utting your best foot forward is truly the way to go in an ever-changing, fast-developing world. The footwear industry is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative lines of business that continue to grow even far wider and more diverse. After all, who does not need a pair of shoes to go through their day?
In 2023, the total worth of the entire global footwear market is projected to reach around 445 billion US dollars. The dominant brand in a sizable chunk of the market is Nike, the largest shoe brand in the United States, totaling a revenue of 44.5 billion US dollars a year. Imagine how big Nike is, capturing around 10% of the total global revenue in the footwear market.
There is no doubt that shoes and other types of footwear are part and parcel of modern life. From functionality to fashion, different types of shoes are worn by people in different spheres of engagement – from work, partying, get-togethers, school, and many others. This is why studies show that an average American owns 20 pairs of shoes. Not to mention, footwear collectors who amass a great number of shoes and other footwear types. Seems like some people never want to repeat a pair of shoes for one whole year.
Probably, you’re thinking by now, that you want to enter the footwear e-commerce industry as an online seller. You might have a local factory near you and you see the potential it has to grow bigger and more popular for footwear enthusiasts. But in the rapid pace of the e-commerce world, in a battle of quality and satisfaction, the winners, in the end, will be those who deliver in a safe, swift, and satisfactory manner.
Read through this article to know more about how streamlining your fulfillment and logistics, and partnering with a logistics engine provider can help your business greatly.
Why deliver on time?
Many sellers, online or physical stores, have started offering delivery options for customers who want to stay at home but still purchase goods. As e-commerce strengthened its foothold into evolving consumer behaviors, retailers have also begun putting up systems of strict compliance when it comes to on-time delivery. Recent studies have even shown that failure to comply to set delivery times costs brands a hefty amount from their supposed gross profit. This is aside from the fact that reputational damage from false promises damages customer satisfaction and confidence in brands.
|Annual Revenue||On-Time Delivery Performance||Gross Profit|
As shown in the table above, the same annual revenue of $1M will yield way less profit due to a lower delivery performance rating. Most of the percentage of revenue that could have been transformed into profit goes to other operational expenses.
Lower on-time delivery performance rating, in actual life, also means getting embroiled in return shipping, answering customer queries, and other monetary and logistical expenses. Aside from cutting sales, having a less-than-satisfactory fulfillment and shipping process also expends much of your precious time and energy, which you could have refocused on strategizing how the business could grow bigger and better.
Since footwear is regarded as one of the basic products that most customers acquire, and how heavy marketing promises can be, delivering quickly and satisfactorily is expected from footwear brands. Who knows, a high school student might be waiting for their graduation gift, or children are waiting for a new pair of shoes during Christmas? We don’t want our shipping processes to become a party pooper or the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Storage for footwear brands
Staying afloat in a vast industry with a huge net worth is no easy task. Most of the time, the footwear industry brands have to handle a great amount of high-volume fulfillment orders. Well, you know, wearing shoes probably could never go out of fashion. At all costs, we want to prevent stock-outs – that sticky situation when orders come in but we don’t have the inventory to address increasing demand. Then, we end up not getting the sales. Demand can be quickly turned into profit when we have an intelligent inventory that is based on data and information we gathered from market research.
Aside from intelligently determining where we are needed and demanded, we must also be ready for the logistical requirement of storing these products in places that are accessible to a customer whenever they decide to place an order. Shipping from overseas typically spans a week to months. That can be pretty discouraging. So having stock in local warehouse hubs in a certain country might also be a good trick to increase sales in areas where you record high demand.
In recent years, more people already prefer to order online with an expectation of swiftness and convenience. This is the promise that e-commerce sellers have to fulfill. If ever you are managing your inventory by yourself or with a small team, it is best to look at bottlenecks that delay the overall processing time of packages and fulfillments and cook up ways to remove these hurdles to smoothen out the processes. You might also consider hiring the services of logistics experts to evaluate your processes and recommend solutions that you can apply gradually to reach your enterprise’s optimum potential.
Picking and packing for footwear brands
Picking and packing footwear, let’s be honest, is a delicate matter. We want the product to be in its optimal form once it reaches your customer. Size, color, model, and the overall integrity of the product – it all matters. So we could not be reckless in handling the packaging and labeling of footwear products because the customers order a specific variant of the product perfectly suited to their needs, and those needs must be met. Like intelligent storage, there also must be a protocol for picking and packing. A principle of double-checking the contents of the package and verifying if all details in the product label are aligned must be developed among all those who handle fulfillment before shipping off the parcels.
When your business is small and just beginning, you can start with methods that you use in daily life such as how you organize your closet. You put all the similar items together and sort them depending on their variants – color, size, and other specifications. This way, you can easily access the very particular orders of your customers and swiftly pick and pack them and put them out for shipping.
