Five years ago, only 5% of the e-commerce payload was transported through ground as air transport took the lead. Today, 20% of the e-commerce payload is delivered through ground transport. Consumers are increasingly ordering more, and bigger, products online. The trend is so strong that Livemint recently attributed it to the 13% drop in Blue Dart’s stock price in the last one year. Amazon has already started to invest in its last mile infrastructure.
You could be already running an e-commerce store, or thinking about adding an online store to your offline stores. This trend means that your e-commerce sales are going to shoot up, if they haven’t already. You might want to consider a new, or a different delivery partner to fulfill the orders, as they go up.
In case you do, make sure that you consider 5 important factors.
1. Coverage: Orders come in from everywhere
If you are trying to reach people all over India, you’d need your delivery partner to fulfill the order everywhere.
For example, PayTM is pioneering a ‘New Retail’ model through its ‘large network of local shops, restaurants, pharmacies, and groceries’. The model will offer instant deliveries for pretty much anything you order. Obviously, in this case, PayTM needs a network of riders to deliver products in a large number of pin codes.
If you are primarily selling to an urban audience, Shadowfax can offer you the best urban coverage. We cover more than 4,000 pin codes across 100+ Indian cities including the metros, Jaipur, Surat, Pune and Chandigarh.
2. Versatility: There simply are too many different kinds of customers
Every person you sell to is unique. The person would look for a different product, may prefer cash on delivery or a credit card, and can even order 4 t-shirts only to return 3 of them later. Can the delivery partnership all of your products, or only some of them? Can the company help you offer a cash-on-delivery option to your customers? Can your delivery partner facilitate reverse pickups?
“E-commerce returns? No problem”
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3. Traceability: Make it easy for customers to track deliveries if they want to
If you have managed deliveries in-house until now, you know that it is difficult to track the delivery. Often, you don’t know where exactly the delivery is and how soon it will reach the customer. To make it worse, many traditional logistics partners have insufficient infrastructure to track deliveries at the last mile. Intelligent systems and delivery partners can change that situation. For example, at Shadowfax we use smart print labels and give you a single tracking window for all your orders. So that you are #NeverLastMileBlind.
4. Speed: Same-day and next-day deliveries are already here
We have written about this phenomenon earlier. In fact, these four stories will change your mind to consider offering same-day and next-day deliveries, if you aren’t already. As customers order more online, their patience seems to be running out. Good news is that it is actually possible to manage these expectations easily. We do it all the time over here at Shadowfax. Fun fact: The record for fastest delivery at Shadowfax is for a t-shirt that was delivered in 35 minutes, from the online order to delivery.
5. Cost: Starting from Rs. 29 for intra-city shipments
Last, but not the least, you got to keep the costs in check. Deliveries are an important touch point for your business. You have got to keep the expectations up. At the same time, such a delivery infrastructure shouldn’t break your bank. On the other hand, you don’t need to shop for the best bargain either, since it might come at the cost of delays and insufficient care in shipping and handling. Shadowfax can offer intra-city deliveries starting from Rs. 29 only. In case you’d like to talk to someone before making up your mind, you can start a conversation with our sales team.