3 ways in which logistics technology is improving retail and eCommerce
The age of ultra-fast deliveries is here. A revolution started by a fresh wave of technology startups, ultra-fast deliveries means delivery fulfillment within 15 or 10 minutes of placing an order. Getir, a Turkish startup that probably was the first one to come up with this promise, led to the rise of several other firms building on the premise of logistics automation in retail. Giants like Walmart have been bullish on infusing technology within their delivery logistics management and have made headway in the online commerce side. And then there are transportation automation SaaS platforms like LogiNext which help retail chains give Amazon-Prime like delivery experience.
This entire disruption has been brought about by the emergence of three trends- cloud computing, mobility, and advances in mapping technology. Transportation management systems used to be tedious on-premise software deployment but all of that underwent a massive change with the emergence of plug & play cloud software for logistics. There are reports from the US and France where grocery delivery has been made possible in 6 minutes! Yes, a customer places an order online and is delivered to her doorstep within 10 minutes.
As a retail business, what are the underlying reasons for this advancement? Here are some of the major underlying reasons for this disruption:
The Emergence of Dark Stores
As a retail chain, gone are the days when one would look at the physical store as the primary face of a brand. User behavior was already shifting and the pandemic has accelerated this trend further where the convenience of online shopping has made it a de facto way of ordering. The way these ultra-fast deliveries are made possible is because of the dark stores- these are basically warehouses located in strategic positions in a city from where the nearest delivery is fulfilled. For some of the major brands, during the pandemic, having small multiple stores proved to be an advantage by converting them into a warehouse.
A parallel trend is a rise in curbside pickups and probably dark stores can double up as pick-up points for customers to place an order online and pick-up from a convenient point at the desired time. Both these parallel trends are one of the major ways in which retail is getting disrupted.
Last Mile Delivery and Logistics Solutions
The rise of e-commerce is probably the biggest way in which retail has been disrupted. Amazon led the way when it comes to growth in e-commerce and now the likes of Uber have also become more of a logistics company with a delivery revenue of a whopping $1.7 billion in 2020-21 (source). To compete with Amazon, several retail giants are adopting new-age tech logistics automation solutions to digitize, optimize and automate last-mile deliveries. These software are also used for B2B fulfillment and to give organizations complete visibility of the entire logistics operations including the first, middle, and last miles. The emergence of such technology platforms is another key way in which retail is getting disrupted.
For instance, a solution like LogiNext comes with features like Route optimization and route planning for last-mile deliveries (best route planning software), live screen for complete visibility and tracking, auto allocation of orders, a brand customization module, detailed data analytics, and more for overall logistics optimization.
A Personalized Customer Experience
This is an overarching trend leveraged by SaaS technology that is paving the way for customer delight. From accurate ETA calculation and communication for deliveries to giving all the information about whether a delivery associate or the storekeeper is vaccinated, a customer now is notified at every stage from the time she places an order to when it gets delivered and even post-purchase engagement. This customer experience is also for the store managers in terms of getting a new age platform and app like any other B2C app to manage their operations and make work easier and more automated. This entire customer experience is carefully crafted for the new digital age and is the third major way in which retail is undergoing a shift.
If you’re a retail business and thinking of what lies in the future, getting tech-enabled is one of the foremost pointers for a thriving business.