Another article from the "Fulfillment for Industry" series - today we will analyze the aspects of handling orders for electronic devices: from small items, such as headphones, to those slightly larger, such as ... fireplaces.
Are you looking for order fulfillment solutions in the electronics industry? Wondering how to prepare your eCommerce for this process? The answer is at your fingertips! In our article, you will find useful tips and information about the most important stages of electronics fulfillment.
What do you know about the electronics industry?
The global e-commerce electronics market is anticipated to grow at an annual rate of above 10.9% from 2022 to 2030 and reach a market value of around USD 861 billion by 2030. The electronics eCommerce business has profited as consumers have become more accustomed to purchasing goods and services online. As a result, the electronics e-commerce business is expected to rise at a noteworthy rate from 2022 to 2030. The sector grew as a result of increased demand for technological devices. According to 40% of worldwide electronics businesses, the electronics industry was the greatest winner of COVID-19. Computers and consumer gadgets account for a significant amount of share in all e-commerce transactions. Even though gaining consumer trust in the electronics business has been difficult, online stores that have done so have seen increasing revenue as a result of the high demand for electronics.
What is considered as consumer electronics industry?
What kind of products do we speak about when we mention the consumer electronics industry?
Trends and opportunities for electronics eCommerce stores
Let's face the truth - every year we are more and more online, and electronic devices are more visible in every area of our life.
For more or less two years, since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have been observing a continuous increase in eCommerce sales, regardless of the industry. Online schools and home offices are just accelerating the changes. As expected, the change of the way of buying, and the transition from the traditional sales channel to online forms, stayed with us for a long time.
People are buying more electronics, and it's enough to check the time we spend online; which increased from 1,5h to 8h per day in the last 4 years. Forecasts predict the continuation of this trend, and thus the need to stand out more among sellers in order to maintain a market advantage. The electronics eCommerce industry is projected to grow over $79 million in eCommerce sales in the year 2022, which is a 7% increase from 2021.
Automatization and robots
Artificial intelligence is present in more and more areas of our lives. In the past, advanced technologies were available only to exclusive industries, today advanced algorithms are present in other devices that we use every day. This trend opens up new opportunities when it comes to online marketing and sales - it generally applies to virtual items that sell better online.
Electronics are a source of many stimuli, and manufacturers are outdoing each other in designing devices that engage all our senses, sometimes even making us dependent on the use of these products. Creating digital experiences is a huge area with unlimited possibilities to create sales experiences. Engaging with digital content refers to both the sale of these products and their use in eCommerce in other industries.
The combination of digital experiences and everyday use resulted in the creation of a product which is Metaverse. What is this? In short, a virtual space that combines the use of the Internet, new technologies in various areas: through games, shopping, broadly understood entertainment, the presence of our virtual alter ego on social profiles, and more. The development of Metaverse is also associated with the appearance of completely new products or the new use of existing ones in the electronics industry.
Smart everything and IoT
A few years ago, "smart" immediately brought to mind smartphones. Today, the smart product sector includes many different devices: TV sets, household appliances, watches and much more. The purchase of such a product expands the consumer's new possibilities of purchasing more devices that communicate with each other in a "smart" way.
Various reports and research indicate a significant increase in the requirements of customers who buy electronics. This segment is growing very fast, so customer expectations are also evolving. What do consumers count primarily on? Which areas should you focus on when planning and order fulfillment process?
Customer experience and relationships
Unfortunately, many products from the broadly understood electronics offer have a reputation for short-term, short-life cycles. Users clearly emphasize that they would like their equipment to last longer. Sometimes it is against the manufacturer's policy, which focuses on frequent upgrades and re-purchases. Therefore, it is worth building relationships with customers that, despite initial dissatisfaction with a non-working product, will allow them to turn them into positive experiences through the correct handling of complaints or the purchase of a new item.
Another area is fast service and quick purchase services: through the fulfillment of the order, after-sales service and access to complementary services. Customers do not like to wait and want their requests to be met quickly and efficiently. In addition, at the stage before making a purchase decision, access to multichannel platforms, the ability to compare products and choose the best is very important. That is a very challenging aspect of a supply chain management as well.
The electronics industry, as well as many others, notes a great need for personalization on the part of customers. This trend and expectation is visible when choosing and buying electronics - the ability to choose a function, color, unique features are more and more often supporting a specific purchase decision.
The expectation related to customization is of course also a wide choice. When deciding to buy, for example, kitchen equipment, customers want it to be exactly what they dreamed of. Color, functionality, price range - here the customer will be reluctant to compromise.
