Delivery Capacity and the 2020 Holidays

How much has e-commerce grown during this 2020 pandemic year? For most of us, all we need to do is look at the delivery boxes that have been piling up for recycling in our own homes. And you and I are far from alone – online purchases are quickly becoming a “new normal” worldwide. If you are a retailer, let’s look at how this is going to affect your business this year.

An unprecedented squeeze on capacity

To put some real numbers to this year’s e-commerce figures, one source estimates that it has now grown over 4 years ahead of schedule, with 47% growth in the first half of 2020 alone, and Salesforce.com now predicts that this will increase an additional 30% for global retail sales during this year’s holiday season. And a recent consumer survey shows that half of all consumers now do more than three-quarters of their shopping online, with half shopping online over 90% of the time.

How is this going to affect the logistics of this holiday shopping season for most retailers? Words like “apocalyptic” come to mind. Salesforce.com now estimates that demand for last-mile delivery during this period will exceed capacity by 5%. That may not sound like much, but with the volumes we are seeing today, this translates to nearly three-quarters of a billion late deliveries.

Even in a normal year, the holiday shopping season running from Black Friday to the day after Christmas is retail’s peak season, and this unprecedented shift to e-commerce will magnify all of the normal logistical issues that come with it. Beyond economic consequences including late, lost, or misdirected shipments, a surge in delivery problems can have potentially serious consequences for your brand and your customer reputation. Long after this pandemic is over, consumers will remember who came through for them with accurate, on-time shipments.

How to make your deliveries go smoothly

Delivery accuracy relies on validating your contact data addresses, at the point of data entry and/or at time of shipment. Service Objects’ flagship DOTS Address Validation products are specifically designed to improve your delivery rates, by correcting and appending deliverable addresses in real-time. Address validation also flags addresses that are not correctable or deliverable, so your customer service team can help resolve before it becomes an issue.

Wherever you are shipping around the world, Address Validation products have you covered:

Address Validation – US is a CASS-certified product that uses continually updated USPS data to instantly validate US mailing addresses with near-perfect accuracy, together with capabilities such as Delivery Point Validation (DPV), Residential Delivery Indicator (RDI) and SuiteLink.

Address Validation – Canada works with Canada Post data to provide coverage for over 15 million Canadian addresses in English and French.

Address Validation – International supports over 250 countries with a 99.5% match accuracy while correcting to each country’s postal formats and idiosyncrasies. It supports transliteration and over 25,000 alternate country names and variations in different languages.

Each of these products offers API interfaces that easily integrate with most major e-commerce, shipping and business automation platforms, giving you real-time control over your address data. Combined with expert technical and implementation support and guaranteed 99.999% uptime, you can be up and running in no time with industry-leading contact data quality and higher delivery accuracy.

It isn’t too late to protect your holiday retail season with Address Validation. Visit its product page here, test its capabilities live on our website, download our extensive developer’s guide – and then sign up online for a free 500-transaction license key to test drive it for yourself. We’re here to help you get through this holiday season, this year and every year.

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