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An alternate to e-commerce delivery problems - product pickup!
28th February 2014

e-commerce The conventional wisdom says that e-commerce is about convenience. E-commerce is about your selected products showing up at your doorstep. Unfortunately reality is a bit more troubling. Especially in India E-commerce vendors are struggling to make a profit due to high delivery and COD costs. In fact many online retailers haven't made a paisa of profit as delivery costs eats the margins. The situation is dire.

Then I came across this interesting link on Engadget.
http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/11/square-uniqlo/

The central premise being to use the shoppers own location and travel plans and match them with the delivery. Here is how it could work.

  1. E-commerce vendor sets up various pickup points across the city
  2. Shopper buys a product and selects the nearest pickup point. E-commerce company dispatches the goods to that pickup point.
  3. Customers visit the nearest pickup place, identify themselves and pickup their stuff.

PROs

  • E-commerce companies save a huge amount on delivery and COD costs. Delivery network is shortened.
  • Customers do not have to worry about anyone being home to receive the parcel. A common issue with many working people.
  • E-commerce companies can setup alternative modes of payment besides COD at the pickup point.

CONs

  • An inconvenience for very busy consumers who don't have time to spare.
  • Direct gifting becomes an issue. Customers will have to deliver gifts personally or ask the giftee to pick it up.
  • Risk of goods being unclaimed for many days due to customer's inability to visit the pickup point.
  • Risk of goods being pilfered while in storage waiting for the customer.

Sometimes its important to break out of the conventional mold and try something radical. Especially when your profits are getting eaten in the name of convenience. Out of the box solutions are needed.

Cheers,
Ron

 

 

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