Logistics Logic

Published June 25, 2021, 8:41 AM

by Lionell Macahilig

With the implications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic compelling more people to go online, businesses, both traditional and emerging ones, have moved to the internet or expanded digital presence to offer and sell products and solutions.

Data from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Business Name Registration System reported a significant increase in the number of registered online businesses amid the pandemic. From 1,700 during the January-March 2020 period, the number of e-businesses skyrocketed to around 88,000 by the end of the year.

In his keynote speech during the virtual launch of the Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap 2022 in January, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said that from the base of P599 billion in 2020, the government is targeting to increase e-commerce’s economic contribution to P850 billion in 2021 and P1.2 trillion by 2022. The government is also projecting a growth in the number of e-commerce businesses in the country from 500,000 in 2020 to 750,000 in 2021 and 1 million by 2022.

Apart from the pandemic, the rapid internet penetration caused by widespread accessibility to mobile devices, faster connectivity and availability of additional internet service providers, along with the support from private companies and the government, as manifested by DTI’s e-commerce roadmap, provides a rosy outlook for online businesses and the platforms that are catering to them.

Shopee, the most visited e-commerce platform in 2020, followed by Lazada and other similar sites are helping not only big and established brands but also small and emerging players sell online and expand presence in the Philippine digital landscape. Consumers, likewise, are turning to e-commerce sites because of the wide selection of products, decent quality, affordability and convenience of online shopping.

Given the said benefits of online shopping, consumers have high expectations of online businesses. A survey conducted by AlixPartners, a U.S.-based consulting company, shows that 36 percent of customers do not buy online products because of the high delivery cost, followed by 26 percent due to concerns about freshness involving perishable goods. Ten percent of the consumers do not purchase online goods because of delayed delivery, which could affect freshness, and 3 percent due to tracking issues.

With that being said, individuals and businesses selling products online must always ensure that delivery is fast, timely and organized to achieve a hassle-free and more convenient online shopping experience for customers. Fortunately, driven by the rise of e-commerce in the country, both online sellers and shoppers now have several options when choosing the right courier service provider according to their requirements.

Here are some guidelines to consider when choosing a courier service provider:

Delivery Speed

Speed matters in online business, especially when the product involved is food and other perishable items, which should be delivered in less than an hour or two. Dry goods like canned food, toiletries, clothing and electronic products may take up to a week or two.

Delivery Cost

Logistics-related costs are affected by various factors like point of origin and destination, mode of transportation, type of product to be shipped and urgency of the service. Business owners and customers, however, usually already have an idea of what is acceptable when it comes to shipping cost. Of course, both sides do not want to spend too much just to get the product delivered.

Choose a courier service provider that offers a reasonable rate based on the requirements and has a history of providing good quality service. Other providers could offer lower rates but the product would end up in bad condition due to mishandling.

Real-Time Tracking

With the availability of tracking devices and smartphones relying on satellites and the Global Positioning System, online sellers and courier service providers have no reason left not to keep customers updated about the status and whereabouts of the products they purchased. Whether it is a same-day, week- or month-long delivery, sellers and providers must have platforms on which customers can track items and have peace of mind.

Insurance

Awareness of the package’s status and location gives both online sellers and shoppers assurance, but knowing that it is insured in case of loss or damage is certainly better. Pick a courier service provider that offers insurance and has contingency plans for unforeseen and undesirable scenarios. Providers that include these in their service show that they value the importance of the items they carry.

Customer Experience

Customer experience has been important ever since and the concept stays true even in the digital age. Online sellers must choose a courier service provider that has a history of delivering good customer experience as it is as important as the quality of the product. A customer’s perception of a product could be ruined no matter how good it is just because of a bad delivery service.

A fast, reasonably priced, insured courier service with real-time tracking, topped with professional interpersonal communication, defines what a good customer experience is. With this being considered in an e-commerce business and every online transaction, it adds assurance that both online sellers and shoppers could have satisfying experiences as the Philippines gears toward an increasingly digital economy.

 
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