This week we’ve put an international spin to our Weekly Wrap Up as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi draws to a close. GetElastic chats with Elastic Path executive VP, Mark Williams as he shares his experience in running the online store for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. On the international watch, India’s logistics industry is coming up with innovative ways to keep up with growing eCommerce demand, with strategies like cash-on-delivery (COD). 2008’s economic crisis in the U.S forced Chinese manufacturer to sell its own apparel line, turning Guangzhou Huimei Fashion Co. into a booming eCommerce business.
As the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi draws to an end, it is interesting to note how the Olympics brings both risk and rewards to sponsoring brands. In particular, running the online Olympic store. Four years ago Elastic Path ran the online store for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and co-founder and Executive VP, Mark Williams shared his experience with GetElastic. One of the biggest challenges of running an online store was balancing a store where all its sales were concentrated in a two-week period. He also faced the same day-to-day challenges that online retailers encounter such as product mix, fulfillment and returns.
A Cinderella Story: Chinese Manufacturer Becomes Booming eCommerce Business
Guangzhou Huimei Fashion Co. started out by producing clothing for overseas retailers, but then ventured into selling it’s own clothing line exclusively online. The company experienced sales growth of 153% last year earning over $125 million in 2013. Guangzhou Huimei Fashion Co. manufactured clothing lines for U.S based apparel brands such as Forever21, however the economic conditions in 2008 cut orders and forced the company to begin producing its own brand of women’s apparel – Inman. The company’s successful eCommerce strategy was brought about by its exclusive distribution outlets via some of China’s dominant eCommerce players like Taobao.com and Tmall.com.
Innovation has become a vital component to meeting customer expectations in India’s growing eCommerce industry. By 2023, India’s online retail industry is expected to be worth $56 billion. Like its North American counterparts, logistics continues to pose challenges in a growing industry, however it also proposes opportunity for many logistics companies in India. Several Indian logistics companies are launching innovative services to grab hold of this growing business. India’s largest logistics company, DotZot has a network of 5,200 locations positioned to deliver 12,000 shipments a day. They will be setting up collection centers in urban and rural areas where consumers can pick up packages as well as drop off items they return. India’s logistics industry has established systems and process to pick up packages from a number of sellers and ship them to multiple pin codes. Additionally, they can pick up returns and keep online retailers updated on the status of the package. Even cash-on-delivery (COD) options are controlled, accounting for 60% of online retail transactions.