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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Conradie.

E-Commerce and Nucleus

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

From 2006-2020 Nucleus ran expedited logistics services for Edgars Consolidated Holdings from a centralised control-room at Edgardale in Johannesburg. This included distribution of all non-merchandise products such as interstore transfers between over 1200 stores, point of sale material, IT equipment, domestic and international samples, marketing material and high value goods.

When Edcon made the strategic move into e-commerce in 2013, the Nucleus Expedite Platform was already in place to be adapted for e-commerce deliveries from multiple fulfilment centres and stores to customers.

Multicarrier integration, omnichannel track and trace, and customer relationship technology was developed to support Edcon with their e-commerce journey. On-line volumes grew dramatically following the launch with more than 10 000 shipments successfully processed and delivered on Black Friday in 2018.

In 2015, Groupon South Africa became a Nucleus customer and the platform was further enhanced. A customer-facing platform, Click and Ship, was launched allowing for first to market Drop Shipping. This was the capability for Nucleus to manage collections from Groupon suppliers for delivery direct to Groupon customers, cutting expensive cross-docking and transport legs out of the process.

With Amrod and Leroy Merlin now customers, Nucleus’s e-commerce capability has become unique in South Africa. A mix of technology, operational and diagnostic expertise and financial engineering is making Nucleus Retail the logistics partner of choice for existing and emerging e-commerce customers.

What is Ecommerce?

E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods (or services) on the internet. It encompasses a wide variety of data, systems, and tools for online buyers and sellers, including mobile shopping and online payment encryption.

`Most businesses with an e-commerce presence use an e-commerce store and/or an e-commerce platform to conduct online marketing and sales activities and to oversee logistics and fulfilment.

2020: COVID-19 Drives E-commerce Growth.

COVID-19 outbreaks around the globe pushed consumers online to unprecedented levels. By May of 2020, e-commerce transactions in the US reached $82.5 billion — a 77% increase from 2019. It would have taken four to six years to reach that number looking at traditional year-over-year increases.

Consumers have moved online to make purchases normally made in physical stores, such as food and household items, apparel, and entertainment.

Growth of E-commerce

Changes in technology have driven e-commerce growth, along with global circumstances.

The Impact of E-commerce

The impact of e-commerce is wide with a ripple effect from small business to global enterprises.

1. Large retailers are forced to sell online.

For many retailers, the growth of e-commerce has expanded their brands’ reach and positively impacted their bottom lines. But for retailers who have been slow to embrace the online marketplace, the impact has been different.

Retailers that fall into the middle ground are the ones feeling the biggest changes in response to the impact of e-commerce.

In February of 2019, online sales narrowly surpassed general merchandise stores for the first time.

2. E-commerce helps small businesses sell directly to customers.

For many small businesses, e-commerce adoption has been a slow process. However, those who’ve embraced it have discovered e-commerce can open doors to new opportunities.

Slowly, small business owners are launching e-commerce stores and diversifying their offerings, reaching more customers and better accommodating customers who prefer online/mobile shopping.

3. B2B companies start offering B2C-like online ordering experiences.

Business2Business companies are working to improve their customer experiences online to catch up with Business2Consumer companies. This includes creating an omnichannel experience with multiple touchpoints and using data to create personalized relationships with customers.

By 2026, B2B transactions in the US are expected to reach $63,084 billion.

4. Supply chain management has evolved.

Survey data shows that one of e-commerce’s main impacts on supply chain management is that it shortens product life cycles, increases speed of delivery and product availability. Business unable to compete on these measures will be overtaken by more nimble competitors over time.

E-commerce is not limited by geography or location. Quick response logistics replaces bricks and mortar stores and companies who do not understand this will find new competitors in their traditional markets.

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