Postal Operators: The Importance of Adapting to e-Commerce

April 5, 2016

Adapting to ecommerce

Some of the greatest lessons in history have taught one liberating message. It is so essential to understand this and get this right, and without it, your business is not going anywhere with impact, any time soon. That message? You must be adaptable and changeable. Can you read the signs, see circumstances change, and pivot on a dime? The speed, at which you can adapt and evolve, is the speed in which you will accomplish whatever it is you want out of your business. 

For the sake of this blog, I’m going to use one of my personal favorite examples of adaptability, the Sherpas. Maybe you have heard of them. Often times, those brave souls who attempt to climb Mt. Everest bring along Sherpas. The Sherpas moved to the Himalayian Mountains in the 1500’s, and over the years, they have adapted and changed their lung capacities. Now why did I choose to reference the Sherpas? Two reasons. One, it is a great example that speaks to the importance of adaptability. And two, because I would like to emphasize that you and I, unlike the Sherpas, do not have generations to adapt. This is especially true in the business world.

Adaptation is key to survival. This has been proven biologically, economically, and so on. But we are not here to talk about Darwin, or Marx. We are here to talk about e-Commerce. The growth in e-Commerce is changing everything we know about the way consumers shop. For this reason, those who play a part in the omnichannel e-Commerce world (Postals, Logistics companies, shippers, etc…) must be able to adapt, and fast.

Let’s look at one of the biggest names in e-Commerce, because it certainly understands the importance of adaptation. In a previous blog, we discussed how Amazon could potentially be building its own shipping infrastructure. This comes as a direct result of the company being fed up with third party carriers struggling to keep up with the rapid growth of e-Commerce. They understand the importance of meeting consumer demands and keeping up with an industry experiencing exponential growth. As a result, they are evolving to survive and thrive.

So, we have Amazon, one of the biggest players in e-Commerce evolving to take on its own shipping. Well, we are also seeing a similar evolution on the logistics side, just vice versa. Recent postal industry trends suggest that postal operators are starting to include retail e-Commerce in there over all strategies to grow postal profits. Have a look at the chart in a recent blog that shows the postal operators that include retail within their services.

Deutsche Post/DHL, the world’s largest third-party logistics provider, has moved into e-Commerce. Its online retail marketplace is currently available in Germany and Poland, and it plans to expand the offering across Europe and into China.

A similar example to DHL’s is Australia Post’s website. Farmhouse Direct helps farmers and primary producers by providing them an online platform where they can sell their produce and products. Australia Post then ships all products that have been sold on the platform directly from the farm to the consumer.

Canada Post has a different spin on e-Commerce. They provide e-Commerce solutions to small, medium and large businesses. Considering more than two thirds of all parcels in Canada are managed by Canada Post, why not extend its services to the world of online stores, shopping carts, fulfillment and payments? They provide such online solutions as Shopify, 3dcart and WooCommerce. Imagine if they could provide simple cost effective data integration to their customer’s ERP’s and finance systems; a complete integration platform that provides end to end supply chain and financial visibility for domestic and cross border operations?

Just as Amazon has extended into logistics, postal operators are extending into e-Commerce. Integrated postal operations is the key to success for postal operators. By combining e-Commerce, parcel, cross border, payments, banking and other related services, they can become the Alibaba’s or Amazons of the world.

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