GoSHIFT to help Go People take parcels to places

The crowd-sourced delivery company Go People has added a new service to its portfolio called GoSHIFT. The service will enable businesses to hire shift-based dedicated drivers as and when needed, to help streamline their delivery processes while keeping costs down. The dedicated shift service is aimed at supporting small retailers ahead of Amazon’s arrival, the company says.
Go People says the company has further advanced its grouping and routing algorithm to develop the service, allowing assigned couriers to make 10-20 deliveries affordably within a 3-hour shift. Wayne Wang, founder and CEO of Go People, said he was confident the new service will deliver Australian retailers more value and help them thrive in an ever-competitive market.
“GoSHIFT is a natural extension of our core service to simplify deliveries. It is ideal for businesses looking to compete with large-scale retailers who dominate the market, such as Amazon, while minimising the costs associated with managing their own delivery services,” said Wang.
With the impending launch of Amazon in Australia, unreliable or inefficient delivery services can mean the end for small businesses.
Brisbane City Blooms, a QLD florist business that has been piloting the service, found the regular dedicated couriers from GoSHIFT allowed the business to consolidate its morning deliveries while slashing monthly associated costs. Nel Gowdy, florist at Brisbane City Blooms, believes the adaptable service helps them stay competitive.
“GoSHIFT has given us the flexibility to scale with the day’s demand, so we can adjust our delivery needs as necessary. It means one less thing to worry about, and we’re saving thousands on our costs each month,” said Ms Gowdy.
Go People says the GoSHIFT service starts at $28/hour, with rates as low as $5 per delivery.

Nine in 10 online Australian shoppers to purchase from Amazon

A new study has revealed how much strain the arrival of Amazon in Australia is likely to put on local online retailers – 90 per cent of Australian online shoppers state they will purchase from the e-commerce giant if it fulfils its promise to deliver low prices, vast selection and fast delivery.
The results come from an independent survey commissioned by parcel delivery service CouriersPlease.
The survey separated Amazon’s three focuses – price, selection and delivery – to gauge what was more important for Aussie shoppers. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents noted that ‘lower prices’ would be the main reason they would purchase from Amazon.
“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,” said Hoy Yen Hooper, Chief Operating Officer, CouriersPlease. “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.”

Sendle partners with US shipping software, ShipStation

In its bid to conquer the Australian market, web-based e-commerce shipping solution ShipStation has partnered with parcel delivery service Sendle.
Robert Gilbreath, VP – Marketing, ShipStation, said that shipping was a key consideration when setting up a presence in Australia, due to the country’s growing e-commerce market.
“Integrating Sendle into the ShipStation platform has been a priority for us since we launched in Australia,” he added.
ShipStation helps online retailers import, organise, process, package and ship their orders quickly and easily from any web browser and works with the likes of eBay, Amazon, WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Opencart, Magento, BigCommerce.
“Our partnership with ShipStation is an exciting step for us to provide real choice for Australian small business,” said James Chin Moody, CEO and Co-founder, Sendle. “ShipStation brings [its] global experience and beautiful solutions to help our flourishing e-commerce sector compete in the digital economy.”

Shippit turns down $5M funding boost

Sydney-based logistics and shipping business Shippit has rejected a $5 million investment offer in its Series A funding round, instead accepting $2.2 million to fund in order to drive its growth and Asia-Pacific expansion.
250,000 parcels are delivered via Shippit’s platform each month, and many of the company’s 750 clients are major retailers, including Harvey Norman, Sephora, Topshop, Thankyou and Pet Circle.
Shippit’s Series A funding round attracted strong investor interest due in part to the company’s announcement of significant growth of its subscriber base and a 200 per cent increase in monthly profits.
“During the raising process, Shippit’s user base grew ahead of our projections which reduced our capital requirement and prompted us to review our growth ambitions,” said co-CEO Rob Hango-Zada.
Hango-Zada and his co-CEO William On decided to reject the $5 million investment secured through the funding round, having calculated that the growth push would cost around $2 million.
“We’ve always been fiscally responsible, however when we reconsidered the amount that was required to fuel our next phase of growth, the figure was actually much closer to [$2.2 million],” Hango-Zada added.
“We received a humbling flurry of interest, however, we didn’t think it would be wise to accept more capital than we actually required. The purpose of this raise was specifically to obtain growth capital to invest in strategic hires, building out the local team, as well as supporting rapid expansion into international markets.”
Lead investor Aura Group, a well-established venture fund, has experience dealing in the APAC market, which will benefit Shippit as it makes its bid for the market.
“Shippit stood out to us because of the scalability of its platform and its alignment to the global opportunity being driven by the transition of retail into e-commerce,” said Eric Chan, Managing Director, Aura Group.
“The predominant reason we invested, however, was because we believe Shippit has the right founders to execute on a well-considered strategy and vision.”

Sendle takes on eBay exec as Head of Growth

Days after IP Australia found in its favour in a long-running Australia Post trademark dispute, parcel delivery service Sendle has reported that it has made a major new addition to support its future direction.
Apurva Chiranewala, eBay’s former Head of Shipping, will join the company as Head of Growth, as reported by Business Insider.
Chiranewala said, “This is a pivotal period of growth for both Sendle and the eCommerce industry as a whole.”
According to Sendle CEO and Co-founder James Chin Moody, Chiranewala’s knowledge and support will be instrumental in the continued expansion of Sendle’s presence in the digital economy.

