Table of Contents
- Role of Logistics in the Retail Industry
- Types of Retail Businesses
- Functions of Logistics Management
- Typical Issues in Retail Businesses
- 6 Benefits of Logistics Management
Role of Logistics in the Retail Industry
The retail business is growing at a rapid rate today. In this age of e-commerce businesses, retail stores are highly dependent upon logistics for streamlined and hassle-free delivery of goods. Retail logistics proves to be an excellent combination to ensure a speedy delivery with the use of the latest technology and complete customer satisfaction.
Hence, the future of retail stores is dependent entirely on logistics. A survey also states that the global worth of the logistics industry will increase from $244.62 Billion in 2022 to $ 592.81 Billion by 2030. This is the core importance of logistics management in a retail business.
Types of Retail Businesses
There are eight main types of retail businesses based on the quantity and type of goods they store.
- Departmental Stores
The departmental store contains a small chunk of products from different categories in one place. The goal is to deal with every sector to create a strong business. However, these stores are smaller than a supermarket.
- Specialty Stores
These stores are dedicated to dealing in only a particular category. The main goal of these stores is to supply items that are not readily available in the market. This can include bookstores, flower shops, etc.
The supermarket deals with a wide range of products. It stores products from a variety of categories where all of these products can fulfill the basic and day-to-day needs of a household. Customers can find everything in a supermarket in one place rather than visiting different stores.
- Convenience Stores
These are small stores you visit regularly to purchase products. Although such retail businesses in India only hold a limited variety of products, they are spread in almost every colony or locality.
- Discount Stores
As the name suggests, discount stores offer heavy discounts to grab the attention of customers. These stores purchase bulk products directly from the manufacturer and sell them at a low rate as compared to small-scale retailers.
- Warehouse Stores
A warehouse generally stores goods in large quantities before they are sold in the retail shop. Although, any retail business can have a warehouse to overcome the shortage of goods that otherwise needs to be bought from a wholesaler.
- E-Commerce Stores
E-commerce stores are available for online shopping. The advantage of these stores is that people can choose between a wide range of products from sellers outside their locality or area. One of the most famous e-commerce stores is Amazon which covers a wide range of markets online.
- Drug Stores
Specifically dedicated to selling medicines, the drug store stores medicines to satisfy the daily needs of people. Along with medicines, these stores might also sell beauty and self-care products.
Function of Logistics Management
An efficient retail logistics system is capable of maintaining the balance throughout the demand and supply chain of the market. Here are some key functions that are performed by retail logistics.
- Timely Delivery of Products
Retail logistics ensure that any product order from a retail store must reach the customer well within the time duration. Along with this, it also ensures that there are no errors in the delivery of the product. Overall, it helps to achieve complete customer satisfaction.
- Helps in Managing Inventory Levels
Tracking the inventory is a complex task in a retail business. With the help of logistics in retail, it becomes easy to store inventory. This is because logistics providers offer high-end technological help through which retailers can refill their stocks, know what their customers are demanding and provide them with the exact product they are looking for.
- Product Quality is Maintained
Retail logistics also ensures that the product reaches the customer as they want it to. This involves ensuring a damage-free delivery of goods. Along with this, logistics in the retail industry helps to know about the exact demand of the customers and what they expect to improve in a particular product. This ensures that the quality of the product is maintained on a constant basis and customers are satisfied with the products.
- Provides Efficient Customer Service
Lastly, logistics in retail also ensure that any query which is being faced by the customer is resolved quickly. Therefore, they can help retail stores to deliver their products on time. Along with this, logistics providers can also act as a means of communication between the customer and the small-scale retailers to resolve any issues faced by the customers.
Typical Logistics Issues in Retail Businesses
Although the role of retailing and logistics is to enhance the demand and supply management of the sector, there are some major issues faced by retail businesses in India when it comes to the use of logistics in retail.
- Increasing Expectations of Customers
The demands of customers keep on increasing every day. People demand more comfort and quick deliveries when ordering a product. While logistics in the retail industry can fulfill these demands up to some extent yet it is not possible to cope with the rapidly changing expectations of the sector.