But as the business grows, of course, you would need to adopt the most suited strategy for fulfillment. However, this might pose a challenge for you when you are working with a small team, or even more challenging when you do it yourself. You may consider hiring employees to do the job, but that would also require a learning curve and adjustment period. Another option is to look for a logistics expert to assess and evaluate your processes or a logistics engine provider to handle your fulfillment and logistics for you.
3PL and shipping for footwear brands
Nowadays, working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider seems to be the way to go. Of course, it is a true challenge for businesses to manage their own set of delivery equipment and hire employees to do delivery directly under their management. Having a 3PL provider by your side removes the burden of ensuring delivery processes. All you have to do is ensure that the picked and packed orders are delivered at the assigned warehouse or drop-off point.
The digital advancements in the past decades have spurred rapid development in 3PL processes with some introducing automated vehicles, providing same-day deliveries, and having real-time tracking data features.
Whichever you prefer, the ultimate deciding factors in deciding which 3PL provider you’re going to work with would be carrier fees, areas of operation, and an overall good reputation for handling deliveries in a speedy and safe manner.
Take note, though, that if you’re handling footwear, it’s best to look up a 3PL partner with good practices in return shipping because most customers who buy footwear place returns or refunds after they receive the parcels due to wrong sizes, colors, and other reasons. An efficient 3PL partner for this process can save you a lot of time, effort, hassle, and money in handling these situations.
Be on top of the game with a logistics engine
The footwear industry is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world today. And we assume, and we hope that you are planning to scale up at a certain time in the future. A word of caution, though, before you decide to take greater risks in growing your business, get your machinery ready and oiled up.
Logistics and fulfillment are very important aspects of the e-commerce industry and no business can afford to be disorganized and inefficient in these respects. But as you receive more orders and ship more deliveries, this can be pretty overwhelming. However, technological advancements and the rise of digitized and automated systems made possible an all-in-one solution to your fulfillment and logistics needs – the logistics engine.
Logistics engines like Locad steps up the logistics game not only for your footwear brand, but it revolutionizes the e-commerce industry in an unprecedented manner. With mastery in the end-to-end fulfillment processes, the people behind Locad had developed a groundbreaking integration of software, and a coordinated network of warehouses, storage hubs, and other physical logistics infrastructure that cover major areas in domestic and international areas of operations. The hand-in-hand relationship of software and infrastructure aims to ramp up end-to-end fulfillment and logistics by increasing delivery speed, decreasing inventory errors, and lowering shipping costs. These are made by partnering with the world’s most reputable 3PL providers which Locad helps connect you with. As soon as you go on board, your well-loved products are shipped to Locad, added to the inventory and from there, you can intelligently manage your inventory. Sit on your CEO’s desk and let the professionals do the 1-2-3 for you!
Signing up for a Locad plan can be the best decision you can make that will help your business grow bigger and better. Locad is your trusty partner in different aspects of the work in logistics – from storage, picking and packing, shipping, and tracking. It will also provide you with top-of-the-line software, known as the Control Tower, which you can use to integrate and command all your sales channels and marketplaces just in one hub. It will provide you with a bird’s eye view of your business platforms in an omnichannel approach.
Store. After you sign up for a fulfillment subscription plan based on your needs and budget, you deliver your products to their drop-off locations, and these will be stored in the warehouse closest to your buyers for faster, more efficient fulfillment. The vast network of warehouse locations that Locad manages across the world gives you a wide range of options for which specific areas you want to sell your products in. The good news? You only pay for the inventory you use. Flexible payments for your dynamic needs.
Pack. Refocus your time, energy, and effort from picking and packing to strategizing and planning steps to scale your business, strengthen brand presence, and basically just reach for the skies. After dropping your products into the designated centers to make their way into a Locad warehouse, you can sit and watch your business process as it pushes through from end-to-end. This amount of comprehensive understanding of your business, its strengths, and weakness, the opportunities and possibilities is the key to success. Looking into your Control Tower, you can check all your sales channels, and quickly troubleshoot issues and problems that you may encounter.
Ship. Locad’s integrated approach to shipping with the most trusted 3PL providers worldwide will make sure that your deliveries are safe and on time. Available in major origins and destinations across the world, Locad’s system even suggests the most appropriate shipping option for your specific shipments. With this streamlined process, shipping is three times faster than usual, for half the costs.
Track. With a unified sales channel management hub called the Control Tower, you can track your inventory and orders to make sure that you are on the upper hand at every step of the process. The inventory tracking lets you identify stockout danger zones so you can restock at once to prevent order fulfillment delays. Through the Control Tower, you can also monitor where the deliveries are in real-time. Aside from that, Locad ships from the nearest warehouse hub to the customer’s location.
Now that you know there’s someone (or something) you can rely on for your logistics needs, what are you waiting for? Sign up for Locad and start a new chapter in your e-commerce journey!