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What is E-commerce Delivery

Today, we cannot think of a world where e-commerce does not exist. E-commerce has evolved and changed drastically over the years.  It has transformed the way we shop, live, work and do business. With the recent pandemic, we have come to rely and depend on e-commerce for almost everything, including basic and essential items. The pandemic also saw groups of people who were previously unused to online shopping turn to e-commerce to fulfill their day to day needs.

This industry continues to grow, and businesses are venturing into this segment and exploring the benefits it offers. Global e-commerce sales jumped to $26.7 trillion in 2019, four times more than the previous year, according to data from the UN. This trend is here to stay, with consumers realizing the convenience of online shopping and home delivery. For small and medium industries, e-commerce provides access to global markets, wider customer reach and the chance to grow and become immensely profitable – but only if they are able to put in place an effective delivery mechanism. Orders must be fast, accurate and delivered without any issues. Merchants either choose to work with aggregator online marketplaces that have delivery partners in their business ecosystem, or establish their own online channels, which means they need to put in place their own delivery mechanisms.

E-commerce and e-commerce shipping

E-commerce refers to online shopping or trade, where individuals or firms can buy and sell their goods and services from a website or mobile app, and have these products delivered to them. E-commerce shipping is the way in which products ordered online are delivered to the location of the buyer.

Direct to consumer brands now increasingly rely on online channels for sales and managing and handling the delivery logistics is an important aspect for them to manage. In many cases, logistics and delivery is not a core competency of the company, and they prefer to partner with an e-commerce delivery partner to fulfil their orders and deliver these safely to the customer.

E-commerce delivery services usually include:

  • Inventory and warehousing – e-commerce businesses may not find it feasible to hire their own warehouses. Logistics companies have the advantage of scale across geographies and can offer e-commerce businesses a customized network of warehouses with as much or as little space as they require. They could also scale this as their businesses grow, without the hassle of having to find new warehouses or increased space on their own. Several e-commerce logistics providers have sophisticated inventory management systems that can help businesses to maintain their supply and demand.
  • Shipping and delivery of the product – From packing the product as per the unique specifications and requirements to fulfilling all the documentation and regulatory requirements, and delivering this to the customer, e-commerce logistics providers play an important role as a critical business partner. Real-time tracking and quality checks are part of the technology systems that e-commerce providers have invested in, so that small and medium or even large companies don’t have to struggle with this. Coordinating with the customer and ensuring that the product is delivered in time is taken care of by the logistics expert; this is a critical business activity that is taken care of for the company.
  • Handling returns and exchanges – Returns are part of the e-commerce business environment. Consumers may have issues with sizes, wrong orders, or quality-related issues. Managing returns in a smooth and seamless manner is an important aspect of the customer journey, strengthening the relationship between the e-commerce company and their customer. The e-commerce logistics company takes care of the returns aspect, offering online merchants a full solution for the last mile connection with the customer.

Types of delivery

There is no fixed formula where only a particular type of shipping and delivery system works. Based on the nature of business, targeted customers, product type, shipping strategies vary. Usually businesses can work with e-commerce logistics providers to understand what works best for their business. Companies can expect variations of these:

  • Two-day shipping
  • Same day delivery
  • Overnight shipping
  • International shipping

Shipping costs are also a factor to be considered, which are usually based on the volumes expected, destination, size, dimension value of contents. Sometimes e-commerce businesses also offer ‘free shipping’, and factor this into the product cost.

Delivery in e-commerce is a strategic advantage and drives business success

Logistics companies play an important and vital role in the success of the e-commerce business, as customer satisfaction is directly related to the handling of the shipment. The packaging and safe delivery of the product is a factor that keeps the customer happy and ordering more from the e-commerce site. An e-commerce business needs to have a strong and effective strategy in place for the shipping and delivery of goods and services, as this is a competitive differentiator as well in the market.

As e-commerce relies on shipping and transportation, the shipping services should be top-notch – reliable, knowledgeable and with an extensive network as well as technology-enabled tracking and monitoring. Responding to this need for efficiency and professionalism, the logistics industry has evolved its processes, and invested in state-of-the-art delivery systems.

Euromonitor International projects that half of the absolute value growth for the global retail sector will be digital by 2025, reaching 1.4 trillion USD. With e-commerce here to stay, there is a demand for efficient, cost-effective and faster delivery alternatives. The e-commerce business relies on e-commerce logistics to deliver its products. Logistics companies are investing in innovative and smart technology solutions that integrate human aspects, analyze data for efficiency explore new ways of delivering using drones or automated vehicles. For retailers, small businesses and startups, e-commerce logistics providers have made it all the more easy to enter the market and succeed. All they need to focus on is a great product and their brand, and the experts will look after e-commerce delivery.

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