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The shipping that goes across the continents; A review of the e-commerce shipping.

"Shipping in e-commerce is the 
Barometer of Customer Satisfaction."
                                          - The Unknown

From the time immemorial the movement of goods from one continent to another taken place by ships across the ocean.   Based on this,  the etymology denotes, the derivation of the word shipping.  In year Circa 1300, the word SHIP (noun) converted into a verb, by the American English, to denote the transportation of merchandise through the sea by ships. In the year Circa 1857, the word SHIP (verb) denoted to anything transported to the other places by any modes of transports - by Air, by Ship, by Road, by Train,  and nowadays by drones to effect delivery at the doorsteps. There are expected to be 600,000 commercial drones in use by 2018, and almost half of Americans would be willing to receive deliveries by drone.

At the advent of e-commerce into the world commerce, the logistics and delivery of the merchandise to the consumers taken to metamorphoses and the word logistics rechristened as supply chain management, inculcating all intricacies and nuances of available channels of delivery and mode of transports. We can very well say all the three elements of nature - the Air, the Water and the Earth are put into usage, for the deliverance of the merchandise - on time, every time - to the consumers. In this blog, we shall analyze some details on the logistics and delivery methods of the merchandise.

The modern-day online sellers to make the user experience successful,  employ, whichever right mode of transportation which makes the merchandise to be delivered at the appointed time, at the appointed place with the least amount of shipping expenses.

There are many customised ways of shipping methods available in the e-commerce industry.  With the explicit request from the buyer, the seller acts to deliver the merchandise. The following are the various methodologies of shipping made available to the buyers.
  1. Same Day Delivery
  2. Overnight Shipping
  3. 2 Day Shipping
  4. Expedited Shipping
  5. International Shipping and
  6. Freight Shipping - Shipments which weighs more than 150 pounds and larger in size than 30 inches in height, width and length are considered for freight shipping.  This is mainly used for transporting the cargo to the distributors and fulfilment centres.
Dropshipping is one of the most recent trends in e-commerce selling. Wherein the seller without a need for a warehouse to stock and move his inventory, re-channels the product delivery directly from the root manufacturer to reach the end customer.  Although the seller may have the flexibility of not having to maintain his stock, he has little control over the quality of the inventory and supply chain process. Unless there is a good team to coordinate this effort, dropshipping may prove a disaster to inexperienced sellers. With the advent of robots, delivery process automation and integration through smart assistants, the merchandise delivery time to the end-user will continue to shrink in years to come.
Packaging of the products for delivery has become an art by itself.  The statistics show that 20% of the returned products are returned by the buyers since they have received the merchandise in a damaged condition due to not secure packaging.  To avoid this nowadays sellers are making customised packaging.  Eco-friendly packaging is used by sellers in support of global warming and climate change programmes. 

The recent statistics show that 30% of all products purchased online are returned as compared to 8.89% of the Brick and Mortar Stores purchase. Cost of shipping has become No.1 deciding factor in making a purchase decision. 79 % of the consumers want free return shipping. 43% while making the purchase online abandon their shopping cart because of the high shipping cost. 10% of the purchasers leave the shopping cart due to longer shipping and delivery time.

In the e-commerce industry, AI and Robots have started showing their influence by making supply chain management a seamless process. It is stated by the peers, that by the year 2025, 70 to 75 per cent of the transactions or the works shall be done by the machine automation, and only 25 to 30 per cent shall have the human interference.
Alan Turing has mentioned in his public lectures (London 1947) - "What we want is a machine that can learn from experience, " and that the " possibility of letting the machine alter its own instructions provides the mechanism for this."In future, this will almost become true to its literal sense by the dream software machine -THE SINGULARITY.
With the growing digitization of the professional world, and with the speed of internet, more and more online sellers are adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) to their supply chain to maximize their resources, by reducing the time and money spent on figuring out how, where and when to send a package to a certain place.
AI helps in finding out the best route to quickly reach the customers, by solving us the age-old Traveling salesman problem. AI also helps in last-mile delivery. The role of smart assistants will continue to increase to meet e-commerce demand. For instance, Amazon’s Alexa helps in tracking orders placed with DHL Logistics. Delivery windows are shrinking and AI will completely take over manual decisions. Same day delivery will become a reality with AI & Automation.
SELLinALL with its wide range of experience in the field of online selling understands the challenges faced by sellers in maintaining their inventories across multiple online channels and the logistics and shipping difficulties they face to execute the shipping of the merchandise. SELLinALL provides an easy to manage solution with its most flexible, informative software, for the benefit of the online sellers. 

Inian P. K -

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