With the festive season just two months away, direct-to-consumer or D2C brands have already started preparing for the busiest time of the year. Just like last year, brands are expecting to get inundated with a flurry of orders, heightened customer queries and return requests. While the festive season rush brings with it a huge surge in sales volumes, it can get quite overwhelming for D2C sellers to manage the logistics operations.
Starting from secure, tamper-proof packaging and inventory management to choosing the right courier service for transparent last-mile delivery and offering a seamless post-purchase experience, they need to make a bewildering number of things right to ensure faster and more efficient deliveries. Sellers, without expert guidance and the right technology, can face major hiccups in the order fulfilment process and even stand the risk of losing customers to their competitors. Thankfully, as festive sales pick up, third-party logistics (3PL) companies are stepping in to bring greater agility and innovation to the supply chain and logistics operations of D2C brands, helping them prepare for the peak shopping season.
The list includes both legacy players and new-age startups that are enabling the D2C players in India.
Shiprocket is among India’s top e-commerce shipping and enablement platforms for D2C brands. With 17 courier partners on board, the brand enables pan-India as well as international shipping deliveries. Its shipping solutions are available across 29,000+ pin codes within India and the Middle East region. In addition to offering shipping services, Shiprocket also provides a technology stack to help retailers integrate their shopping websites on Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Zoho, and others for workflow, inventory, and order management. Shiprocket has launched 3 new warehouse hubs across major cities including Surat, Jaipur, and Guwahati to expand the 1-day and 2-day delivery network, becoming the first platform in the D2C enablement sector to do so.
Operating since 2011, Delhivery provides a full suite of services which including parcel transportation, warehousing, freight, reverse logistics, cross-border and technology guidance to over 17000 customers, including both large e-commerce companies and small D2C brands. The logistics startup utilises a pan-India and international network of 43,000 teams to handle over 1.5 million packages daily. This B2C logistics leader currently serves across 9,000 pin codes and 2,500 cities and is on a rapid expansion mode to grow its footprint.
Pickrr offers end-to-end logistics and order fulfilment services to D2C brands through its cross-country network of courier partners, warehouses and last-mile delivery fleets. With tech-led innovation at the core of its operations, Pickrr’s advanced platform leverages an AI-enabled courier recommendation engine that weighs in 50+ parameters to help e-commerce sellers select the best shipping provider based on their specific preferences. Having already supplemented the growth of over 10,000 D2C sellers on its platform, the SaaS-based company also provides businesses with access to actionable data-driven insights which can be used for predicting customer demand and inventory stock requirements, as well as for reducing non-delivery and return orders. The one-click integration with various e-commerce channels such as Shopify, Magneto, WooCommerce, Unicommerce further streamlines e-commerce selling for D2C brands, enabling them to manage all of their operations on a single platform.
DHL eCommerce Fulfillment
Operating in India since 1979, German company DHL offers end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions for e-commerce retailers with its sister divisions DHL Supply Chain, DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding, and Blue Dart (subsidiary). Its fulfilment service includes receiving and picking up of inventory, inventory storage, pick and pack, comprehensive return processing, and domestic as well as international shipping. Currently, DHL occupies around 9 million sq ft of warehousing space and also has a dedicated distribution centre in Delhi. Its online dashboard offers inventory snapshot reports for international deliveries to enable e-commerce sellers to gain better visibility into their inventory levels anytime and anywhere. This option works best for sellers who manage high volumes of cross-border orders, especially to destinations such as the US and Europe.