Making Waves: 5 Companies Changing the World of Logistics, Last Mile Delivery and E-Commerce FulfillmentGame changing technology focused companies are improving customer experience & on demand delivery
Logistics industry businesses and associated technologies are building up to help mediate the tremendous challenges in the supply chain and logistics industries.
Last mile delivery and logistics are areas of both special concern and opportunity. This reflected in the number of new business start-up ventures, most of which begin in the San Francisco area. Stand aside autonomous vehicles and drones. Fresh ideas for solving logistics and home delivery challenges are generating results and praise by consumers and online retailers. No longer are online retailers limited to dealing with the same carriers for package delivery. Parcel delivery can now be handled by many other innovative vendors servicing the online shopping industry. Is this the future of retail? Quite possibly.
Here is a quick look at some of the new businesses that have been breaking the mold to service mobile shopping and consumers’ love of fast home delivery.
This new start up business is an on-demand delivery third party logistics provider. Darkstore works by enabling e-commerce retail brands to store their inventory in major cities and provides on-demand and same day home delivery at lower prices.
Darkstore does this by using leftover space in storage facilities, malls, bodegas and other ancillary spaces. The e-commerce companies are not charged for inventory storage. Instead, a 3% per item fee is charged when the goods leave Darkstore with a minimum fee of $2 and a maximum of $20. Key to the success of Darkstore is selection of the brands positioned for optimal success in this business model: those that move enough product specifically in a set location and its partnership with on-demand home delivery services such as Deliv and traditional couriers.
This on-demand delivery fulfillment venture enables e-commerce retailers to facilitate same day delivery and ensures tracking of inventory, orders and deliveries.
Darkstore targets customers of direct to consumer e-commerce brands which do not have local brick and mortar stores.
Darkstore is currently building plugins for e-commerce platforms including Shopify, BitCommerce and Magento. This service enables online retailers to compete more effectively with top retailer Amazon and meet the same consumer brand promise of “what you want, when you want it”. Because Amazon requires access to inventory and sales data and gives less screen space to brands sold on its platform, it often is undesirable for e-commerce retailers to use it for their retail and delivery needs.
Currently Darkstore has locations in Phoenix and San Francisco and will be opening in New York and Los Angeles in October. Mattress company Tuft and Needle, clothing company Wildfang and premium headphones maker Master & Dynamic are Darkstore clients.
ShipHawk automates back-end processes including rating, booking, dispatch, last mile delivery tracking and reconciliation and empowers retailers to gain insight by providing key data for evaluation and management. Consumers have reported that their experience with product delivery strongly influences their impression of brands. Using ShipHawk helps retailers shape the customer experience without sacrificing their ability to reduce cost. As shipping costs are the second largest cost of doing business after cost of goods, having a solution that provides greater control enables retailers to compete more effectively for consumer business.
With an array of platform options, solutions and plug-ins, ShipHawk provides an opportunity for online retailers to have increased control and visibility as well as an ability to impact consumers at a critical time in their online shopping journey.
Over the years, retailers have realized that the experience customers have with their brands shapes their future buying decisions. Online retailers have become more acutely aware of the value of this experience and are interested in finding new ways to exert control over their brand at different points in the consumer-retailer interaction.
Enter Narvar. Narvar helps retailers maximize the post-purchase experience with online retailers. By providing integration with major carriers for automatic selection, sending branded automated last mile delivery tracking updates to consumers and handling returns, Narvar helps facilitate a seamless brand experience between online retailers and their customers.
Narvar assists retailers by assimilating expertise in engineering, supply chain and logistics, customer service, interactive design and other elements to optimize the customer experience.
Since introducing Plus Unlimited, Postmates revealed that its average Unlimited customers order approximately 9 times more than average customers and purchases are 30% higher than those of average sales.
Innovation comes in many forms and locations. What do these companies have in common besides creative solutions to the challenges of online retailers and the need to improve last mile delivery options and the customer experience?
People. Persistence. A passion to succeed.
All of these companies rely on technology to help solve problems and create opportunity. Whether it is a platform, software solutions, a collaborative approach or means of providing information, engagement and a higher level or service, these companies are trailblazers. They have observed, studied, learned, innovated and engaged with others to find a better way of satisfying consumer demands and expectations.