We at Bowery Capital released the 2016 edition of Opportunities In Vertical Software in November, which laid out our point of view on ten specific verticals and the potential for various software solutions to dominate each of these ten verticals in the coming years. For ten weeks, we are releasing content focused around the impact of software on these ten industries. We have done several interviews in weeks prior covering the Education, Legal, Restaurant, Insurance, and Construction verticals. For our ninth week we conducted a logistics software interview with Ahmed Naiem to discuss the logistics software space. Ahmed Naiem is the Chief Commercial Officer of eShopWorld, a leading provider of cross-border e-commerce solutions. Prior to joining eShopWorld, Ahmed held sales & marketing leadership roles at Aramex and DHL.
What are some of the most interesting developments in your industry over the last 10 years and how has software added value?
Industry focus shifting from traditional B2B to B2C solutions – A major development over the past 10 years has been the relentless growth in ecommerce causing the retail industry focus to shift from traditional B2B to B2C solutions. As demand continues to grow both domestically and internationally, competition and customer expectations continue to rise. For many organizations, software has played a major role in helping them keep up with the consumer demand and expectations by improving efficiency throughout their supply chain, scaling of their business, and managing cost.
Developments from the consumer perspective – From the consumer’s perspective, technology has provided massive improvements around visibility, transparency, and predictability from the order creation all the way through delivery and returns experience. Software solutions have been instrumental in enabling access to global or regional providers, rating and routing efficiencies, advanced tracking and customer messaging capability, import customs management and much more. Enabling the industry to reduce cost while significantly improving the customer experience has been a key driver for the huge growth we have seen in the past 10 years across the entire ecommerce ecosystem.
What are some of the challenges / hurdles that still exist?
In working with some of the world’s largest brands we have focused on eliminating the challenges and hurdles they face as well as those faced by their international consumers, which typically yield their highest YOY growth in ecommerce as domestic markets become more saturated. From the retailer’s side, they have gaps in their international customer acquisition activities as well as an inability to make locally accessible stock available to the global audience. From the consumer side some challenges they face include not being able to purchase in their local currency, pay with their preferred payment method, have a transparent view of pricing without additional hidden costs at their door, get quality yet economical shipping methods, and have access consumer friendly and locally positioned returns options.
When looking to enable a process with software what are the most important points for a buyer to think through?
Obviously it is important to find the solution that has a rich product offering which meets your specific needs, but beyond that it is important that you consider one that is flexible, scalable, and continually innovating. As consumer needs and expectations continue to evolve, working with a software provider that will help you adapt, preferably before your competitor does, is a critical quality to consider when selecting the right partner.
What is your vision for the industry in 5-10 years?
As more and more people shop online and Internet penetration continues to increase all around the world, ecommerce volumes will exponentially grow for years to come. Utilizing advances in technology, the industry will continue to thrive and make getting products from point A to Point B, anywhere in the world, more efficient and pleasant for their consumers. You should expect to see the trend in increased consumer demand and expectations to continue at a relentless pace as well as more logistic tech companies, both domestically and internationally, coming forward to help companies keep up.
At eShopWorld, we like to say that we believe that every shopper in every country should have seamless access to their favorite brands. That is exactly where the industry is heading.
Thank you for reading this Logistics software interview with Ahmed. Make sure to check out the 1st Logistics Deep Dive post discussing the History & Market Dynamics of logistics technology as well as the 2016 edition of Opportunities In Vertical Software for the full report. We will be back tomorrow with our final post on the Logistics software industry and the software that powers it.