Omnichannel E-commerce: A Retail Strategy Trend For 2023

Good news! The market value of the retail industry in India will hit 1.7 trillion in 2026, an increase of over 80% since 2018! Clearly, the retail industry is zooming at a breakneck pace. 

However, it is quite evident that a single-channel approach isn’t enough any longer, especially if retailers want to be a part of the above growth story. Modern Indian consumers (74%), shop across channels and love the seamless, integrated shopping experience offered by omnichannel E-commerce. 

Now, before you go ahead and adopt an Omnichannel Strategy for your E-commerce business, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of this powerful approach –including the opportunities it presents, the roadblocks in adopting it, best practices, etc. And that’s why we have created this exhaustive guide, the only thing you need to adopt omnichannel E-commerce for your business.

What is Omnichannel E-commerce?

Omnichannel E-commerce is a retail strategy that focuses on offering an integrated shopping experience across multiple channels. It integrates different touchpoints where your customers are likely to interact with your brand into a single unified system. It could include online marketplaces, social media, brick-and-mortar stores, mobile apps, etc. The goal of the omnichannel approach is twofold. One, to enable customers to engage with your brand in any channel they prefer. Two, to ensure that the customers can switch between two channels seamlessly.

What Is The Difference Between Single Channel, Omnichannel, and Multichannel commerce?

ParameterSingle ChannelMultichannel Omnichannel
DefinitionBusinesses sell their products through a single channel.Businesses sell their products through multiple channels that are not integrated.Businesses sell their products through multiple channels that are integrated with each other. 
Options for InteractionA minimal number of options for purchasing, communicating with customer support, and tracking orders.More options. However, there is a lack of integration and consistency across channels.More options with a consistent and seamless experience across all channels.
Data sharing across channels (For creating personalized experiences in other channels)NANot shared across channelsShared across channels
Inventory ManagementVery simple as there is only one channel to manage.Complex because there are multiple disconnected channels.Simple as there is a single centralized inventory to manage the inventory across all the channels. 

How Does Omnichannel E-commerce Work? 

In an omnichannel system, all the channels are tightly interwoven to provide a consistent experience. Customers can start shopping on one channel and continue on the other without losing their cart. They can also track their orders and communicate with customer support via any channel of their choice. 

Here is a simple example of how omnichannel E-commerce works.

Channel 1: Social media

Mary sees an ad on social media for a dress she likes. She clicks on the ad and is directed to the brand’s website. 

Channel 2: E-commerce website

She browses the dress, reads the reviews, and adds it to the cart. However, she didn’t complete the purchase. 

Channel 3: Mobile app

After a few hours, she receives a push notification on the brand’s app with a targeted promotion for the dress she left in the cart. She clicks on the notification and is taken to the same dress’ page in the app. This time, she plans to buy it. However, at checkout, she chooses to pick up the dress in-store as she wants to try it out before purchasing it. 

Channel 4: Phone

She calls the phone support team to ask for the address of the nearest store. She also collects information about the store timings. 

Channel 5: Physical store

She goes to the physical store and tries on the dress. The size doesn’t fit her, so she exchanges the product then and there and leaves with the one that fits her.

How Omnichannel E-commerce works

As you can see from the above example, the customer is seamlessly shifting between different channels without any interruption. This drastically improves their overall experience and trust factor with your brand. 

Businesses adopting an Omnichannel Strategy have to employ a centralized inventory management system to ensure that the customers have access to the same products at the same price point across all channels. They must also ensure that their messaging is uniform everywhere. This keeps the customers at ease, knowing that they have multiple options to reach out to your brand in case something goes wrong in their purchase journey. 

Examples of Omnichannel E-commerce 

Let us explore the examples of brands that have successfully implemented Omnichannel E-commerce. From retail giants to upcoming businesses, these companies have leveraged omnichannel strategies to drive sales, increase customer loyalty, and stay ahead of the competition.


How Pepperfry is using omnichannel commerce to boost customer experience

Pepperfry is a leading E-commerce brand that specializes in furniture and home décor. It has adopted an Omnichannel Strategy allowing its customers to order their products anytime, anywhere from any device. A key aspect of their omnichannel approach is the ‘Studios’ where people can explore and experience all types of furniture in person. Even though customers cannot purchase furniture from these studios, they help in making informed purchase decisions. 

Channels present: Website, mobile app, social media, and physical store.


Omnichannel in ecommerce example from Lenskart

Lenskart is an optical retail chain that has established a strong network of stores across the country. It has successfully established an omnichannel ecosystem where customers can either place an order online or from a retail outlet. At the store, they get to try on the product in-person, but the stores have a limited category of products. The online channels have been carefully designed to accommodate its vast catalog that customers can browse and order from the comfort of their homes. 

Channels present: Website, mobile app, physical store, social media, and marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart.


Omnichannel Ecommerce Example From H&M


H&M is a Swedish fashion brand with a strong retail presence in India and known for its trendy and affordable clothing. Besides its brick-and-mortar stores, the brand also has an online website and a mobile app for customers to purchase their products. H&M has invested in creating a seamless in-store experience for its customers looking to try the attire before they buy. Customers can browse products online and find nearest stores having them. The brand is even quite active on social media platforms showcasing its products from time to time and highlighting promotions and new sale events if any.

Channels present: Website, mobile app, social media, and physical store.

Why Brands Should Focus On Omnichannel E-commerce?

Let us take a closer look at how Omnichannel E-commerce can help you stay competitive in today’s retail space – 

Better Customer Experience

An omnichannel experience puts the customer first. It prioritizes their needs and preferences and delivers a better customer experience. For starters, it allows customers to shop on their own terms – a key recipe for offering a better customer experience. Some would like to buy in-store, some prefer E-commerce sites, and some mobile. By offering a range of channels, you are catering to different customer preferences, which can lead to a better overall experience.

You also reduce the time it takes for customers to complete a purchase. A simple example would be allowing customers to use their smartphone to scan a barcode in-store and complete the purchase on your E-commerce store. They do not have to wait in line to make the payment. In other words, you are effectively reducing the friction in engaging with your brand, which has a direct impact on customer experience. Decathlon has mastered this art to deal with the weekend rush. They have built a dedicated Scan & Go app that lets customers make payments through their smartphones by scanning the QR Code while exiting the store, making the check-out process seamless. 

Increase in Sales and Website Traffic

By being present on multiple channels, you can reach a wider audience and provide customers with multiple options for engagement. This creates more opportunities for customers to make a purchase, which can lead to increased sales. 

Omnichannel E-commerce also improves your brand’s visibility among potential customers, which can drive website traffic. For example, if you constantly post brand ads on social media or set up multiple pop-up stores in the locality of your target audience, they will be able to recognize your brand and products better. And customers are always more likely to purchase from a brand that they are familiar with. 

Boost Customer Loyalty & Retention

In an omnichannel approach, you offer multiple methods to shop, different places to engage, and a much more personalized experience. This automatically attracts a band of loyal customers who are not only going to purchase from you repeatedly but also share their positive experiences with others.

Omnichannel E-commerce also allows for better communication with your customers. This is the foundation of any strong relationship. For example, you can use different social media channels to respond to customer queries and provide customer support. This is a great way to show your commitment to customers, which will ultimately lead to better loyalty and retention. 

Better data collection and understanding of the customer journey

Once you implement an Omnichannel Strategy, you’ll be able to collect customer data from one channel and fill in the data gaps on other channels. You will have access to complete, organized, and centralized data. This will give you a better picture of what products or content your potential customers are engaging with, how they are interacting with them, at what point in time, etc. 

This valuable information can then be used to understand the customer journey and personalize their experience irrespective of where the customers are or which device they use. For instance, you can use the information collected in an E-commerce store to provide customized product recommendations when customers visit your physical store. This can improve their overall shopping experience and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Challenges with Omnichannel E-commerce

While Omnichannel E-commerce can provide numerous benefits to you, it can also present several key challenges that must be addressed. Here are some of the common challenges associated with implementing Omnichannel E-commerce –

Logistic challenges 

As you know, Omnichannel E-commerce is all about offering a consistent experience to users irrespective of where they engage with your brand. To achieve this, your inventory, logistics, and delivery processes should be in perfect sync across different channels. 

With multiple channels to sell through, it gets very difficult to balance stock and demand. Overstocking is very common in omnichannel implementations. This is primarily due to a lack of real-time visibility into inventory levels across all channels.

There are also logistical issues associated with returns and cancellations. Many E-commerce brands do not have clear policies and procedures in place for handling returns owing to the sheer complexity involved in handling those processes in multiple channels. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and result in a loss of sales.

Data privacy challenges

Collecting customer data is the only way to personalize the customer experience and drive sales. While customers love personalized experiences, they fear for their privacy due to the misuse of data collected. Recent data breach incidents have only strengthened their apprehension. 

When you integrate multiple channels and adopt new tools and processes, you are getting exposed to new variables and risks. This considerably increases the risk of cyber attacks. Hackers can always exploit the vulnerabilities in one channel to gain access to sensitive data in another channel, putting customer data at risk.

To counter this, you must take precautionary measures like multi-step authentication, training employees on various data attack types, and following password protection. You also need to ensure that general industry guidelines for security and data privacy, such as GDPR and CASL are followed in all the channels. 

Globalization challenges 

When you are expanding to multiple countries, you have to consider the local language, currency, laws, and cultural trends to be successful there. For instance, customers in the US would not like to see the final order amount in Indian Rupees. A French customer would like to see the website content in French. And, data privacy laws are also different in different countries. Implementing this in one channel is difficult. Imagine doing the same across multiple channels that are connected with each other. It will not be easy. 

One way to deal with this challenge is by adopting an E-commerce solution that can handle multiple catalogs and currencies. However, creating and managing multiple catalogs is also not easy when you do it in-house. The simpler option is to partner with a Seller of Record or E-commerce specialist like ANS Commerce who will take care of everything related to E-commerce while you focus on delivering more personalized global experiences. 

Lack of tech infrastructure

Integration of multiple channels in Omnichannel E-commerce requires a robust technology infrastructure that can support various software applications, CRMs, Inventory management tools, Order Management Tools, and data analytics tools. 

Most companies lack this or find that their current tech stack is not advanced enough to support the complex omnichannel requirements. 

In other words, their existing commerce platform will not be able to scale with their omnichannel strategy. As a result, many businesses end up re-platforming their E-commerce solution or hiring additional support, which can drastically increase the cost. Thinking of moving your online store to a new platform? Checkout our blog on E-commerce migration and replatforming to get started. 

How to create an Omnichannel Strategy for your brand?

Creating an effective Omnichannel Strategy requires careful planning and execution, taking into account your target audience and channel goals. Let us now explore the key steps involved in creating an Omnichannel Strategy for your brand.

Step 1: Understand your target audience

Start by analyzing your customers’ preferences, behaviors, and buying habits. Collect data, such as purchase history, demographics, and social media activity, to gain insights into their preferences and how they interact with different sales channels. Send surveys, invite customer feedback, and leverage social listening tools to gather this data. 

Step 2: Select the right channels

Now, select the right channels for your business. Pick the ones that your customers prefer. For example, if most of your customers spend time on social media shopping, include that as one of your channels. You can also pick ones suitable for your business. For example, if you are in the home decor industry, you might want to include physical stores as one of your channels, as it will help customers visually experience the product before buying. 

Step 3: Define goals for each channel

Each channel should have a clear purpose that aligns with your overall omnichannel strategy. For example, your physical store could focus on offering a more personalized shopping experience, while your website may focus on convenience. 

Step 4: Connect the channels

Now start connecting all your channels. While executing this step, you must ensure that customers can switch between different channels seamlessly. For instance, if a customer starts shopping on your website and later visits your physical store, they should be able to access their online shopping cart in-store.

Step 5: Maintain your channels

Once you have connected the channels and established your Omnichannel Strategy, it is essential to maintain and update your channels regularly. Monitor customer feedback and track sales performance to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, keep up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends to stay ahead of the competition.

Ready to provide an omnichannel experience to your customers? 

A FlipKart group company, ANS Commerce, is India’s #1 Full Stack E-commerce Growth Partner, renowned for its expertise in implementing omnichannel strategies. If you’re looking to provide your customers with an exceptional shopping experience, then ANS Commerce is the partner you need. 

With our deep understanding of the E-commerce landscape and proven track record of success, we will help you seamlessly integrate all of your customer touchpoints, from brick-and-mortar stores to E-commerce platforms and marketplaces, to create a cohesive omnichannel experience. 

By partnering with us, you can rest assured that your customers will enjoy a consistent, personalized shopping experience, regardless of where they are in the buying journey. 

Want to know how we can scale your E-commerce business? Book a free consulting session with our expert today. 

Strategies To Streamline Return Management And Reduce Cost: A Complete Guide

Here’s a fact— at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned as compared to about just 9% in brick-and-mortar stores. Also, a survey suggests that 92% of consumers will buy again if the brand’s online return process is easy.

What does this data depict?

The need to have an easy return policy for any E-commerce brand. 

Having a return process in place allows your customers to have confidence in buying from you. It’s a signal from you that you put your customers’ satisfaction above everything and value their time and money. 

However, handling returns isn’t easy. You need to have a streamlined Return Management process while keeping costs down.

