Simple Strategies Amazon and Alibaba Use That Can Boost Your Logistics Company’s Growth

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With the implementation of innovative tech as well as penetration of new product markets, big e-commerce players like Amazon and Alibaba have gained the reputation of being pillars in the on-demand delivery sector.

By creating an environment centred on visibility and flexibility, these companies have managed to gain competitive edge and assert themselves at the centre of the delivery ecosystem for many other companies around the world.

While Alibaba and Amazon are at the centre of the new digital retail, they’re both using very different strategies.

For instance, according to a Freightos article, “Alibaba connects global businesses and consumers as the world’s largest virtual middleman, while Amazon is a global player that controls everything from manufacturing to sales and physical logistics.”

But what does this mean for other companies? While this may mean that traditional retailers will have a harder time succeeding, it also gives plenty of reasons to think about evolution and alternative methods to improve your business.

In a recent article on the launch of Amazon in Singapore, we talked about how big players work as a great benefit for local businesses as more consumers get used to receiving goods on the same day, fact which pushes smaller companies to adopt alternative tactics.

To scale delivery operations, it’s important to find the right delivery management solution to ensure more efficient deliveries, and in order to accomplish this, using tech to streamline operations and dispatch orders automatically is a must.

But let’s take a look at some strategies big players are using that you can apply in a different measure.

What Amazon does:

Empowers customers to have visibility and control over orders

last mile delivery

Image credit: Amazon

Right from the beginning, Amazon identified what the industry lacked and understood consumer needs perfectly. This is why the company started off with a service called “local express delivery” in the US, which later on expanded considerably. The service proved to be the foundation of their overall strategy to maximize efficiency at each step of the supply chain.

What’s more, the company identified different potential product verticals that would scale the business, which is why they chose to try out new product markets where there’s still ample space for growth.

And by launching same-day delivery service, Amazon’s volume of deliveries sky-rocketed hence they needed full visibility over their orders. That translated into knowing exactly which items are out on trucks, which trucks they are in, and where they are in the delivery process.

Giving customers visibility over their delivery: when it’s on its way, real-time tracking of the driver, precise ETAs, and notifications of when it has arrived are all things that consumers now expect.

What your company can do:

Implement a platform that offers control and live tracking 

This type of disruption caused by Amazon is positive as it can only push smaller businesses to adapt to change through a new level of speed and flexibility.

As a small company that wants to succeed and gain competitive edge in a landscape where companies like Amazon thrive, it’s important to use a system that allows you to have full control of your operations.

The most important aspect of your deliveries is having visibility over your deliveries and drivers in real-time. By using a delivery management system, your company will not only have access to such features but also provide your drivers with an easy-to-use app which gives you the ability to communicate directly with the driver, and monitor them once till delivery is completed.

What Alibaba does: 

Invests in a digital strategy

The Chinese e-commerce giant increased its stake in logistics firm Cainiao, aiming to begin delivering orders on the mainland within 24 hour.

According to an article in TodayOnline, “China’s market is more labour intensive and has obstacles like inaccurate post codes, for example, and in the rapidly growing cities new addresses are appearing all the time.

By standardising addresses and using digital labelling codes, Cainiao has cut time, costs and errors in delivery. Eliminating paper printing in favour of coded e-shipping labels saved almost a fifth of the courier’s estimated 0.54 yuan operating income per package.”

What your company can do: 

Use Proof of Delivery (POD) to reduce disputes

This is an essential component of the delivery as it serves as an important acknowledgment to mark that the delivery has been completed. By using the POD feature available, not only do companies have the assurance that packages were delivered successfully, they can also track the progress of the delivery.

This helps companies identify potential issues before they become major liabilities. A POD is a fast-growing trend that more companies are implementing into their delivery workflows to make the processes hassle-free.

What Amazon does:

Created Amazon Flex

amazon last mile delivery

Image credit: Amazon

Amazon’s sales revenue has been increasing every year but that didn’t stop the company to adopt new strategies. With Amazon Flex, which initially was started in Seattle, Amazon took the on-demand era to last-mile fulfillment.

The service is an outgrowth “sharing economy,” in which independent drivers, like Uber, can go to a local Amazon warehouse, grab a package and deliver it to its final destination.

This service is interesting as it could help Amazon cope with holiday high-demand and other situations where conventional services aren’t up to the job. This means, Amazon is creating an alternative ecosystem which can create a high fullfilment rate.

What your company can do:

Build a healthy last-mile ecosystem 

Companies can then build a healthy last-mile ecosystem by expanding their networks and tapping into a hybrid fleet to drive cost down. Last-mile can become a sustainable ecosystem where your very own fleet and partnerships with local delivery companies are successfully growing your delivery logistics.

If properly managed, this scenario can offer companies the flexibility to scale the business needs and use multiple resources that fit increased demand across multiple locations.

How to adopt new strategies

To scale delivery operations, it’s important to find the right delivery management solution to ensure more efficient deliveries. In order to accomplish this, using tech to streamline operations and dispatch orders automatically is a must.

To streamline operations and ensure that deliveries are timely, it’s crucial to leverage your services with tech to facilitate delivery speed as well as better manage the distribution of orders. It’s important to look for a solution that is flexible enough to be layered on top of existing technology to level-up the management of drivers and the order optimization.

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