How the pandemic has sped up e-commerce deliveries

The effect of Covid-19 on Brazilian e-commerce goes beyond increasing sales and customers. Today the emphasis is on speed of delivery. Photo: Pixabay

The arrival of Covid-19 in Brazil has led to accelerated growth in the digitization of businesses and consumer uptake of e-commerce, with 13 million new buyers and 41% higher revenues in 2020, according to data from ‘an Ebit / Nielsen study. In tow, the changes also brought advancements in logistics. Shipping time and price have grown in importance in consumer decision making and have become differentials in the competitiveness of online sales.

Supermarkets are already relying on ultra-fast deliveries. Orders received on the day of purchase are a reality in major centers, but they remain a challenge for the segment in finding ways to extend this type of service to more remote locations, within time windows of shorter and shorter.

“The truth is that the performance is very heterogeneous”, assesses Professor Leonardo Marques, specialist in operations, technology and logistics and member of the Postgraduate Institute and Research in Administration of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Coppad / UFRJ).

According to him, only “the companies which already had a preliminary preparation, already understood the electronic commerce as a strategy, managed to ride this wave”. On the other side, there are entrepreneurs or businesses that have had to rush to connect to a platform and lost their ability to generate margins due to costs and lack of planning.

In the scenario initiated in 2020, companies capable of rapidly applying multi-channel solutions were favored. Although they have been emptied (or closed) at times when more severe isolation measures were adopted to combat the spread of the coronavirus, physical stores have played an important role in reducing delivery times for purchases made. via Internet. They became distribution points, ensuring that products could be shipped from locations closer to the final destination.

“That’s the logic of omnichannel, meaning you mix e-commerce, online, with the physical. same day or in 24h, 48h) because you will be there must be a larger center which pulverizes this towards smaller centers, which in turn deliver it to the customer or the pick-up option ”, summarizes the specialist.

This spraying of distribution centers has been successfully applied by e-commerce so that purchases arrive more quickly in the hands of the consumer, for the sake of satisfying the so-called after-sales experience and increasing the chances of new ones. purchases (one recurrence). Giants such as Magazine Luiza predict heavy investments in logistics and greater use of the physical network as a bet to speed up orders from the virtual environment, but small businesses are also using the tool.

The little ones in e-commerce

For small brands that have launched into e-commerce, competitiveness has been optimized, for example, by solutions offered by startups that promote partnerships with carriers and local businesses. The cat’s jump is by capillarizing the reach to lower prices and speed up the arrival of orders, according to Kangu CEO Marcelo Guarnieri.

“I believe the big change has been technological, essential for the small seller to enter the game. [Ela] this allowed us to create an essential network for this small seller. With the products available in the internet showcase, however, the little ones were lacking to achieve a competitive logistics cost.

“They lost when we talked about freight prices, which cost two, three times as much as when someone was buying from a big retailer,” he reflects. In practice, Kangu’s model turns any business into a mini-logistics center in a micro-region. “He starts receiving packages, the seller can drop the package there and we connect him to a network of carriers (now there are nine) to distribute the products throughout Brazil at an extremely competitive cost.” , he adds.

Last year, Kangu circulated around 200,000 shipments per month; today, there are 8 million items sold by 40,000 small e-shops. According to Guarnieri, the growth in the volume of orders processed by the company reflects the emergence of more and more stakeholders on both ends: sellers and buyers.

New buyers and fewer borders

In addition to functioning as mini distribution centers, stores and other storage points also serve as an alternative to a logistical bottleneck caused by urban violence: the lack of coverage of traditional parcel delivery services in the areas. mapped as at risk. From the availability of locations that become customer relationship centers, the customer now has the ability to pick up products that they would not otherwise be able to purchase without direct shipment.

According to Coppread / UFRJ professor Leonardo Marques, companies that want to work with classes C, D and E, for example, will have to rely on omnichannel solutions to go where logistics go wrong, which includes convincing consumers. go to the nearest store to pick up your product. “There is certainly a need for a company that wants to lean on e-commerce and, at the same time, work in a class below A and B to consider solutions that integrate the channels, gain in maturity”, summarizes he does.

In line with this assessment, a survey conducted by Kangu among its users shows that 80% of people who buy to retract are new buyers, who have joined e-commerce after accessing the solution.

“There is the audience that still didn’t trust e-commerce or had no way of receiving the product and is starting to test it. Many people do not have a doorman, we have more consumption in risk areas, it also brings a lot of logistical complexity, “he explains, the CEO of the startup.

Based on this analysis, Guarnieri believes that “this growth has come in a very hybrid way, from a series of combined solutions, there is no single solution, only one company, it goes through a combination of several models. -commerce, small sellers, will have access to a larger portfolio of logistics solutions that can better develop this in Brazil. “

Partnerships to gain ground

Similar to what is happening in marketplaces offered by large retailers, Loggi Vice President of Sales Ariel Herszenhorn, who believes there is still plenty of room for advancements in Brazilian e-commerce on a market where big brands act as partners and complement the ecosystem by offering small business products. “In this process, the consumer has a wider supply of sellers all over Brazil,” he says.

Specialized in logistics, the company ended 2020 with operational activity 360% higher than in 2019, a significant jump supported by the capacity built with the opening of new branches, cross-docking in different regions and R $ 150 million invested in automation and technology. Despite the growth, Herszenhorn believes the Brazilian market is still under-explored. “Compared to the outside world, we are very shy, whether it is because of the road structures, the availability of cell phone access, the cost, the internal bureaucracy,” he says.

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