Logistics makes shopping seamless in the new era

04/10/17

Permalink 03:35:48 pm, by dacare, 392 words, 158 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Logistics makes shopping seamless in the new era

Logistics will play a critical role in fulfilling a seamless shopping experience in the era of the "New Retail", experts said.

As merchants begin to lean more on omnichannel sales, retailers need to tailor how a product is purchased and delivered to meet customer demands.

A survey of the world's leading retailers last November showed the top reasons for embarking on the omnichannel journey are to preserve a slice of the market share and improve customer loyalty.

The survey was conducted by US-based ARC Advisory Group in conjunction with logistics consultancy DC Velocity.

Most retailers are looking for the simplest means possible to integrate the new platforms within their existing infrastructure.

The study found out that three-quarters of retailers fulfilled orders from multiple channels through a single facility, laying a clear foundation of omnichannel practice.

In the survey, 86 percent said they took orders online (including mobile) while 77 percent also said brick-and-mortar, and 42 percent said they took orders from call centers and catalogs.

In terms of handling "last mile" deliveries, most merchants stick to the traditional courier delivery services at 43 percent, followed by third-party logistics partners at 23 percent. But others are experimenting creative options, including deliveries made by store staff and drones.

In China, e-commerce companies are experimenting with omnichannel solutions by offering warehouse-to-home and stores-to-home deliveries through partnerships and investments in offline supermarkets.

For instance, through its Cainiao logistics affiliate, an alliance of top Chinese shipping and courier companies, e-commerce giant Alibaba last year expanded its same-day and next-day deliveries from 50 cities to 200 cities.

According to a study by Goldman Sachs in March, Cainiao had 'Fulfilment Centers' dedicated to Alibaba's Tmall online marketplace operating in 19 cities at the end of last year.

It runs three fresh food distribution centers in three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. All of them support cold chain delivery of fresh food purchased on Taobao and Tmall to the doorsteps of Chinese consumers within 24 hours.

It recently upgraded the service by providing fresh, rather than frozen, imported Australian beef to the dining tables of residents in 12 cities in China. Cainiao said with its new technologies, meat can be preserved fresh between 0-4 degrees for up to 21 days.

Others are also making new moves on prompt deliveries. JD.com Inc has successfully used drones to deliver online purchases to rural shoppers, using unmanned aircraft for last-mile distribution.

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