- Lack of Inventory Measurements and Visibility
Retail logistics might help to ensure the timely delivery of products. But the dark stores might not be able to get a clear view of their inventory. This might lead to products running out of stock and an incomplete fulfillment of the inventory. Moreover, a lack of inventory visibility can result in a bad customer experience. If a customer has ordered multiple products, they expect them to be delivered at once, which is only possible with an efficient logistics provider.
- Complexity and Disruption in the Supply Chain
The supply chain is getting more complex each day. This is because there is uncertainty in the market. While there is an increase in the number of suppliers in the market along with customers from different cultures whose expectations differ at every point, such factors make the market a volatile place. Therefore, managing efficient retail logistics in such a situation becomes a challenge for small-scale retailers.
- High Costs for Small-Scale Retailers
A major challenge that arises when it comes to adopting logistics in a retailers market is cost since the transportation of goods demands expenses. Moreover, this cost increases with the increase in the distance and the load of the product being delivered. Therefore, it becomes difficult for small-scale retailers to bear such high logistics costs.
Moreover, data also reveals that logistics providers can increase their revenue by 2% to 3%. This means that there can be an overall increase of 30-60 percent in the profit of the company.
- Labor Shortages
The logistics industry is constantly facing a huge labor shortage. In countries like the United States, where labor is a major expense, it becomes difficult to find people to carry out basic labor work. This ultimately creates difficulty for the retail business in India to deliver heavy products that are to be handled with care and should be properly loaded and unloaded.
6 Benefits of Logistics Management
There are a lot of benefits that come with the involvement of logistics in retail.
- Greater Visibility into the Supply Chain
With the help of logistics management, retail stores can easily track how their goods move. This will help them to get a constant update on the hyperlocal deliveries of products to the customer. Enhanced visibility into the supply chain ensures that the product is delivered on time, along with delivering the right product at the right place.
- Reduce Overhead Costs
Logistics in retail can also help dark stores to reduce their cost of transportation, warehousing, and inventory management. This is possible by adopting the best route for transportation, efficient picking of orders, and reducing the labor cost where it is not necessary. This will ultimately yield a profit to the small-scale retailers and win their trust.
- Support Expansion
With the help of efficient retail logistics, it becomes easy for businesses to expand into different sectors since efficient logistics will always ensure a smooth and timely delivery of goods to maintain customer satisfaction. This will help different types of retail businesses to deliver goods and retain a good customer base efficiently.
- Competitive Edge
A high competitive edge can be gained with the help of retail and logistics management. Since customers expect faster deliveries, timely resolution to queries, and easy returns, providing all such services will help the business gain trust. Therefore, a small-scale retailer can quickly outrun its competitors with the help of a good logistics provider.
- Excellent Customer Experience
Logistics in retail play a major role to ensure a good customer experience. An efficient logistics provider ensures that every order is accurately fulfilled, along with managing the queries of customers and carrying out easy returns for them. This also helps to build an impressive image for dark stores and gain customer trust.
- Minimizing Loss of Retail Stores
Retail logistics management can ensure that retail business does not run into a loss. This can be done to ensure timely fulfillment of the inventory to prevent the products from running out of stock. Therefore, customers would not have to look out to competitors because of the unavailability of products. Moreover, it can also help to reduce the loss of retail reverse logistics when a customer returns a product or is dissatisfied with it.
Logistics in the retail industry plays a very important role in the efficient management of the demand and supply chain. Although retail logistics management can also involve a few challenges, choosing an efficient logistics provider can create a bright future for retail stores.
Therefore, retail businesses in India must ensure to adopt efficient logistics management to yield high-profit returns along with customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
- Why are logistics crucial in the retail sector?
Logistics are crucial for retail stores since it helps in the efficient and timely delivery of products to gain customer trust and satisfaction. Along with this, it also ensures good communication between the customer and the supplier in case of any query.
- Does Shadowfax help with retail logistics?
Yes, Shadowfax can undoubtedly help you to carry out efficient retail logistics. From hassle-free deliveries to customer communication, they provide an efficient logistics service to boost your business and gain exposure to a wider audience.