eCommerce Parcel Delivery – 3 solutions for growing enterprises

Few couriers, carriers, and retailers have the resources of behemoths like Amazon to truly scale their logistics and parcel delivery services. It is not an easy feat to strike the right balance between efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Scaling your eCommerce parcel delivery business requires optimisation of the right solutions at the right time. 

eCommerce logistics a brief history

In the 1970s most businesses used direct deliveries from wholesalers or suppliers. When the ’80s arrived, eCommerce started using distribution centres to help streamline its delivery systems.

Import centres were used in the ’90s and in the 2000s the first eCommerce model and methodology were used from an e-fulfillment distribution network. The 2000s also welcomed cloud-based shipping software solutions like SmartConsign. Carrier Management Systems (CMS) designed to help simplify how businesses manage their parcel deliveries.

Fast forward to 2020 and the boom in eCommerce has accelerated demand for faster deliveries, putting pressure on margins. 

Getting eCommerce Parcel Delivery Right

With faster shipping at the forefront of many business strategies, identifying the right solution is critical to future success. Here is our top three:

#1 Multi Carrier Shipping

Adopting a multi-carrier shipping strategy can help you scale and respond to market needs faster. You can quickly access and compare rates across multiple carriers, helping you identify the best rates faster and control your costs. The best solutions are carrier management systems that allow you to plug in all the major carriers. These applications give you instant access to all the carrier information you need from one single touchpoint.

#2 Faster Label Production

You can manage complexity out of your business by simplifying consignment production. Systems that offer standardised label production offer multiple benefits. You can replace the manual processing of labels, remove the need to print different size labels and separate printers for each carrier, and more.

To accelerate your parcel deliveries, switch to a faster CMS. Certain systems can process thousands of consignments in less than an hour and spot anomalies in real-time. For smaller batches of 1000 or less, there are applications that can produce 100 labels in less than 3 seconds. Where parcel delivery is concerned, speed matters and by addressing complexities in your process – you can respond to the market faster.

#3 Cloud-based CMS

It sounds obvious; however, in order to grow, eCommerce businesses need to stay agile and remain relevant. The best carrier management systems include features designed to directly address the challenges of faster parcel delivery including returns management.

The ease of installing cloud-based CMS’s helps to make it easier for you to get started quickly. You can effortlessly test a new CMS side by side with your current system. You only need to switch if you’re satisfied with the overall performance.

The efficiencies gained from using a high performing CMS can save you money and help satisfy your customer’s delivery timeline.

Scale your Business with smart shipping solutions

Progressive e-commerce businesses know that their delivery performance is a key differentiator over their competitors – this is one area where the use of innovative solutions can bring big benefits. To learn more about these ecommerce shipping solutions and more, get in touch.

 

Top 5 eCommerce Trends for 2019 That Will Boost Sales

Looking for new ways to grow your eCommerce business? If so, there are some key economic trends you need to take note of in 2019.

There’s no question that the eCommerce industry is advancing at an amazing rate. By 2021, global retail eCommerce sales should reach a staggering $4.8 trillion. The problem is, how can you get ahead of the pack?

Whilst there’s no easy answer to this conundrum, it helps to take note of where the industry is heading. After all, knowing the future is the easiest way to prepare for it. To that end, here are the 5 most important eCommerce trends in 2019.

1. Voice Commerce

It doesn’t take a lot to realize why voice is the future of eCommerce. Once you get used to asking your app to buy something, it’s hard to go back. No other checkout method provides so little friction.

In 2019, voice adoption rate is set to keep rising. Within a few years, voice commerce should be worth £3.5 billion in the United Kingdom alone.

2. Easy Checkouts

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the traditional checkout experience. The key here is to make the process as easy as possible. If the purchase path is too complicated, many of your customers will abandon it.

Not sure where to start? Autofill fields, image recognition software, and single-page checkouts are always a good idea. Also, don’t force your customers to register unless necessary.

3. B2B

When it comes to eCommerce growth trends, B2B is in a much better place than B2C. As a general rule, the B2B model doesn’t have to compete with the customers. Of course, the increased scalability doesn’t hurt either.

