ICYMI: Tip To Small, New Ecomm Players: Delegate Shipping Logistics To Established, Trusted Players
Lessons from eTailing India’s Conference, “Voice of Indian eCommerce”:
Packaging and shipping is not a glamorous part of ecommerce, but boy, is it crucial. At the end of the day it’s about creating customer convenience not convenience of the delivery team.
When customers order online they expect the package to arrive on time and intact. If it doesn’t customer loyalty and trust between brand and customer will erode. Because this is detrimental to the new ecomm players who can’t afford to have their own warehouses and delivery teams, it is very important to find a trustworthy, experienced logistics company/ecomm player who will handle this end of the supply chain.
Navin Mistry, head of categories global trade eBay India suggests, “If you’re a small new entrant, start on an established market place which has its own warehouses and delivery teams to ship your products. That is what eBay does for its small businesses.”
As another expert in the field added, “Order processing, packaging, shipping to great distances warehousing will be taken care of by the marketplace company [example, eBay]. You can spend time developing your product. Otherwise it is a big challenge. After a few years’ experience, you can handle shipping and warehousing on your own.”
Ashish Garg, cofounder of FabFurnish, emphasised, “Customer convenience is key in shipping products. Shipping furniture, 6 foot beds and large objects come with its own challenges. Packing materials is a key concern you must pay attention as a seller online. As part of increasing convenience the customer should be able to repack the object and resend it if they want to.”
Uday Thakkar, COO of DynaFlex believes it’s essential to pick a logistics company with experience in packaging. “An article on average travels a 1000 km. The article may change shipping vehicles, and delivery teams. Since it’s your product they are shipping you must make sure the article is delivered secure and undamaged in transit. Another point is environmental sustainability is important. It’s our responsibility to make sure the package material we choose is bio degradable and eco-friendly.”
Amit Sawhney CEO of soon to be launched ecommerce solutions startup Smartbox says, “A logistics teams makes 25-30 deliveries a day. There continues to be lots of friction here as most customers are not present at the delivery address given when delivery is ready to be made. We at Smartbox work to create convenience for customer not for the logistics company. Meanwhile speaking on convenient payment methods he said cash on delivery will continue to be preferred by customers but non cash-based delivery payments will be introduced as they increase in popularity.
Manish Porwal, VP of marketing for Loginext, suggests as best practices for companies handling shipping, “Logistics companies must create transparency and visibility which will enable fast shipment, reduce costs especially at last mile of delivery. We must create accountability to deliver the article on time as promised to customer. Technology will enable you to analyse who will be the best warehouse and delivery partner will be.”