Saahil Goel is the CEO and Co-Founder of Shiprocket, an AI powered Logistics Technology Platform. He is also fondly referred to as the de-facto CPO, given his passion for products, growth hacking and technology.
As a startup CEO, Saahil’s chief responsibilities include questioning everything that impacts the business, breaking existing barriers and practising and developing unconventional solutions from the ground up. Along with overall management of the company, he actively heads product strategy, user experience and growth initiatives.
An MBA and MS from the University of Pittsburgh (USA), Saahil started his career as a Business Analyst at Max Life Insurance. Before conceptualizing Shiprocket, Saahil was working as a Technology and Process Consultant for SDLC Partners (with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield). He was also a part of the founder’s teams of Kasper Consulting. Saahil has interned with Bayer and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. while pursuing MBA in the USA.
Over the past 18 months, e-commerce has achieved astronomical growth as consumers increasingly turn to it to fulfill all their shopping needs – be it essential or non-essential items. As e-commerce continues to grow rapidly, the pandemic has also brought forth the importance of efficient, streamlined logistical operations. However, at the outset of the pandemic, the logistics and supply chain industries were at the forefront of disruption. As a result, companies in the logistics sector have begun building robust business and supply chain models and are fortifying them with the help of technology-driven systems to ensure optimum operational efficiency.
Now, with e-commerce gaining immense traction and the landscape changing rapidly, customer expectations, behavior, and preferences have changed. Alongside an uptick in the number of customers opting for online shopping, there is also a surge in the number of customers who prefer quick deliveries – ideally one-day deliveries. While more and more platforms are hopping onto the same-day and next-day delivery bandwagon, implementing it comes with its share of challenges. But before delving into the challenges, let’s take a look at how one-day deliveries have been a game-changer for logistics platforms, e-commerce sellers, and customers.
Express Delivery: An Evolutionary Step in the Logistics Sector
An amalgamation of the immediacy of physical shopping and the convenience of online retail, one-day deliveries have revolutionized the way consumers shop as it offers a compelling value proposition. Driven by increasing internet proliferation and smartphone usage along with high-speed internet and affordable data prices, today’s consumers expect maximum convenience. In fact, as per reports, India has a whopping 60-70% of shopping cart abandonment and one of the reasons for this is delayed delivery of shipments.
The demand for one-day deliveries has skyrocketed to the extent that a majority of customers are willing to pay an additional fee for it. One-day delivery to last-mile customers has become crucial even as online retail continues to gain traction, becoming a major driving force in the logistics industry. For this, logistics providers are positioning themselves and adapting their existing networks and infrastructure accordingly. However, the road ahead does have certain snags.
Cost and Network Coverage
Inefficient, unplanned, or unorganized handling of one-day deliveries can transform into a logistical nightmare for any platform. One-day deliveries aren’t necessarily a cost-effective delivery method, and if not implemented systematically, they can impact revenue/profits. Logistics platforms must ensure that one-day deliveries are carried out methodically and efficiently and segregate items by categorizing them. This will allow platforms to avoid any ambiguity and carry out order delivery seamlessly.
Logistics providers can also put a minimum order strategy in place to balance the costs and avoid spending excess money, time, or resources. Companies should also choose to implement one-day deliveries only in areas they cover by taking into consideration the warehouse location, consumer demand in the area, manpower, existing store’s location, etc. For e-commerce sellers/companies, it’s best to outsource the logistics to a third-party provider as bearing the costs of in-house one-day deliveries can prove to be a burden in the long run.
Delivery Staff Tracking and Lack of Order Forecasting
One-day deliveries require immense commitment from human resources to meet the demand and ensure order fulfillment for a seamless post-order experience for customers. Reliable and committed truck drivers would mean that companies will have to pay them a higher salary or offer more benefits. The ideal solution for this would be to enable driver tracking to ensure maximum productivity.
Yet another factor that affects express delivery is the lack of order forecasting – a matter that is unfortunately overlooked often but plays a pivotal role in facilitating efficient and smooth one-day deliveries. With a standard delivery process, companies often get at least a few days between the day the order comes in and the day the shipment is sent out for delivery. However, since express delivery only gives them a few hours to send out a shipment and ensure that it reaches the right location without hitting any snags on the way, players will need to avoid a lack of order oversight.
What Can be Done?
Overcoming the aforementioned challenges can seem like a daunting task, especially when consumer demand is continuously on the rise. But businesses can implement certain solutions to ensure frictionless express delivery for enhanced customer satisfaction and retention.
For instance, platforms offering one-day delivery can introduce a centralized order management system for streamlined orders. This will especially prove beneficial when the platform follows an omnichannel approach as the order management system will keep track of every aspect – be it the orders, inventory storage, and management, shipments, or delivery status.
Logistics platforms need to make certain that the fulfillment centers are not located too far from the customer’s address. Especially for metropolitan cities that are densely populated, this will allow them to fulfill orders without any hassles. E-commerce businesses can ensure seamless order fulfillment by outsourcing their logistics to third-party providers as they often have multiple fulfillment centers in various locations to enable effective order fulfillment for one-day deliveries.
Furthermore, logistics players need to invest in technologies such as route optimization software – the most feasible, efficient solution that shows drivers the shortest route to a destination while also taking the customer’s preferred delivery timings into account. Since route optimization software plans the fastest routes within minutes and with impeccable accuracy, logistics businesses can save time and cost while delivering the shipments within the specified time.
The logistics landscape is fast-changing and today, the time taken for delivery of shipments even to the last-mile customers can determine if they will opt for your service the next time. Since express delivery requires substantial resources, it’s ideal for logistics providers who leverage cutting-edge technologies and have a PAN India presence. One-day deliveries, although incredibly challenging, also offer abundant growth opportunities, especially in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction, thereby contributing to profits. Logistics providers are now positioning themselves to tackle the transformations in the space efficiently and the future, especially given the increased adoption of technology-driven processes, will continue to see soaring demand for express delivery with businesses being well equipped to cater to the demand.