5 supply chain hacks that e-commerce companies can learn from Flipkart to cash in on the festive sales
If you have ordered something on Flipkart this festive season, chances are that you were surprised with a same-day or early delivery.
While the festive season means greater business as everyone gets busy shopping, it also means that e-commerce websites should be able to cater to high volume orders, equally high customer expectations, while dealing with other complexities such as their own staff members going on a holiday.
So how did Flipkart make customers smile this year?
It took intensive planning, on-ground effort and strong collaboration to cater to high volume orders and equally high expectations of prompt and satisfactory deliveries. So, Flipkart pushed the boundaries of their entire supply chain— right from technology to manpower — to make this happen.
Here are 5 quick takeaways:
Reliability comes with keeping promises:
Reliability is a very important factor for customers. The delivery date guaranteed to the customer was treated with utmost importance. Apart from this, Flipkart also made sure that even customers in remote areas were ensured of superior service, despite logistical challenges.
Detailed planning over 10 months by the engineering and design teams helped reduce operational costs while enabling faster delivery – two tangentially opposite targets! Thanks to the planning, on October 12, they carried out 7,00,000 shipments. From October 3–16, high-value products [those above Rs 5,000] were delivered five days faster across all pin codes than in 2015.
Advantage from omni-channel strategy:
The main goal was to develop channels to invoke whatever capacity as available to deliver to customers. In addition to collaborating with Delhivery, Ecom Express, and Blue Dart for deliveries, Ekart tied up with Apollo Pharmacy stores and neighbourhood kirana outlets to let their customers pick up packages from there, across more than 40 cities in the country. All this helped reduce the cost of the supply chain by 35 percent from last year.
Past experience also matters:
Flipkart capitalised on their past experience in inventory strategies to plan the volume of orders that would come from each region, and which warehouses would need to cater to which areas, thereby enabling timely and efficient delivery.
Flexible storage method:
Flipkart had 50 percent more storage space than last year without really increasing the number of warehouses. They experimented with flexible storage methods. A lot of the design team’s effort went into ensuring flexible storage and helped to significantly reduce expenditure.