Blog March 27, 2024

Navigating the E-Commerce Landscape

Author: Germán Alonso

March 27th | 5 min read

Navigating the E-Commerce Landscape

IOS Article

Do a search online for advice about launching an e-commerce business and you’ll find lots of information about marketing, branding and how to build a transactional website – all the front-end customer-facing elements you need to be successful.  

But you won’t find much practical advice on the operational infrastructure required: what facilities, technology and processes you should build to run a profitable online manufacturing or distribution business. 

Check out this article that delves into 6 key ideas food startup entrepreneurs should integrate into their e-commerce operations. 

Whether you’re just starting out or already have some traction, we promise these practical tips will be valuable. 

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E-Commerce – Keys to Success

In the world of e-commerce, much emphasis is placed on marketing strategies and webpages. But what about the operational side? That’s where things often get overlooked. As trusted experts in global operations and supply chain, we know first-hand the importance of establishing the right infrastructure, facilities, technology, and processes to run a profitable online business. With the ever-changing landscape of e-commerce, where order profiles, SKU selection, and delivery expectations shape distribution operations, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the game.

LIDD’s experience across multiple industries has exposed us to the operational challenges many businesses struggle with. Our goal is to work hard to make sure our clients don’t fall into the same trap. Here are six key ideas that will help you avoid some of these operational shortcomings and set you on the path to e-commerce success.

6 Steps Towards Success

Know Your Customer

Understanding your customers is essential for a successful e-commerce business. It is important to define their profile and consider their online shopping habits, tastes and their need for readily available information. This way you can align your processes, layout, and systems with customer preferences, ensuring efficient inventory allocation, effective communication between back-end operations and the website, and thoughtful packaging. By tailoring your operations to customer needs, you gain a competitive advantage in the e-commerce landscape.

Build Flexibility into Your Distribution Operation

Flexibility is key in the ever-changing e-commerce environment. While you may have a specific sales plan or channel in mind, market demands and opportunities may need changes along the way. That’s why it’s crucial to build flexibility into your distribution operation. Choose adaptable systems and agile partners, such as third-party logistics providers (3PLs), who can handle different types of orders as your business evolves. This flexibility will also help you manage peak periods and reverse logistics more effectively.

Institute a Sales & Operations Planning Process from the Start

Miscommunication and misalignment between Sales and Operations can hinder growth. To overcome this, implement a Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process from the beginning. S&OP is a powerful practice that balances supply and demand, promoting internal communication and producing a sales forecast around which the entire company can organize itself. This ensures that Operations is well-prepared to handle new initiatives and increase sales without disruptions.

Generate Smart Data You Can Use

Data is the secret weapon in the e-commerce game. Generating information is not enough, it is about collecting and analyzing the right information to empower you to make informed decisions. Clear labeling of data enables efficient analysis, while historical data helps you identify trends and areas for improvement.

Implement Purchasing Processes at the Beginning

Good purchasing practices are fundamental for controlling spending. As your business grows, tracking purchases becomes more challenging and increases the difficult in accounting for what you have bought, received, and sold. Implementing systems and software to track purchasing from the beginning is crucial.

Don’t Let Packaging be an Afterthought

Packaging plays a significant role in customer satisfaction. Neglecting packaging design can lead to damaged goods and dissatisfied customers, putting your brand reputation at risk. Carefully plan and test packaging prototypes to ensure your products arrive in perfect condition. By giving packaging the attention, it deserves, you will provide a delightful unboxing experience for your customers.

Navigating E-Commerce – Concluding Thoughts

The world of e-commerce is rapidly evolving, and businesses must adapt to increasingly sophisticated ways of selling online. By focusing on these six key aspects allows you to develop a solid foundation for future growth.


A reminder that LIDD will be exhibiting at #LogisticsWorldSummit&Expo in Mexico City next month. For those attending, be sure to visit us at booth #3907 to learn more on the topic and how LIDD can help you optimize your operations.

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