If you’re running a B2B business, you can’t afford to have a subpar eCommerce offering. In other words, focus on treating your business customers as individuals.

4. Faster Delivery

These days, there’s no shortage of ways to deliver products to your customers. Once again, the keyword is convenience. With same-day deliveries becoming the norm, optimizing your supply chain is a necessity.

Of course, bigger retailers can afford to think outside the box. For example, Amazon is developing a drone-based delivery system called Prime Air. Their end goal is to make all deliveries within 30 minutes.

5. Chatbots

If you aren’t familiar with chatbots, they are computer programs designed for user interaction. As AI keeps evolving, businesses will be able to use chatbots even more efficiently. By 2020, they should be an industry mainstay.

You may think chatbots are depersonalizing human interaction, but that’s not the case. Their main purpose is to streamline the customer journey. By providing the right information, chatbots can connect customers to their preferred brands.

More on eCommerce Trends

If you’re familiar with these eCommerce trends, your business should be in good shape. The eCommerce industry continues to move at pace, even the time it takes to check your desktop for notifications might be a few minutes too late. SmartConsign mobile App is a free download that is set to advance how we manage parcel deliveries in 2019. Sign up here to be one of the first to access the SmartConsign App.

Interested to learn more about us? Looking to improve your parcel delivery process? Contact us here. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Save the Date! 2018 Top Sales Days to keep in mind for your Shipping Logistics

Last year, SmartConsign shipping logistics software enabled the delivery of over 600,000+ parcels, generating millions of labels and helping our clients achieve real cost efficiencies in their shipping logistics. With more and more shipping logistics professionals recognising the benefits of our cloud-based multi-carrier management software, we are poised for yet another busy year. To help you get organised for this year’s sales opportunities, the SmartConsign team have compiled a list of all the key sales days you should be planning for to make sure your shipping logistics go smoothly.

As for SmartConsign, we are getting ready to launch SmartConsign version three. It’s designed to further improve your overall parcel shipping efficiencies so that you can truly maximise the potential of all those selling opportunities. Save the date!

Blue Monday
Some claim that the third Monday in January is the most miserable day of the year. Whether or not this is true, retailers use Blue Monday as a way to encourage people to shop away their misery.

Valentines Day
Globally celebrated, Valentine’s Day finds people showing their love by purchasing gifts for their significant others. Typically, both offline and online retailers discount their products with Valentine’s deals and sales. Last year, people across the UK spent an estimated £987m ($1.23bn) on gifts and cards, according to GlobalData Retail.

Mothers Day
As the name implies, this day typically involves gifting mums. Mother’s Day is celebrated exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday and five weeks after Valentine’s Day. The purchases made for our mums are typically offline.

Last year, Mother’s Day spending was estimated to reach a record-high $23.6 billion in the US and £1.4 billion in the UK. The research also found that Londoners spend more on their mums than on their dads (poor dads!)

Labour Day
A bank holiday, Labour Day marks the day when workers earned rights they didn’t have previously (like the eight hour work day). It’s associated with the start of spring as well. People tend to relax or go on holiday, which makes it a great time for retailers to focus on travel and leisure items, among others.

Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. This year, Easter Sunday falls on the 1st of April, closer to payday,  which gives people an incentive to spend more money towards Easter goodies like chocolate eggs and candy bunnies. Customers also tend to buy new clothes to fit the turn of the season.

Fathers Day
You guessed it. Father’s Day is dedicated to honour dear ol’ dad. About a third of all Father’s Day gifts were bought online in 2017. The dads in the UK are less lucky than the mums; Brits spend 15% less on Father’s Day than they do on Mother’s Day. In 2017, it was estimated that the spending on Father’s Day in the US would reach a record $15.5 billion, according to the National Retail Foundation (NRF). In the UK this will be around £700 million, barely any difference from last year.

Amazon Prime Day
The shopping holiday ‘Amazon Prime Day’, was launched by Amazon in 2015 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The day is similar to Black Friday and has become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. As the name would suggest, it’s exclusive to  Amazon.