In this article, we’ll be talking all about that. Starting from the basics.

What Is E-commerce Returns Management?

In retail or E-commerce, Returns Management is a procedure that deals with customers who wish to return purchased items. This process involves engaging with customers, receiving returned products, and replenishing the stock with returned items. It is crucial for retailers to handle Returns Management effectively as mismanagement can lead to significant cost implications.

Why Do Customers Return A Product?

Returns aren’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s inevitable. No matter how good your products are, there will always be returns.

However, you can always decrease the return rate by implementing some common strategies. Now to decrease the return rate, you first need to understand what are the common return reasons. Here are a few reasons why customers return products:

Incorrect Product Size

Over 50% of the returns are because of sizing issues. While this may seem beyond the control of an online store, there are ways to mitigate it. 

In a physical store, customers have the opportunity to try products and get a better idea of their size. They can even try on clothes and shoes to check for proper fit and comfort. But this is not possible while shopping online. Discrepancies due to sizing can easily be tackled by offering detailed product description and using size standardization. There are many plug-ins available in the market to help you recommend accurate sizing to your customers. 

Product No Longer Required

Many customers order products online, but sometimes circumstances change and they no longer require the item when it arrives. For instance, a customer may have ordered something online and by the time it comes, you might have got a better version offline, thus not needing it anymore. 

Another reason for returns is when an upgraded version of the product becomes available. Electronics, such as chargers, mobile phones, tablets, and laptops are common examples of this. While this type of product return may be out of your control, there are ways to encourage customers to keep the product by highlighting its unique benefits and/or offering a discount coupon. 

Mismatch Between Product And Description

It’s not uncommon for products to appear different in reality than they are described in the product description, which can lead to customer disputes and reflect poorly on business practices. To avoid this, product descriptions must be detailed and accurate. 

Crafting complete, clear, and accurate descriptions is crucial to answering customers’ questions and avoiding disputes. Additionally, it’s important to proofread the descriptions and accompanying images before publishing them, as first impressions matter. Take the time to write, read, edit, re-edit, and proofread descriptions to ensure their accuracy and avoid any potential misunderstandings. Make sure your descriptions are accompanied by clear product images from different angles, leaving no surprises for the end consumers. By providing clear descriptions and real-life product images, sellers can prevent unnecessary disputes and returns. Read our blog on how to click awesome product photographs to get started. 

Wrong Product Shipped

Effective product picking is a critical task in the fulfillment process, and failure to do so diligently can lead to a significant number of returns. It’s important to ensure that the correct products are properly sorted and selected, as mistakes can result in unnecessary labour and shipping costs. 

To mitigate this risk, partnering with a 3PL (third-party logistics) fulfillment provider with robust OMS (Order Management Systems) can be a viable solution. These providers have expert teams who handle products, sort them, and pack and ship them. They also offer storage solutions, and when an order is received, they can process it on your behalf. By utilizing the services of a 3PL provider, businesses can minimize the risk of errors in product picking and save on associated costs.

E-commerce Return Management Process Explained

E-commerce Return Management Process

The Returns Management process involves multiple touchpoints or points of interaction between the customer and the E-commerce business. However, it all begins with the customer initiating a return.

Customer Requests A Return On Their Order

Returns can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which may seem illogical and based solely on the customer’s emotions. Let’s consider the scenario in which a customer is dissatisfied with their order. 

In this case, the customer would select the item they wish to return and provide a valid reason, as requested by the E-commerce business.

Return Request Is Rejected Or Approved

If return requests do not meet the conditions set by the E-commerce business, they may be rejected, and the interaction regarding that order ends. 

However, if the return request is valid, it can be approved, and the process for initiating the return will begin.

Order Is In Transit

From the moment an order return is scheduled to be collected until it reaches the E-commerce store, it is considered to be in transit. During this time, E-commerce brands can take advantage of these moments to share return status updates with their customers.

Product Is Returned To The Store

After the returned product has been received by the E-commerce store, collecting customer feedback on their shopping experience with the brand can begin. If the feedback is positive, the E-commerce business can consider encouraging the customer to shop for a replacement product (if they haven’t already chosen one).

E-commerce Returns Management Process: Best Practices

We’ve already talked about the importance of having a good Returns Management process in place and now here are some best practices to help you achieve the same.

Have A Shopper-friendly Returns Policy

More than 67% of shoppers check a brand’s return policy before buying. This is why it’s imperative to dedicate a page on your website clearly describing your return policy.

Here are a few things to consider while creating a return policy-

  1. Clarify conditions and deadlines for return.
  2. Mention your objectives and customers’ needs clearly.
  3. Don’t encourage fraudulent returns and wardrobing.

By creating a customer-friendly returns policy that balances flexibility with the E-commerce store’s objectives, a win-win situation can be achieved. This can result in increased conversions without the need to spend excessively on customer acquisition or return-related expenses. 

To ensure that customers can easily find the returns policy, it should be prominently displayed in areas of high visibility, such as the home page, product pages, checkout page, and FAQ section. This will help to minimize confusion and streamline the returns process, ultimately improving the customer experience. Read our complete guide on E-commerce return policy to get started. 

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Here are two of the most common mistakes that brands make while selling online.

Mistake: Inaccurate product photo

Photos are among the first few things that customers check before buying any product. If the photos are misleading or different from the real product, the chances of returns are high.

Solution: Keep the photos real. You can make it look attractive but make sure it still shows what exactly the product is like. You can also ask your customers to share real-life photos of the product. Ask them to post their pictures of your product and tag your brand on Instagram. And then use tools like Pixlee, Yotpo, or Later to automatically collect images/videos and display them on your website.

Mistake: Wrong product description

Before buying anything your customers would do extensive research and after that research, if the product doesn’t look or feel like the description, they will return it and may never come back. 

Solution: Write descriptions that match the product’s qualities and standards. 

For example, Nykaa provides in-depth as well as visually appealing product descriptions that are easy-to-read and understand.

Product Description Example By Nykaa


Offer Fast And Easy Returns 

A staggering 92% of shoppers are more likely to make repeat purchases if the returns process is easy. Furthermore, E-commerce businesses can simplify the returns process by enabling customers to initiate returns easily and quickly through a returns portal. 

With a returns portal, customers can access their orders, select the item they wish to return, provide a reason for the return, and select a return method in just a few minutes. This streamlined experience can make customers more inclined to continue shopping with the E-commerce business, ultimately boosting customer loyalty and retention. Also, adding the option to return in-store can also be helpful for people who want to return immediately. 

Collect Customer Feedback

Collecting customer feedback is essential. The reason behind this is that these feedbacks provide you with valuable insights into the customer experience. By understanding why customers are returning products and their overall satisfaction with the returns process, E-commerce businesses can improve their Returns Management policies and procedures. 

Moreover, customer feedback can also help identify common issues that customers may face when returning products. For example, if customers frequently experience delays or issues with return shipping, you can take steps to address these issues and improve the returns process.

How Flipkart collect feedback from customers

Use Data To Decrease The Chances Of Return

Making your marketing and operations team work together can get your brand to touch new heights. 

By leveraging customer feedback and segment data, you can easily identify the following things:

Problematic products:

By checking and analyzing feedback and returns you can easily spot which products are problematic and getting returned the most.

Problematic customers:

Create personalized profiles for high-risk customers by utilizing customer segmentation and feedback. Share this information with your marketing team to help them determine the appropriate customers and products to target. 

When a product with a high return rate is bought or a customer with a history of high returns makes a purchase, send them a targeted email.

Problem with the products that are good but different:

For instance, with the help of user feedback, you know there’s a t-shirt that runs one size smaller than the standard size. Now to handle this, you can mention on that particular brand’s products’ page that the size runs smaller than the usual ones. This small note will help customers determine and order the right size and, in turn, will reduce returns. 

Restock Returned Products To Improve Inventory Flow

The success of a retailer heavily relies on its inventory management. Apparel products, in particular, tend to lose their value quickly over time, which means it is essential to avoid being left with a large amount of unsold merchandise at the end of the season.

This is exactly why effective inventory management and proper reverse logistics are crucial for E-commerce retailers.

About 30% of products sold are returned. Timely grading and restocking returned products are vital as every minute in the warehouse and every touch by a worker increases the cost. Inefficient handling of returns can lead to up to 10% of sales revenue loss. This issue becomes even more significant for multichannel sales, where fully integrated inventory management can make a significant difference. 

Thus, streamlining the returns process improves both customer experience and operational efficiency.

Recapture Costs From Damaged Good

Recapturing costs from damaged goods is the process of recovering the real value of the returned product. In this process, instead of simply rejecting the product, you can try to salvage some value by repairing, repackaging, or reselling the product. By recapturing the costs of the returned product, you can reduce your losses and improve your bottom line. Proper inventory management and reverse logistics processes can help you streamline this process and recapture as much value as possible from damaged goods.

Provide Exceptional Customer Service During Returns

According to a report, a whopping 89% of consumers say that they are more likely to return and make another purchase after positive customer service. 

It’s no secret that customer service is an essential component of brand building. Nearly 3 out of 5 customers report that good customer service is crucial to stay committed to a brand. And if you don’t provide good customer service during returns, they will feel betrayed and may never buy from you again. 

Outsource Your Reverse Logistic Process To ANS Commerce

At ANS Commerce, we specialize in helping E-commerce businesses to optimize their storage and supply management processes. Our services encompass the entire supply chain, from product inwarding to final delivery and even Return Management. By leveraging our expertise and technology, we can help streamline your operations and improve efficiency, ultimately saving you time and money. 

Whether you need assistance with inventory management, warehouse organization, or order fulfillment, our team is dedicated to providing customized solutions that meet your unique needs. Let ANS Commerce be your partner in optimizing your supply chain and taking your business to the next level.

Connect with our E-commerce expert today to see how we can help you grow your business. 

How Return to Origin (RTO) Is Impacting Profitability of E-commerce Businesses

E-commerce is the new normal for buyers and sellers, with countless businesses diving in amid the pandemic. Even major brick-and-mortar brands joined the bandwagon. While they did it as a survival response in the first place, the decision emerged as a game-changer for all the brands. 

Most businesses want to continue with it for the long haul. And statistics show that growth is imperative. E-commerce sales are projected to grow 10.4% in 2023, and the market size is expected to reach a whopping $6.3 trillion this year. That spells a huge opportunity for retail and D2C brands.

While everything about the industry sounds great, it has a fair share of challenges as well. Of course, competition is the one player, one needs to worry about the most. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg because there are a lot more things to stress about. 

Returns are one of them- in fact, Return to Origin (RTO) is a major headache as it can seriously eat into a seller’s profits. Research shows that E-commerce businesses lose over $400 billion in sales every year due to product returns. Nonetheless, having a strategy to deal with RTO can help business owners survive and thrive in the unpredictable landscape. 

Let us share a comprehensive guide on return to origin in E-commerce, its potential impact on businesses, and a strategic approach to get through. 

What is Return to Origin (RTO)

RTO, or Return to Origin, is a term used in E-commerce to describe the return of a package to the seller when it cannot be delivered to the customer for any reason. This can occur if the delivery attempt fails or if the customer refuses to accept the package. As a result, the package is marked as RTO and sent back to the seller.

Unfortunately, sellers must bear the cost of both forward and reverse logistics in such cases, which can be a significant financial burden. In fact, returns and exchanges can account for up to 50% of an E-commerce retailer’s revenue.

How to calculate RTO?

To calculate the RTO for your business, use the RTO rate formula below:

RTO rate = (Orders not delivered + Orders cancelled before delivery) / Total number of orders

The RTO rate represents the percentage of orders that were not successfully delivered. This is an essential metric to track as it indicates the efficiency of your shipping process. A lower RTO rate is desirable as it implies that products can be shipped faster and more reliably.

How RTO impacts business profitability despite high order volume? 

Research indicates that returns make up a daunting 30%+ of E-commerce shipping. It means a seller can expect one-fifth of their D2C orders to return. Even worse, it can affect a business’s bottom line due to the cost associated with shipping and managing inventory. Here are some potential pain points caused by the return to origin-

  1. Cost of forward and reverse logistics

The most evident reason to worry is the cost of forward and reverse logistics. The seller ends up paying for shipping the item initially (if they offer free shipping) and repeating it when it gets shipped back to them. That’s double the sum. They also pay operational costs in order processing, such as the cost of packaging, quality testing, and labor. These can add up to a significant sum that is enough to erode the profit margins. 

  1. Cost of managing damaged products

Some products returned by customers may be damaged or in a condition that makes them unsellable. In such cases, E-commerce companies have to bear the cost of managing these products, which may include repairing or disposing of them.

  1. Cost of repackaging and quality checks

When the seller gets another order for a return to origin product, they have to repeat the entire order processing schedule, from repackaging to quality checks and getting in touch with logistics. 

  1. Cost of blocked inventory

When a product is returned, it takes up space in the warehouse, blocking inventory that could have been sold. This space comes at a cost, as the E-commerce company has to pay for warehousing storage.

  1. Loss of marketplace commission

The loss compounds if one sells through marketplace. Depending on the marketplace a seller collaborates with, they may not get a refund for sales commission even if the order does not get through. On top of that, most marketplaces charge an additional fee for a return to origin. 

