We saw a distinct upturn during lockdown with regards to the number of sports and leisure businesses trading. Not only were they smart – outsourcing their e-commerce fulfilment ensuring business continuity – but many of them saw an enormous boom in terms of purchases.
Whether it’s home gym kits or stand up paddle boards or tennis equipment, the variety of sports and leisure businesses that we support throughout the business is extraordinarily varied. However, they also share a few common needs in terms of specialised fulfilment.
Need 1 – Variety
Firstly you need a variety of logistics solutions. Quite simply, this means that you’re going to have a variety of stuff going to a variety of destinations and you need to make sure your logistics provider has got the breadth of carriers to match that requirement. Some sports equipment can be very low cost such as getting tennis balls to Taunton, but equally speaking there can be some that can be extremely heavy and need a pallet network to distribute such as mini Range Rovers to Rugby! Therefore having a variety of carriers that are available from one logistics provider is logical to streamline all your logistics needs.
Need 2 – Stock synchronisation
There’s got to be live stock synchronisation on your websites. Many of our sports and leisure businesses market on a variety of marketplaces (Wowcher, Groupon, On Buy as well as eBay and Amazon for example), but there is nothing more important in terms of their customers experience to make sure what is being ordered is in stock and able to be despatched immediately. Quite a lot of sports and leisure gear is purchased on demand, so pre-orders of goods out of stock is unacceptable. People want that instant fulfilment.
With our logistics management technology, Despatchlab, we integrate with those multiple marketplaces for exactly this reason, and hold your live stock inventory so that your customers need never order something that is out of stock again.
Need 3 – Right packaging
It’s also very important that a logistics provider understands packaging. Packaging can be expensive, but it is of course, extremely important that goods arrive in good condition. When you’ve got heavy stuff like weights, light low cost items like the aforementioned tennis balls or goods that need to be palletised and shrink wrapped (like the Range Rover), there needs to be a thorough understanding from your logistics partner in terms of what your goods need to maximise the chances of them being delivered in pristine condition.
With over 31 years experience of delivering every good under the sun, and eight plus years in eCommerce, you can rest assured that diamond has the experience to package your goods right.
Need 4 – Service
Finally, the age old important factor, excellent customer services is essential. Often sports and leisure gear is being purchased for the very next weekend and if something goes wrong, it’s far better that your customer knows about it and any outcome mitigated as much as possible.
If you haven’t got a logistics partner that works hard on these customer services issues for when logistics does go wrong (and it will), then you’ll end up doing an awful lot of the customer services yourself. And actually, you need to be focusing on the other stuff in your business like attracting those customers in the first place. So built in customer services have to be a given.
Complete fulfilment with transparency
Of course this is all managed on our logistics platform, Despatchlab is an added bonus. One place where by all our sports and leisure retailers can monitor all their logistics function in one easy to use customer interface. It’s all about giving you transparency and reassurance. And when it’s your business that’s really important.
We are very confident about our service delivery and we’ve got no problem giving you 100% insight into your daily logistics function. Although this should be a given, we don’t think there’s a lot companies that do this.
If you’d like more information on how we can support your sports and leisure business with our eCommerce fulfilment, then please get in touch. You can also read more about our sports and leisure fulfilment services here.