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20.05.2021, 18:16

Extending Your eCommerce Capabilities

Third party service providers play an increasing role in eCommerce as companies selling online focus on their core capabilities and cut costs by leaving fulfilment to others.

 

Many companies in the online market space are opting to use third-party service providers to extend their capabilities, rather than maintain storage and logistics facilities or offer last mile delivery. Moreover, at a time when competition for business is driving down the cost of outsourcing, the range of services available to eCommerce companies is growing.

 

Fulfilment Intelligence

For companies offering goods that won’t spoil, they can take advantage of fulfilment intelligence to reduce their operating expenses and CAPEX. Companies such as Zendbox offer to integrate with eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Hermes, UPS, and others to create a more seamless process. So, companies that make use of multiple options to get goods from point A to point B can avoid unnecessary complications setting in. The company also offers fulfilment centres to allow small eCommerce start-ups to avoid working with a restricted list of options.


Food Delivery to the Last Mile

There is considerable competition in the UK and across Europe for food delivery services. While some food start-ups create their delivery team and don’t have a restaurant at all, others that require food delivery are restaurants looking to use Uber Eats or other services that have drivers ready to pick up and deliver. While it’s not cheap to add on a delivery service for a food business, it does ensure that the food arrives hot enough that the customers are happy.


Same-Day Deliveries on Your Behalf

Newer start-ups are also getting funding to provide last-mile deliveries on the same day. This allows them to compete with the likes of Amazon that are pushing for faster deliveries through Hermes drivers and others too. Gophr received a new round of funding last year to continue its expansion drive. So far, it has provided over 2 million deliveries for major high street names like Co-Op, Boots, and Selfridges.

 

With same-day delivery companies, it’s especially difficult to scale up and make it profitable. Gophr has been profitable for the last three years, but it does rely on businesses already having the product in stock that they’ll deliver. For small ecommerce companies needing a place to warehouse their supplies first, it’s only part of the solution.


Careful Handling Required

It’s not just the drivers that need to carefully handle the goods to be delivered and not let them topple over in transit due to their haste. There’s also a grab for new delivery drivers as more start-ups use last-mile services and a growing number of start-up delivery services aim to fill the growing need. There’s also interest by the UK Government with some concerns and recommendations relating to the last mile delivery sector and what problems it may cause with congestion or an increase in potential road accidents.

 

For eCommerce companies looking for a solution to warehousing and/or delivery to customers, the growing number of solution providers is good news. It opens up doors that would otherwise have prevented their business from launching in the first place.

 

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 (photo: Julian Portch)
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