When these costs are added up, they can have a massive impact on the business’s profitability. And it worsens because of the sheer number of RTOs they encounter. Consider how much you can lose when one in five orders returns to the origin. 

What are the top reasons for Return to origin?

Return to origin in E-commerce is a part of the deal for D2C sellers because several reasons may lead to a return to origin. But it is vital to identify them so that you can reduce the possibility and implications of E-commerce returns. Here are the reasons for RTO:

  1. Incorrect user information

When a customer adds inaccurate information such as an incorrect address, phone number, and email, they are eventually set up for a return to origin situation. If the delivery person tries to reach such customers, they are unreachable. There is no option other than returning the product to the warehouse and marking the customer as an invalid user. Besides incorrect details, ambiguous information and spelling errors may also cause problems. Missing out on zip codes is one of the common instances. As a seller, verifying and confirming customer information before shipping the package is important to avoid any errors and reduce the risk of RTO. 

  1. Unavailability of customers

Another common reason for E-commerce product return is the unavailability of a customer to receive it. The logistics partner usually makes multiple delivery attempts before marking it for return-to-origin. Keeping customers in the loop by sending real-time tracking information or giving them a phone call before delivery can prevent RTO due to the non-availability of customers. 

  1. Lack of customer intent

Surprisingly, a buyer who orders a product online may end up rejecting or returning it because of a lack of intent. The reasons may vary, from a change of mind at the last moment, getting the same item at a lower price or earlier from another seller, not requiring the product any more, and more. Whatever the reason, a seller cannot force them to accept the order, even if it sounds right. 

  1. Delivery of damaged or wrong products 

Delivery of damaged or wrong products is another reason for return to origin. Damaged items can result from mishandling during shipping, while wrong products may be due to errors in order fulfillment. When customers receive damaged or incorrect products, they may return the item rather than keep it. If this happens, check with customers if they would like an exchange or store credits for the return. 

  1. COD payment is not ready

At times, the reason for RTO could be as simple as the recipient not having the cash payment to honor a COD order. They will probably ask the delivery person to ship it back to the seller. 

Another reason COD orders are prone to RTO is that customers may change their minds or have second thoughts about their purchase while waiting for the order to arrive. Since they have yet to pay for the item, it may be easier for them to cancel the order or return it. 

E-commerce merchants need to be aware of these risks and possibilities and take proactive measures to address them. Fortunately, it is possible to address most of them and protect the business and profits in the long run. 

Ways to reduce the return to the origin

While retailers cannot curb return to origin altogether, there are ways to minimize them. We have a list of actionable measures to limit returns at all stages of the conversion funnel. Here are some ways you can use to reduce RTO: 

During pre-sales

D2C business owners can start with an RTO-minimization strategy as early as the pre-sales stage when it comes to managing returns. Here are the steps you  can take: 

  1. Improve product quality

Poor product quality is detrimental for retail and D2C players, specifically in a competitive E-commerce landscape. Even if customers place orders, they will likely return them eventually if there are quality issues like incorrect sizing. Therefore, sellers need to analyze the potential causes of a high Return to Origin rate of specific products and work on improving them. One of the actions that they can take is size standardization, which can help reduce RTO drastically, besides bolstering their reputation in the long run.

  1. Go the extra mile with product showcasing

Product showcasing is a key challenge for E-commerce sellers. It is unrealistic to expect buyers to click on a whim when they cannot see, feel, and experience the offering. But going the extra mile with showcasing does help. Providing detailed information about products can help customers make informed purchase decisions. Include product descriptions, specifications, and high-quality images  and videos to give customers a clear idea of what they are buying.

  1. Offer surprise gifts and freebies

Adding freebies, discount coupons, and gifts to an order is a surefire way to reduce the chance of returns. Plus, one gets loyal customers willing to stay and recommend the brand by word of mouth. That’s a win-win! 

  1. Incentivize pre-paid orders

COD is one of the primary drivers leading to return to origin. After all, it seems much safer to return an order when one hasn’t paid for it. As a seller, one can address the risk by incentivizing customers with cashback or discounts for pre-paid orders. It is possible to dissuade them from choosing the COD payment method by asking for a small fee. 

  1. Relook at return policy clause

It’s no secret that many E-commerce companies offer friendly return policies, which allow shoppers to buy items, try them out, and return them if they don’t meet their expectations. While such policies can undoubtedly increase conversions, they can also lead to an uptick in returns. To prevent customers from exploiting loopholes, it’s crucial to ensure your return policy is ironclad.

Reevaluate your E-commerce return policy to clearly include these aspects: 

  • The time frame for returns
  • Acceptable reasons for returns
  • The condition of the product upon return
  • The refund or exchange process, and 
  • Any associated fees or shipping costs. 

By taking these factors into account, you can help ensure that your return policy benefits both your customers and your business.

During order processing

Besides acting early, sellers can also lower the return to origin risk during the order processing stage. Here are a few steps to implement in this context:

  1. Keep a close eye on high-risk orders

Not all E-commerce orders are the same. Some are at high risk of return to origin, so sellers must keep an eye on them. Risk management should be an integral part of order fulfillment operations. Checking the customer’s past purchase history is a viable way to confirm whether they return the ordered products. A seller needs to worry if they are notorious for returning COD orders. The best bet is to re-confirm the order via call, email, or IVR before shipping it. 

  1. Use technology and verify shoppers’ information

The inability to locate the delivery address of customers is one of the most common reasons for a return to origin. Incomplete/invalid/non-deliverable addresses can be problematic. Fortunately, it is possible to resolve the issue by leveraging technology. There are software tools to ensure that an address has been keyed in correctly and completely. They even give an apt error message to prompt the buyer to complete the address. 

In addition to software tools that verify and complete addresses, E-commerce merchants can also leverage faster checkout and RTO reduction automation tools to reduce return rates. Additionally, using AI-powered predictive platforms can help identify potential defaulters at the onset, reducing the likelihood of returns. 

  1. Partner with a reliable 3PL service provider

3PL collaboration can be a game-changer for an E-commerce business as these providers help with the entire shipment process, including picking, packing, and shipping. Their expertise in managing the shipment process ensures that orders are shipped to the correct destination on time. This reduces the chances of products being returned due to incorrect or delayed deliveries. 

They also take care of the returns, so partnering with a reliable one can minimize the return to origin-related hassles.

  1. Provide fast shipping

Fast shipping and delivery experience is another measure to reduce the chances of returns. Online shoppers are an impatient lot, so they end up buying a product from a brick-and-mortar store if the delivery date sounds too distant. In such cases, returning the product is the obvious repercussion. Brands can address the possibility by providing super-fast delivery services to minimize waiting time and frustration. 


A proactive approach to return to origin minimization also includes the post-sales phase. D2C sellers cannot afford to get complacent at any stage when it comes to E-commerce sales. These measures are effective for dealing with the risk of E-commerce returns post-sales:

  1. Focus on NDR management

Non-delivery reports (NDR) offer visibility into the order journey and the potential reasons for returns. They are critical for sellers looking to resolve and limit the return to origin rates for the long haul. For example, if a seller can see the delivery person citing customer unavailability as the cause of non-delivery, they should contact the customer to confirm their availability and ensure delivery.  Focusing on NDR management can take the E-commerce game a notch higher.

  1. Collect customer feedback

Listening to the customers is the key to success for a business. Customer feedback offers insights into what’s working for business and what needs to be improved. Including it in the post-sales process can help a business owner to get actionable insights into their product and logistics customer service. They should also implement measures to improve things to avoid a return to origin for future orders. Acting on customer feedback does more than resolve the issue, but also strengthens the relationship with buyers and boosts retention. 

Don’t let return reduce your profit margins

In conclusion, it is important to consider the impact of returns on their profit margins. While returns are inevitable, they can eat into profits if not managed properly. Implementing a well-designed return policy, tracking returns data and analyzing it can help businesses reduce the cost of returns and increase their overall profitability.

ANS commerce, a leading full-stack E-commerce service provider, offers a suite of services and tools to help you manage your E-commerce returns effectively. With ANS commerce, you can gain insights into return patterns, and implement strategies to minimize the cost of returns. Our streamlined return process and data-driven approach to order fulfillment can help you increase your profitability and achieve sustainable growth in the competitive E-commerce landscape. With the help of our expert team, you can focus on growing your sales and expanding your customer base while leaving the management of returns to us. 

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you, Book a free consultation with our E-commerce experts today!

How To Write Best-in-Class E-commerce Return Policy For Your Store

With the increasing popularity of online shopping, competition amongst E-commerce businesses has become more intense, as customers have endless options to choose from. While offering unique products is important for gaining customers, a clear and customer-friendly E-commerce return policy plays an equally crucial role. 

According to reports, customers are three times more likely to NEVER purchase from a company, if they are unsatisfied with the return policy. Therefore, drafting a well-crafted return policy becomes even more important to improve customer satisfaction, boost sales, and establish trust.

However, creating a best-in-class E-commerce return policy can be a challenging task that requires careful consideration of various factors such as product types, logistics, and budget.

In this blog, we’ll explore the key elements of a successful E-commerce return policy and discuss about tips for creating a policy that meets both the customer’s and the business’s needs. 

But before delving into those details, let’s first understand the meaning and importance of an E-commerce return policy.

What Is An E-commerce Return Policy?

An E-commerce return policy is a document that outlines the process and requirements for accepting returns from customers. This policy serves two important purposes:

Firstly, from a business perspective, it helps to protect against inappropriate returns and financial loss caused by credit card chargebacks.

Secondly, from a customer perspective, it provides information on the merchandise that can be returned, the reason for return, the time frame for returns, and the process for initiating a return. By understanding these details, customers can make informed purchase decisions and have confidence in the reliability of the business.

Here is an example of a return policy from Flipkart.

Return policy example from Flipkart

This comprehensive return policy provides customers with information about the return process, including the timeframe for returns and processing times. Additionally, it goes a step further by outlining common scenarios that may occur, helping customers understand whether a product is eligible for return or not.

Why Is An E-commerce Return Policy Important?

Are you wondering why you need an E-commerce return policy? Here are some points that will convince you.

Instills a feeling of security

In the world of online shopping, customers seek security in their purchases. They expect E-commerce businesses to offer a certain return timeframe, which not only indicates confidence in the product but also provides a safety net in case of any issues. This helps customers feel secure in their purchasing decisions and enhances their overall shopping experience.

Creates clarity

A well-crafted E-commerce return policy can save you the hassle of communicating return expectations to each customer individually. Customers know exactly what to expect and can initiate the process easily when the policy has clearly outlined the items eligible for returns and the corresponding timeframe. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also saves time, as you don’t have to answer repetitive return queries from customers.

Grows retention rates

Research shows that 92% of customers buy again from the same E-commerce company if the return process is hassle-free. You can create a positive shopping experience for customers, and encourage them to return to their store in the future by making the return process easy. This not only promotes customer loyalty but also helps increase your revenue by driving repeat sales.

Improves trust

Unlike in-store customers who can physically touch and examine products, online customers rely solely on product descriptions and images. It may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the product’s features and quality. As a result, customers may be dissatisfied with their purchase once it arrives at their doorstep. However, a well-crafted return policy that offers customers the option to return or exchange the product can help you with repeat sales and long-term customer relationships.

A well-crafted E-commerce return policy can help your business meet customer expectations and facilitate the purchasing decision process. 

You can remove the hassle associated with product returns by providing clear guidelines for returns and exchanges—establishing your business as a customer-centric organization. 

An E-commerce return policy can ultimately help businesses stand out in the competitive market and attract and retain customers in the long term.

Now, let’s get down to writing a great E-commerce return policy. 

What To Include In Your Return And Refund Policy

To ensure customers understand the boundaries surrounding returns, an elaborate E-commerce return policy must cover specific key points. These include the types of returns that will be accepted by the business and the refund process that will be followed. By clearly communicating these details, businesses can minimize confusion and dissatisfaction among customers, and establish a clear protocol for handling returns.

Here are a few points that should be included in your E-commerce return and refund policy:

Identify the items eligible for return

It is essential to identify which products are eligible for returns and which are not, especially if you sell perishable goods that may not be suitable for resale once they are returned. 

It is important to clearly state the types of items that are eligible for return or exchange in your E-commerce return policy to avoid confusion and manage customer expectations. By doing so, you can ensure that customers know exactly what they can and cannot return, which can reduce frustration and improve customer satisfaction.

Determine a clear timeframe for accepting returns

It’s crucial to define a specific time frame for returns in your E-commerce return policy, as customers need to know how long they have to initiate a return. The duration can vary widely, ranging from a week to a year or even longer, depending on the business’s policies. However, the standard timeframe for many businesses is 30 days, which is also the expectation of most customers.

If you fail to disclose a timeframe, you can have customers requesting returns even after years of the purchase. Yes, we are not joking. To avoid this scenario, it’s important to have clear and stricter rules in place to protect your business against open-ended return periods.

Describe the acceptable condition of the returned products to be accepted

It is crucial for an E-commerce return policy to clearly outline the condition in which a product must be returned for it to be processed. This includes detailing requirements such as original packaging, attached tags, and unworn clothing. It is equally important to state that returns that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted.

