Sendle launches free integration with Shopify

Courier service Sendle has launched a free integration with e-commerce platform Shopify to simplify and accelerate delivery for Australian online retailers.
Shopify customers can now opt to start shipping through Sendle’s nationwide door-to-door delivery service.
As part of the integration, all Shopify sales that have been paid for will be synced and imported directly into the customer’s Sendle dashboard, helping store owners streamline delivery through label printing, order booking and management and easy parcel tracking, with no minimum order quantities
“Shopify is a market leader in making it easy for business owners to set up and sell online,” said James Chin Moody, CEO and Co-founder, Sendle. “This new integration will extend that simplicity even further to help users eliminate pain points and make shipping and delivery seamless. Through our integration with Shopify, we are unlocking the power of big business logistics — convenience and affordability, for small and medium online sellers around the country.
“Our vision is to level the playing field and simplify shipping and delivery for thousands of small business owners around Australia. The ongoing development of our open API allows us to easily integrate with key partners, as we work to create an eCommerce ecosystem for more users.”

AusPost launches commerce hub

Australia Post has entered into a joint venture with a global fintech company AlphaPaymentsCloud, PowerRetail reports. The two will create an integrated commerce platform, AlphaCommerceHub, which will ease online trading for Australian retailers, a one-stop shop for e-commerce services including payment processing, identity, fraud detection and shipping.
“Businesses will no longer need to invest in multiple platforms, integrations and expensive ongoing investment to stay current,” said Andrew Walduck, Executive General Manager of Trusted e-Commerce Services and Group Chief Digital Officer, Australia Post.
“AlphaCommerceHub offers contemporary point of sale and online checkout options.
“It’s an absolute game changer in Australia’s fintech evolution so we’re incredibly excited about the potential this joint venture brings to both our banking partners and our customers.”
PowerRetail shared that Oliver Rajic, CEO, of AlphaPaymentsCloud noted that the platform will provide customisable commerce services and streamlined payments.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Australia Post to realize our shared vision to become Australia’s vendor solution switch,” said Rajic.
“Everyone’s talking about fintech, but Australia Post is truly embracing this transformation. It’s amazing to consider the potential for our joint solution to create the infrastructure underpinning Australia’s fintech future.”

Logistics Hall of Fame honours Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, has been inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Logistics Hall of Fame honours figures that have made significant efforts to promote the further development of logistics and supply chain management.
Bezos joins key logisticians including Gottlieb Daimler, credited with investing the truck and pioneering modern freight transport; Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds, inventors of assembly-line production; and James E. Casey, Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), among others.
Bezos has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics,” the Logistics Hall of Fame team wrote in a blog post, adding that he can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector.
According to the jury responsible for selecting deserving individuals, Bezos was the first to realise that software and logistics are crucial in the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading.
“Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole,” the blog post said. “Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.”
Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, said: “Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics.”
Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on 9 November.

NZ Post to pilot unlimited multi-brand delivery service

New Zealand Post will soon pilot New Zealand’s first multi-brand subscription parcel delivery service, Shipmate.
In return for an upfront payment, shoppers will be entitled to an unlimited number of purchases with no delivery fee from participating online retailers.
“We’re excited about this new innovation in the New Zealand market and are delighted that four of The Warehouse Group’s brands will be the first to offer the service to their customers,” said NZ Post’s head of Customer Strategy, Brendan Thawley.
He added that the move is a result of NZ Post listening to its customers and developing new initiatives to create value for them.
“A shared problem for both parcel senders and receivers is that often consumers want to buy small things online but the cost of shipping is too high relative to the purchase,” Thawley said. “We’re working to deliver solutions for both of these groups.”
Pejman Okhovat, CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, said the move forms part of The Warehouse Group’s mission to become New Zealand’s leading online retailer.
“Customers have been asking us for better online delivery options, and along with our two-hour delivery trial earlier this year, we’re looking forward to further improving our offering with more developments to be rolled out in the coming months,” said Okhovat.
The service is starting small – a two-month trial with a maximum of 5,000 customers – and away from a peak period such as Christmas to give NZ Post and The Warehouse opportunity to learn more, Thawley explained.
Eligible deliveries will include those for personal use, below 0.125m3 and 25kg, and South Island or rural addresses and not covered at this stage, and NZ Post has invited residents to sign up online.
While the Shipmate service is targeted at the domestic market, NZ Post is also working with New Zealand companies to help them grow their export markets, Thawley says.