Flexe – the Airbnb of warehousing

US start-up Flexe is revolutionising the way merchants secure storage, using an Airbnb-style model of allocating under-utilised warehouse space, as first reported by Bloomberg.
In less than five years, the Seattle company has established a network – or marketplace – of 550 warehouses, without spending any money on facilities. What’s more, its recently launched overnight US-wide delivery service is better than even Amazon can offer.
Flexe currently has 2.3 million square metres of storage, approximately one quarter of Amazon’s capacity, and the company expects to add a further 930,000 square metres this year.
Flexe has been designed for start-ups that do not know their capacity needs for the future; previously they were obligated to lock themselves into long-term contracts that may prove to be insufficient or overly ambitious for their future needs.
Flexe’s founders decided to tap into underutilised warehouse space, renting it out in the same way that homeowners lease their properties for short periods. The company approached large companies with space booked year-round about using their underutilised space when busy season – be it summer, Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day – has ended.
They then launched ‘overflow’ services, for retailers and wholesalers needing to store pallets of inventory for short periods, later adding online order fulfilment, enabling warehouse operators to charge more to pack and ship orders directly, by truck rather than plane due to the coverage provided by the network of warehouses.
Flexe is proving popular with online brands in the US such as mattress seller Casper as customers can order through the merchant’s own website.

Fastway expands parcel-forwarding service

After expanding its parcel-forwarding offering for Australian e-shoppers, Fastway Couriers now provides access to global shopping destinations across 18 different countries across Europe, Africa, North America and Asia.
In a press release, the company noted that Australians pay up to 60 per cent more for clothing and up to 200 per cent more for cosmetics when they shop locally, according to research by Choice.
The Shop & Ship service is designed for situations when delivery to Australia is not an option.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than finding exactly what you want online at the price you want, and then going to check out to find that shipping to Australia is not an option,” said Richard Thame, CEO, Fastway Couriers Australia.
“In fact, our research shows that 40 per cent of Australian consumers shop online with international retailers because the prices are so much lower with 28 per cent wanting access to products that simply are not available here. Our customers tell us that, more often than not – even if the brands are available here – many of the products simply are not available.”
Fastway research found the most popular categories for online shopping to be wellbeing and beauty products, which represent 47 per cent of online purchases by women, and consumer electronics, which represent 53 per cent of online purchases by men.
“Shop & Ship offers the added benefit of charging on actual weight only, ensuring you only pay delivery on what you’ve purchased,” said Thame.
“That’s a real advantage that Shop & Ship has over other freight-forwarding options, many of whom charge on a cubic or volumetric basis, as well as the fact that we offer access to such a large number of countries.”

StarShipIT, Sendle announce automation partnership

Small business parcel delivery service Sendle has teamed up with StarShipIT, a cloud based app created to automate and simplify the process of shipping orders, to give Australia’s e-commerce retailers access a simpler complete shipping solution, the duo say.

As of 30 March, StarShipIT’s customers running stores on e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, eBay and Etsy can opt to deliver through Sendle’s door-to-door delivery service, receiving a free upgrade to Sendle Premium, with national flat-rate pricing starting at $5.59.
Setting up an account and rate card with a shipping provider could previously take weeks to months. The Sendle-StarShipIT integration will enable online retailers to start shipping from their e-commerce platforms instantly and there are no minimum order quantities.
Unlike the post office which restricts maximum parcel weight to 22kg, Sendle delivers packages across the spectrum from 500g up to 25kg at an affordable national flat rate pricing and is 100 per cent carbon neutral.
Small businesses using Sendle can save time by automating fulfilment through StarShipIT, which automatically imports orders from all selling channels. Users can also batch print labels, invoices and pick-up slips and book a parcel pick up through StarShipIT.
Commenting on the partnership, Sendle CEO and Co-founder James Chin Moody said, “StarShipIT is a market leader in providing beautiful fulfilment solutions for eCommerce. Our integration gives Australia’s eCommerce community the ability to streamline the process from setup to shipping so they can focus on growing their business instead of sweating the small stuff.”
Rebecca Percasky, COO of StarShipIT, said, “I’m excited for what this partnership will offer Australian small businesses. A Sendle-StarShipIT integration has the potential to truly revolutionise their eCommerce fulfilment from check-out to the point of delivery and beyond.”

Amazon’s Australia ambitions confirmed, coming late 2018

A former senior manager at Amazon has revealed to Fairfax Media that speculation surrounding the company’s intention to come to Australia is well founded, and the e-commerce behemoth will be setting up shop in late 2018.
Brittain Ladd, former Global Logistics Senior Manager for Amazon, told Fairfax that Amazon plans to launch “as many services and products as possible within Australia.”
Ladd shared that Amazon plans to have its full website up and running in Australia in late 2018, at the same time as it launches the Amazon Fresh grocery service, and he said that Australian shoppers will be able to avail of a full Prime Now premium delivery service.
He was not able to reveal whether Amazon would establish its own courier service or use third parties for delivery.

Aussies give hope to bricks-and-mortar retailers

According to the KPMG 2017 Global Online Consumer Report, 44 per cent of Australian consumers made their last online purchase from the online store of a high street retailer, while only 35 per cent purchased from an online-only retailer, markedly below the global average of 50 per cent.
KPMG also found that consumers in Australia and New Zealand make a average of 16.1 online transaction per year, below Western Europe (18.4), North America (19), and Asia (22.1).
The Australian Financial Review reported that Trent Duvall, National Leader of Consumer Markets, KPMG noted that the statistics could provide some solace to bricks-and-mortar retailers fearing the rise of online shopping. “This shows there is an opportunity at the moment for bricks-and-mortar retailers to secure their positions, he said.
“It comes down to trust. These are brands that we have grown up with, that have our trust, and trust is very important in the online buying experience.”
The KPMG Report surveyed 18,430 people in 50 countries, including almost 1000 in Australia.

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