Delegates attending the 2018 Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of the Hong Kong government)

Logistical Innovation the Next Step in Enhancing E-Commerce Customer Experience

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Hong Kong. In an increasingly digital world, not only has e-commerce changed the way we shop, it has also contributed to innovations in the way goods and services are delivered.

With growing number of platforms allowing purchases of a variety of products with just one click, what sets them apart is the ability to provide the best customer experience.

To become a leader in the e-commerce industry, efficient and speedy delivery is crucial.

"Our ultimate goal is to enhance the customer experience, so they can have their ordered products as soon as possible," Yang Haifeng, vice president for supply chain value management at JD Logistics, said in a plenary session at the 2018 Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday last week.

JD Logistics forms part of, China's leading e-commerce platform and the world's third-largest internet company, with over 300 million active customers.

In Indonesia, the platform has a local affiliate, JD.ID – a joint venture with Provident Capital.

JD Logistics is one of the first companies to launch regular commercial drone operations and autonomous delivery vehicles.

It also boasts fully automated warehouses and sorting centers, which Yang said is key to improving efficiency.

The company opened its first unmanned store, JD.ID X-Mart, in Indonesia in August. The store, located in the Pantai Indah Kapuk Avenue shopping mall in North Jakarta, allows customers to experience what it is like to shop offline with high technology.

The company has already opened more than 20 similar stores in China since the launch of its first unmanned convenience store in Beijing in October last year. The store in Indonesia is the company's first outside China.

Cissy Chan, executive director, commercial, at Airport Authority Hong Kong, said online and offline integration have increased over the years, as consumers expect items displayed online to also be available when they visit physical stores. They expect to see the same promotions, for example.

"With more and more online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers have to evolve to a more experiential phase," Chan said.

This means stores can be an avenue to elevate the consumer experience and introduce the brand in a more engaging way, which may be facilitated through design, technology, or both.

"Basically, what we are trying to do is engage customers, educate them on the products and using the store to support the online portion, and vice versa," Chan said.

Yang agrees with Chan, adding that there will be no border between online and offline stores in the future.