E-commerce : the last mile battle during the post Christmas sales period
More than 270 million parcels are due to be delivered by the end of February. This is a crucial period for both online retailer and the 3PL and delivery providers who have to manage increasing numbers of parcels with pressure to fulfil as quickly as possible.
In France during the twice annual sales period, fulfilment and delivery management is put to the test by online retailers. This period of intense logistics activity puts providers to the test and allows retailers to judge the true capacity of their chosen fulfilment partners “the sales period is a decisive test which needs to be prepared months in advance by retailers in order to find new customers and make them want to return to our website” outlined Olivier Mathiot , cofounder of PriceMinister, in a press release on 12th January (source : Le Figaro.fr).
Express delivery as a sales argument
The last mile is the most costly but also the most sensitive phase of the logistics chain, and the competition between different delivery operators is increasingly fierce. Increasingly, express delivery (delivery in 24 hours) is being practised as “the norm”, putting additional pressure on the market to follow suit.
This implies a strategic shift in the way in which shipping fees are billed to the customer, and a marketing argument which many retailers use to make the difference and dissuade potential customers from going elsewhere.
Setting the price of delivery
According to the sector specific JobTransport website, who publishes a series of studies about these key issues, « the psychological barrier above which a retailer should not pitch their shipping rates is 9,90 euros for express orders and 4,50 euros normal delivery ».
For retailers who do not use express services, many compensate by offering free delivery with a longer delivery time. The only way in which a customer will accept to wait longer for their order to arrive.
As a reminder, the outsourced e-commerce fulfilment solution GemmaLog, which is dedicated to e-commerce fulfilment, offers a transport and delivery plan which allows retailers to remain competitive on their respective markets.