The e-commerce industry in the region has seen accelerated growth as a result of the pandemic. New e-commerce platforms have emerged over the past few years, as well as payment services and last mile service providers (LSPs).
The growth of e-commerce and last mile deliveries (LMD) has also raised several challenges. This includes data protection, condition of physical items delivered, turnaround time for LSPs and standardized communication between merchants and end consumers.
In response, e-commerce logistics giant Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) and the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) have recently launched a new standard for last mile delivery of parcels.
The new standard provides guidance to the e-commerce industry to standardize processes and practices to improve the overall e-commerce experience for customers, as well as raise operational efficiencies for all stakeholders across the value chain.
Guidelines for Last Mile Delivery of parcels
Technical Reference (TR) 105 guidelines for last mile delivery of parcels provide guidance to e-commerce players and LSPs to standardize processes and practices to improve the workflow and experience for LMDs.
The Working Group led by SingPost comprises a wide range of industry stakeholders including logistics partners, e-commerce players, retail associations and academics.
Targeted at e-commerce merchants, marketplaces and sellers, as well as LMD service providers, TR 105 provides guidance on areas such as packaging, labelling, data collection and transmission, communication content and operational practices.
The standard aims to establish industry-wide consistency of LMD services for the benefit of consumers and retailers.
The guidelines aim to improve the end consumer’s experience in four key areas:
1. Improve productivity of LMDs by standardizing packaging and labelling guidelines, which reduces delivery failure rates and optimizes storage and delivery schedules.
2. Enable data exchange and harmonization across marketplaces, sellers and LSP platforms to safeguard data and reduce delivery failure frequency for end consumers.
3. Align datasets between marketplaces and LSP platforms and standardize information conveyed to end consumers. This will allow end consumers to better track the status of their parcels and communicate with LMD stakeholders at critical touchpoints.
4. Enhance operational processes and practices in LMDs through guidelines on delivery logistics, instructions, and authorization across key modes of delivery. This will facilitate more efficient and punctual contactless deliveries.
Strong e-commerce growth in Singapore and region
E-commerce sales in Singapore are expected to reach US$14 billion by 2027, according to a recent report by Meta and Bain & Company.
Among the key e-commerce platforms in Singapore as well as the region include Lazada, Shopee and Amazon Prime.
Shopee, in particular, has seen robust growth in the last two years of the pandemic. The company reported that its Shopee Mall platform saw an 8x increase in the number of users shopping online at least once a month.
The report also notes that the digital consumer population in the broader market in Southeast Asia is growing steadily and is forecast to reach 370 million by end-2022. This figure is projected to rise to 402 million by 2027.
The region’s e-commerce gross merchandise value is expected to hit US$280 billion by 2027, compared with an estimated US$129 billion in 2022 and US$112 billion in 2021.
The growth is largely attributed to consumers’ increasing familiarity with online platforms and e-commerce players’ improved delivery times, product quality and return policies.
The report covers six countries in the region – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Despite the slower economic growth forecast for 2023 amid inflationary pressures, the e-commerce industry looks set to expand strongly in Singapore as well as the region. We at Healy Consultants Group will be happy to assist you to set up your e-commerce business in Singapore or other countries the region.