GEODIS launches "GEODIS eLogistics" to Help Brands Grow their Online Sales
In response to the rapid increase in e-Commerce activity, GEODIS is offering brands a new level of end-to-end logistics support.
Its goal? To help them offer their customers the same buying experience online as they do in-store.
For this, GEODIS relies on its network of e-Commerce warehouses and transportation services at locations worldwide, and on its new digital platform for the processing of orders in real time.
"The current crisis has benefited e-Commerce, a fundamental sales channel that is experiencing profound accelerated growth, from France to China via the United States. Responding to this new consumer demand requires brands to be able to orchestrate both orders and inventories while overcoming major logistical obstacles.
This is why GEODIS eLogistics has been developed. This new offering, based on the power of digital technology, is aimed at strengthening brand autonomy", explains Marie-Christine Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of GEODIS.
Behind the scenes, once the consumer has validated their shopping cart in an online store, marketplace, or social media network, a race against time begins to deliver the order in accordance with the consumer’s choices. Ashwani Nath, Vice President & Global Head of e-channel solutions of GEODIS explains that;
“Locating the available product closest to the consumer, wherever that may be, while optimizing the ‘time-cost’ factor, seems like common sense, but today it’s a challenge. Most brands are still struggling to achieve profitable growth via the e-Commerce channel and to provide a personalized customer experience.”
GEODIS wants to enable brands to restore their decision-making power to meet consumer expectations while controlling their logistical costs. “Our solution is scalable and allows us to quickly, and easily connect brands’ e-Commerce protocols to our warehouse (e-Fulfillment) and transportation networks,” Ashwani Nath clarifies.
The platform provides a real-time overview of all available inventory, in-store, in the warehouse, or in transit, worldwide. It also provides for the management of orders no matter the sales channel and determines the most appropriate supply source, delivery method, and returns options.
Representing "The Brand" Online
Brands operating online strive to create high-quality, personalized customer experiences. The quality of those experiences effectively represents the brand: low-friction, pleasant, reliable, and informative experiences make customers enjoy interacting with the vendor and keep them coming back for more of the same.
Online Experiences Comprise of Two Areas of Interaction
The first is the purchase experience, the quality of which gets defined in settings like an e-commerce website or a dedicated app; the second is the fulfillment of orders and their delivery.
Companies spend millions on creating and iterating on the purchase experience. Then there are the additional resources for mapping user journeys, A/B testing of proposed changes, data mining and analysis, and gathering end-user feedback. The ease and general pleasure of the online shopping experience are important differentiators from any competition.
The delivery and fulfillment aspect of the customer experience is where many companies can find their carefully crafted brand values take damage.
Last-mile delivery snafus, damaged goods, incorrect warehouse picking, customs delays, variations in real and projected stock figures - there are literally hundreds of elements and an exponential amount of missteps in logistics that can make a mess of customers’ orders, damaging brands where it hurts most: reputation and repeat business.
The quickest solution is for a brand to opt to go in with one or more of the reputable marketplace platforms that can handle the minutiae of day-to-day order fulfillment.
That comes with a significant financial price (around 15%-30% of the ticket price is typical) and the risk that the marketplace’s performance will reflect poorly on the brand. Companies hand over control of their brand’s values to a third party - along with a significant wedge of cash - and hope for the best.
The larger vendors especially can opt for a more hands-on approach to logistics and fulfillment, and piece together their own chain of logistics partnerships, making sure that each element shares its real-time progress data via some form of API. These data feeds can then be drawn together to give the brand granular oversight of its third-party, piecemeal logistics service.
It’s a solution that costs dedicated development time initially. In terms of ongoing maintenance, there are more costs and stumbling blocks: a single point upgrade from one partner’s internal systems and at least part of the data picture goes into blackout, while developers reverse engineer to try and find out what hit them. Customers are similarly left in the dark, or more accurately, left waiting for a delivery that never happens.
New Answers from an Unexpected Quarter
Anyone with some professional knowledge of operational logistics will know of GEODIS, the multinational owned by SNCF (France’s national state-owned railway company) that offers a logistic network across the globe. It operates air & sea freight, distribution, warehousing, freight movement, and last-mile delivery: in short, end-to-end fulfillment and transport logistics.
For those unfamiliar with the company and its services, GEODIS eLogistics is the first readymade, worldwide logistics platform that’s built on the premise that 100% of your fulfillment and transportation data is available to you in real-time via open, extensible APIs.
GEODIS knows how distribution, warehousing, and transport work and has built its own data systems that have been supporting a roster of clients for years. All of GEODIS’s experience and information are available right across the board via the e-Logistics platform. From a single, manageable and powerful platform, brands can at last use their own systems and technology investments alongside GEODIS’s real-time data and fulfillment management solution.
Here are some examples of how the e-Logistics platform’s use can yield the following results:
- Growth in logistics coverage at a markedly lower cost.
- Faster delivery times with closer proximity to your customers.
- Pre-integrated warehousing & transport systems ready to plug into your merchandising platforms.
- Use your own data for your own purposes, like showing live stock levels, communicating delivery progress, and feeding CRM/ERP or Marcomms databases.
- Keep control of customer experience quality from e-Commerce portfolio to delivery
- Activate features such as “save the sale” & “availability to promise”.
Users of these unique capabilities have reported an 18% to 24% drop in the cost of fulfillment and a 30% growth in sales year on year thanks to the strategic advantages e-Logistics presents to reputation-sensitive brands.
Companies that carefully nurture their customers’ experiences are either throwing resources at the maintenance of distribution and storage systems, or they’re handing off control of their brand values to marketplace suppliers that only care for their own profits. With GEODIS eLogistics, the customer experience can be entirely managed, in ways that change one-time customers into brand advocates.
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