Long gone are the days when e-commerce was just a side project. It is now a main driver of growth across retail, wholesale, and manufacturing alike. e-commerce retail sales in the US grew at nearly 15% last year, about 10 times the 1.5% growth rate for retail overall. To seize this opportunity, shippers need to integrate their e-commerce fulfillment with transportation management capabilities.
e-commerce is driving increasing complexity in logistics and more companies are learning how to build an integrated approach that enables omni-fulfillment, increasing customer service, while controlling costs.
The changes to shipping are continuously evolving, with shippers accommodating increased home delivery, drop shipments, and international customers. The opportunities are exploding, but transportation needs to have an integrated strategy, and in many cases the additional revenue growth will be offset by higher costs. A path to profitable and flexible growth is essential.
Three startups are working with e-tailers in an attempt to provide faster and more efficient deliveries to online consumers in emerging markets reported the Business Insider.
Fetchr, a Dubai-based startup, uses the GPS location of a consumer’s mobile device to provide an address for delivery. The company works with several major retailers and operates in Dubai, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
what3words Ltd. uses a digital grid of the world to provide a unique series of three words to every 10-foot by 10-foot square on Earth’s surface, not unlike latitude and longitude coordinates. This allows consumers to simply put their “three words” in the address box at checkout, and the retailer can then locate their precise location.
OkHi Ltd., based in Kenya, uses a consumer’s GPS location via their mobile device, combined with a photo of their front door, to create an address.
Although fast-growing, emerging economies are the hardest to serve due to the logistics problems associated with last-mile deliveries. Two of India’s largest online marketplaces, Snapdeal and Flipkart, dedicate 30% of total revenue to logistics reports Technopak (cited by The Wall Street Journal.)
Online retailers are combating these costly logistics issues with innovative ideas in order to reach their consumers and win in the market. Online consumers in India pick up packages at metro stations, as opposed to opting for a more complicated at-home delivery. And JD.com, one of the largest online merchants in China, has been working with drone delivery to better serve its rural online shoppers.