Small Business Logistics to Become Hyper-personalized

By Karen Reddington | The biggest trend in logistics right now is not artificial intelligence or blockchain, it’s personalization–unlocking a new era of delivery once only accessible to big global companies and corporates.
 
Over 70% of Asia’s entrepreneurs and small businesses are now exporting beyond the Asia Pacific (FedEx). The industry is currently at the threshold of dynamically tailoring services to individual customers to build greater competitive advantage. While many believe in the power of personalization, far fewer know that tapping into customization strategies in logistics is now easier than ever.
 
So, how can Asia’s small businesses customize shipping experiences and use logistics to gain ground against larger, more established brands?
 
Logistics tailored to you
 
Despite shipping being the most important aspect of the $4.5 trillion e-commerce economy (Forbes), we recognize that to many, it’s largely invisible (Raj Subramanian). So, what is the essence of customization and personalization in a world where 11% of global GDP is already directly attributable to digital technologies (AU Govt)?
 
The first step is to change the mindset that logistics is only relevant after goods and services are sold. For instance, FedEx believed it is important to help SME e-tailers generate more business on their website and engage in post-sales services to match shipping with customer needs (FedEx). In addition, approximately 90% of logistics takes place via mobile phone (FedEx), meaning we must deliver differently.
 
The ‘new normal’ of personalized logistics is all about bringing greater convenience to customers. These include same-day delivery, last mile choices including self-collection locations (FedEx), and advanced tracking that can create personal ‘watch lists’ (FedEx).  
 
Visibility is another personalization tool well-suited to customers who expect regular updates and control over the status of their shipment (FedEx). Take FedEx Delivery Manager for instance, which can request delivery notifications, sign for deliveries in advance, have shipments delivered to a secure location, suspend deliveries and more.
 
Customers continuously want more from logistics. They seek the ability to return goods, receive delivery updates via text message, track product requirements online, control delivery window and location, and use ‘click and collect’ options to collect goods from a secure location, such as locker units or 711 stores.
 
We’ve also seen growth in customization and postponement, which has increased options for SMEs to manage inventories more efficiently (FedEx). By delaying product packaging and assembly for as long as possible, exact customer specifications can be met whenever products are needed (FedEx).
 
Personalizing everything
 
Brands who embrace personalization grow two to three times faster than competitors, and see revenue growth of up to 10% (BCG research). With personalization, small businesses will be able to create one-of-a-kind supply chains for better growth and connection globally.  
As Alan Kay once said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” We are working on a number of technological innovations that will further change the way we do business and how we serve customers (FedEx).
 
Across all on-demand innovations, the ultimate personalized accessory of the future will be the ability to book a FedEx shipment through a digital personal assistant. Picture a small business customer answering the assistant’s questions to complete a booking, hands-free and paper-free, after which our couriers or robots will zip to your home or office for pick-up (FedEx).  
 
New ground for competition and growth
 
The current rate of connectivity and growth is unprecedented. More customers are connected across multiple devices, from smartphones to home appliances (Martech Today). This personalization of connectivity, where we’ve moved from walking among 100,000 products in a store to accessing more than 10 million products on a phone (Accenture), is giving today’s small businesses the opportunity to compete on a scale never seen before.    
 
As we move closer to 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Frost and Sullivan). The opportunity for Asia’s SMEs is now.
 
In fact, the ability to compete on customer experience using personalization is open to businesses of all sizes. It may just be small businesses that win the future battle for personalization.
 
About the Author
Karen Reddington
President, Asia Pacific, FedEx Express


Karen Reddington is President of Asia Pacific Division of FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company. In this role, which Reddington took up in January 2015, she heads up Asia Pacific from its headquarters in Hong Kong.  Reddington is responsible for leading the FedEx Express business across the region, including overall planning and implementation of corporate strategies and operations across more than 30 countries and territories with about 29,000 employees.
 

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Off-Chain vs. On-Chain Crypto Transactions: Which One Is Better?

Off-Chain vs. On-Chain Crypto Transactions: Which One Is Better?

Knowledge is power; when it comes to cryptocurrency, the more you know, the better financial decisions you will make. There is a lot to learn within the cryptocurrency space, such as how the different layers of blockchain technology work and which blockchain has the fastest transaction speed. Another important thing you need to know regarding blockchain transactions is the differences between off-chain and on-chain transactions—and which one can save you more money!

5 Essential Tricks to Master Microsoft Excel

5 Essential Tricks to Master Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel (MS Excel) is a must-have for any business. It is a powerful spreadsheet software application that allows users to store, organize and analyze data. While Excel is fairly easy to use, it can be tricky to become an expert. Don’t know where to start? We have compiled a list of easy-to-follow hacks that will help you become a pro at Excel!

Top Three Weirdest Mobile Game Advertisements

Top 3 Weirdest Mobile Game Advertisements

Whether on YouTube or Instagram, I’m sure you all must have seen at least one mobile game advertisement. One common trope with today’s mobile game advertisements is that they tend to mislead their audience.
You might have come across these weird ads while scrolling through social media: In the ad for the strategy game “Game of Sultans”, a sultan is fat-shaming his daughter; in the match-three puzzle game “Lily’s Garden” ad, women use washing machines as vibrators.

The Maximalist Fashion Trend Where Did It Come From and Where Is It Going

The Maximalist Fashion Trend: Where Did It Come From and Where Is It Going?

If you Google “maximalist fashion”, you will be swamped with dressing guides dedicated to this “the more, the better” trend published by leading fashion magazines in 2022. Rapidly gaining popularity in the last couple of years, maximalist styles are breaking out of the runway of an Haute Couture fashion show, a red carpet event or a K-pop performance to conquer streets in high fashion neighborhoods.

How Is Technology Influencing the Food and Beverage Industry

How Is Technology Influencing the Food and Beverages Industry?

Food waste, sustainability and animal cruelty are some of the biggest challenges facing the food and beverage (F&B) industry nowadays. Like any other sector, the industry is dipping its toe into technology and innovations to seek solutions. While we are already seeing more food tech solutions in our everyday lives, like plant-based meat alternatives and food waste management startups.