Amazon officially confirms location of first Australian DC

Rumours that ecommerce company Amazon has chosen to house its first Australian distribution centre (DC) in Dandenong, Victoria, have been officially confirmed today, as reported by various news sites including Gizmodo.
The 24,000m2 Dandenong South facility is housed in the Pellicano M2 Industry Park, Amazon said in a statement this morning, offering easy access to several major transport links including the South Gippsland Highway, the Monash Highway and Eastlink.
The Queensand Times reported that an executive from Amazon’s German operations – Rocco Braeuniger – will take on the role of Country Manager for Amazon’s Australia website in the coming months.
“We are thrilled to be creating hundreds of new roles in Dandenong South,” said Robert Bruce, Director of Operations – Australia, Amazon.
“This is just the start. Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace.”

Ombudsman pushes AusPost to give SMEs a fair go

Small business operators have raised concerns with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, noting that Australia Post appears to be providing volume discounts to big customers sending large amounts of parcel mail.
Carnell is currently considering options to level the playing field for small businesses.
“Concerns have been raised with me by small business operators regarding their capacity to compete with big business when it comes to online sales,” she said.
“One of the biggest barriers that small businesses face online is the cost of sending parcels.”
In one example given, a music shop in regional South Australia was quoted $75 to send a small guitar to a post office in North Queensland, while a larger competitor was able to offer free postage.
“I am examining options to level the playing field for small business to compete fairly with big business when it comes to sending goods within Australia,” Carnell added. “One option may be to establish a buying collective.
“In many cases, the online presence of a small business enables a physical store to remain open in suburbs and regional towns where it might otherwise not be viable.
“A physical store contributes to council rates, vibrancy and economic activity, which are all vital to the sustainability of local communities.”

Australian logistics survey highlights e-commerce service gaps

The widening gap between customer demand for improved online shipping experiences and retailer capabilities is leaving businesses vulnerable, according to new research from Australian shipping and fulfilment software platform Temando, as the arrival of e-commerce giant Amazon later this year promises to revolutionise the online market on a never-before-seen scale.
Temando’s annual State of Shipping in Commerce survey found that while 65 per cent of Australian consumers stated that they abandoned their cart due to the high cost of shipping, 61 per cent of Australian retailers struggle to manage the increasing cost of carrier rates. What’s more, 57 per cent of shoppers will buy from competing stores when retailers fail to provide relevant shipping options to suit their needs.
Carl Hartmann, Co-founder and CEO, Temando, said as the competition is heating up between local retailers and the coming of Amazon, there’s a golden opportunity to drive innovation faster on local shores.
“Smart retailers have their foot on the gas and are using the arrival as a huge opportunity to streamline their processes, optimise logistics and embrace digital transformation to put them in a prime position to not only survive, but thrive,” said Carl.
“Shipping is sometimes overlooked in favour of marketing and packaging, but as we enter a post-Uber age, it isn’t just a ‘back end’ issue anymore, but a front-and-centre priority to enrich customer experience and fuel growth.”
The survey identified three major areas for improvement in the local delivery offering – shipping experience, smart technology and order platforms.
In-demand shipping options that cater to convenience such as ‘specified time slot’, ‘same-day’, ‘weekend or afterhours’ and ‘hyperlocal’ was found to be offered by less than a quarter of retailers currently, and a negative shipping experience would put off 59 per cent of customers from shopping with that retailer again. Eighty per cent of the 1,279 shoppers surveyed noted that they would purchase again if they enjoyed the shipping experience, and free shopping would entice 68 per cent of shoppers to do more online shopping.
“We’ve found Australian shoppers react more strongly to shipping experiences compared to American shoppers,” said Hartmann. “New alternatives to standard and express delivery has been largely unmet this year compared to 2016 which opens up enormous opportunity for retailers to re-imagine their retail operations and create meaningful, cost-effective customer experiences.”
Over half of the 258 retailers surveyed acknowledged that technology platform compatibility is an issue, with 58 per cent finding integrating carrier services into their systems a key challenge. While shipping and fulfilment automation was recognised as a challenge by almost half of those retailers surveyed, only 29 per cent are planning to invest on improving these issues in the next 12 months.
When it comes to international shipping, 72 per cent of retailers grapple with the accuracy of costs, with only 21 per cent having the ability to charge all applicable duties and taxes for international customers in the cart.
“Using smart technology to streamline processes will help to remove some of the key fulfilment challenges retailers are facing now and in the future. How businesses evolve with this changing landscape will influence how far their business grows, and how fast they scale,” said Hartmann.
One in four shoppers are using their mobile devices as their primary shopping tool, with Millennials the highest adopters, at 48 per cent, while Gen Z sits at 29 per cent. Access to a wide choice physical and online stores has given rise to two behaviours: webrooming (looking online, buying in physical store) and showrooming (looking in a physical store, buying online) which is engaged by 65 per cent and 51 per cent of shoppers, respectively.
“The race for customers is not going to subside and with the imminent arrival of Amazon, Australian businesses should be embracing the challenge, said Hartmann. “With future growth opportunities existing in the ability to cross borders, its vital that delivery networks and retail operations work seamlessly together to satisfy the customer while managing the bottom line.”

