E-commerce and Inventory Management: 5 Tips for Choosing the Right 4.0 Tools

E-commerce and Inventory ManagemenT 5 Tips for Choosing the Right 4.0 ToolS

The end of the year is a very busy time for the e-commerce sector. The responsiveness imposed on businesses by customers challenges the supply chain, which adapts accordingly. It must accelerate the shipments of goods, secure online payments, track deliveries and even anticipate needs with good inventory management. New technologies meet these requirements: overview.

The supply chain has become a major issue for companies in the distribution sector, in particular for retail specialists. Whatever their size or location, inventory management has a strong impact on their profitability. This is measured on two levels:

• First of all with the resources mobilized. Multiple handling and seizures must be avoided, and the available storage and preparation spaces must be optimized. But also, we must not unnecessarily increase the number of workstations to benefit from an increase in productivity and a (very) significant reduction in logistics costs.

• And, then the losses of goods and goods: voluntary (theft, malicious acts, and fraudulent acts) or accidental (breakage of goods, delivery errors),

1 – Rely on artificial intelligence as a tool for control and anticipation

All kinds of data exist on incoming or outgoing goods, they can be collected and analyzed. From this Big Data, it is possible to limit certain daily tasks inherent in inventory management. An example of the simplifications provided by well-tuned AI software is automatic anticipation:

• Orders: depending on a sales campaign, the season, sales, etc.

• The resources needed to cope with peaks of activity: such as the weeks preceding Black Friday type operations.

These systems also provide reporting and dashboards on the reliability of forecasts or the distribution of sales. At the intersection of logistics data and those from CRM, they are an additional tool for decision-making. They make it possible to anticipate future consumer demands and the possible growth of the company.

2 – Equip yourself with a proven ERP for inventory management

A study carried out in 2018 by Sapid Research indicates that 62% of professionals do not have real-time data on product availability. 72% also say they cannot notify their customers in the event of an order or delivery problem.

The ERP and inventory management modules or WMS provide solutions to these problems. They automate certain processes in the logistics chain: supplies, stock movements, batch management or expiration date or even traceability. They make it possible to communicate with suppliers or transport providers, thanks to real-time information exchange between systems.

3 – Give priority to cloud solutions for easier data management in real time

The software packages available in the cloud represent the latest alternative in this supply chain revolution. Shared, simple, efficient and always available, they are particularly suitable for VSEs and SMEs operating in a network. Or, those who have outsourced the storage of their goods. They give them access to a digital 4.0 service, at a lower cost and without management constraints.

Mobile par excellence, these solutions make it possible to manage stocks anywhere and at any time. International teams can also work instantly on the same shared document since these solutions are multilingual.

4 – Choose the Internet of Things – Iota: a decision adapted to large warehouses

To improve supply chain processes, the company can deploy real-time tracking via the IoT (Internet of Things). No more human intervention here. Localization is done automatically by associating recognition technologies (Bluetooth, video player) with sensors (RFID chips, GS-1 bar codes).

The information provided live is broad:

• Place of manufacture and date of shipment;

• Time of transport;

• Storage rack, bin or container;

• Temperature and humidity.

They enrich traditional inventory management with proactive and predictive alert possibilities, in the case of a cold room for example.

This real-time monitoring helps coordinate flows and can replace physical inventories. It is perfectly suited to hub-type warehouses, or to companies with a large network of remote warehouses.

5 – Prioritize the security of online payments

While in practice Internet fraud remains rare, it can nevertheless reflect a negative image for the merchant. Investing in online payment security for an e-commerce web site development is highly recommended, otherwise all investments in the 4.0 supply chain will be in vain. According to the FEVAD annual report, the French have spent 57 billion euros on the Internet. The figures for online sales are giddy. Just as the development of technologies is diversifying online payment solutions every year.

Making a purchase online has become commonplace. Many Internet users no longer hesitate to memorize their bank card details on their favorite sites. But, there are many who are still cautious about making purchases on the web. The recent hacks of personal data on well-established sites have only heightened the concerns of the most reluctant. The cause is the vulnerability of the systems that collect and then store the data.

Faced with the risk of fraud, several data security options exist on the market to protect customers. Formally authenticating the holder of the credit card remains the most common. This is the principle of the 3-D secure system, used by many merchants. The security protocol consists of adding an additional airlock before validating the payment. Depending on the banks:

• A date of birth,

• A password,

• A code written on a personal key card,

• Or a dynamic one-time code received by SMS.

However, some traders are cautious. The conversion rate of online purchases by 3-D Secure is slightly lower than without a protection system.

Banking institutions issuing credit cards also offer solutions including fraud prevention modules. The merchant himself defines filters and determines the rules for accepting payments. Finally, several French companies are developing secure cross-channel, multi-means of payment, multi-bank and multi-currency payment platforms. The payment modules can be configured directly in the e-commerce solution.

By building on these fundamentals, you’ll always be prepared, whatever the future may bring. This article is published by Starlinks , which is one of the Top SEO company Sydney.

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