Technologies at the service of Ecommerce
At the beginning of this story, tracking was seen as a tool focused on delivering security in the dispatch and distribution operation. Currently, the demands of online consumers have forced the e-Commerce industry to look to these technologies as a platform to help constantly improve the quality of service requested by its customers. These new demands driven by electronic commerce now have responses in the technology industry in Chile.
What time does the order arrive? Where does the dispatch come from? Can I schedule a day and time window for delivery? These are some of the questions that as a customer we ask ourselves every time we buy a product in electronic commerce. Thus, of all the processes that make up the logistics chain of electronic commerce, there is one that today has executives and the industry in general at its head, the well-known last mile.
The last mile has become, hand in hand with the development of electronic commerce, the most important link in the logistics chain. Its relevance can be analyzed from the point of view of the cost that this operational stage entails, the technologies incorporated and the attention that professionals in the area put in order to find the best alternatives to respond to the growing demands of consumers. Hundreds of studies, analyzes, columns and opinions have been developed in recent times by industry executives in order to delve into the scope and power that this link has in the final success of the logistics operation and also in the commercial aspect of the company.
The few kilometers that make up this section encompass all the aspects that today are signs of business success: efficiency, quality of service and trust in customers are some of them. The importance of these components has made the last mile the center of attention in the e-Commerce logistics industry, especially because of the challenges it generates.
It should be emphasized that the journey of hundreds of packages from the place of collection, be it a store or a CD, to the hands of the end customer has a fundamental component – which is not so latent in other links of the chain – such as Trust. ; factor that becomes the most important element of modern industry.
Customer trust is something intangible, very difficult to measure, but of a unique sensitivity and importance, considering the repercussions that a break between company and consumer can have for the company’s image, even more so if the characteristics it has are considered. today the online consumer, who with a single click on their social networks multiplies the echo on the image of a brand or product. This is how the basic and central thing in the last mile is to “keep the promise” .
A Link in Motion
Delivering in less time, offering more options for dispatch and doing it more economically are some of the challenges faced by the industry and which has forced many to redesign their operation, facing aspects that make the process difficult and more expensive, such as geography. , urban centralization, traffic, size and frequency of shipments, among others.
These problems not only configure a puzzle for electronic commerce players but also for partner companies in this industry, especially those that appear as an ally in the improvement of the delivery process, for example, the technology industry.
How is the technology industry preparing to respond to the new demands of the e-Commerce operation? Is this sector ready to respond to the new demands of consumers? Are technologies an ally for the last mile logistics operation? These and other questions are those that, through the opinion of two of the most relevant players in the technology industry, we will seek to elucidate.
If meeting customer expectations is the challenge to consolidate for e-Commerce actors, it is valid to establish how that promise takes shape in the last mile. In this plane it should be noted that the client not only wants to be able to choose the most economical option but also the one that best suits their times.
Here the concept “speed” takes on a leading role; even more so when last-mile service applications such as Cornershop, Uber Eats, Glovo or Rappi have challenged the concept of speed of delivery.
The challenge for retailers today is to see how they take the glove that these companies throw at them. How to adapt your last-mile strategies, your dispatches and your products to compete with express services such as those that have positioned themselves strongly in the food delivery offer, for example.
Will it be possible to replicate this operation to the retail industry? It is possible to shorten delivery time windows and streamline this process by reducing waiting times for certain retail products. Although, when we talk about a big ticket, the process has logistical characteristics that make it difficult to visualize it with a delivery in a matter of hours, it could perhaps happen with the dispatch of small orders.
There is no doubt that the industry has modernized in order to respond to customers. We have witnessed how large retail chains have developed last-mile strategies to approach their customers with efficiency and speed. In this line, modalities such as withdrawal in store or click and collect, Pick Up, Express Dispatches , among others, have gained strength .
After the Click
Will they meet me on delivery? Will they arrive on the agreed day and time? The process that begins after completing the purchase of the product, as Sebastián Ojeda comments, is marked by consumer uncertainty. At this stage, there is a kind of ignorance on the part of the customer of the process behind their purchase. A world that opens up in the aftermarket.
Currently, the technologies present in the Chilean market provide retail companies with such visibility, which allows companies to be aware of the details of this stage and design an operation that responds, even playing with the impossible, to what the customer wants. client.
An important aspect that executives emphasize is that there is no single way to operate or design an ideal process for all companies, since each client –in each of their purchases- has different expectations, depending on the product they purchase. The key to the success of these technology companies is to offer their customers improvements that respond to the needs of their own customers. It is not the same to operate for a retail company, a logistics operator or a mass consumption company.
Technologies at the service of Ecommerce
Technologies: An Ally to Improve
Today the B2C and the B2B respond to different clients, whose demands move and determine their operation; But all of them – without exception – have as a central focus to respond to their clients in the best way, fulfilling their expectations and reducing uncertainty.
“ These technologies are not only associated with the Retail industry, but are of great value for mass consumption, pharmaceutical, and transport companies. All industries have their customers and you have to differentiate it into B2B, B2C or 3PL. In the first two groups, the solutions are the same only changes in that the emphasis on logistics design with its respective challenges ”.
Determining the level of technology to be incorporated into the operation is the first big step for companies. Knowing what they want to achieve, how they want to operate, how they want their customers to perceive it, or how they want to interact with their customers is essential. Today the technology industry present in Chile is open and willing, both from a technical and professional point of view, to respond with its solutions to the new demands of this sector.
With the development and growth that electronic commerce has had in Chile, today companies (users of these technologies) are aware that they have become a necessary tool to improve service and meet the demands of their respective customers. However, Ojeda emphasizes that there is still much to do in this line, considering that there are some business niches that still do not know the scope of these applications, perhaps due to fear of the cost of implementation, or because of ignorance.
Today, a good delivery experience is the best advertising companies have. It is there where technology partners offer a range of solutions tailored to each operation to help establish that close and necessary relationship between customer and consumer in an optimal and efficient way.