One of the terms that merchants are likely to come across when researching for their ecommerce business is physical distribution. There are countless articles describing how to go about optimizing it, managing it, and how necessary it is at all. But few offer a simple definition. What’s more, distribution management in marketing is something that’s easily looked over until you’re personally impacted by something as annoying as a five-day wait for something you’re really looking forward to. But how do you explain the whole physical distribution concept to an ecommerce beginner? Although it’s more a question for the warehousing side of ecommerce operations, we here at P2Pseller believe that information is king. The more knowledge you have at your disposal, the better decisions you can make for yourself and your business. Plus, why deny it? Learning is fun. So without further ado, read on for a few easy terms and examples to help you on your journey.
A physical distribution definition isn’t hard to wrap your head around. It’s simply how products are spread across fulfillment centers to ensure the maximum range of delivery in the shortest possible time. Logistics and distribution management is a field that’s full of complexity, so we’ll try not to get bogged down with technicalities here. But as an overview, warehouses are strategically placed to maximize their one- and two-day delivery range. After all, we live in a post-Amazon world where customers expect their packages almost yesterday, and if you can’t deliver that, they’ll go looking for someone who will. In these strict conditions, it’s a priority to make sure that your fulfillment center is as well-placed as possible. Mature fulfillment companies often operate whole networks of warehouses, optimizing their physical distribution services by making sure they’re able to service even more remote, rural areas of the country.
Despite the similarity in name, supply and distribution chains are distinct from their physical brethren. The chain part refers to the manufacturers, wholesalers, storers, couriers and everywhere else the product may reside on its way to being delivered to your customer. These products aren’t necessarily in their final form, and may still require some refining. This article, however, is more about distributing finished goods between multiple warehouses to ensure quick delivery as soon as an order is placed.
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