Online shopping is now just part of daily life. Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that in 2016 Britons were spending £1 billion a week online, up 21.3% on 2015. Fuelled by the desire for customers to purchase on mobile devices, some companies are even bypassing the need to visit their website by offering instant purchases through email campaigns.

There is no doubt that online retailing is going to grow and grow. Innovations are coming thick and fast as businesses fight for customer’s airtime, attention and share of wallet. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality functionality could be with us sooner than you think.

We’ve yet to see it become a mainstream offering, but it might not be long before seeing how furniture fits in your house, how clothes might look and trying out that new entertainment system might all be able to be done from your own armchair. And buying the product once you’ve tested it in a virtual world might be as simple as scanning the barcode from your headset.

To keep up with the extra demands consumers now put on online retailers and carriers, the logistics industry has had to adapt, evolve and invest, to put much more focus on customer satisfaction. Given the amount of purchasing choices the average customer now has at their fingertips, the delivery experience is a critical component in achieving business success.

That’s why more and more eCommerce businesses are moving away from using just one logistics carrier to work with independent logistics providers who search the entire market of carriers to create a bespoke suite of delivery solutions and order management technology for the business. There are five key reasons for this:

  • Choice – logistics carriers have their own specialist areas of expertise, eg same day, timed, out of gauge sizes, PUDO etc… No one carrier can offer everything the online retailer might want to offer their customers in terms delivery options
  • Price – the cost of delivery can put a large dent in the margin for online retailers. Many are now looking to ‘logistics brokerages’ to take advantage of leveraged pricing models where the brokerage can pool the business volumes across many retailers
  • Performance – it’s a complex world and things can go wrong. It’s not that easy to simply switch a carrier if their performance is not up to scratch. eCommerce businesses need reliable delivery services all the time, so having access to multiple carriers and being able to quickly and simply switch is becoming critical
  • Visibility of everything – customers want to know the status of their delivery at all times through its journey. And as a business, retailers would have to fight their way through multiple carrier sites to track all their orders if they wanted to be able to offer the level of delivery options choice their customers need. Being able to see all orders, through all carriers in one place helps this enormously
  • Peak seasons – a good problem to have…what do you do if your market and business suddenly takes off and delivery demands increase well above expectations? If the chosen carrier cannot handle an unexpected peak in volumes, you need access to back-up logistics suppliers who can fill in when needed

We understood and predicted this growth in the eCommerce world some years ago. We’ve built our business to specifically solve the needs of eCommerce retailers, including the five business needs highlighted above.

We have an extensive global partnership network with both UK and global carriers, actively manage their performance and leverage prices across our 3,000 customers, offer an unrivalled range logistics services and delivery options for online businesses and we have built an award-winning technology platform that allow complete visibility of the entire supply chain in one place.