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Helping merchants reduce upfront costs and avoid logistical challenges

Lalamove teams up with Shopify to provide a one-stop e-commerce solution that’s flexible, fast and seamless.

Helping merchants reduce upfront costs and avoid logistical challenges

The growing reliance on e-commerce in the midst of COVID-19 has increased demand for last-mile logistics. Photos: Shutterstock, Lalamove

Running your own business is tough enough, without having to worry about delivery costs or whether your goods will reach the customers on time. Running your own business amid a global pandemic and its evolving challenges? That raises the stakes significantly, which is where agile logistics solutions come into their own.

According to Lalamove Singapore’s managing director Alex Lin, the rise of e-commerce in the wake of the pandemic has led to a significant shift in the last-mile logistics needs of merchants.

Said Mr Lin: “The need for last-mile delivery has increased as more businesses adopt an e-commerce-only approach, and more retail merchants turn to e-commerce as a second channel. Over the past two years, we’ve also noticed an increase in demand for instant deliveries in the consumer electronics, furniture, premium food and produce verticals.”

As a key delivery partner for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) across the island, Lalamove Singapore’s new integration with Shopify – which has over 10,000 active online stores here – is designed to offer merchants seamless access to Lalamove’s extensive on-demand, round-the-clock fleet of vehicles

OUT OF THE BOX AND EASY TO USE

A screen grab showing the Shopify plugin sign-up page.

Merchants can install the Lalamove app on the Shopify App Store before placing a delivery order in only a few clicks – there’s no need for manual integration.

Merchants only need to select the date and time of pick-up on the app and let the drivers take over. Multiple orders can be grouped into one delivery with Lalamove’s multi-stop delivery function, which is powered by its route optimisation algorithm for greater efficiency and lower logistics costs.

In addition, merchants have a bird’s-eye view of every stage of the delivery process – from assigning a driver to delivery completion.

With the right integration, merchants can share Lalamove's live tracking delivery status with their customers through the merchant's own communication channels. Shopify merchants for instance, can share Lalamove's live-order tracking link with their customers via SMS.

Lalamove can be a powerful tool in a merchant’s business strategy kit. Instead of having to present a fixed delivery cost to customers at the checkout page, merchants who are on the Shopify annual billing plan can use an approximation of the live Lalamove in-app price.

Explained Mr Lin: “This feature provides merchants with greater flexibility to quote Lalamove’s platform rate, which may give their customers a more favourable price than pre-determined delivery prices. The transparent delivery pricing also helps merchants reduce shopping cart abandonment.”

Merchants can also customise the percentage of the delivery fee paid by customers.

“A merchant with a new e-commerce business might choose to heavily discount the delivery cost as part of its opening promotions,” said Mr Lin.

Lalamove can help retailers transport a wide variety of goods. Its wide range of vehicle types – from two-wheelers to four –  accommodates everything from delicate flowers to bulky furniture. Mr Lin pointed out that Lalamove’s large fleet size also enables it to quickly match merchants’ orders with delivery partners, even during periods of high demand.

“During festive seasons, merchants often sell products that fall outside their normal operations, or sell products in large quantities,” he said. “In such situations, merchants can supplement their own fleet or choose larger vehicles that they do not own. We’ve delivered everything from food to home office equipment in larger vehicles. Lately, we’ve also observed an increase in temperature-sensitive specialty goods that use our refrigerated lorries.”

HELP WITH MANAGING OPERATIONAL UNCERTAINTY

In an erratic business environment that is currently facing a manpower crunch, hiring vehicle operators can be difficult and costly – making many SME owners think twice about operating their own delivery fleet.

Added Mr Lin: “Recent Certificate of Entitlement prices have also been increasing, which will undoubtedly make business owners reconsider replacing or purchasing new vehicles. More importantly, in this uncertain post-pandemic climate of inflation and geopolitical volatility, large investments seem hard to swallow, especially when an alternative like Lalamove is available.”

He highlighted that unlike working with traditional third-party logistics providers, merchants can enjoy the full features of the Lalamove platform without needing to commit to a fixed fulfilment quota – a benefit during downturns or quiet months.

Through leveraging the existing pool of vehicles in Singapore to fulfil merchants’ deliveries, Lalamove itself is able to deliver value to customers despite its asset-light business model.

“It is for this reason that our operations are more agile and better positioned to respond to changes,” said Mr Lin. “It is this same value proposition that we offer to our customers, enabling them to reduce huge upfront costs and avoid logistical challenges – so that they can focus on their core business capabilities.”

Want to tap into an agile logistics solution for your business? Sign up for a Lalamove business account today.

Source: CNA

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