For a decade, startups have relied on marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart and are fed up with their high commissions. However, Direct Consumer (D2C) is here to change the conventional. Targeting a $100 Bn+ Market Opportunity By 2025, constant innovation is happening across eCommerce categories.
Every D2C business owners keep looking out for the best cheap courier services near them to ensure facilitate their customers with the best delivery experience and manage their shipping hassle-free to grow in today’s competitive world. It is important to know about the best and fastest courier services in India which can streamline shipping and help the business to grow.
Top factors to choose the best courier service in India
D2C gives a brand new avenue to reach customers directly. Though customers, irrespective of the platform, expect the same delight factors and top-notch service experience provided by marketplaces. D2C players can drive customers directly to their stores if they deliver a delightful post-checkout experience. These factors include:
1. Delivery Speed
Major marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, etc deliver shipments in 3-7 days and provide same-day and next-day delivery for their customers. As a D2C player, anything more than 2-5 days can lead to cart abandonment. Providing an Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) on Checkout and committing to the EDD can build a long-lasting trust factor. A reliable delivery partner becomes a mandate for D2C stores to commit to the same timelines as marketplaces.
2. Managing Returns
Around 25% of items purchased on eCommerce sites are returned by the customers, with the Apparel category having the highest share of returns. Marketplaces manage returns by their fleet; however, in the case of D2C, brands have to arrange for another courier partner on the spot which can lead to depleted margins.
It's best to have a pickup delivery partner in advance and plan accordingly. Showing a return policy on checkout can also increase the overall conversion rate. With a successful return, it's a high chance that the customer will have a repeat order with your store and drastically reduce your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). Over 81% of customers say they are more likely to be loyal to the brand with the flexible return policy.
3. Serviceable Pincodes
With orders coming from every nook and corner of the country, it becomes essential to have a delivery partner who can serve all pin codes and provide COD (most preferred) as a payment method. To a surprise, no courier partner can serve all 29,000 pin codes. It becomes mandatory to partner with a logistics partner like Swift, which has partnered with major courier partners like Bluedart, Delhivery, Amazon transport ATS, DTDC, Ekart, Professional courier, Xpressbeas, Smartr, Dunzo, etc.
4. Ease of Integration
Easy integrations are crucial for sellers as the business scales up, need for integrating multiple tools and other courier partners also emerges. Unfortunately, 3PL courier service providers have very limited integration capabilities, forcing sellers to move to advanced courier partners like Swift to streamline their operations.
5. Shipping Rates
Shipping cost is an important factor that every eCommerce seller analyzes to ensure top courier pickup and drop service at the lowest rates. Every courier service has its rates based on its specialization. Sellers especially those who have started recently and don’t large volume of shipments face a lot of challenges in getting reasonable rates from courier partners.
Top Pickup and Delivery Courier services in India for D2C sellers:
India has a vast network of courier and logistics service providers that cater to the needs of D2C sellers across the country. These providers offer reliable, efficient, and cost-effective pickup and delivery services to help D2C sellers manage their supply chain and deliver products to their customers. Here is a list of top pickup and courier services:
Ekart: Ekart Logistics, established in 2009 as Flipkart's internal logistics division, is one of India's leading courier service providers offering comprehensive supply chain and fulfillment services. It currently serves more than 14000 pin codes throughout India by providing first and last-mile delivery services.
With the Ekart Logistics API, internet-based businesses can seamlessly connect to a variety of online marketplaces and storefronts, as well as provide various payment options to their customers, such as Cash-on-Delivery (COD), UPI, wallets, net banking, and more. The Ekart tracking API enables the smooth transfer of order-tracking information between different systems and provides real-time order status updates to customers.
In 2011, Delhivery entered the logistics industry and is presently the leading e-commerce logistics provider in India with a market share of 20%. It has also gained a solid position in partial truckload (PTL) logistics after acquiring Spoton Logistics Private Ltd.
In the last decade, Delhivery has emerged as a prominent player in the B2C logistics sector. With the recent acquisition of Spoton, Delhivery is now looking to expand its presence in the B2B market. Currently 70% business of Delivery is coming from eCommerce businesses. It is known for its fast delivery services and comparatively cheap shipping rates.