Value for money
Usually, electronic products are expensive goods - but no one likes to overpay. For many years, consumers' expectations regarding value for money, i.e. choosing the best possible option at a reasonable price, have been observed. This makes sense considering that, as mentioned above, the life cycle of products is sometimes shorter than expected.
Delivered on time
Last but not least, an expectation that probably applies to all purchases, i.e. goods delivered on time. There are many shipping methods in supply chain execution. Typically, customers indicate 48 hours as the maximum waiting time for goods purchased online. To meet these requirements, you need to implement reliable and complete process supported by trusted third party logistics, faultless inventory management and optimize all your supply chain and order fulfillment processes.
Best storage methods for electronics
Safe storage of electronic products turns out to be quite a complicated matter. In this product category, we will find items of various sizes, including large and heavy household appliances, large-screen TVs and others. Smaller products are also often challenged, which in turn can be very sensitive to damage or temperature changes, such as cameras and cameras. What is the greatest threat to electronics? Humidity, dust, unsuitable temperature, shock.
So how to safely store this type of goods? Why is it so important for order fulfillment process? Here are some tips to help keep your products intact.
Appropriate inventory management
It is quite an obvious issue, if the products are properly cataloged, have their place, it is easier to ensure their safety. Therefore, an investment in the right inventory management software is a good idea anytime.
For devices with removable batteries, it is better to store them separately to prevent possible liquid spillage. Devices with built-in batteries should be well charged to a level above 50%.
Disconnection of accessories
As with batteries, it is better to store all accessories separately.
Protection of the external surface
Due to various conditions in warehouse halls, it is worth remembering to protect sensitive surfaces (such as monitors) by applying appropriate covers and protective materials.
If the device has sockets, it is worth remembering to also secure them properly. A dirty charging socket may render the product unusable.
Cool and dry place
Quite obvious, but worth emphasizing: electronics should be stored in a dry and cool place.
How to choose the right type of packaging?
Due to the delicacy of the product, in addition to proper storage, the packaging is also very important. If he does not secure things properly, it can result in large losses due to damage. So what is the best way to pack consumer electronics?
If the item is sold complete with accessories such as cables, batteries or other accessories, each item must be secured separately and removed from the main unit. This is especially true for the battery.
Good packaging means the right materials: the filling and cardboard must protect sensitive elements very well. Unfortunately, this often entails an excessive use of plastic, which is not conducive to environmental protection. Nowadays, there is an increasing selection of sustainable materials that not only perfectly protect shipments, but also do not degrade the planet.
After storage and packing, it's time to ship. Also at this stage of the order fulfillment process we will encounter similar problems and challenges as in the previous ones, i.e. the need to take care of such issues as protection against damage, too high or low temperature, moisture and dust. If our product is well packaged, that's half the battle. Nevertheless, it is worth considering insurance - even if we use the services of a proven and trusted company, the value of the product is often so high, and the probability of an event that will negatively affect the condition of the shipment is high that it is better to pay and sleep well. Shipping costs for electronics may vary, but it's better not to save on it by chosing the wrong third party logistics provider.
Returns policies for electronics: how to manage it?
A clear return policy is a very important part of an order fulfillment process, regardless of what goods we sell. In the case of electronics, the return and shipment by the customer can be problematic, if it is a large-size product, so it is good to think about this issue in advance and provide the customer with an easy return if the purchase does not meet his expectations.
eCommerce will certainly take care of securing the goods when shipping to the customer, but with the return it can be different. It is good to facilitate the customer's safe return by equipping him with an appropriate cardboard box, and to monitor the returned product for possible damage.
Returns are always a challenge when it comes to stock level updates and inventory management, therefore the right platform to manage order fulfillment processes is a must.
How to manage fulfillment for the electronics industry?
The availability of products and their internationality make excellent order fulfillment services that focus on customer satisfaction one of the most important aspects for standing out from the crowd in this sector.
Do you feel that some of the recommendations we have outlined would be a problem for you? Need help planning the fulfillment strategy for your business? We are here to help.
We aim to provide the best possible experience for your customers throughout the entire order fulfillment process. We will not only help you to find the best solutions but also optimize specific phases and choose the right partners.
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How does this benefit your business?
- save time and creativity for what you specialise in
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What problems can we eliminate? No more:
- issues with poor order processing
- unclear offers
- searching for the right logistics operator
- reliance on big, corporate players only
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