Amazon does not release sales figures, but the company stated it had a record revenue in 2017 and Prime Day was the biggest sales day in the company’s history–busier than Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day 2016.  It’s estimated that Prime Day brought in between $1.8 billion and $2.8 billion dollars for Amazon.

Halloween
Halloween comes from the American celebration, but nowadays it’s observed in a number of countries. The UK is among these countries, and it was estimated that Brits will spend an extraordinary £320 million ($418 million) on Halloween. Most of the sales come from the Millenials and is spent on pumpkins and fancy dress.

Singles Day
This Chinese event, where people celebrate being single and gift themselves, is also referred to as the Chinese version of Black Friday. Alibaba reported that sales in 2017 from Singles’ Day amounted to $25.3 billion, a 40 percent jump from 2016 figures and hitting a new record. In the same year, Singles Day beat both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Grey Thursday/Thanksgiving
Grey Thursday refers to the day before Black Friday. It consists of preview deals ahead of the Friday Frenzy that marks the start of the holiday shopping period. As expected, Thanksgiving, or Grey Thursday, is an especially popular holiday in America. Online shoppers in the US spent $2.9 billion on Thanksgiving, with mobile phone and tablet purchases accounting for nearly half of those sales.

Black Friday
This is a global online sales event that typically has deeply discounted deals, both offline and online. British shoppers are estimated to spend £10.1bn in the week of Black Friday, nearly 4% higher than last year, as more retailers take part in the US-inspired promotional day. Online spending was predicted to reach £7.42bn in the week of November 20-27 in 2017. The figure, from retail trade association IMRG, is up 15% on the £6.45bn in comparison to the same time last year. This includes a £1.35bn that’s expected to change hands online on Black Friday alone. That’s 9% more than last year.

Cyber Monday
The Monday after Thanksgiving is a day when people are encouraged to shop online, hence the name ‘Cyber Monday’. Consumers in the UK spent a total of £1.1billion shopping online on Cyber Monday.

It was the biggest sales day ever for online and mobile in the US. Online sales brought in $6.59 billion in total, while sales on mobile broke a new record by reaching $2 billion.

Small Business Saturday
The exact date of Small Business Saturday for this year will likely be the 1st of December in the UK. This global online sales event typically sees deals of 50% off or more, offline and online. The campaign celebrated its fifth birthday in the UK last year.  It comes a week after two big Christmas shopping days – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – that traditionally favour larger businesses. On Small Business Saturday, customers are encouraged to visit independent retailers in their communities, many of whom mark the event with deals and discounts.

Retargeting Tuesday
This is mainly a noteworthy day for marketers. The aim of Retargeting Tuesday is to retarget customers who were previously engaged on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Green Monday
Green Monday is Ebay’s busiest online shopping day, which comes from consumers doing last minute shopping to avoid higher delivery charges. Green Monday is seen as the online version of Super Saturday. Green Monday has become the biggest online shopping day in December, and one of the biggest of the year. In 2016, online sales on Green Monday were their highest ever at $1.6 billion.

Free Shipping
As the name suggests, participating merchants and retailers offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. Hundreds of retailers in America offer free shipping on this day, helping consumers to save some money. The Free Shipping Day hasn’t taken off in the UK (yet).

Super Saturday
The last Saturday before Christmas targets last-minute shoppers. Shoppers were predicted to spend £1.6bn on last-minute presents on this Saturday in 2017. It was set to be one of the biggest trading days of the year in the UK. Around 14 million people in the UK headed to the high street to spend £1.4bn in store, up 49% on in-store spend on the same date in 2016. Online spend was also set to rise, up 46% in comparison to 2016, to a staggering £220m. This particular day is a big opportunity for retailers.

SmartConsign has the vision to simplify shipping operations and create collaboration within the logistics industry. From order through to delivery, a parcel has a long list of checkpoints before it reaches its final destination and we aim to make the journey as seamless as possible. Designed in 2008, SmartConsign is the first true cloud SaaS delivery management solution. SmartConsign is used at over 300 companies across the nation including retailers, distribution warehouses, resellers, couriers and carriers. Our parcel delivery software offers full visibility of shipping operations and seamless integration with in-house system without hardware installations.

Contact us now to get started simplifying your shipping process!