Linfox evolves with e-commerce

Transport giant Linfox has embraced the global e-commerce boom by adding a new array of fulfilment services to its portfolio that range from storage all the way through to product repairs.
Known for taking a proactive approach on new technology and shifts in market demand, Linfox has embraced the global e-commerce boom by adding a comprehensive range of fulfilment services to its portfolio.
“The market is moving towards online retailing and omni-channel systems, which is something traditional supply chains can’t necessarily support in a cost-effective way,” John Pucek, General Manager – Operations Development at Linfox, told Logistics & Material Handling.
“That’s why transport businesses like Linfox are evolving into much more multi-faceted organisations. Our new fulfilment operation in Sydney is the latest example of that evolution.”
The Sydney facility is designed to provide comprehensive fulfilment services for e-commerce operations – ranging from basic storage, ‘pick and pack’ and dispatch services through to product customisation, kitting, reverse logistics, repairs and even order track and trace services.
“We’re also developing our own, enterprise-grade e-commerce solution for the consumer goods market,” he said.
“A company will be able to purchase a fully managed service where we provide the e-commerce platform, a management team and online store management. We even do all the content management, and it will be integrated into our fulfilment.”
The service is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses trading between $120–300 million. “Rather than having to invest in their own e-commerce platform, they can get the complete package from us,” he explained – adding that the company launched the fulfilment and e-commerce projects at a strategy level in January 2016.
“We secured our first customer, consumer electronics company Belkin, in November 2016, and then went live in April this year,” he said.
Initially, Linfox will continue to focus on the consumer electronics market, he added, and it was recently announced that the company’s second confirmed customer is audio company Sennheiser. Next up are health and beauty. “The service offering suits many industries, but they’re the two current strategic targets,” he shared.
“We want to be a real partner of consumer goods organisations and retailers,” Pucek added – highlighting the evolutionary leap Linfox has taken from its beginnings as a transport operation.
“We’re hoping to be more so a partner than a 3PL – we want to be more integrated with them to help them grow their businesses, and now we’re looking at the other channels for which they want to grow their business and how we can support them by investing in the technologies for them.”
Pucek said that as consumers and small businesses demand better choice in how and where they receive their products, the market will continue to see change and innovation when it comes to last mile delivery.
“The challenge for traditional operators will be to bend and flex with consumer demand,” said Pucek.
“Linfox is investing heavily in our systems to provide small businesses and end consumers with greater visibility throughout the fulfilment supply chain.”