Failing to specify acceptable return conditions in your policy may result in customers returning products in poor condition, making it impossible for you to resell them and causing financial loss to your business. Therefore, a clear and concise outline of acceptable return conditions in your E-commerce return policy is essential.

Choose in-store credit or a refund

When customers initiate a return, they want to know how they will receive compensation for their purchase. Typically, there are two options for an E-commerce refund policy: in-store credit or a full refund. While some customers may prefer in-store credit, others will demand a full refund. Ultimately, the decision on what type of compensation to offer falls on the business. But it needs to be mentioned clearly in your E-commerce return policy. 

We recommend offering a full refund if the returned item meets all the requirements. Some E-commerce companies give customers the choice between two options. However, if you choose to only offer an in-store credit, it can be used to enhance your return process if done strategically. But be aware that this approach may lead to dissatisfaction among some customers.

Disclose any fees associated with returns

Your E-commerce return policy should specify who is responsible for the shipping, restocking, and other fees associated with returning a product. It is important to be transparent about this information to avoid any confusion or frustration on the part of the customer.

If you expect the customer to bear these costs, make sure to clearly state this in your return policy. Customers can become disgruntled if they are not aware of these fees ahead of time, so it is important to be upfront about them.

E-commerce Return Policy Template

You’re now equipped with all the necessary information and guidelines needed to create an effective E-commerce return policy. However, it can still be challenging to write a policy from scratch. Here’s a free E-commerce return policy template that you can use. This policy template is designed to cover all the essential elements needed to be included in an E-commerce return policy. 

Just simply replace the text with your policy or use it as a guideline to create a policy from scratch tailored to your business needs.

Sample Ecommerce Return Policy Template 

We hope that this E-commerce return policy example not only helps you create an effective policy in a short span of time but also sets you apart from your competitors. Remember, a clear and customer-friendly policy goes a long way in building trust with your customers, eventually increasing sales and revenue for your business.

E-commerce Returns: Best Practices To Follow

You followed all the tips and tricks mentioned above and created a customer-friendly E-commerce return policy, but your return workload is still high. Now what do you do?

Here are some best practices you can follow in your E-commerce returns to ensure a hassle-free process. 

  1. Your E-commerce returns policy should be easy to find

The importance of making your E-commerce return policy visible to customers cannot be overstated. It is crucial for the success of your return process. 

To achieve this, ensure that your return policy is prominently featured on the homepage of your website. The footer section is a popular spot for this. You can also consider including it in other areas such as the checkout page, FAQ pages, and product pages.

Another effective way to make your E-commerce return policy visible is by printing a copy and including it with every shipped product. Additionally, you can attach it or send a link in order confirmation emails sent to your customers after a purchase is made.

  1. Create concise steps for the buyer to follow

To prevent confusion among your customers, the policy should provide clear and concise instructions on the return process. You can create a dedicated section on your website or app for the return process, or you can direct customers to contact your helpline number for assistance.

Regardless of the method chosen, the guide should include all steps involved in returning the product, such as how to pack, label, and ship the items back to your store.

  1. Make return labels easy to print

Making return labels easy to print is an important aspect of a customer-friendly E-commerce return policy. Customers should be able to easily access and print their return labels without any technical difficulties. 

Providing a clear and simple set of instructions on how to print the labels can save customers’ time and frustration, and can also streamline the return process for businesses. Additionally, including the return label in the original packaging or sending it via email can make it even easier for customers to print and use.

  1. Understand the laws governing returns

The laws that govern returns can vary from one country to the other. 

In India, E-commerce companies are obligated to inform their customers about their refund and return policies once they have made a purchase. They are also legally required to accept returns of faulty or incorrectly advertised goods.

But in the United States, there is no legal requirement for a return policy. However, some states in the country require you to disclose it in the checkout process. 

On the other hand, there are other countries that legally require E-commerce companies to refund, repair or exchange faulty products. Customers in the European Union have the right to return the product within 14 days and receive a full refund. 

Therefore, you need to identify the regulations that work in your country of operation and comply with them. 

  1. Use chatbots to handle your returns

Integrating chatbots into your E-commerce return process can greatly enhance its efficiency. Simply add them to your website and they will make your process seamless.

With chatbots readily available on your website, customers can easily provide return details and receive guidance throughout the process. This not only ensures customer satisfaction but also saves you time and effort in handling each return individually.

  1. Keep your return policy simple

Ensure your E-commerce return policy is crafted using clear and concise language, which states rules that are easy to understand for each and every customer. Do not leave your return conditions open to interpretation.

Put every detail down correctly and make sure your customers can understand the rules and process of your returns. You can also seek feedback from other people before publishing your return policy online for your customers. 

Where Can You Display Your Return Policy?

After crafting a well-defined E-commerce return and exchange policy, the next crucial step is to ensure that your customers can easily access and view the policy before making a purchase.

Displaying your policy prominently can set expectations and minimize the number of dissatisfied customers. While it’s impossible to please everyone, making your policy visible can go a long way in reducing the number of returns and exchanges.

To make your policy easily accessible, include links to it in the following places:

  • Your website footer
  • Your FAQ page under the returns section
  • Your product pages
  • Cart and checkout pages
  • Order confirmation email
  • Your wish list pages

Ensure that customers are aware of your return and exchange policy before they purchase by placing links to your policy in these key locations. 

Are Return And Refund Policies Legally Required?

The legality of an E-commerce return and refund policy can vary based on the country in which your business operates.

According to the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 in India, E-commerce companies are obligated to inform their customers about their refund and return policies once they have made a purchase. They are also legally required to accept returns of faulty or incorrectly advertised goods. Customers are entitled to return semi-durable and durable products within 15 days of purchase, provided they are in their original packaging and have not undergone any changes in shape or size.

In the United States, there is no legal requirement for an E-commerce return policy, but it is important to clearly state on your website whether or not you have one. Some states may also require you to disclose this information during the checkout process.

In the European Union, sellers are required to offer repair, replacement, or refund options for faulty products. In the United Kingdom, traders must offer a full refund for faulty, damaged, or misrepresented products. And in Australia, customers have the right to repair, refund, or replace products under the Australian Consumer Law.

Therefore, it is important to research the legal requirements for an E-commerce return policy in your country of operation and comply with all applicable regulations.

Final Words

Whether you’re starting a new online store or looking to improve an existing E-commerce return policy, the above guide will help you create a policy that sets your business apart from the competition.

ANS Commerce is here to help with the digital process. As a full-stack E-commerce enabler, we offer top-notch solutions and services to online businesses. Our team of experienced professionals can assist you from start to finish, helping you achieve your goals and boost your sales and revenue. Whether you’re launching a new online store or seeking to enhance your existing E-commerce business, ANS Commerce has the expertise and resources to help you succeed in the digital marketplace.

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you, Book a free consultation with our E-commerce experts today!

O2O Commerce: Evolution Of Retail Business

Imagine a scenario: your customer is scrolling through your E-commerce website, adding items to their cart, and getting excited about their upcoming purchase. But then, they start to second-guess their choices. What if the product doesn’t fit? What if the color is different than what they had envisioned? Suddenly, the convenience of online shopping starts to lose its allure. 

This is where online-to-offline (O2O) commerce steps in – a strategy that seamlessly blends the convenience of online shopping with the ‘touch-n-feel’ experience of in-store shopping. By embracing O2O commerce strategies, businesses can eliminate the uncertainties of E-commerce, drive retail sales and build customer loyalty in a quick span. In this blog, we’ll dive into the world of online-to-offline commerce and understand how it will revolutionize the way customers are going to shop in the coming days.

What Is Online-To-Offline (O2O) Commerce?

Online-to-offline commerce refers to a modern business strategy where you attract potential customers from online channels to your physical store in order to complete a purchase. In O2O Commerce, online shoppers get the best of both worlds (online and offline) via capabilities such as try & buy, in-store pickup, and home delivery.

The major goals of O2O commerce include: 

  • To ensure that your online and offline channels complement and not compete with one another 
  • To build better brand awareness across channels
  • To gather valuable customer data that can be used to improve marketing efforts and enhance customer experience

How Does O2O Commerce Work?

O2O commerce starts with online engagement, where customers search for products online, check their availability, and compare prices across different platforms. Then customers either place the order online and choose to pick up the product at a store or book an appointment online to personally visit the store and try the product before purchasing it. Either way, your online customers get the opportunity to physically experience the products before using them. 

Customers also get personalized service from the staff and a chance to clear all their doubts and apprehensions about the product. Additionally, some e-commerce brands also deliver products to the doorsteps of the customers, thereby boosting convenience even further.

How does O2O commerce works

O2O commerce business model benefits

Let’s explore some of the key benefits of the O2O E-commerce business model and understand why it has become so popular in recent years.

Reach more customers

By having an online presence, you attract one set of customers who prefer the convenience of E-commerce. At the same time, by creating an opportunity to complete the purchase from a brick-and-mortar store, you also pull those audiences who love to engage in a physical purchasing process that online shopping can’t provide. This automatically multiplies your reach and drives both online and offline sales. 

Pro Tip: In case you already have a strong web presence, motivate your consumers to shop in your brick-and-mortar stores by offering special in-store discounts and conducting events. 

Reduce shipping & logistic cost

In O2O, you offer your customers an option to research online and buy in-store, which eliminates the need for shipping. This reduces not only the cost of logistics, returns but also the risk of lost or damaged packages. Apart from this, you can use your physical stores as mini fulfillment centers, allowing you to use your existing infrastructure to fulfill your regular online orders. This can reduce the cost of warehousing.

Give shoppers what they want – the store experience

Despite the convenience of online shopping, many customers still value the store experience. In a store, you can provide a brand specific personalized shopping experience that enables customers to touch, feel, and try products before making a purchase. This is particularly important for products that require a more tactile experience, such as clothing, shoes, or home furnishings.

The O2O model also allows customers to get their products right away, which creates instant gratification in their minds. With online shopping, there is always a delay between the time a customer places an order and when they receive their product.

O2O commerce strategies retailers can implement

As the competition in E-commerce is heating up, retailers must adopt innovative strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some effective O2O commerce strategies that you can implement to stay ahead of the competition

BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store)

By implementing BOPIS, you enable your customers to buy products online and pick them up at a nearby physical store. This is beneficial for both parties. Customers enjoy the flexibility to choose when and where to receive their products. They can select a store location and a convenient pick-up time that fits their schedule. For retailers, this strategy creates an opportunity to upsell customers on additional products when they visit the store to pick up their purchases.

However, you must provide clear information on your website about which products are available for in-store pick-up, as well as the time frame for pick-up. To make the process even smoother, you can offer a designated pick-up area in-store or even provide a curbside pick-up option.

Offer Appointment Booking

Allow customers to book a time to come into the store to browse products or receive expert advice from a sales associate. It provides customers with a convenient way to schedule their visit to the store, eliminating the need to wait in long lines or deal with crowded stores. This can be particularly appealing to those customers who have busy schedules and want to avoid wasting time waiting for assistance or finding the product they need. 

You can successfully implement this strategy by providing an online booking system on your e-commerce website. It is also important that you send confirmation emails or text messages with details about customer appointments.

Try & Buy/Home Delivery

In this, you allow customers to place the order online, try the products once they are home delivered, keep the products that they like, and return the rest to get a refund. Brands like Firstcry and Myntra use this strategy to drive growth.

Alternatively, you can let customers first research online, visit the physical store to try the product, and finally have their purchases delivered to their homes. This strategy can be particularly useful for those customers looking to purchase products that cannot be transported easily. Brands like Pepperfry, the furniture retailer, use this strategy.

In case you are providing the home delivery service, be upfront about the delivery fees and timelines and ensure that you have the terms clearly mentioned in your shipping policy.  You should also consider partnering with third-party delivery services or investing in your own delivery fleet to ensure that deliveries are made on time and in a professional manner.

In-store returns & exchange

This allows customers to return or exchange products they purchased online at a retail store location. This can be attractive to those customers who prefer the convenience of shopping online but want the reassurance of being able to return or exchange products in person. This eliminates the hassle and uncertainty of shipping items back to the retailer.

For retailers, this is a great way to increase foot traffic to their physical stores and create opportunities to engage with customers in person. By having customers come into the store to return or exchange products, retailers have an opportunity to offer personalized recommendations, suggest alternative products, and create a positive and engaging shopping experience.

Pop-up stores

Pop-up stores are temporary retail locations that are typically set up for a short period of time, often a few days or weeks. They are a great way to bridge the gap between your online and offline presence. Since they can be set up instantly with minimal effort, multiple pop-up stores can be installed, preferably closer to customer locations. You can showcase products and give an opportunity for the customers to try out the product in person without having to travel a lot. You can use the pop-up stores to collect valuable customer data and insights, which can be used to tailor future product development and marketing strategies. 

Invest in local SEO

Investing in local SEO can help retailers reach customers in their local area. By optimizing your website and online presence for local search, you can improve your visibility on search engines like Google and attract more foot traffic to your physical stores. You can also leverage local search platforms such as Google My Business to increase visibility and attract new customers. By creating a detailed and accurate profile on this platform and regularly updating it with relevant information such as store hours, contact information, and reviews, you can improve your local presence and attract relevant customers to your physical customers.

