How tech-enabled shipping platforms are helping D2C sellers amidst COVID-19
By 2025, India’s Direct-to-consumer (D2C) segment is going to become a whopping $100 billion market, as per a report by Avendus Capital. The report also says that noted brands, including Mamaearth, Zivame, Lenskart, and boAT, will be the extraordinary market players in this scenario.
Buoyed by this growth, D2C brands will be driving the next big wave in the ecommerce industry in India, which will be supported by technological advancements and growth in online spending at a CAGR of 35 percent.
It is not rocket science to discern that the number of consumers going for online purchases is growing at a much faster rate in recent years, thanks to the steady evolution of the ecommerce business.
Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the D2C business model created a win-win situation for sellers and buyers.
The ecommerce industry is buzzing with change in the post-COVID-19 world, largely due to the game-changing behaviour of new-age consumers who have got more disposable income to spare. But all of this arose out of the new world order that the multiple lockdowns brought upon all of us.
Once the lockdowns were imposed, people’s access to essential and non-essential goods became limited for obvious reasons. There was a lack of transport and the fear of contracting the virus, which forced consumers to look for buying options online.
Quite heartening was how the ecommerce industry rose to the occasion and recovered in time to grow significantly despite the economic downfall caused by the pandemic. Most of the exponential growth was noticed in essential categories like health, pharma, and FMCG, while other categories also recorded substantial growth.
Since then, as the world continues to find its way around COVID-19, the trend of online purchase has been on the rise, especially since a plethora of brands either upgraded their web presence or expanded their websites to include more features, making themselves attractive to the new breed of online consumers.
However, with this growth came another challenge — a heightened demand for shipping, which caused the brands to take a step back and think hard about a solution.
While some D2C brands preferred self-shipping of their products, a majority of them were dependent on advanced logistics partners to send their orders to customers.
Things were not looking up for these sellers because a lot of issues arose with traditional logistics partners. Therefore, they started looking for an ideal shipping partner who would give them a smooth logistics experience and cut down on expenses.
This opened another door for tech-enabled shipping platforms, which used the leverage offered by state-of-the-art technologies, including AI, IoT, and automation, to become an economically viable shipping solution for the ecommerce industry.
The tech-enabled platforms
Quite recently, the ecommerce business owners woke up to the existence of tech-enabled shipping platforms that are armed with advanced technical features like shipping rate calculators, automated cloud-calling facilities, etc.
Such platforms ensure a wide delivery reach, competitive shipping rates, multiple courier partners, and timely deliveries that conform to the standard COVID-19 protocol.
All this has given the D2C brands complete control of their logistics operations, which was a dream unheard of earlier.
The key advantages of the tech-enabled shipping platforms are many, some of which are:
- The brands can make an informed choice about a carrier partner after knowing all the available shipping rates offered for a particular destination and choosing the most economical one.
- The wide coverage offered by the shipping partners helps the brands serve more customers across the country.
- The non-delivery reports (NDR) panel — which offers real-time access to orders — gives the sellers complete control over RTOs, helping them reduce the RTO percentage with a lesser number of NDRs. Lesser RTO percentage means fewer redundant expenses.
- Maximum shipment transparency is offered by the AI-powered fraud detection feature.
The tech-enabled shipping platforms are highly dependable logistics partners for today’s D2C brands as they bring cutting-edge technology suitable for specific requirements of sellers, while offering access to the leading courier partners in the country.
The integration of these platforms with the leading marketplaces across the world brings an unprecedented customer experience into the fold while helping the sellers keep the shipping costs under control.
However, there are a few points that the ecommerce business owners need to keep in mind so they work only with trusted shipping partners — avoid third-party courier partners who may charge higher rates, and a logistics platform that gives you the freedom of choosing different shipping rates at the same place, making the process a lot less time-consuming.
In a world post-COVID-19, technology will make all the difference between progress and lagging.
For the rapidly growing D2C industry and its sellers, the tech-enabled shipping platforms are a shot in the arm that will ensure better business with timely monitored deliveries and customer satisfaction.
It is now time to acknowledge that and streamline the experiment, taking it to the next level.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)