Origins #55 - A Logistical Challenge
Dealing with an industry ripe for disruption
In this series we are documenting the journey of building DULO, starting from Day 1. Every week we publish a new chapter that takes you behind the scenes of our process. With every article, we want to provide value to you, the reader. We share the success and failures, the opportunities and the challenges that we face while executing our vision.
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We’ve been quite open about the logistical challenges we are facing when shipping our products. The reality is that when you are a small business, just starting out, you are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to shipping customer orders.
Unless you become a business customer, you are likely to face very high prices, horrible customer service, and unreliable tracking. These are just the highlights of a set of issues we are often facing when it comes to the fulfillment of orders.
Last month, we had a series of issues with different big players, such as DHL and UPS, which triggered a bit of a rant from me on Twitter. I don’t usually do those kinds of things, but you can tell that I was a little bit frustrated with the status quo :)
Dealing with logistics operators as a small business owner in 2018 is a frustrating and painful experience. Can't wait for #Amazon to bring sanity to this industry...— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
There's just a handful of big players offering global international delivery and their services are overpriced and unreliable.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
Customer service is slow and delayed, not at all in terms with customer expectations in 2018. Tracking stops working once your shipment gets abroad, parcel are lost, time is wasted...— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
In the last month, I had to deal with: list and delayed packages, unhelpful sales reps, outdated documents (last update in 2012) with broken layout, inaccurate tracking information.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
Sales representatives provide mediocre responses, going through predefined scripts, without considering every customer's unique needs. There is hardly support for #ecommerce startups with low volumes.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
All of this goes to the expense of the business owner who wants to have a stellar customer experience.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
There is a huge opportunity for disruption in logistics. We need more players and competition + Amazon, Uber, and similar, to start a delivery service. Prices need normalization and commoditization. Software and processes need serious overhaul and upgrade.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
In addition, there needs to be affordable service offered for small-time #ecommerce #startups - who have low and unpredictable volumes in their early days. You have to accommodate everyone in the market. Otherwise, you are missing a big opportunity.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
These are just my personal experience and observations as the founder of a small apparel ecom startup @weardulo who is constantly dealing with these type of issues since we opened shop.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
I am not concerned that much with the costs and unreliability of the system, but since I am obsessed with delivering an immaculate customer experience to my clients, this is a frustrating situation at times.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
Maybe I am missing something and there are already solutions to this problem. Let me know, would ♥️ to learn about them! But especially in Europe, where we operate from, there doesn't seem to be many options.— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
Thanks for sticking with this rant until the end! If you have had an experience like this and found an alternative, please let me know. I'd appreciate the help 🙂— Marin Gerov (@maringerov) March 13, 2018
As I mentioned in my tweet-storm, I can’t wait for Amazon to enter the field with a service targeted towards small businesses. I expect that when this happens, the price of logistics will fall down to a few cents per shipment. Reliability and customer service will also improve and become the differentiator. If the incumbents don’t adapt, they will become irrelevant.