Examples of O2O Commerce Implementation 

Here are some examples of brands that have embraced O2O Commerce in recent years – 


Screenshot of Lenskart website

Lenskart, the popular eyewear brand, has a strong presence in both online and offline spaces. It is one of the early adopters of the O2O Commerce model. Besides letting customers place an order online, it also lets them try the eyewear at the nearest store by booking an appointment. The brand even offers various freebies and free services for all the customers who visit their physical store. Once the product is ready, customers will receive it at their doorstep. 

Online-to-offline strategies they used: 

  1. Try & Buy
  2. Offer Appointment Booking
  3. Home Delivery
  4. In-store returns and exchanges
  5. Invest in local SEO


Screenshot of Manyavar website

This Indian wedding wear and ethnic wear brand has also adopted the O2O model. On every product’s detail page, customers have the option to book an appointment to visit a physical store in person and try the selected product. This is a great strategy for a brand that sells clothes for special occasions, as every purchase has to be perfect in terms of fitting and appearance.

Online-to-offline strategies they used: 

  1. Try & Buy
  2. Offer Appointment Booking
  3. Invest in local SEO


Screenshot of Croma website

Croma is a retail chain that sells consumer electronics and home appliances. It operates both offline stores and an e-commerce website that offers a wide range of products. Croma offers an option for its customers to pick up their orders from a nearby store at a convenient date and time. This option is given at the time of checkout. Alternatively, customers have the option to book an appointment to visit the store to experience the product first-hand after researching it online. 

Online-to-offline strategies they used: 

  1. BOPIS
  2. Invest in local SEO


Screenshot of Bluestone website

This jewelry brand has also taken the O2O route to attract website visitors to its store. Bluestone offers multiple options to complete a purchase. You can either buy it online, visit the nearest store where the product is available, or book a home trial. On the product details page, the brand clearly highlights the different stores where the chosen product is available so that customers can visit, try the product, and complete the purchase. 

Online-to-offline strategies they used: 

  1. Try & Buy
  2. Home Delivery


O2O commerce offers a great opportunity for e-commerce brands to reach more customers, improve customer experience, and boost both offline and online sales. Although there are some challenges that come with implementing an O2O model, partnering with the right E-commerce service provider can make it a lot easier to overcome these obstacles. And that’s where ANS Commerce comes in. 

We are an e-commerce expert who takes care of the entire life-cycle of your e-commerce store. We have several specialists in-house who can help you plan, strategize, and implement the online-to-offline commerce model in your business. To talk to our O2O specialists, book a demo now. 

A Comprehensive Guide On Creating Shipping Policy For Your E-commerce Business

It doesn’t matter what you sell; the only way to achieve long-term growth in your e-commerce business is by gaining the trust of your customers. And the easiest way to build credibility in their minds is by providing a comprehensive shipping policy. 

Think of it as an essential part of your overall shipping strategy. You can set customer expectations and ensure a positive shopping experience by providing a detailed shipping information page on your website. If you want to revamp your existing shipping policy or create one from scratch, we have collated all the essential information you need to get started. Read along!

P.S.: Don’t want to face the hassle of creating the policy from scratch? Get the free shipping policy template right away. 

What is a shipping policy?

A shipping policy is a detailed document or webpage highlighting an E-commerce company’s rules and procedures when delivering products to its customers. It covers essential information such as shipping rates, shipping times, shipping carriers, returns & refunds, packaging methods, etc., with utmost clarity. Shipping policies help set expectations for shoppers, ensure consistency and transparency in shipping practices, and protect the business from liability issues.

Why does your E-commerce business need a shipping policy?

A well-designed shipping policy positively impacts the customer experience and reduces returns. Here is how it achieves that – 

Prevents misunderstandings regarding shipping costs

By including precise details about the shipping process, a shipping policy eliminates the possibility of any delivery-related confusion, misunderstandings, and last-minute surprises. More importantly, customers will understand their final shipping fees before their purchase. This means they will be less likely to abandon their carts, a plaguing issue faced by most e-commerce sellers today.

Recommended read: 17 Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples With Key Takeaways

Keeps customers informed about the delivery time

A shipping policy lets customers stay informed about their orders by offering details on expected delivery schedules and tracking options. This way, customers can anticipate the arrival of their packages, prepare for possible delays, and have an idea of the maximum wait time if such delays occur.

Sets expectations for refunds, returns, and exchanges

A comprehensive shipping policy outlines the process of initiating refunds, returns, and exchanges. For instance, it could cover details such as the conditions under which customers are eligible for refunds, the processing time for return or exchange, any fees associated with the process, etc. 

Provide legal protection to your business

A clear and well-written shipping policy can protect your E-commerce business in case of legal disputes. For instance, by setting out the terms and conditions of shipping, you can defend your business against customer complaints. Also, by highlighting the conditions under which a refund is valid, you prevent the abuse of the returns policy. 

5 Things to include in your shipping policy

While a shipping policy can include numerous components, there are a few important ones that should not be missed. Including them will ensure that your customers clearly understand your shipping process. Here are five such components that should be part of your shipping policy –

Shipping rates & cost

Provide your customers with a clear understanding of the shipping costs associated with their orders. Make sure to outline any flat fees, weight-based fees, or other charges that may apply, as well as any minimum order requirements for free shipping. It’s important to be transparent about your shipping rates and to make sure that they are fair and reasonable. 

Shipping mode and delivery time

Highlight the different shipping modes available to customers, including the estimated delivery time and associated charges. This will help customers make an informed decision based on their urgency in receiving the product. Again, provide accurate delivery details and be upfront about any factors that may affect delivery times, such as weather or holidays.

Restriction on shipping (if applicable)

If you have geographic restrictions on shipping to certain countries or regions, specify that clearly so that customers are not disappointed at the time of order placement. 

International shipping

If you offer international shipping, your shipping policy should highlight the additional costs and fees associated with international orders, such as import duties and taxes. You should also include a statement on who is responsible for these additional fees. Also, have the estimated delivery times and any restrictions for international shipments communicated in your shipping policy. 

Missing or lost packages policy

Even though you are not responsible for packages getting lost (in most cases), it is your responsibility to guide the customers when something like that happens. Include the contact information of the department and steps customers can take to report a missing package and file a claim. 

Shipping policy page examples you can learn from

It’s always good to look at some real-life shipping policy examples before you are ready to draft your own.  Here are three ecommerce brands that have nailed their shipping policy – 

Plum Cosmetics

Plum Cosmetics Shipping Policy Example

What did we like about this shipping policy?

The entire shipping policy has been formatted as FAQs, with all the answers compressed by default. It has made the shipping policy skimmable. Also, you can find the answer to your specific query instantly without having to go through the entire shipping page. They have also clearly segregated the shipping policy into three buckets: Shipping, Returns, and Cancellations – making it even more reader-friendly. 

Farida Gupta

Shipping Policy Example by Farida Gupta

What did we like about this shipping policy?

They have elaborately highlighted every possible element of their shipping process, from what they do to expedite your order in case of delays to whom you should contact in case of damaged products. They have also used screenshots and images to make it easily understandable to the readers. They also have a search bar on the page for users to check if delivery is available in their location. 


Shipping Policy Example

What did we like about this shipping policy?

Since they ship both within India and to other countries, they have covered the shipping processes involved in both these categories separately. They have also clearly pointed out who is responsible for paying the import taxes or duties for their orders. The brand has also mentioned the countries that they currently ship to. 

Use this free shipping policy template

Here is a downloadable shipping policy template for your online store. Edit, modify, and use them as per your needs. The section marked in blue is meant to provide guidance on how to approach the template. You can delete it from the template when you copy it. 

Shipping Policy Template – Google Docs

Where is the best place to display your shipping policy 

When it comes to shipping policies, your primary goal is to make them as accessible as possible to customers. This will ensure that there is no scope for confusion in the minds of customers while placing an order. Here are 5 sections on your website where you can place your shipping policy links to make it easily findable – 

Website announcement bar

A website announcement bar is a banner that appears at the top or bottom of your website. This banner can be used to convey important information about your business, including key aspects of your shipping policies. Many e-stores use this real estate for high-priority shipping-related information, such as shipping discounts.

Have Shipping policy link at website announcement bar

A link in your website footer

Your footer is probably the first place your customers will scan for the shipping policy. Why? Because that’s where the links to all customer support pages, such as contact us, social media handles, and FAQs, can be found. Most modern websites place a shipping policy link in the footer, if not anywhere else.

Display Shipping policy link in website footer

Product page

Your product page is where customers learn more about your products before purchasing. While browsing through the product page, customers might end up having several questions about shipping and delivery. Many times, shipping aspects like time of delivery and shipping cost will determine whether they buy from you or not. Consider adding a line or two about your shipping policy on the product details page or a pop-up communicating the shipping policy like how Farida Gupta, an Indian apparel brand, did.

Display Shipping policy in product page

FAQ page

Your Frequently Asked Questions page is where customers go to find answers to various questions they have, including shipping. So it makes complete sense to include various components of your shipping policy in the form of QnA to help customers understand your shipping process better. For instance, check out how boAT has displayed its  policy below.

Shipping policy in FAQs page

Delivery option labels

If you offer multiple delivery options like standard shipping and express shipping,  label your shipping options to include the delivery times and costs to help customers select without needing to go through the entire shipping policy. You can display the label on both the product and the checkout page. 

Shipping policy delivery labels

Talk to a fulfillment expert about shipping

The foundation of any good E-commerce business is based on the right choice of shipping partners who can manage its entire lifecycle, right from warehousing to last-mile delivery. At ANS Commerce, we are committed to providing our customers with the best end-to-end E-commerce management services

We are the preferred E-commerce partner for 100+ brands in India and have helped them achieve both short-term growth and long-term sustainability. To know more about us and how we can aid in your shipping process, book a demo now!

Shipping Policy FAQ

How frequently should you update your shipping policy

It is recommended to update your shipping policy every 5-6 months or whenever you make a change to your shipping methods, costs, or timelines.

Are shipping policies legally required?

No. A shipping policy is not legally required. However, most businesses create one because it is highly beneficial for both customers and the brand. It establishes your e-store as a trustworthy one. 

11 Smart Ways To Reduce Shipping Costs for E-commerce Brands

Here’s a fact— as an E-commerce business, regardless of your size, you must deal with the unglamorous yet critical task of shipping. Ensuring that shipments are handled effectively is essential both for the satisfaction of its customers and the company’s success.

And shipping isn’t free. You need to pay the standard shipping charges if you use any courier service to deliver your products safely and timely. 

But customers don’t like extra shipping charges.

In fact, extra costs are the number one reason why customers abandon carts during check-outs.

Shipping charges is the main reason for cart abandonment

The best part— shipping doesn’t need to be expensive. There are ways you can use to save money on shipping without compromising anything.

And in this article, we’ll discuss strategies E-commerce businesses can use to reduce shipping costs, but first, let’s understand some basics.

What is shipping cost and what does it cover?

Shipping expenses encompass all expenses involved in transferring a product from a shelf or warehouse to a customer’s doorstep. These expenses comprise, but are not restricted to:

  • Expenses of boxes, packaging, tape, and labels, 
  • Cost of fuel, tolls, and other transportation expenses,
  • Expense of hiring a worker to select, pack, and dispatch the item, 
  • Insurance expenses against damages or loss during transit, 
  • Fee charged by a courier to retrieve and transport the item, and 
  • Expenses of import/export charges when shipping internationally.

How to save on shipping costs?

You can’t ask the customers to pay the shipping costs without annoying them. After all, no one likes to pay extra for anything.

This is where a few tips come in that can help you reduce the shipping costs, making it a win-win for both customer and the seller.

Here are a few ways you can save on shipping costs-

Decrease the shipping distance

The more the shipping distance, the more are the charges. Want to know why that is so? Here are the reasons why the shipping distance influences the shipping cost-

Fuel costs: Shipping carriers charge based on the distance the package travels. The more the distance, the more fuel the carrier will need to use to transport the package, resulting in higher fuel costs and ultimately, higher shipping costs.

Handling costs: Longer shipping distances also mean more opportunities for packages to be mishandled, lost, or damaged. With more handling points along the shipping route, the shipping carrier will need to increase the amount of labor and time required to transport the package, ultimately resulting in higher shipping costs.

Customs fees: When shipping internationally, customs fees are charged based on the value of the package being shipped. Longer shipping distances can result in higher customs fees due to the increased value of the package being transported.

Now that you know how distance influences shipping costs, here are two things you can do about it:

Strategically choose your warehouse’s location: The nearer it is to your customer base, the lower will be the shipping charges.

Set warehouses in all four directions: Chances are you’ll have customers from around the country. And if so, you should set up warehouses in all four directions so that the shipping distance could be less no matter where the order is coming from. 

Weigh your packages and reduce dimensions

Sending heavier packages usually costs more, except if you’ve chosen flat-rate shipping. If you’re handling the shipping process from your home, it’s a good idea to get a postage scale. This will help you know the exact weight of each package and calculate the shipping cost more accurately. 

It’s also a good idea to try and make the package as small as possible. Some shipping companies charge based on the size of the box used for shipping. This means the bigger the box, the more are the shipping charges. So by using smaller boxes, you can save a lot of money.

