Southeast Asian women-focussed e-commerce platform Orami recently launched a same-day delivery service for its operation in Jakarta and Bekasi, Indonesia.
The new feature enables customers to purchase a product on the Ardent Capital-backed platform before 11am, and have it delivered before 10pm.
“If e-commerce retailers can’t provide the option of same-day delivery, they will lose market shares to brick-and-mortar retailers, just because when a customer has an immediate need, they will find an immediate solution,” Orami Group COO Hendrawan Kartika writes to e27.
He points out the fact that the majority of Orami customers are mothers. While same-day delivery may not be crucial for all types of product, in the case of mothers, it has become a necessity.
“When you are a working mother and you realise in the morning that you’re almost running out of diapers, it would be nice to have them delivered to your door by the end of the day,” Kartika explains.
Same-day delivery comes with a challenge of its own, which involves anticipating orders and automation.
In fact, Kartika mentions that even e-commerce giant eBay attempted to implement the concept through eBay Now, and failed. The company ended up having to shut down the service in 2015.
“Same-day delivery is not suited to every online business model. In the case of eBay, we are talking about a C2C marketplace: a network of merchants, including many private citizens selling second-hand goods, with not storefront but their home, spread all over a gigantic country,” he says.
“The courier has to pick up the item at the merchant’s location before delivering it to the customer, dealing with personal schedules and distances, within one day. It’s overwhelming and it requires a full-time courier fleet, which gets very expensive in mature economies such as the United States,” he further explains.
Speaking of the competitive landscape of fast-delivery in Indonesia, Kartika mentions Indonesia’s geographical condition (an archipelago made up of approximately 18,000 islands) and lack of reliable infrastructures as the main challenges.
“Jakarta is worldly famous for its traffic jams and it takes more than 15 hours to drive … from the capital city to Surabaya. This is why for now we are only offering the service of VIP shipment in Jakarta and Bekasi, where we own warehouse and hubs on the ground,” he says.
From the company’s side, anticipating orders and automation has become a challenge of its own.
“We have enough history and data to make accurate projections on sales and stocks up to the time of day when customers typically place orders,” Kartika gives an example on how they deal with it.
“Automation is also a technical and logistical challenge: the warehouse management needs to update the stock in real time, including cancelled orders, and the inventory in the warehouse has to be accurate and in order for workers to quickly find the products for shipping,” he further explains.
With this new feature, Orami will be competing with Go-Jek’s Go-Mart and HappyFresh, in which same-day delivery is the core of their businesses.
Disclaimer: Ardent Capital is an investor in Optimatic Pte Ltd, the parent company of e27.
Image Credit: Orami