You buy a product online. How does it reach its destination?
E-commerce is gaining ground. We are many of those who use e-commerce platforms for shopping. To give some examples, we can buy a product on Amazon, Cdiscount, La Redoute, Rueducommerce etc.
We should know that some big internet sites sell products under their own brands. They have also some offers that make it possible for any professional or anyone to open a shop to sell products made by another company.
After you click on your order to send it, there will be activities linked to the product you will receive. Knowing how much each part of the process contributes, it can help us take it easy about how we feel once we receive the product.
1. The order
Once you make an order, you receive a confirmation email with the date and the address of your product delivery. It is possible for you to cancel your order if you change your mind in the following seconds or minutes. Depending on the site, you can the option to track and see how the delivery of your product is progressing to its destination.
2. The company
The company registers the order but it is possible to have some moment of delay for the transaction to finish. In this case, order picking will start as soon as it is over.
At this stage, there are different levels of logistics activities. These levels can concern the company that owns the site, professionals or anyone that sells through the site.
These logistics activities are usually done by middlemen who are experts in this industry. They become subcontractors. They can subcontract a part or the overall logistics activities of a company.
- If they subcontract by only delivering goods and products, they are 1PL or First Party Logistics (First level).
- But if they subcontract by being in charge of the transportation and storage of goods, they are 2PL or Second Party Logistics (second level)
- They can also subcontract by providing tools, skills, and systems in addition to the transportation and storage. In this case, they are 3PL or Third Party Logistics (third level).
- If they subcontract by being able to give pieces of advice and help to the one that set up the overall flows, they are 4PL or Fourth Party Logistics (Fourth level).
- When it comes to providing smart and automated systems that improve the performance, they are 5PL or Firth Party Logistics (fifth level).
3. The delivery
The chosen logistics provider will organize the delivery. At the first level, the seller (company, professional or any individual) can be in charge of shipping the product you ordered by only subcontracting the transportation. But from the second level, he can choose not to get involved at all and focus on his main activity.
4. The destination
If nothing goes wrong with the process, you receive the product you bought online at the indicated date. In terms of destination, you can receive it at home or at the delivery address.
Sometimes, there is a delay or the product is damaged or it is not the ordered product we receive. We are unhappy and we let people know that we are not happy. We can decide to return the product by calling the seller or customer service to tell them to send us back the ordered product in good condition. And the process starts over!
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