Here are other things you can do to reduce the weight and dimension, and ultimately shipping cost: 

  • Use corrugated boxes for packaging your products. Corrugated boxes are lighter and stronger than usual cardboard boxes. 
  • Create custom packaging with smaller dimensions to fit your product, rather than using bubble wraps and air pillows to secure your product during transportation 
  • Use the “ship in own container” strategy, meaning use the product box for shipping. No need to pack it inside another box. 

Negotiate for discounted shipping rates

Small E-commerce companies are usually under the impression that they need to ship hundreds and thousands of boxes per month to be eligible for discounts from shipping companies. However, that is not true. 

Shipping companies offer discounted rates even to small businesses that sell 100 packages a month. But the trick here is to contact these shipping companies and speak with their representative about the business. Explain the shipping needs, projections and volume and negotiate for a better shipping rate. 

Some logistics providers also offer discounted rates for loyalty to only them. But keep in mind to contact multiple shipping carriers and get the best rate possible. 

Don’t stick with one, consider building multi-carrier strategies 

During the initial stage of the business, finding and sticking with one shipping company seems easy. It helps in streamlining the decision process and ticking off an item from the task list. However, this might be doing more harm than good.

A multi-carrier strategy means staying on top of the rates for multiple shipping companies. Yes, there is a lot of work involved in researching, requesting quotes and maintaining data on the same. However, the benefits of a multi-carrier strategy offset the time involved. Here are the benefits:

  • Greater negotiating power – Keeping up with the services and prices of multiple shipping companies offers business owners more negotiating power. When a carrier knows that businesses are in the market for rates, they might offer a better rate to stay competitive.
  • Choosing the right carrier – Not all shipping carriers similarly handle products. Some might be better than others. Eg, in handling fragile items. Therefore, having multiple carriers ensures that businesses choose the right carrier for the right product.
  • Offsetting risks – No one can predict the future. Similarly, no one ever knows when a shipping company’s service goes bad. In that case, a multi-carrier strategy helps in switching from one shipping company to another without compromising on the quality of customer service.

Switch from boxes to poly mailers

If you’re selling small, non-fragile items like clothing then rather than using boxes for shipping, you may want to consider using mailer envelopes or poly bags. This option is way more cost-effective because the smaller dimensions take up less space on delivery trucks, which can save you money. 

Plus, using these types of packages usually requires less packing supplies, such as tapes and bubble wraps, which also can help you save bucks. If you have different combinations of products that you need to ship, it may be helpful to think about using different sizes of poly mailers. This way, you can easily accommodate different orders and make shipping more efficient. 

Stay on top of shipping carriers pricing changes

Every year, the big shipping carriers hike up their shipping rates as part of the general rate increase (GRI). These increases can vary depending on the carrier, service level, weight, and other factors, but on average, they tend to be around 5% (although during the pandemic, we’ve seen higher increases). 

On top of these rate increases, carriers may also add surcharges during peak times, like the holidays and Q4, when there’s a surge in shipping. They may also add other surcharges annually, such as large package surcharges or signature required surcharges. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid these rate increases and surcharges. You’ll either need to include them in the shipping fee you charge your customers, absorb the costs, or find another way to offset them.

Encourage your customers to place orders early

During peak seasons like holidays or festivals, it is important to encourage the customers to place their orders early to ensure they receive their packages on time.  

Shipping companies often enforce a cutoff time for placing orders to ensure the packages are delivered on time. Post the cut-off, they would charge a higher shipping fee to guarantee on-time delivery. 

Therefore, communicating to customers adequately to place orders early to avoid high shipping fees will help you prepare for the peak season with minimal hassle. 

Choose provider with pickup and delivery services

Choosing a shipping partner that offers pickup and delivery services can be very helpful in multiple ways. For example, it can save you time, effort, and money by eliminating the need to travel to a carrier location to drop off your products. This can also offer you more flexibility with shipping times, as you can schedule a pickup at a time that works best for you. 

Additionally, pickup and delivery services can boost your overall efficiency by allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. Also, providing faster delivery and greater convenience to your customers can also lead to better customer service, which can ultimately lead to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

Choose to package provided by the carrier

Most shipping companies offer small businesses certain boxes and envelopes for either free or at discounted prices. If you still need to buy supplies like boxes, bubble wraps, air-fill, etc., you can buy in bulk to get at discounted rates.

Don’t let the investment stop you from providing good packaging. After all, if anything happens to your products while shipping, it will ultimately be your loss.

Pass on the charges to customers

Yes, your customers aren’t going to be happy if they need to pay shipping charges. However, if you use the right way, you can still pass on the charges to your customers. 

Here are a few ways you can pass on the charges to your customers without losing them-

Show empathy

Before jumping into offering help or an explanation, take a moment to listen attentively. You’ve probably been in a similar situation yourself, where the cost of shipping made you hesitate to buy something you really wanted. It’s totally understandable to acknowledge this frustration before moving on to any solutions or explanations.

Explain the reasons behind the prices

Customers may not always understand the intricacies of shipping, so it’s important to explain things clearly. The easiest explanation, assuming it applies to your situation, is that you’re only passing on the actual shipping costs to the customer. 

Different shipping services offer varying levels of speed, reliability, and coverage, so it’s helpful to share information about your shipping partners and why you’ve chosen to work with them. Ideally, you should add a comprehensive shipping policy page on your website that you can direct customers to for more details. 

If the customer is in a location that’s more expensive in terms of shipping, or if they’ve chosen a product that’s more costly to ship, it’s useful to share that information with them as well. Being transparent about the costs can help to build trust and prevent any misunderstandings.

Provide direct comparison

It’s better to provide context for your shipping prices to alleviate any concerns that customers may have about being overcharged. Comparing your shipping prices to that of your competitors can be a great way to reflect that your prices are fair and competitive. 

Another useful strategy is to link directly to the shipping provider’s page, so customers can see the base shipping price for themselves. This way they’ll know the real prices and will also not feel annoyed while paying for the shipping costs. 

Share your approach

Providing explanations for why your shipping works the way it does can be helpful for some customers. For instance, separating the shipping cost from the product cost can become a part of your transparency values, which can build trust with your customers. 

Moreover, if you’re using more expensive shipping because it results in fewer damaged products, you can emphasize how this decision benefits the overall customer experience. This can be a great selling point and let customers feel confident in their purchase, knowing that the product will arrive in good condition.

Offer alternative options

Offering ways for your customers to reduce their costs or get more value for their money is a great way to enhance their shopping experience. Some examples of ways to do this include: 

  • Offering discounts at certain times or for certain types of customers. 
  • Providing bundles or bulk purchase options to reduce the per-item shipping cost. 
  • Allowing customers to pick up their orders at a local store, if that’s an option. 
  • Suggesting lower-cost product alternatives that may be similar to what the customer is looking for. 

While addressing shipping complaints one-on-one is sometimes necessary, you can reduce the number of such inquiries by having a clear and comprehensive shipping policy page on your website. This can help customers answer their own questions and feel confident in their purchasing decisions.

Partner with fulfilment centers 

You don’t have to do it all by yourself. There are companies like ANSCommerce that can take care of the entire shipping process and get your products delivered to your customers in the best way possible. All you need to do is focus on the production part, and your logistic service provider will manage the rest. 

Spread across India, we provide fully equipped storage facilities with cutting-edge warehouse management systems (WMS) and order fulfilment capabilities: pick, pack, dispatch, and return management. On top of this, we have partnerships with all major national carriers, and you’ll get the most favorable rates in the market. 

Of Course, this is not all; as India’s best E-commerce enabler, ANS Commerce offers end-to-end solutions to manage your online business-from performance, marketing, and marketplace management to warehousing & logistic services

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you with warehousing and logistics support, book a free consultation today!

The strategies mentioned above are proven ways to help small businesses save money on shipping while improving their delivery times and boosting their customers’ experience. Thus, whether you’re just starting your business or looking to optimize your existing shipping processes, employ these tips to take your business to the next level.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Warehouse?

Your E-commerce business is growing rapidly, and you’ve started to run out of space to keep the stock intact. Or, your current setup isn’t helping in terms of location and is hindering your team’s efficiency, and you are on an explicit hunt for better storage solutions.

Whatever the reason, if you are seriously searching for a suitable warehouse storage facility for your business and are already foraging options—you’ll need to consider many factors before making the final decision. And the crucial factor that’ll come into play would be accounting and measuring the total cost that’d go into renting a warehouse and comparing alternate options to see what would work best for your business.

This article will help you weigh through the warehousing costs and calculations in-depth and the alternative solutions associated with it—to help you make the right decision. Keep following:

Components of Warehouse Cost

It is no secret that landowners and brokers often make renting a warehouse complex by using complex jargon instead of plain English to communicate their pricing options. But in reality, warehouse cost is based on three main criteria – the floor area (square footage), base rental rate, and estimated operating cost. 

The Floor Area 

The floor area depends on how much space you need for your business and is usually measured in square footage. The area you use for inventory impacts the cost of renting a warehouse.

Note: You can further cut down costs on warehousing by optimizing and making the best use of the available vertical space—reducing total rental costs, big time.

Base Rate

The base rental rate is the amount you’ll pay the landlord, excluding additional operating costs. A base rate is usually charged per square foot on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis—as per your lease agreement.  

Operating Expenses

There are two types of operating costs you’ll need to consider before renting a warehouse – Triple Net Lease, also known as Net Net Net (NNN), and Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees. 

1. Triple Net Lease (NNN)

Net Net Net, also known as a triple net lease, refers to the property taxes and insurance fees that you, as a lessee, are supposed to pay besides the base rent—since you are responsible for all the operations happening at the rented property.

2. Common Area Maintenance

Common Area Maintenance (CAM) is the maintenance costs passed down from the landlord to the lessee. Maintenance fees include everything—from management to maintenance of the commercial property. 

How is Warehouse Rent Calculated

Did you know in the financial year 2022, the average warehousing rent was 258 Indian rupees per square meter per month in Pune, which was ranked the most expensive among all major cities in India? We’re breaking down the calculations below into three different rental options: monthly rate, quarterly rate, and annual rate–to help you better estimate the warehousing costs specific to your brand:

Monthly Rental Rate

Let’s say your business gets billed every month for warehousing and assume the following:

The storage space you use for warehousing = 1000 sq ft

The base rate = Rs 50 per sq ft per month

NNN = Rs 20 per sq ft per month

Adding up the base rate and NNN (Rs 50+Rs20), you’ll see that your total asking lease becomes Rs 70 per sq ft per month. Just multiply this amount by the square footage of storage, i.e., Rs 1000 X Rs 70= Rs 70,000.

This means you would become liable to pay Rs 70,000 as rent every month at the chosen warehousing space.

Quarterly Rental Rate

 Let’s assume the following for quarterly rental rates: 

Storage space you use for warehousing: 1000 sq ft

Base rate: Rs 100 per sq ft per quarter

NNN: Rs 50 per sq ft per quarter

Adding up the base rate and NNN(Rs100+Rs50), you’ll see that your total asking lease becomes Rs 150 per sq ft per quarter. Just multiply this amount by the square footage of storage, i.e., Rs 1000 X Rs 150= Rs 1,50,000.

In this case, you would become liable to pay Rs 1,50,000 as rent every quarter or Rs 1,50,000/12 = 12,500 per month. 

Annual rental rate

Let’s say you choose the option of yearly billing for warehousing and assume the following:

Storage space you use for warehousing: 1000 sq ft

base rate: Rs 200 per sq ft per year

NNN: Rs 100 per sq ft per year

Adding up the base rate and NNN(Rs 200+Rs100), you’ll see that your total asking lease becomes Rs 300 per sq ft per year. Just multiply this amount with the square footage of storage, i.e., Rs 1000 X Rs 300= Rs 3,00,000.

This means you would become liable to pay Rs 3,00,000 as rent every year for the chosen warehousing space.

Generally, annual billing gives you the most beneficial rate structure, and you’d definitely want to consider this before choosing a warehouse.

Apart from this, make sure to ask your landlord about the additional expenses you might incur, such as electricity, HVAC maintenance, and other operational & repair expenses. 

Is Renting a Warehouse Your Only Option?

The simple answer is ‘No.’ Renting a warehousing space is not the only option. While buying your own warehouse can seem very alluring, it’s certainly not possible for most E-commerce brands to make this big of an investment. 

You’ll not just become responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the warehouse but will also be trapped to pay off huge amounts of down payments. 

Alternatively, many businesses work with trusted third-party logistics (3PL) providers if renting or owning a warehouse becomes out of the question. 3PL does all the heavy lifting on your behalf by taking care of all your storage and warehousing needs while being cost-effective. 

Partnering with third-party logistics providers gives you the flexibility to focus on more important things and take care of all your logistics requirements end-to-end.

If you are looking for warehousing and logistics solutions for your E-commerce business, work with the best in the business. We at ANS Commerce provide fully equipped warehouse facilities across India with cutting-edge warehouse management systems (WMS) and order fulfillment capabilities – pick, pack, dispatch, and return management. 

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you with warehousing and logistics support, book a free consultation today!

