By Dan Khasis, CEO of Route4Me
Amidst the slowdown of several businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the logistics technology business has seen an upward trend in 2020. This is clearly because, with the threat of coronavirus looming large, most consumers have opted for online shopping and door-step delivery instead of in-store shopping. In fact, with social distancing becoming the new normal, this trend of ordering online is expected to grow the market from about USD 2734 billion in 2020 to about USD 3215 billion in 2021.
This has also given rise to the demand for having end-to-end visibility on product deliveries so that the consumers and shippers can have effective tracking. Different logistics technology firms in the US have seen over 100% increase in demand for their supply chain visibility software or tools in 2020 compared to 2019.
Such growth for logistics technology businesses amid the pandemic, when most others are suffering, is quite remarkable and is fuelled by a variety of reasons. These are discussed below.
Shift from Retail to Ecommerce
Traditional retail stores took a hit due to the pandemic. They initially shut down temporarily due to lockdowns. Now, many retail businesses are forced to size down considerably in the aftermath of the lockdowns. For example, the famous retailer Zara has declared it will close almost 1200 stores across the world by 2021. A total of 15000 shops of various brands are furthermore expected to close down in the US alone.
Clearly, retailers have had to start focusing on ecommerce sales as well as contactless on-demand product deliveries. This has resulted in companies opting for methods to improve their delivery capacity and offer shipment services that meet the customers’ expectations. So, the need of the hour is for them to manage all related logistics involved in getting the product from the company to the consumer in the most effective manner.
Logistics software play a critical role in providing support to these retailers or ecommerce players by helping them build effective delivery management and routing solutions and remain competitive. We discuss more on “how” in the next points.
Need for Delivery Management Solution
In order to provide the best possible delivery experience to the customers, without increasing their operational costs, businesses need a comprehensive delivery management solution.
Logistics software enables seamless navigation, while providing driving directions from one place to another. It focuses on minimizing the distance and time required for product deliveries or shipments by calculating cost-effective or optimized routes that include multiple stops. It even takes into consideration different parameters, such as the total count of vehicles in the fleet, count of stops along the delivery route, and delivery windows.
Avoiding Slowdown of Supply Chain
It is said that coronavirus is here to stay for a while. So, businesses need to find ways to eliminate the problems that have been caused due to the pandemic.
For example, the entire supply chain for various companies experienced a slowdown when there were very few delivery personnel or drivers who turned up to deliver goods. Also, many drivers have also witnessed decreased freight rates and spend a hell lot of more time at warehouses. This has called for every business to equip itself with appropriate logistics tools to ensure the entire supply chain system functions optimally.
Serving More Consumers Satisfactorily in Less Time
Logistics software is apt to successfully deliver more products in less time to various consumers because it helps with on-demand dispatching, route modification and optimization, and automated routing.
The best part is that routes can be easily customized in real time and businesses can reduce the chances of vehicle mishaps through effective monitoring and analysis of the route maps. With effective, real-time tracking of the shipments or drivers, businesses can also have accurate information about when their product orders will reach their destinations and can keep the consumers informed accordingly.
Need for Contactless Deliveries
Gone are the days when consumers would be comfortable to sign on paper or make a digital signature to confirm receipt of a product delivery. With the risk of coronavirus, consumers now prefer their deliveries to be contactless.
This is possible with a logistics software as it provides options like taking photographs of the customer and matching the customer details with the order ID to ensure delivery of the order at the right destination.
So, logistics software empowers businesses to keep the customers satisfied by arranging for safe and professional delivery of products without the need for human touch.
The pandemic has changed things drastically in 2020 and online businesses are trying everything possible to withstand the cut-throat competition out there. Having an effective logistics technology system is an integral part of every business (a retailer moving to online orders or an upcoming ecommerce merchant) to keep the customers satisfied and provide them with a professional product delivery experience!