New AusPost chief comments on the challenge ahead

Christine Holgate, announced last week as the new Managing Director and Group CEO of Australia Post, succeeding Ahmed Fahour, has spoken to the Seven Network’s Sunrise team about the task ahead for the postal service.
Asked about the biggest trial she anticipates Australia Post will face, Holgate noted that utilisation of the company’s workforce as letter sending declines will be difficult going forward.
“Clearly, one of the biggest challenges is you’ve got this army of these fantastic trusted people going out to our homes every day, but the letters they’re delivering are declining,” she said, adding that she is keen to keep the nation’s post workers relevant in the community and in their jobs.
When questioned about her salary expectations when entering the position, after the disclosure of her predecessor Fahour’s excessive pay packet resulted in his departure from the company, Holgate noted that remuneration wasn’t a consideration.
“I know this might sound peculiar to people, but I never asked what the salary was,” she said. “It wasn’t actually a factor in me deciding to do the job, I always said to John [Stanhope, Chairman (non-executive) of Australia Post’s board of directors], ‘you’ll pay me what you think is fair’, and to me, taking the job had nothing to do with pay.”
See the interview below.

Amazon to grab 90% of online shoppers: study

With the impending arrival of Amazon in Australia, a new study has revealed how much strain the e-commerce company is likely to put on local online retailers: 90 per cent of Australian online shoppers think they will purchase from Amazon if it fulfils its promise to deliver low prices, vast selection and fast delivery.
The results come from an independent survey of 1,001 Australian adults who have shopped online at least three times in the last six months, commissioned by parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP).
The survey initially explored whether online shoppers currently prefer purchasing from retailers that specialise in a single category (such as fashion or technology) over online ‘marketplaces’, where they can shop across multiple categories from the same site. More respondents (58%) admitted they prefer to shop from a specialist online retailer than a marketplace (just 42% of respondents).
However, when told that Amazon in Australia will focus on providing low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery, 90 per cent of respondents said they would shop from Amazon.
The survey separated Amazon’s three focuses – prices, selection and delivery – to gauge what was more important for Australian shoppers. Lower prices is the main reason shoppers would purchase from Amazon: 68 per cent of respondents cited prices as the most common reason. A wider range of products is the second most common reason – important to 55 per cent of respondents – while just 30 per cent of respondents said fast delivery times is the reason.
Prices were more important for younger age groups than older generations. Millennials in their 20s and 30s cited lower prices as the main reason for shopping on Amazon, 71 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. This reduces with age, with 63 per cent of 50-somethings and 64 per cent of people over 60 years concerned about prices. Vast selection was more important for older generations than younger generations, with the level of importance decreasing with age. For people in their 50s, a wider range of product choice would be the reason 58 per cent would shop on Amazon, whereas this was only important to 46 per cent of people in their 20s.
Currently, 18 per cent of respondents said they purchase from Amazon and will continue to do so when it launches in Australia. Surprisingly, only 11 per cent of 20-somethings currently shop on Amazon, the lowest of any age group. This jumps up to 22 per cent of people in their 30s, 16 per cent of people in their 40s, and 19 per cent of over-50s.
Recently appointed COO of CP Hoy Yen Hooper said: “Amazon’s promises of lower prices and faster delivery times may put pressure on existing local retailers and the supply chain, but I believe we will become better at what we do. In the US and UK markets, where Amazon has a large share of the retail market, one-hour delivery through Amazon Prime and competitive prices are being offered. In our survey, fast delivery was the least important reason for shopping on Amazon, which may indicate that consumers in regional and country areas know that delivery may take longer as it is not commercially viable for many providers to have that sort of reach.
“Amazon will be attracted to delivery services that provide consumers with flexible delivery choices – such as enabling them to pick up at retail outlets such as newsagents, grocery stores and petrol stations – consistency in delivery, and reliability in keeping with expected delivery transit times. Consumers really value consistency and reliability: an item that is due to arrive within three days will arrive within three days 90 per cent of the time.”

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