3. Blue Dart
Blue Dart established in 1983 is one of the oldest and most reliable courier partners in India. Blue Dart is highly known for its world-class services and provides both domestic and international shipping. Currently, it serves more than 18000 pin codes in India and is highly recommended for sellers who want to give their customers a reliable shipping experience. This means that customers from even the most remote corners of the country can access Blue Dart's services and benefit from its reliable and efficient shipping solutions.
Overall, Blue Dart is highly recommended for sellers who want to provide their customers with a reliable and efficient shipping experience. With its vast network, experienced team, and commitment to quality service, It is a trusted partner for businesses of all sizes in India.
4. Xpress Bees
Xpressbees is a leading logistics company in India that specializes in courier pickup and delivery services of products for a wide range of customers. The company serves over 1,000 customers, including industry leaders such as Paytm, Meesho, Lenskart, Xiaomi, NetMeds, and Snapdeal, across a variety of sectors such as finance, e-commerce, social commerce, eyewear, phones, and online marketplaces.
One of the key strengths of Xpressbees is its extensive reach across India. The company has a presence in more than 3,000 cities and towns, which means that it is well-positioned to deliver products to customers in even the most remote locations. This extensive network enables Xpressbees to process a staggering 3 million orders each day, making it one of the most efficient and reliable logistics providers in the country.
Swift is a new-age, data-driven advanced delivery service in India. Swift has helped more than ten thousand businesses to streamline their logistics operations and has positioned itself as one of the most reliable and fastest courier services in India.
Swift has wide extensive reach to more than 27000 pin codes in India that allow you to ship from home or warehouses. It also provides data-based tools like COD order verification, Address validation, branded tracking page, early COD remittance, etc that help sellers streamline shipping operations and improve customer experience.
6. Amazon ATS
Amazon ATS is a transportation leg of Amazon and is widely used by eCommerce sellers all across India. Amazon has accessibility in more than 14500 pin codes and offers a variety of delivery options, including same-day, next-day, two-day, and standard delivery. This allows customers to choose the delivery speed that best fits their needs.
Amazon established its direct-to-customer logistics in India in 2015 to give existing customers of Amazon a seamless and fast shipping experience. But just after the inception, they started facing a lot of challenges in externalisation. Initially, sellers were not provided with any Portal to manage the shipments and sellers also faced lots of fake NDRs and high RTO pushing Amazon ATS on the backfoot. Recently Amazon has invested around 400 crores in its Indian logistics arm to onboard more sellers and provide better services. Amazon has also recently started OTP-based delivery for their customers.
Smartr Logistics is one of the newest players in the industry and currently has a network that spans 45 cities and covers 2500 pin codes, with more than 75 service centers. Their customer database has shown steady growth during the second lockdown, serving businesses in diverse sectors such as B2B, B2C/E-comm, BFSI, and others.
As the situation improves and restrictions are reduced, Smartr Logistics is experiencing rapid growth, with a month-on-month increase of 75 to 100 percent. They are planning to expand their coverage in the coming months to include more than 6000 pin codes in 150 cities. Smartr has established itself with superior services and on-time delivery.
8. Ecom Express
Ecom Express, established in 2012, is a prominent shipping service provider in India. The company provides a range of services including express delivery, digital services, and fulfillment services. What sets Ecom Express apart from other logistics providers is its unique qualities.
The company operates in over 2400 towns and cities across India, ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of products using GPS-enabled vehicles. Another key aspect of Ecom Express's service is its focus on customer satisfaction. The company offers a range of digital services, including real-time tracking updates and online payment options, to ensure that customers have a seamless experience when using its services. Additionally, Ecom Express provides fulfillment services to help businesses manage their inventory and deliver products to their customers in a timely and efficient manner.
Overall, these courier services are known for their reliability, efficiency, and commitment to customer satisfaction. They are popular choices among D2C sellers in India who want to provide their customers with a seamless and hassle-free shipping experience.