Optimize logistical processes in e-commerce

Logistic processes in e-commerce

E-commerce is booming! – The Covid-19 pandemic and global expansion in particular have caused online mail order to experience strong growth.  In order to handle this volume as effectively as possible, clear and smart labeling is essential. Logistical processes in e-commerce usually consist of three phases:

Production Logistics

  1. Reception
  2. Broadcast
  3. Return


In this blog article we provide information about automated labeling in each of these phases:

Process phase 1: Receipt of orders

First, the goods are received as cargo in the warehouse and must be brought to the right place. Identifying the products is essential for their traceability and smooth logistical processes in e-commerce. This is possible by manually or automatically attaching barcodes to the goods.


Product identification is done by printing and applying a label or direct inkjet coding , so that the flow of goods is easy to monitor and record. In practice, there are several ways to identify the goods:

  • Manual application of pre-printed labels
  • Label printing on request and manual application
  • Automatic application of pre-printed labels with a label dispenser
  • Real-time variable data printing and labeling
  • Direct coding of the marking on the packaging

Process phase 2: Shipping orders

The online order arrives and the customer naturally expects the package to arrive at home as soon as possible. The courier prepares the order and picks it up for shipping. This process can be manual, semi-automatic or fully automated .


An empty box or outer box can be labeled with an LPN label containing the order link . The application of LPN labels can be done manually or automatically. The package is then moved through the picking process manually or automatically. If the box already contains the product, it proceeds to the shipping line .

Pre-printed labels

The boxes that stand out the most are those with colored and personalized labels with logo and lettering . This makes label printers ideal for private labels, small and large runs and printing continuous barcodes.

Manual application of shipping labels

Shipping, barcode or return labels should be attached to the goods at the end of the packaging process. In addition, desktop printers can print labels in different sizes and with variable data .

There is a wide range of label printers to meet different needs:

  • Thermal printing
  • Thermal transfer printing
  • Colored labels

Automatically dispense shipping labels

Applying shipping labels is a task that requires precision . An automatic system prevents errors when printing and applying shipping labels. In addition, there are several ways to achieve an optimal result when applying shipping labels, even on products with different heights:

  • Printing and application in one system
  • Printing shipping information directly on the package via inkjet
  • Pallet labeling (GS1 and SSCC)



Process phase 3: Return of orders

Customers value convenience and the easier and faster the return process, the more likely a customer is to place another order.

Return label

Desktop printers or print-and-apply systems are well suited for printing the return label because the label contains an identification code or barcode . After the box is returned, the return label is scanned and the return process is complete.

Return scan

The barcode scanner is essential for the return process. The WMS or ERP systems process the product immediately after scanning. This saves time and streamlines the return process.

Quality of labels is crucial

Each logistics process is characterized by a different number of labels and their purpose: shipping labels, pallet labels, LPN labels or return labels. Therefore, it is important to always choose high quality labels, suitable for the type of packaging, the environment and the duration of their use .

Choosing the right label also helps avoid delays in the process and reduce costs associated with breakdowns or lost goods , ensuring greater customer satisfaction.