In the e-commerce delivery logistics chain, collaboration and partnering are just as important as technology. The focus on the end customer is the primary focus and their satisfaction is really what should drive the relationships. If we take a step back and acknowledge the collaboration that has to occur to make a customer happy – it is amazing. And, all of the parts of the eco-system need to work together to make sure the customer journey does not end with a Christmas gift getting there on December 26th.
E-commerce retailers always worry about their brand. They worry about their brand because they know a late delivery will be blamed on them, not the other partners. This has tremendous importance for them in two ways – as repeat customers are the most profitable ones and in a very outspoken social media world, bad reviews hurt your brand immediately. And in a world where the customer expects their packages to arrive fast – fast can mean two days, the next day, and in some cases, the same day.
So, think about the last leg of the customer journey. Assuming that the product is not returned, the last leg is the delivery segment. Making sure that the e-commerce package gets there at the time it was promised is paramount. A delighted customer will shop again at the site. This important process requires collaboration and agreement by all partners – from the retailer to the first-mile delivery company, the airline and last-mile delivery company, to the customers’ door. All are foundational to getting the delivery right. This seamless collaboration requires an advanced, but simple, technology solution.
The piece that solidifies the chain of foundational partnerships, from the online site to the customer’s door, is seamless technology. It is the adhesive that allows for the successful collaboration of partners. Think about your own e-commerce experiences. I am sure you like to see where the package is in its journey, from origination with the retailer through to the delivery, with a picture of it at your front door. This can happen with the automated processes established between partners. And will full transparency, instant data via mobile applications, and established agreements and SLA’s driving processes behind the scenes, it can be managed by all partners quite efficiently.
By focusing on the promise to the end customer, the technology drives the processes and the partnerships become easy, driven by technology integrations with APIs and EDI messaging. The growth of e-commerce has created great opportunities for airlines and ground logistics to drive more revenue. And that revenue is generated via a great e-commerce logistics value chain.