Recommended Read: 

  1. E-commerce Warehousing 101: Everything You Need To Know
  2. What Are E-commerce Fulfillment Services And How To Choose One?
  3. Shipping Labels 101: A Beginners Guide On How to Create a Shipping Label

What Are E-commerce Fulfillment Services And How To Choose One?

The holistic E-commerce process involves more than just making a sale— it includes everything, from product development to marketing, operations, fulfillment, and more.

But do you know what’s the most challenging of them all— Order Fulfillment.

The reason is that as an E-commerce store, you need to be careful about inventory management and fulfilling the orders in time without compromising the quality.

Failing to do that can hamper your business profitability significantly.

In fact, if an order fails to reach its destination within two days of the estimated delivery date, 69% of shoppers are likely to avoid shopping from that retailer. This is why meeting and exceeding customer expectations is crucial.

And in this article, we’ll cover everything about E-commerce fulfillment services. Starting with the definition. 

What is E-Commerce Fulfillment?

E-commerce fulfillment is the end-to-end process of fulfilling an online order. It involves managing inventory, picking products from the warehouse, packaging them securely, and shipping them out on time to the customer’s specified destination.  

Here are the steps of E-commerce order fulfillment: 

Steps of ecommerce order fulfillment

Types Of E-commerce Order Fulfillment Models

Here are the types of E-commerce order fulfillment methods that you can choose from-

In-house order fulfillment

Inhouse order fulfillment

Assuming the responsibility of E-commerce fulfillment in-house can be a wise decision in some cases. By managing the process in-house, brands can earn a higher profit margin on each sale and maintain complete authority over the process. However, it requires substantial initial investment and recurring expenses. 

Even though managing the fulfillment process by yourself will provide you with better control over the process and quality, it can be complex and tiresome as the business grows and orders increase. Here are some reasons to avoid maintaining order fulfillment by yourself,

  1. High upfront costs: In-house e-commerce fulfillment requires a significant initial investment in equipment, software, and personnel, which can be a barrier for smaller businesses. 
  2. Increased workload: Managing the entire fulfillment process in-house can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, potentially detracting from other important aspects of the business. 
  3. Logistics complexity: Managing the logistics of e-commerce fulfillment requires expertise and knowledge that not all businesses may possess. 
  4. Risk of errors: With in-house e-commerce fulfillment, there is an increased risk of errors such as shipping delays, incorrect orders, and inventory management mistakes, which can result in negative customer experiences and damage the business’s reputation.

Third-party fulfillment

Third party fulfillment services

Under the third-party fulfillment model, E-commerce brands delegate the responsibility of inventory storage and transportation to a third-party provider. While the business retains control over the product quality, the expenses associated with shipping and handling are passed on to the external vendor.

When you opt for a third-party fulfillment model, you get the following benefits:

Reduced upfront costs: Outsourcing E-commerce fulfillment can save businesses a significant amount of money by eliminating the need to invest in equipment, software, and personnel required for managing the fulfillment process in-house. 

Access to expertise: Third-party providers specialize in E-commerce fulfillment, which means that they have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and resources to handle the entire process efficiently and effectively. 

Scalability: As the business grows and order volume increases, third-party providers can easily scale up their operations to accommodate the growing demand without requiring additional investment from the business. 

Streamlined logistics: Third-party providers typically have established networks of warehouses and distribution centers, which can help reduce shipping costs and streamline the logistics of e-commerce fulfillment. 

Time-saving: By outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment, businesses can focus on other critical aspects of the business, such as product development, marketing, and customer service, which can help drive growth and profitability. 

Lower risk of errors: Third-party providers are experienced in managing the e-commerce fulfillment process, which can help reduce the risk of errors such as shipping delays, incorrect orders, and inventory management mistakes, resulting in a better customer experience.

However, just like any other model, there are a few disadvantages to this too. Here are some of the difficulties you might face while working with a 3PL service provider: 

Communication challenges: Coordination between the business and the third-party provider can be challenging, particularly if the business requires real-time updates on order status, inventory levels, and delivery tracking. 

Dependency: Outsourcing E-commerce fulfillment can create a dependency on the third-party provider, making it difficult for the business to switch providers or bring the fulfillment process back in-house if necessary.

Additional costs: While outsourcing E-commerce fulfillment can save on upfront costs, businesses must pay for the services provided by the third-party provider, which can add up to a significant expense over time.


Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method in which a store doesn’t keep the products they sell in stock. Instead, the store acquires the product from a third party and arranges for it to be shipped directly to the customer. Consequently, the seller is not responsible for handling the product directly.

This method is often adopted by startups and small businesses seeking to sell products without incurring substantial upfront costs. It is easy to start and has low overhead costs, although profit margins are generally lower due to the additional costs of working with a third-party supplier.

How does dropshipping works


Why do you need an e-commerce fulfillment service provider?

If you are contemplating partnering with a third-party E-commerce fulfillment service provider, here are a few reasons for you: 

You don’t have the fulfillment expertise in-house

Managing inbound and outbound logistics can be challenging, and running an E-commerce business requires managing multiple interconnected processes. From managing orders and inventory to preparing for peak seasons, fulfillment companies have the expertise to handle it all. 

A single fulfillment center can handle operations for numerous E-commerce businesses and ship millions of orders regularly. This extensive experience and high volume make them valuable strategic partners. 

Moreover, fulfillment companies can help E-commerce businesses achieve greater efficiencies in various areas, such as negotiating lower shipping rates with carriers and strategically placing their inventory to reduce delivery time and costs.

You aren’t prepared to handle larger volumes during peak seasons

For many E-commerce businesses, demand can fluctuate greatly throughout the year, with peak seasons often resulting in a surge of orders that can be difficult to manage. 

Fulfillment providers have the capacity and expertise to handle these fluctuations, ensuring that businesses can meet customer demand without having to worry about the added complexities of managing inventory and fulfillment operations during busy times. They can scale their operations up or down depending on demand, making it easier for businesses to manage inventory levels and avoid stockouts. 

You can’t compete with Flipkart & Amazon in fast delivery

Amazon has already set a standard for a fast and reliable delivery time, and keeping up with this standard is a huge challenge for small businesses.

Today’s customers are busy and look for instant solutions. They don’t want to wait for days just to receive their orders. This is why most fulfillment partners have strategically placed fulfillment centers around the country, which can help businesses make faster delivery at lower shipping costs.

You are not using the right technology

Another advantage of using an E-commerce fulfillment service provider is that they have access to advanced technologies and systems that may not be available to individual businesses. These technologies can be used to streamline the fulfillment process, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency. 

For example, fulfillment providers use warehouse management systems (WMS) to keep track of inventory. WMS can help manage inventory levels, process orders automatically, and reduce errors caused by manual data entry. Making managing a warehouse much easier and more efficient.

You’re unable to focus on strategic tasks

Using an E-commerce fulfillment service provider can free up time and resources for businesses to focus on more strategic tasks, such as product enhancement, marketing, and customer service. 

For example, a business focusing more on product development can launch new products to the market more quickly, leading to increased revenue and market share. Similarly, a business investing more in marketing activities can drive greater awareness and demand for its products, leading to increased sales.

What to Look For When Choosing an E-commerce Fulfillment Service?

Now that you understand the benefits of having an E-commerce fulfillment service, you should also be able to pick the right one. There are several fulfillment services available in the market, but choosing the wrong one can negatively affect your business and revenue. To pick the right one, here are a few key points that you need to keep in mind-

Location of the fulfillment center

Customers expect speedy shipping, and the proximity of the fulfillment center to the customer is a crucial factor in achieving this. The closer the warehouse is to the end customer, the shorter the distance the products have to travel, resulting in faster deliveries. 

When selecting a fulfillment partner, it is essential to consider the location of their fulfillment warehouses. Identify areas from where you are getting maximum orders and ensure that your fulfillment partner has warehouses in those locations. 

Additionally, if your business operates globally, it is vital to confirm that the fulfillment company offers global shipping before partnering with them. 

Shipping speed/ Speed of delivery

With the arrival of Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery speeds, fast shipping has become the norm, and customers now expect faster delivery than ever before. And if you don’t stand on this expectation, you may start losing money in no time. 

This is where a fulfillment partner comes handy. 

A good fulfillment company should have streamlined and effective fulfillment processes that ensure quick delivery to customers. 

Features of order fulfillment software

As an E-commerce business owner, you already have a lot on your plate, with various digital tools, applications, and platforms to manage. The last thing you need is to add another software that is slow, disorganized, and difficult to navigate. That’s why it’s crucial to research not only the fulfillment company but also the order fulfillment software they use. 

Different fulfillment companies use different order fulfillment software, each with its own features and capabilities. It’s essential to understand your business needs and goals and select a fulfillment partner whose software aligns with them. Additionally, you want to ensure that the order fulfillment software is easy to implement and use daily, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.

Customer support

Although fulfillment companies aim for perfection, errors can occur during fulfillment and shipping, such as damaged, lost, or stolen packages. However, the support provided by the fulfillment company during these situations can significantly impact the customer experience. 

Fulfillment companies offer various tools and guidance to help E-commerce businesses and depending on the order volume, a dedicated account manager or a team can support the business. Transparency and visibility into the fulfillment company’s performance should also be expected. 

Branding & packaging options

With the vast number of E-commerce businesses in competition, it’s crucial to stand out and make a lasting impression on customers. Sending generic brown boxes won’t do the trick anymore. This is where branding options from an order fulfillment company can make all the difference in building a strong brand and generating buzz for your business. 

Personalization is key to engaging modern consumers, and a custom-tailored and exciting user experience can create loyal customers who return to your business. Neglecting branding potential when selecting a fulfillment partner can be detrimental to your user experience, especially when 89% of digital businesses invest in personalization and 51% of digital marketers prioritize it as their top goal. So, choosing a fulfillment company with branding options can help create a positive, memorable experience for your customers and drive business growth.

Return management

It’s crucial for a fulfillment center to not only ship products, but also provide returns management, as approximately 30% of online orders are returned. While some returns are unavoidable, a reliable fulfillment company should work with you to reduce controllable returns through better forward logistics. 

Additionally, your fulfillment partner should offer software that enables you to identify “serial returners,” customers who frequently make purchases only to return them. By identifying these customers, you can adjust your marketing strategies to prevent unnecessary returns. For instance, you may choose not to send promotional emails to these customers during sales or email them after the purchase with positive reviews from satisfied customers to increase their confidence in their purchases. A fulfillment company that helps you reduce controllable returns and identify serial returners can significantly benefit your business by improving the customer experience and reducing costs.

Evaluating order fulfillment services: 14 questions to ask

As the owner of an E-commerce fulfillment center, it’s important to choose the right e-commerce fulfillment service provider that meets your business’s needs. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin or what questions to ask. Here are some key questions to ask while evaluating fulfillment service provider for your business: 

Picking And Packing Questions

What kind of products do you ship?

If your products are bulky or weighty, choosing a fulfillment service provider specializing in handling such items is crucial. They will offer you the most appropriate guidance on how to pack and ship your products with utmost care. Conversely, a fulfillment center that predominantly handles large items may not be ideal for smaller products, delicate merchandise, or hazardous materials. Selecting a fulfillment center that caters to your product type is prudent, as this can significantly lower your packaging and shipping costs.

What value-added services do you offer?

Having a warehouse that offers kitting services can be a valuable addition to your E-commerce business. Fulfillment services for E-commerce can involve customized labeling or just-in-time assembly to enhance the value of your merchandise.

What are your customer service practices?

It’s important to ensure that the fulfillment service partner has efficient systems in place to promptly address customer inquiries.

Fulfillment Cost Questions

What is the charge for setting up accounts and integrating sales platforms?

It’s crucial to inquire about all fees associated with your account from start to finish. Concealed fees can transform an initially reasonable quote for fulfillment services into an expense that could harm your business.

Who pays for fulfillment mistakes?

Does the fulfillment center provide any guarantees in case of incorrect packing or shipping of an order? Do they waive fulfillment and shipping fees in the event of an error? Such a guarantee is a good indicator of a high-quality e-fulfillment provider.

What is your policy on inventory shrinkage (loss of products from warehouse)?

Beforehand, determine the shrinkage allowance. A first-rate E-commerce fulfillment warehouse will offer an inventory guarantee, shielding you from expenses related to inventory shrinkage and damage.

Shipping Cost Questions

Do you offer shipping discounts?

As most fulfillment service providers are volume shippers, they may be eligible for reduced shipping rates from freight companies. Make sure that you are receiving the benefit of such discounts.

Do you offer international shipping?

While you may currently sell exclusively to domestic customers, why restrict your future prospects? The E-commerce industry has vast potential for global sales. Opt for an e-fulfillment provider that can assist you in elevating your online store to the next level.

What is your system for shipment tracking?

Ensure shipment notifications are sent directly to both you and your customers and contain tracking numbers. This will allow you and your customers to monitor the shipment and address any issues that may arise.

How fast can you ship my orders?

Inquire about the fulfillment provider’s ability to deliver to at least 70% of the country within two days or less. Additionally, ask about the order turnaround time, such as whether they can ship orders received by a specific cutoff time on the same day. 

Questions Related To Maintenance & Technology

Does your warehouse have backup power?

