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How can DHL be part of the future of ecommerce

· Tech

I was recently researching about the role of the big 4 transport players on the future of ecommerce in the era of Mobile e-commerce 2.0. Deutsche Post DHL recently announced Strategy 2020 on the 4th Feb 2014. One of the great videos that they make is about the changing commerce: what is the impact of internet?, explained by the CEO, Dr. Andrej Busch, CEO DHL Paket Deutschland.

Here are some of my thoughts in relevance to the new age of e-commerce 2.0.

Paypal like logistics: integrate instead of 'here I am'.

The internet makes it possible for people to carry out trade across different countries. In the past, one has to fly over to a site to meet the person face to face , to establish trust in writing and then to communicate via traditional telecommunication channels. Then they engaged the big brands like DHL, UPS and Federal Express to complete the delivery.

The rise of ecommerce 1.0 like Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba means that both parties can do away with flying over and meeting face to face. Yet they still rely on the big brands to complete the delivery. Since the late 1990s to the present day, people still rely on the big brands to complete the delivery.

Now what has change for people using ecommerce 1.0 is that sellers are beginning to understand the importance and ease of getting buyers to buy quickly and to receive shipment on time. In the past, Paypal and the likes offer a separate site which buyers have to be directed to make payment. Now, Paypal and other payment providers provided integrated solutions for sellers to integrate these payment as part of their web businesses. This create a seamless transaction experience for buyers and that means increased efficiency of sellers business delivery services.

As such, DHL can explore IT solutions for sellers to drag and drop into their existing sites so as to create a seamless delivery order experience for the buyers. This will become very important as ecommerce businesses are moving into ecommerce 2.0 or mobile ecommerce 2.0. Amazon and Alibaba have realized the importance of seamless transaction and shipping experiences for their vendors and they are already ahead in terms of offering such solutions as part of their platform.

Intra-national delivery services are in demand

With the rise of new technology startups building peer to peer services, there is a need to offer localized delivery services. InstacartDeliverish and the likes are trying to disrupt the logistics industry by offering a platform to create peer to peer delivery jobs. Such delivery services are different from the traditional delivery services. The traditional delivery services involved creating a path and sending couriers to deliver parcels to the designated areas.

Such traditional services tend to be centralized and the turnaround delivery time is generally at least 1 to 2 business days. People are beginning to seek to procure staff from their neighbourhood without actually travelling to these nearby stores in cities like Singapore, New York and San Francisco. Their busy lives means that they want to spend more time with their family members if they can outsource such local delivery services. As such, this presents a new opportunity for the big brands to allocate their resources to define a new localize supply chain services of which many existing tech startups are trying to grow to serve this need.

Just as Michael Clayton, the father of disruptive innovation say, the former titans are often late to realize that existing incumbents can truly offer a product that is just good enough to serve the customers when this product is very much needed.

Now, I hope the leaders of DHL, UPS, TNT and Federal Express can realize that the above suggestions can either be opportunities for growth or can be disruptive forces to come.


Andrew Liew

Disclaimer: Above suggestions are purely my opinions and views. They do not represent the views of any other companies or parties.