent deliveries – logistics for retail products cover numerous transport requirements. This is why logistics service providers develop multiple services to guarantee operational excellence for their clients, right up to delivery of their retail products.

Traceability management and real-time order tracking solutions for retail products

From the storage of retail products up to their delivery to the end customer, logistics service providers ensure full traceability of products, and need to guarantee real-time tracking for order status and delivery.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for retail products

Business sectors concerned by retail product logistics

There are so many business sectors concerned by logistics for retail products, including fashion and accessories, consumer electronics, consumer products, toys and childcare, medical devices, and even gardening products or cosmetics. These logistics offer high added value and require constant agility, meaning that there’s a lot of competition in the field. This is why, for each client and each sector in question, there’s a huge diversity of distribution channels, packaging specifics, preparation, and storage, all of which must be efficiently taken on board by the logistics service provider.

As a guarantor for lead times, allocated resources, comprehensive management of the supply chain and, ultimately, optimal customer experience and satisfaction, and as a service provider specialising in retail logistics, Staci is a key player in business development. Its mission? To offer logistics with high added value. Its role? To establish itself as a partner that helps its clients progress.