Dana von der Heide, chief commercial officer and founder of Parcel Perform, explains what’s driving the need for greater visibility in parcel delivery, and how to achieve it.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a “huge boom” in e-commerce activity, von der Heide says, and with it the need for more carrier capacity to deliver parcels to buyers. But higher volumes and the number of players also led to more complex orchestration and a greater need for visibility throughout a package’s journey
In today’s e-commerce world, shoppers looking to track the progress of their orders are often directed to the website of the courier that’s handling it. A better way, von der Heide believes, is for the customer to obtain that information directly from the merchant, engendering more loyalty and increasing the possibility of repeat business with that seller. But that requires a high level of standardization of data platforms across all merchants and carriers. Forcing the buyer to access a separate site for status information presents “a huge opportunity to disgruntle the customer,” she says. “You’re losing all the trust, and giving the experience away to the carrier.”
For carriers and merchants today, providing basic visibility can still be a problem. Customers typically aren’t informed of the progress of an order as it moves through the warehouse and is picked up by the carrier. Only when it begins transiting the last mile do they receive updates on the status of the package.
Machine learning can help to overcome the complexities of tracking packages and conveying the information to the customer, von der Heide says. It makes possible the creation of one global reporting standard for hundreds of carriers, operating in multiple countries and time zones. And that translates into satisfied shoppers at the end of the transaction.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.