Drinks Ecommerce Fulfilment

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18th September, 2013 by Lewis O'Sullivan

One aspect to the rise of online wine sales rarely reported in the drinks press is the impact on logistics. With orders going straight from the warehouse to the customer it’s vital the packing is properly executed and the order processing highly efficient.

Online RetailHead of ecommerce development at Norbert Dentressangle Logistics UK, Mark Catley, says that it’s critical drinks are well packaged and computer systems are employed to reduce the chance of error.

“With drinks, it could be an individual bottle or bottle picking to fill mixed cases of sixes or 12s, so you need systems in place to reduce the amount of touch points and therefore potential for error.”

You also need, he adds, “a slick returns process”, in the event that a customer is unhappy with the delivered product.

Where a workforce is involved, Catley stresses, “As the last people touching the product before it arrives with the consumer are people in the warehouse, not in a store, we train all the people who do the picking and packing.”

Continuing he says, “You need to look at accuracy and so we build training programmes around that – the skills are broadly the same whether it’s for packing alcohol or other goods.”

As for the cost implications of the rise in online wine retailing, Catley says that once an industry reaches a certain size, the cost of logistics comes down. “With certain products, such as fashion, the growth of ecommerce has been so dramatic that strong economies of scale can be achieved.”

Norbert Dentressangle is a UK market leader in outsourced e-fulfilment provision and handles 150 million items ordered online across all sectors.

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