With a quickly rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country, India is one of the worst-hit nations from the ongoing global pandemic. The country is still reeling from the outbreak’s devastating impact with more than 5 million cases.
After a series of lockdowns, India has gradually begun to reopen its economy, and businesses across verticals are resuming operations. However, amidst the ongoing crisis, one thing became crystal clear – the logistics industry is the cornerstone for businesses and individuals across the world.
The pandemic has underscored the significance of logistics, as the sector managed to instil a semblance of normalcy by ensuring that the delivery of goods doesn’t take a backseat even during the crisis.
However, the logistics industry has hit some snags along the way with the pandemic almost entirely disrupting supply chains and restricting movement to a large extent. While the pandemic brought forth the true potential of the logistics industry, it also left valuable lessons in its wake for the sector. Here are five key learnings for India’s logistics players from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sailing through the crisis with tech
The pandemic has further accelerated the progress of ever-evolving technology. Tech has undeniably assisted most businesses to avoid bringing operations to a standstill. For the logistics industry, the scenario is no different. As people were racing to stock up on essential items, it meant that the logistics sector had to double its efficiency to meet the surge in demand. For this, technology was the key.
In a world where social distancing has become the norm, contactless is the new way forward. Logistics players have widened their array of services to accommodate contactless delivery methods such as OTP-based deliveries and integrated digital payment gateways, amongst others.
Technology is at the crux of the enhanced efficiency of logistics, and constantly reinventing tech-driven solutions will help the industry stay prepared to tackle a crisis and emerge unscathed.
Reverse migration and ecommerce penetration in non-metros
Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been increased reverse migration. As more and more labourers migrated back to their hometowns in tier-II and tier-III cities from metro urban regions, the demand for products and ecommerce and hyperlocal services in these non-metros skyrocketed.
This presents the perfect opportunity for ecommerce logistics players to capitalise on the demand and expand their geographical footprint in tier-II and tier-III cities.
Adopting the omnichannel approach
Given that ecommerce is an extremely lucrative industry at present, sellers are looking to widen their digital footprint by taking their products and services to various online platforms. Third-party players are stepping forward to help sellers gain revenue from different online mediums.
For example, social commerce, which entails conducting business through social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, has gained immense traction. Logistics players have comprehended the significance of omnichannel distribution that can integrate the wide variety of shopping methods available to customers.
Building an impeccable post-order experience
Although the pandemic allowed the ecommerce and logistics sectors to discover their true potential, it has also heightened expectations from customers. In today’s fast-paced world, customers are constantly on the lookout for speedy deliveries and frictionless post-order experiences that are cost-effective.
From smart packaging solutions to automated warehouses and hyperlocal deliveries, logistics players are ramping up efforts to ensure customers have an immaculate experience. This constant innovation and improvisation will attract more sellers towards their platforms to avail their services.
Customer service is key
For any business, the customer is the king, for, without him, the business would cease to exist. With the pandemic upsetting business operations, effective and efficient communication with consumers is of utmost importance.
Customers need to be assured that their orders are in safe hands. To handle their queries in an organised manner, logistics players need to bolster their customer support services and ensure that their issues are addressed, if any. Brands are now providing real-time updates to customers regarding their orders and addressing queries in a timely fashion to improve end-user satisfaction.
While the crisis has rattled the world, learning from it, improvising, adapting, and innovating continuously will help businesses, especially essential ones such as logistics, sustain in the long run.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)