Customers in other regions anticipate their orders to be delivered on schedule, regardless of your fulfillment center’s circumstances. They are unconcerned about any blizzards or power outages. It’s important to inquire about the last time the fulfillment center tested their backup systems. A generator that is not functional will not be beneficial when faced with severe weather conditions.

What inventory management and inventory control services do you offer?

To prevent inventory shrinkage, seek out a fulfillment center that offers real-time inventory management. This method is more precise than periodic spot-check inventories.

Do you have ISP backups in place?

Although the power may be functioning, an internet outage can render a warehouse inoperable. Without the transmission of orders from your E-commerce sales channels, orders cannot be shipped. It’s crucial to ensure that your E-fulfillment service provider employs multiple ISPs, guaranteeing uninterrupted internet service.

What are your security procedures?

This pertains to both internet security and the protection of your merchandise. Determine the controls that the fulfillment service  provider implements for access to sensitive and confidential information. They should also perform employee background checks and utilize security cameras to deter theft.

Experience the best fulfillment service with ANS Commerce

As India’s best E-commerce enabler, ANS Commerce offers end-to-end solutions to manage your online business-from performance marketing and marketplace management to warehousing & logistic services-we provide it all! 

Spread across pan India, we provide fully equipped storage facilities with cutting-edge warehouse management systems (WMS) and order fulfillment capabilities: pick, pack, dispatch, and return management. 

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you with warehousing and logistics support, book a free consultation today!

E-commerce Enablers: The Key To Your Online Success

According to a report by Statista, the revenue generated by the Indian E-commerce market was estimated to be 64 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to reach 200 billion USD by 2027.

Also, a report by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) states that the number of online shoppers in India is expected to reach 220 million by 2025, up from 140 million in 2018.

These stats reflect that the Indian E-commerce industry is proliferating, and Indians are inclining more toward online shopping than offline. 

But here’s the thing— it’s still difficult for local retailers to start their E-commerce store. The reason behind this is a lack of experience and resources, which makes them take the easy route.

As a result, they end up selling only on known E-commerce platforms, also known as marketplaces.

But these platforms aren’t Enablers. There’s a fine line between a marketplace and an E-commerce Enabler.

And we will discuss everything about E-commerce Enablers. 

Starting with the basic definition. 

What Is An E-commerce Enabler?

An E-commerce Enabler is a company that provides comprehensive solutions to brands to operate their online stores. These solutions include website hosting & optimization, digital marketing, customer service, warehouse & inventory management, and logistic support. 

It is important to note that E-commerce Enablers are different from E-commerce platforms like Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, and Amazon, which only provide a platform for businesses to sell their products, and for consumers to shop online. 

On the other hand, an E-commerce Enabler can assist a brand from start to finish. By offering a solid digital strategy, E-commerce Enablers can help businesses successfully run their E-commerce operations. Retail companies can also opt for full or partial solutions from E-commerce Enablers keeping the cost in control. Also, brands can focus on expanding their business by delegating non-core business operations to outside parties.

What Does An E-commerce Enabler Do?

Here are some of the basic offerings of an E-commerce Enabler-

Online Store & Catalog Management

In order to ensure that your online store is operating efficiently and generating sales, there are several tedious tasks that need to be executed well. These tasks include setting up the online store, managing product listings, running promotional campaigns, managing orders across multiple marketplaces, as well as gathering and reporting insights such as customer feedback. 

These tasks are the core focus of E-commerce Enablers, who deal with them on a daily basis and help you manage storefronts on marketplaces, social media platforms, and your own website and mobile application. 

Below are some examples of services provided by E-commerce Enablers like ANS Commerce: 

  • Manage product listing and optimization on marketplaces 
  • Track active and inactive SKUs and manage inventory 
  • Build pricing strategies and promotional plans to increase sales
  • Provide logistic & warehousing support 
  • Provide order management and last-mile delivery support
  • Ensure exceptional customer service by answering their queries

Digital Marketing/Performance Marketing

Every E-commerce store needs to leverage digital marketing to build brand awareness and reach potential customers. There helps an E-commerce Enabler. With digital marketing experts on their team, E-commerce Enablers can help you plan exhaustive marketing strategies for various channels, including ads, content creation, social media, and more.

With an E-commerce Enabler by your side, you can reach your potential customer effectively, resulting in increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and better sales. 

Warehousing & Supply Chain Management

Managing the E-commerce supply chain is challenging, as it involves several stages, such as inbound logistics, warehousing & inventory management, and outbound logistics. These processes require considerable investment and expertise to manage effectively. 

Businesses can rely on the competence of E-commerce Enablers to handle E-commerce logistics. These service providers, often in partnership with third parties, offer a range of services such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and return processing to streamline the E-commerce supply chain process.

End-to-end Customer Support

Delivering an exceptional customer experience is a crucial factor in converting store visitors and prospective customers into actual purchasers, as well as retaining them and ultimately turning them into loyal customers. As the traffic and demand on a brand’s online store increases, it becomes challenging to respond to every inquiry or feedback promptly without dedicated resources. 

This is where E-commerce Enablers come in. With their experienced customer service teams, E-commerce Enablers offer the perfect solution to this challenge. They can support your business by responding to all your customer inquiries in a timely manner and maintaining a great customer relationship experience.

Brand Store Hosting Tech Platform

E-commerce Enablers understand the need for a robust brand-hosting platform in this technology-driven world, and so offer a brand store tech platform to help you deliver an exceptional E-commerce experience. These platforms typically provide various tools and features that enable businesses to design and customize their online stores to reflect their brand identity and manage all aspects of their store’s operation, including product listings, inventory management, order processing, and customer engagement. 

Brand store tech platforms may also offer analytics and reporting tools to help businesses track their store’s performance and make data-driven decisions to improve sales and customer satisfaction. 

Our brand tech store, Kartify, has helped over 100 D2C brands improve their digital footprints and grow sales. Here are some benefits of hosting your E-commerce store with Kartify: 

Seamless Integration: With Kartify, you can integrate with more than 50 third-party tools and systems, which makes it easier to manage all aspects of your E-commerce business, including payment gateways, marketing automation tools, SMS & email providers, and order management systems. 

Managed Support: Kartify offers comprehensive support throughout the migration process and beyond. The dedicated account team, in-house dev-ops, and design experts make it a hassle-free migration. 

Highly Customizable: Kartify is a highly customizable, fully mobile responsive platform. You have complete control over the look and feel of your store, including user flows, layouts, menu, and filter options. 

Data Security: Kartify takes comprehensive measures to keep your store and customer data secure by adhering to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 security standards, performing regular security audits with vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, and encrypting all data on the platform with access control. 

Made for India: Kartify has been designed to the tastes of the Indian audience and offers many India-specific features like login with OTP, automatic pincode & city detection, GST invoicing, and more. 

Omnifriendly: Kartify enables the fulfillment of online orders from offline shops, providing a unified and convenient experience for customers. You can also conduct offline surveys and offer cash returns, further enhancing the customer experience and building loyalty.

The Industry’s Blind Spot: E-commerce Enabler Is More Than What You Understand

Marketplaces are not E-commerce Enablers

A marketplace is an online platform that enables businesses to sell their products or services to customers. Examples of marketplaces include Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, etc. 

While marketplaces offer a new channel for businesses to sell their products and facilitate transactions online, they function merely as intermediaries connecting suppliers to buyers. They do not provide end-to-end support for businesses like E-commerce Enablers, who can manage a business’s operations from start to finish.

E-commerce platform alone is not an E-commerce Enabler

Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopline are examples of E-commerce platforms that furnish the necessary digital infrastructure to establish an online store, BUT THEY ARE NOT E-com Enablers  However, although these platforms are useful in launching your online business, they typically do not offer ongoing operational assistance that is provided by E-commerce Enablers.

A payment gateway solution is not an E-commerce Enabler

An online payment gateway serves as a digital substitute for a physical credit or debit card reader and is responsible for handling customer payments when integrated into your online store. Numerous payment gateways are available for digital vendors, including well-known options like PayPal, Stripe, and Square. 

However, it is important to note that payment gateways primarily address your payment processing requirements and differ significantly from E-commerce Enablers.

Third party logistics are only part of what E-commerce Enablers represent

Third-party logistics (3PL) providers offer a range of services related to E-commerce logistics and order fulfillment, which typically encompass warehousing, product picking and packing, and return processing. 

E-commerce Enablers offer comprehensive services throughout an online business’s value chain. However, it’s worth noting that 3PL companies mainly handle inbound and outbound logistics aspects, and do not typically address operations, marketing, or other related services. After all, they are third-party logistics companies.

Marketing platform is a tool and not an E-commerce Enabler

Numerous marketing platforms are available to help you streamline and analyze data, as well as automate marketing tasks. For instance, you might utilize MailChimp to send electronic direct mails (EDMs), SEMrush to build your SEO strategy, or HubSpot to manage sales, customer relationships, and other business-related aspects. 

However, it’s important to recognize that these are merely tools and software that enable your marketer to perform more efficiently. They automate repetitive tasks and provide data analytics for additional insights, but they do not replace the marketer’s role.

Why Should You Partner With An E-commerce Enabler?

Partnering with an E-commerce Enabler offers numerous benefits for businesses that operate in the online space. Here are some reasons why you should consider partnering with an E-commerce Enabler:

Get a team of E-commerce experts (cover tech, marketplace, and digital marketing experts)

Partnering with an E-commerce Enabler gives businesses access to a team of E-commerce experts, including tech, marketplace, and digital marketing specialists. These experts can help businesses set up and optimize their online stores, connect them with various online marketplaces, and develop and execute effective digital marketing strategies. By leveraging the expertise of an E-commerce Enabler, businesses can improve their online presence, increase sales and revenue, and stay ahead of their competition. 

Additionally, E-commerce Enablers provide comprehensive services, that are 

  • Cost-effective: Doesn’t need a huge budget to get started.
  • Flexible: Works as a part of your internal team. 

The best part is they come with a panel of experts with years of experience to guide you in each step. This makes it easier for businesses to focus on growing their operations, as E-commerce Enablers can provide support across the entire value chain of an online business. Overall, partnering with an E-commerce Enabler is a smart choice for brands that want to succeed in the online space and achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.

Get proprietary tech solutions

E-commerce Enabler companies offer powerful toolkits for online businesses to accelerate their growth. These tools and software are easy to use but are expensive and challenging to develop. E-commerce Enablers have invested years of experience to build these technologies. Working with an E-commerce Enabler gives online businesses access to these valuable resources that they may not be able to develop internally. 

Free up your time for business growth

E-commerce Enablers offer comprehensive support to help online businesses grow, scale, and succeed in the E-commerce industry. They assist with various aspects of business operations, develop an integrated digital strategy for the brand, and provide tool sets for automation and analytics. 

Partnering with an E-commerce Enabler is like having a flexible growth partner that can share the load of your online business operations. By outsourcing your E-commerce value chain to an Enabler, you can save valuable company resources and focus on core activities that drive results. This approach enables online businesses to focus on their strengths and create a streamlined, efficient operation that maximizes growth potential. 

Ultimately, partnering with an E-commerce Enabler can help businesses stay competitive, adapt to market changes, and achieve long-term success in the ever-evolving E-commerce landscape.

How to identify the perfect E-commerce Enabler for your brand?

Choosing the right E-commerce Enabler for your brand is an important decision that can impact your business growth and success. Here are some key factors to consider when identifying the perfect E-commerce Enabler for your brand: 

Services and capabilities: Consider the services and capabilities the E-commerce Enabler offers. Do they align with your business needs? Do they have the expertise and experience in the areas where you need support? 

Industry experience: Look for an E-commerce Enabler with experience in your specific industry. This can provide valuable insights and help you stay ahead of the competition. 

Technology and tools: Evaluate the technology and tools that the E-commerce Enabler provides. Do they offer the features and functionality that your business requires? Are the tools user-friendly and easy to integrate with your existing systems? 

Customer support: Consider the level of customer support the E-commerce Enabler offers. Will they be available to assist you when you need help? 

Third-party partnership: Third-party providers can offer comprehensive support for various processes such as logistics, supply chain management, and more.

Cost and flexibility: Finally, consider the cost and flexibility of the E-commerce Enabler. Is the pricing structure transparent and reasonable? Are there flexible options that can grow your business?

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can identify the perfect E-commerce Enabler for your brand that can provide the necessary support and tools to help your business grow and succeed in the E-commerce landscape.

ANS Commerce: India’s #1 E-commerce Enabler 

ANS Commerce is a one-stop E-commerce service provider that can help you manage everything to run an E-commerce store. Here are some of the services we offer at ANS Commerce:

Kartify Brandstore: A proprietary platform that is fully customizable and integration-ready to support your brand’s online store.

Performance Marketing: Experienced team to lead performance marketing efforts on platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, and marketplaces, striking a balance between sales and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Marketplace Management: Skillful planning and execution of sales strategies on more than 10 marketplaces, including Amazon and Flipkart.

Warehousing and Fulfillment: Nationwide warehousing and fulfillment infrastructure with 3PL support tailored to your specific logistics requirements.

If you need help in setting up your online store or scaling your business in Indian markets. Book a free consultation with our E-commerce expert today!