Ever felt your eCommerce business is a hamster wheel?


You’re finding great products and making sales, but something still feels off. Customers complain about late deliveries, stockouts are a constant headache, and it’s eating away at your profits. It’s a reminder that even the coolest product is nothing if you can’t get it to your buyers reliably.


The culprit might be your supply chain management (SCM). SCM is the web connecting every step of your eCommerce business. It’s how you find the right suppliers, make (or source) your product, store it safely, and get it shipped to your customers on time every time.


Some people think SCM is all about logistics. Not true! In eCommerce, doing it well is the difference between frustrated one-time customers and loyal fans who can’t wait to order from you again. And with online shopping giants constantly raising the bar, a smart supply chain model is essential to level the playing field. Get ready to discover how!


What is Supply Chain Management in eCommerce?


Supply chain management (SCM) is more than just getting a package from Point A to Point B. It’s the whole system behind the scenes, which includes finding the best materials, choosing a manufacturer (or making the products yourself!), storing everything safely, and getting it into your customers’ hands as promised. Good SCM translates to lower costs, less stress over stockouts, and the ability to grow your business without things falling apart.


The tricky part is that your customers hold all the cards. Their expectations are super high, shaped by giants like Amazon, which offers super-fast shipping and easy returns. To compete, you need to understand every step of your supply chain and be ready to adapt.



How Does the eCommerce Supply Chain Work?


Step 1: Planning


Demand forecasting is the art and science of avoiding missed sales and dead stock. Analyse your historical sales data, factor in market trends, and never underestimate the power of seasonal peaks. Remember, production and shipping take time, so plan well in advance—a good plan helps you sleep at night.


AI in supply chain management can revolutionise this process – advanced algorithms predict customer demand more accurately, saving you from costly mistakes.


Step 2: Sourcing


Finding the right suppliers is like building a team. Sure, cost matters, but so do reliability, quality control, and easy communication. Domestic suppliers often offer faster lead times, while overseas partners may have lower production costs. Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your specific product and business goals.


Step 3: Producing


The beauty of eCommerce is that you can start small. Handmade products offer total control but be honest about whether you can scale to meet demand. Partnering with a manufacturer can increase capacity. Seek one with experience in your niche – the best ones value quality as much as you do. Do remember that clear communication is non-negotiable.


Step 4: Storing


Your garage may suffice initially but it’s important to track how much space your products take up and the real costs involved. Inventory management software is your best friend, helping you avoid both stockouts and the trap of over-ordering. Optimise your space to make picking and packing orders lightning-fast.


Step 5: Shipping and Returns


Customers judge your brand heavily on this experience. Evaluate different carriers and shipping speeds to suit your budget and their expectations. Packaging isn’t just about protection – it’s your first impression! Returns happen, so have a clear policy and a streamlined system. Done right, it builds trust, not frustration. AI-powered route optimisation and green logistics solutions minimise your carbon footprint and help attract environmentally-conscious customers.



What are the 7 R’s of supply chain management?


1. Right Product


Choosing the right products is more than following trends. Your offerings must resonate with your ideal customer and uphold your brand promise. Prioritising quality ensures customer satisfaction, reduces returns, and promotes a positive reputation – all critical for eCommerce success.


2. Right Quantity


Accurate demand forecasting and smart inventory management help you strike the perfect balance. Avoid the missed sales caused by stockouts while preventing the sunk costs of overstocking, which ties up cash and valuable storage space.


3. Right Condition


Invest in quality packaging and prioritise suppliers with a track record of delivering goods in pristine condition. Remember, how a product arrives at your customer’s door directly reflects on your brand, and damaged items lead to frustration and costly returns.


4. Right Place


Consider customer location strategically when deciding on warehouses or partnering with suppliers to improve delivery speeds and reduce shipping costs. Also, look inward: an organised inventory system makes picking and packing orders a breeze, boosting efficiency and avoiding costly shipping errors.


5. Right Time


In eCommerce, fast and reliable shipping is non-negotiable. Proactively plan for spikes in demand during holidays or promotions. The ability to scale quickly in response to market trends demonstrates your reliability and keeps customers returning.


6. Right Customer


Target the right audience with clear messaging and product descriptions that accurately reflect what your supply chain can deliver. Avoid over-promising – meeting customer expectations consistently or exceeding them is far better!


7. Right Cost


Optimised costs positively impact every aspect of your supply chain, leading to healthier profit margins. Analyse expenditures at each stage, from sourcing materials to final delivery, identifying any areas where smart cuts can be made without sacrificing quality.





You’ve got the ambition to take your eCommerce business to the next level. But outdated shipping processes, stockout woes, or a mountain of frustrating returns could silently hold you back. A strong logistics aggregator can remove these hurdles for the supply chain, transforming your business from chaotic to unstoppable.


NimbusPost is a shipping aggregator. Consider us your strategic SCM partner, offering tailored solutions for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. Streamline your shipping with multiple carrier options, choose the best carrier without a courier recommendation engine, gain data-driven insights into your inventory, enable real-time tracking, and transform your entire supply chain system with our proven tools and expert guidance.





Is the supply chain a function of eCommerce?


Yes, the supply chain is a core function of eCommerce. The entire behind-the-scenes system gets products from the idea stage to the customer’s doorstep.


Why is supply chain management important in eCommerce?


Supply chain management is important in eCommerce because it directly impacts:


  • Customer satisfaction: Reliable shipping, accurate inventory, and easy returns create happy customers returning for more.
  • Costs: Optimised SCM means less wasted money on shipping, storage, or overstocked items.
  • Growth potential: A strong supply chain lets you scale quickly, seize new opportunities, and outpace competitors.


What is the role of SCM in B2B eCommerce?


SCM plays a crucial role in B2B eCommerce by:


  • Managing complex orders: B2B orders are typically larger and have specific requirements, SCM ensures smooth coordination between suppliers and buyers.
  • Cost optimisation: Streamlined procurement, inventory management, and shipping to reduce costs, boosting margins in competitive B2B markets.
  • Data-driven decision-making: SCM provides insights into B2B customer preferences and trends, leading to smarter product selection and inventory forecasting.

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