E-commerce is booming business. If we are to believe the reports, Dutch e-commerce companies will record a turnover of more than €26 billion in 2019, divided among 260 million orders. This amounts to 700,000 purchases per day. By 2040, 95% of all retail purchases are expected to be made online. In the US, 10% of retail sales are already made online and the number of purchases is growing by 15% per year. In the Netherlands, the growth rate is 8%.
All e-commerce companies have to deal with frenzied activity towards the end of the year. And it’s not all about St. Nicholas and Christmas anymore. Because nowadays there also has to be a Singles Day. And if people haven’t bought anything by then, they’ll go crazy on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. That is quite something.
Online shopping is an integral part of our lives. 90% of all Dutch people buy something online because of the wide choice, price and convenience. But at the back end of this process, e-commerce is facing two major bottlenecks.
You will probably recognise the delivery vans that you see everywhere in the city. Every day, these vans are loaded with packages that need to be delivered as quickly as possible. And on top of that, 50% of those deliveries are returned. People find it quite normal to order three sizes at once and return the two that do not fit. Or to order five products and return all five. Free returns, right? It is precisely the fact that orders are handled so easily that causes headaches and the necessary logistics costs for e-commerce entrepreneurs.
In connection with the December madness, the logistics process is also geared to an average. It is set up as efficiently as possible for the entire year. And if the number of orders suddenly goes through the roof, you don’t have a large group of people on hand somewhere. Let alone an extra amount of equipment to process the orders. How can you anticipate such enormous peak times?
Many companies simply cannot cope with the extreme rush in the last two months of the year. Their network is inadequate and they do not have enough devices. And the mobile devices and printers they do have are not robust enough for the volume of orders that need to be processed.
Some e-commerce companies have got the message. They are making their processes more efficient. They invest in more robust mobile devices and printers, which reduce the chance of problems and malfunctions. If a problem does occur, they have already anticipated it thanks to good tracing. They build a powerful network. They work with robust equipment and with people who are well trained. In addition to this solid basis, they work together with a good partner who supplies Enteprise Mobility Management and who observes online. This can prevent many problems.
But even these parties find it difficult to arrange everything themselves. And what do you do if you are not such a big player?
No matter how well you do as an e-commerce company, in November and December the average amount of people and equipment is not enough. You need to step up a gear. Because buying new equipment is very expensive, many large e-commerce companies came to us in recent years. Was it also possible to make temporary use of new equipment? In other words: whether Dalosy could hire out that equipment?
Of course, we like to help our customers in busy times. We support several e-commerce companies with seasonal extra equipment. For example, we supply various mobile devices, wireless infrastructure and printers that make shipping labels. We have these ready in the right configuration for specific customers.
This equipment must function 100% immediately. That is why we make sure that each device is in excellent condition. The logistics process is the backbone of the e-commerce business. The mobile devices, computers and the wireless network around it all need to work perfectly.
After all, even in busy times, consumers expect next-day delivery! Delivery in the evening and at weekends must also be guaranteed. These high expectations must be met by the logistics department.
One of the advantages of this solution is that we usually already provide these customers with Enterprise Mobility Management. So, firstly, they get the extra equipment they need from us on demand, which is already fully configured to their organisation so that they can benefit from it straight away. Secondly, we monitor their systems, including the leased equipment, and can resolve any problems before or as soon as they affect our customers.
The new year has just begun. This is a good time to look at what can be improved this year. What will your organisation do differently?