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n Journal of Contemporary Management - Effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery systems of the e-retail enterprises in South Africa
Efficient fulfilment of e-customers' orders is a critical core business activity that influences effective performance of the modern e-retail enterprises. Unfortunately, ensuring smooth flow of goods from suppliers to e-customers' homes is a challenge that most of the South African e-retailers are still grappling with.
A conceptual analysis was used as a qualitative research technique in this study to identify inhibitors and strategies that can be adopted for improving effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery systems in the contemporary South African e-retail enterprises. Critical analysis of theories on logistical management in e-retail operations was undertaken and compared with the findings of studies conducted on e-retail operations in South Africa.
Findings indicated that efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery systems of most e-retail enterprises are predicted by the warehouse operational models and delivery methods adopted by e-retail executives.Some of the South African e-retailers were found to have invested in the establishment of effective internal and external logistical management systems such as click-and-collect "locker model" and outsourcing to third party courier companies. However, findings revealed that the overall process of handling logistical flow from suppliers to e-customers' homes is still largely inhibited by poor activities' coordination between e-retailers, courier companies and suppliers. Other challenges were noted to be latent in late deliveries, unwillingness of e-customers to pay additional delivery costs, incompatibility of operational culture and poor after-sales service quality.
The study concludes with a strategic framework that can be adopted for improving effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery systems of the modern South African e-retail enterprises.
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