The last few years have brought forth new challenges for ecommerce businesses worldwide. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the supply chain shortage has affected many ecommerce businesses causing shipping delays, order backlogs, and increased prices.
Navigating supply chain shortages is a tricky task when running a small or medium business. Low product supply and increased wait-times often impact small businesses the most, since larger companies are able to afford to charter their own shipping vessels and bypass shipping backlogs.
Wondering how to navigate the supply chain shortage with your ecommerce business? Here are our tips on how to run a lucrative business during unprecedented times.
Why is the Supply Chain Shortage Happening?
Several factors are contributing to the global supply chain shortage, but COVID-19 remains the most glaring cause for delays and lack of products. Since in-person shopping was impossible in the early days of the pandemic, businesses amped up their ecommerce offerings to cater to an online audience.
With the rise in ecommerce business came a rise in shipping demand and the need for raw materials. On top of this, businesses are experiencing COVID-related labor shortages, which makes it difficult to fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. Businesses who offer seasonal products are under even more strain, since delayed shipments may result in missing a crucial selling window during a target time of year.
#1 Plan and Analyze
While it’s not possible to anticipate all supply chain disruptions, it’s certainly helpful to look through your data and formulate a plan based on current product availability and budget. Analyze your data to determine where you can cut costs and anticipate trends.
- Track inventory arrival times to determine order fulfillment windows.
- Adjust pricing to take into consideration current raw material costs.
- Revisit your budget for advertisements, marketing, and other services.
#2 Diversify Suppliers
Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, explore opportunities with a diverse array of suppliers. By diversifying your suppliers, you ensure you have ample opportunities to secure the best deal and receive your shipments in a predictable timeframe. Having an array of backup plans alleviates stress if one supplier is experiencing extreme delays or shortages.
#3 Prioritize Workers
The supply chain shortage isn’t only challenging for businesses trying to meet customer demands. Since labor shortages go hand-in-hand with supply shortages, remaining workers may be feeling overworked, exhausted, or burnt-out.
Prioritize the wellbeing of your current workforce and ensure you are catering to their needs as much as possible. Try to address worker shortages by integrating new task-management platforms and rethinking your business’s operations. Satisfied workers create a resourceful and efficient team.
#4 Communicate with Customers
Supply chain shortages impact customers just as much as businesses. Remember, they are eagerly awaiting their products and probably have minimal insight into the intricacies of supply chain issues.
Mitigate customer frustration by providing company updates. Let your customers know if you’re having trouble sourcing a product or if you anticipate shipments taking longer than usual. Help customers feel valued by offering perks like:
- Free shipping
- Buy one get one deals
- Discounts on delayed items
- Shipping updates
#5 Consolidate Information
Don’t let your outdated ecommerce management system prevent you from finding success. Logistics, inventory, and order fulfillment are easier to manage in one, user-friendly platform. Invest in cloud-based ecommerce management software that allows you to view your current stock, shipments, orders and more. This way it’s simple to manage your ecommerce business anytime, anywhere.
Working with Digitbridge
At Digitbridge, we offer a comprehensive ecommerce management platform designed to synthesize information and streamline running your ecommerce business. We work with companies of all sizes to manage their B2B and B2C operations.
Digitbridge offers clients the tools to successfully manage their ecommerce business. Digitbridge’s platform supports services including:
- Warehouse management
- Automated operations
- Compliance with retailers’ needs
- Real-time business insight
At Digitbridge, we help our clients sell, fulfill, and buy. Our centralized hub removes the stress from managing multiple moving parts, and allows you to focus on the big-picture of running your business. Interested in getting started? Request a demo today and experience the Digitbrige difference for yourself.