E-COMMERCE companies in Asia have an incredible opportunity ahead of them. Industry growth is pegged in double-digits and analysts expect millennials to increasingly shop online for all kinds of needs.
However, it seems as though the industry has hit a bit of a roadblock in terms of operational innovations.
Giants such as Alibaba, Amazon, and Lazada aside, not many e-commerce businesses have been able to introduce anything new to delight customers once the sale has been made.
Goods are stored and mailed today in the same way as they were two to five years ago. While this doesn’t imply that all e-commerce companies must ape industry leaders and invest in robots and wearables — but some innovation can really go a long way when they try to woo customers away from the big platforms in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Lalamove, a logistics company with digital DNA, Head of International Blake Larson Tech Wire Asia learned more about the company’s views and role in the e-commerce industry.
“For e-commerce companies looking for growth, it’s imperative that they partner with the right company or technology to manage these projects.
“To that end, partnering with a company like Lalamove allows e-commerce businesses to scale according to their needs.”
Lalamove owns a fleet of professionally-trained drivers and can help arrange deliveries on-demand or ahead of time, helping e-commerce companies really close the loop from the time the sale is made to the time the product is delivered.
Larson explains that since the company has a digital DNA, it understands the value of automation and reporting. Hence, through API integrations, it can allow e-commerce companies to automate delivery requests and track orders.
Technology drives growth for Lalamove
“As a company that has grown rapidly over the last few years, one of the biggest challenges we face is making sure our supply of drivers keeps up with our increasing user base. At the same time, it’s important that we provide a great experience to both our users and drivers.”
Larson says that the company relies on collecting data to optimize operations in a way that benefits all its stakeholders.
For instance, based on the various routes drivers take, the company can suggest the most efficient routes for the quickest deliveries.
“Further, technology allows us to provide an automated and seamless experience where users and drivers can send and accept delivery requests when convenient to them, know exactly how much it is going to cost and pay through a variety of payment options.”
On the surface, these innovations seem quite lightweight but the reality is that they’re key to helping drive e-commerce companies ahead of competitors in an age where Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba make next-day delivery more of a standard than a premium offering.
According to Larson, this is exactly where companies like Lalamove can provide e-commerce businesses with an advantage — helping them leapfrog ahead of global competitors — or at least catching up with them in terms of logistical operations.
Lalamove acknowledges human contribution to its growth
Larson will be speaking about all of the interesting challenges the company has overcome with technology and innovative thinking at the e27 Echelon Asia Summit 2019 (exclusive free ticketshere) — but one key message he shares with Tech Wire Asia is that companies shouldn’t forget about the human touch.
“While technology can certainly help companies like Lalamove improve operational and business efficiencies, the human touch is still essential when it comes to providing a great user experience.”
Lalamove’s business head acknowledges that although technology is what makes the company’s services more accessible, it’s the professionalism of its drivers that encourage and ensure customer retention.
“To that end, our drivers undergo in-person training to get them acquainted with our company and the job. They are essentially an extension of the Lalamove brand and an important part of our business.”
Further, the company appreciates the team of developers, designers, and product experts who ensure that the company’s technology products are running smoothly at all times.
“So, while technology is a catalyst for growth, human experience and knowledge are at the core of our company,” concluded Larson.