How technology can ensure safe deliveries during COVID-19
What started as an outbreak in the Wuhan region of China, managed to bring the entire world to a screeching halt in less than a month. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and put the global economy in a tailspin with businesses across verticals being severely impacted, even leading to temporary closure in some instances.
Ecommerce and logistics businesses are no exception, as they too have faced their fair share of challenges, owing to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
As the pandemic-induced mayhem ensues across the globe, there is one element that has immensely helped businesses function despite the current circumstance — technology.
Technology has been a game-changer for businesses, helping them evolve and function better in not just the current scenario, but potentially in the post-pandemic world as well.
For the smooth functioning of the ecommerce and logistics industry, the role of technology has been fundamental. As hygiene and safety take precedence, ecommerce logistics players are elevating their efforts to ensure safe deliveries of goods to customers with the help of new-age technology.
Here’s how technology is allowing ecommerce players to ensure the safe delivery of goods during these harsh times.
OTP-based contactless delivery
With cash-on-delivery being banned for most deliveries to minimise human contact and reduce any risk of contamination, almost all ecommerce logistics players have moved completely to online payment methods.
Brands are also coming up with innovative ways to ensure real-time deliveries. One such method is OTP-based contactless delivery. The contactless form of delivery allows the delivery executive to drop the package at the customers’ doorstep without any physical contact, and verify the delivery through an OTP sent to the customers’ smartphone.
Ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart have already implemented this to ensure the safety of customers and delivery executives.
Maintaining digital records
With hundreds of delivery executives and thousands of orders being placed each day, it is nearly impossible for brands to keep a track of the operations manually. To help maintain a record of activities for better safety, companies have turned to technology to digitise the records.
Digital records can help brands track the delivery executives better, and allow them to safeguard the executive’s health. For instance, in the event of a delivery executive coming in contact with an infected customer, brands will be able to track them better, inform the healthcare officials, and take necessary measures to ensure safety.
Prioritising hygiene, health, and safety through apps
In the current scenario with the highly transmissible nature of the virus, it is imperative for brands to implement top-notch hygiene and precautionary measures to make sure that both the customers and the delivery executives are safe.
Ecommerce and logistics players have now made it mandatory for employees to install the Aarogya Setu app — an app launched by the Government of India to allow contact tracing for those who are potentially infected with COVID-19, post coming in contact with an already infected individual.
Companies are also installing a digital infrared thermometer which displays the real-time body temperature of the delivery executives in mobile apps for ensuring better safety and customer trust.
Additionally, for enhanced safety measures, almost all brands have begun to screen their employees daily, and are educating them on the best practices of hygiene and safety through the usage of technology. These will boost operational efficiency for the brand, allowing them to function seamlessly.
For all of the aforementioned, technology has been the pivotal aspect and will continue to pave the way for unhindered business operations. While this adoption of technology and the complete digitisation of business functions seems to have happened overnight, it is gradual, yet permanent.
With such tech-enabled safety precautions, brands will be able to maintain business continuity and even expand their customer base, while safeguarding their employees for the times to come.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)