After launching a specific arm for managing eCommerce logistics, courier service provider company, DTDC Courier and Cargo has now itself forayed into eCommerce by launching a web-store powered by Martjack.
Shop.dtdc.com is an initiative by DTDC Retail Limited a subsidiary of DTDC Courier & Cargo, and had gone live in August this year.
Like other majors who have recently forayed into eCommerce like CCAvenue and Martjack, DTDC too has chosen a marketplace model though focused towards gifting space, which is similar to logistics service provider, Gati’s Gaticonnect.com.
The company has made strategic tie-ups and business arrangements with a number of global players to provide delivery services in more than 225 countries around the world. For India delivery time is 2 – 3 days, for Dubai, Singapore and USA, it is 4 working days whereas for other countries its 8 days.
As such it is not charging any shipping charges for products to be delivered within India, but on few products shipping charges are being applied. Whereas international shipping isn’t free and charges are applied on the basis of location where the product is to be delivered.
A few of the products that are available on the website include sunglasses, sweets, accessories, watches, men’s wear, bags etc.
It is providing all types of online modes of payment and also payment via cheque. For the users who deposit the cheque and the order will be completed when the payment has been processed in the company’s account.
The store has been launched in a soft mode for now, and will be ready for an aggressive launch by December, thus the company has declined sharing any details.
Launched back in 1990’s, DTDC is based in Bangalore, and has 300 plus of its own offices, over 5,800 franchisees across the country. It was the first courier company to introduce the franchisee model in India.
Iamwire Take: It is very interesting how logistic companies see eCommerce as a quick extension of their services. But Gati, which is operating on a similar model since long, is still small in eCommerce numbers and we haven’t even seen anything like this happening in mature eCommerce markets.
DTDC is already among the top shipping partners of various eCommerce companies, and is having a significant access to their customer database along-with good insights on purchase behaviour. Hence, how shall eCommerce companies see this initiative?
We tried reaching out to a few eCommerce companies to know their views on the same, here is what they said:
“Its not done, the doubt will always remain whether they are using our database or not?”
“They have very limited information from their eCommerce tie-ups, which is typically geographical information, they don’t know what’s in the parcel so they cant understand pricing, etc. They just pick up COD charges in some cases, half the cases are credit cards so they don’t have details of the transaction size. They only have geography information, no other analyti s of any other information would be available to them.”
“eCommerce companies should really react in a cautious manner, i have been approached by a number of organisations they have tried to sell data to us and as a sample they have actually sent out data to us, with clearly indicating which is the organisation, what is the product which has been bought, address, phone number and the entire customer details and this is coming directly from logistics companies. Its a breach of company’s confidentiality, it is something close to fraud, if the same company like this starts doing their own business like this starting eCommerce and has access to all this data and information about who buys what, i don’t believe that is how it works and i think that has to be cautious, as then this eCommerce company will leverage the data that they gather when they do logistics for other companies. When a eCommerce company signs a logistics partner there is a level of confidentiality that is signed that you don’t do. And if they are doing it then its breach of contract. I won’t think of outsourcing my business logistics to a direct competitor.”
“We hope they maintain their entity of both the businesses separately, both logistics and eCommerce, but we never know, as if parent group is the same then they could access these information which would be a big challenge to companies to do business choose these companies logistics partner, i think the first thing we should do is we should avoid using them that’s one thing and find alternatives against DTDC. Threat is always there and only way to overcome this is not to use these companies. There is two perspective, firstly eCommerce company has to avoid the working on these companies, if they are using them as logistics company and find a alternate partner, the other thing is for a consumer to buy a company which is a logistics, that also a question how will consumer look at that brand, what will make them to buy product from DTDC or any logistic company. Because if the logistics company haven’t served the consumer at best of the expectations, that may in fact impact the commerce business, that’s the area to thought about as how will consumer look into that brand?”
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