All things under the sun come with specific expiry dates and this includes the planets and the sun itself! However, the fact that certain items of crucial importance like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, grains and an array of packed and processed foods have no more than a few odd days of survival. These hand counted days are usually known for keeping grocers in the ecommerce platforms up on their toes almost all the time.
Considering the fact that such inventory on an average has less than a week to move the risk of running into serious losses is always very high. Without implementation of smart inventory control means, winning in e commerce grocery business can be nothing short of a black hole.
The usual tips that can be applied for Amazon or eBay inventory control usually fall short while addressing the matter of e commerce grocery set ups. Right from the process of procuring the saleable items from their wholesaling source to stocking them in proper storage systems and managing orders can be extremely trying and expensive. For those who are planning to kick start their e commerce grocery business, here are a few things that require serious consideration…
Firstly, it must be remembered at all times that as far as fresh fruits and vegetables are concerned, it is impossible to resist damages. Even if you manage to acquire 95% of your products in perfect shape, there will that other 5% that will call for urgent moving from the shelves. If you guarantee 100% satisfaction to your buyers, you will not be able to mix these items with the regular orders and wish that customers will forgive that one bad apple in the entire basket. This usually never happens.
Secondly, stocking and warehouse management should be your primary focus. You cannot stock perishable eatables at any odd warehouses. Temperature controlled storage systems are a must with appropriate means of tracking product expiry. This may cost some money in the form of upfront investments. If you hire warehouses, the rent is also assured to be reasonably high considering the volume and nature of stock.
Thirdly, you will have to ensure that delivery of the ordered items happens within 24 hours or around. Any longer, and there will be infinite chances for the products (especially fruits and vegetables) to start rotting. This is never acceptable to buyers and may also call for refunds.
To sum up, the eBay seller software to inventory control systems for perishable goods should include a good plan to move the stock faster, have it delivered faster and most importantly access means that will help sellers keep track of the shelf life of the goods so that orders and delivery can be managed accordingly.