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Understanding E-commerce Logistics

Understanding E-Commerce & Online Shopping Logistics

Online shopping has been popular for over two decades, and more customers than ever are using online ordering for everything from clothing to housewares to groceries. Does your online ordering system have the appropriate e-commerce logistics to meet customer needs and demands?

While many third-party logistics providers have similar approaches, choosing the right one for your e-commerce platform could be confusing. What types of products do you sell? Do you want a provider to offer a personalized touch for your customers? Do you serve a smaller area or all of Canada? With so many elements to consider, choosing the right logistics company can seem daunting.

What Matters Most to Your Customers When Receiving Online Orders?

The first point to consider is your customer base. What do they want when they order from your e-commerce site, and how do they want to receive your products in delivery? Most customers want options for tracking, cost variations, and different delivery and pickup methods.


Many customers want direct tracking of their orders, with updates for each packing, loading, transit, and delivery stage. Some third-party providers estimate a delivery date and narrow it down to a four-to-six-hour delivery window when the customer’s package is on the delivery van.

More advanced delivery services offer GPS tracking and weather integration for real-time updates on the estimated delivery time.

Cost and Speed

For some customers, cost is the most critical aspect of an e-commerce shipping option, while for others, speed is crucial. For many customers, there is often a trade-off between ensuring faster deliveries at higher costs or choosing a slower delivery method for more affordable rates.

What matters most for your customers when choosing between pricing and delivery wait times? Some third-party logistics companies might offer free or affordable shipping but won’t deliver for a week or more. Others might offer fast shipping at the expense of costing more than the item your customer ordered. Compare shipping times and rates to find a provider that fits your customers best.

Delivery and Pickup Methods

Many delivery companies drop small parcels at a customer’s door and run back to their vans without so much as ringing the doorbell. For larger orders, they might wheel your customer’s order into the living room, drop the load, get a signature, and go before your customer has a chance to inspect their order.

The top delivery companies in Canada can offer several home delivery solutions for your customers, including:

  • White glove delivery and setup for large equipment or appliances
  • Room of choice delivery for exercise equipment, furniture, or other large appliances
  • Doorstep delivery for when your customers aren’t home to receive their orders
  • Contactless pickup at a distribution centre with appointment scheduling and order loading
  • Threshold delivery to set your customer’s order inside the door without walking through their home
  • Pick’n Pack small parcel delivery options
  • Digital and contactless signatures and paperless receipts

How Do the Top E-Com Logistics Companies Expedite Customer Expectations?

E-commerce logistics companies often offer warehouse and fulfillment solutions, as well as inventory management, delivery options, and returns handling. Once you know what your customers expect for their package and parcel delivery, you can choose a third-party logistics provider to meet your customers’ needs and exceed their expectations.

Local Warehouses and Fulfillment

If you sell a physical product online, you need a place to keep your inventory and have it ready to move when a customer places an order. Many third-party logistics providers offer warehouse space, packers, and multiple warehouse locations so each customer can receive deliveries faster than from a centralized location.

Canada is a large country with many rural areas. Offering delivery from multiple warehouses allows customers in even the most remote locations to enjoy your products sooner and leave your company a five-star review for fast service. No customer should feel left out just because of where they live.

Accurate Inventory Management

One of the top services some third-party logistics companies offer is an integrated inventory management system that ties directly into your e-commerce platform. Whether you have a central warehouse or utilize multiple storage facilities for inventory, a robust e-commerce logistics partner should be able to manage your digital inventory system to keep an accurate count of physical inventory.

With accurate inventory management systems, you know when to replenish which items, when to send an out-of-stock message, and when to deliver from another warehouse location if you have the item in stock at a secondary facility.

Delivery Options

What options do your customers prefer to receive their packages? Do they want a delivery driver to drop the package on the doorstep and text them a picture to confirm delivery? Do they want to pick up their order from a local distribution centre? When choosing your third-party logistics partner, consider their delivery options and how well they align with your customer needs.

Accepting Returns

While most major retailers accept in-store returns, what options do smaller e-commerce companies have? Your third-party logistics provider should be able to assist your company in accepting and restocking undamaged returns so you can issue a refund quickly. If your e-commerce business only offers exchanges, your logistics partner should be able to make the swap and adjust your inventory accordingly.

Third-Party Logistics Challenges and Process

Managing inventory across multiple locations and establishing appropriate delivery schedules can be a complex task. Your third-party logistics provider process should include the following:

  • A consultation to determine your company’s needs
  • Creating a plan targeted to meet your KPIs
  • Developing a custom delivery solution
  • Strategizing for implementation of your new system
  • Training your team on how to use your logistics management software

Contact an Experienced Canadian Shipping Logistics Company

When you need a custom e-commerce logistics solution for your online sales anywhere in Canada, turn to the experienced team at Encore Deliveries. We used our knowledge from providing nationwide moving services to develop custom delivery solutions for e-commerce customers. Call us today at 1-905-670-7111 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.