Better humans
HIDDEN AGENDA - Mary Ann LL. Reyes (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2020 - 12:00am

Why did it have to take a pandemic like COVID 19 for people to rediscover humanity and what it means to be human?

Many families whose members have been busy going about their daily tasks like school and work and hardly see and talk to each other are now together 24/7. Husbands and wives as well as other couples who took each other for granted now rely on each other to get through these trying times.

Employers who never saw their employees as people but instead are mere resources that are needed to produce goods and deliver services now realize how hard it is to operate on a skeleton workforce.

Those who have been too busy to go to church have now found solace in listening to the word of God through online masses or worships.

Admittedly, there were many things we took for granted before.

Everybody now wants to help. When Globe and Grab announced that their subscribers can donate their reward points which the two companies will use to buy personal protective equipment for health workers and other frontliners, many donated their accumulated points. Fashion designers used their talent and available resources to make protective clothing for health workers. Golf club members have raised funds to help caddies and other golf club workers who cannot go work because golf courses have been closed indefinitely. Fundraising activities to help hospitals source their fast-depleting supplies of PPEs are all over social media. And just now, I saw on Facebook medical staff members of one hospital serenading workers in the isolation units.

God indeed works in mysterious ways. Even the environment got a much-needed rest. The air has become healthier because there are less vehicles and factories emitting smoke. People have become kinder, more compassionate, more caring.

The worse is yet to come, in so far as spread of the COVID 19 virus is concerned. But the good thing, people have already become better humans.

Finding the right partner

While it may take a while before deliveries of non-essential goods ordered from many online stores resume, online shopping, however, continues on a limited scale.

GrabFood and Food Panda, for instance, still accept orders for food delivery, using their accredited riders. There are those who use LalaMove, Grab Delivery, and even Angkas to pick up food, groceries and other essentials.

But I know of a number of people, including this writer, who out of boredom, have shopped non-essentials from their favorite online shopping platforms like Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Amazon even if there is an advice that deliveries may take longer given the uncertainty of the situation.

As pointed out by J&T Express, people live in the digital age of technology where anything can be purchased with just a click. With businessmen now moving to the online world and having a legitimate online business, the e-commerce market is expected to grow to a market value of $1.09 million in the Philippines, according to Statista.com. This estimate was made prior to the pandemic so the forecast will definitely change.

The e-commerce world depends on the courier business to thrive. In the article, it was pointed out that more than the quality of products, as well as competitive price and exclusive deals, online shoppers also consider convenience and speed of delivery. 

The article cited a survey by AlixPartners which said that 36 percent of the customers did not buy the product due to high delivery cost, 10 percent said that it took too long to deliver, three percent couldn’t track the item properly, while 20 percent of the customers also had concerns about the freshness of the item.

To become an online reseller, the article pointed out that delivering products in a fast, timely, and organized manner to enable a hassle-free and more convenient shopping experience to customers should be a top priority. And, it all boils down to finding the right courier partner to deliver products to one’s customers. 

To find the right courier partner, e-commerce delivery company J&T Express advises online sellers to look for courier services whose delivery rates are affordable and the service quality top-notch. It warned that using courier services whose rates are too cheap might affect the business in terms of customer experience because of the possibility of poor shipping.

Another thing that should be considered is the ability of the courier service to deliver on time, especially if one is selling perishable goods.

The article also notes that it is important to be able to track where the package is in real-time. It said that courier companies with innovative tracking capabilities will always have an edge over companies that do not. Part of giving customers a better experience is giving them the ability to know where their orders are at any time.

Then there is the matter of insurance. J&T said that while knowing the package’s location is assuring, knowing that the package is insured in case it is lost or damaged is even better. The article explained that courier companies that ensure they have good insurance for their partners’ packages acknowledge the importance of the goods they carry.

The article emphasized that a successful business always does its best to provide its customers with the best accommodation possible. So, if one can deliver all orders on time and equip them with real-time tracking capability and insurance from their delivery partner, then they can ensure the best experience for their customers as well. 

J&T for instance uses advanced technology to provide customers efficient services and online business affordable rates, that can help them have advantages over their competition. Today, J&T Express has 400 branches across the Philippines.

For comments, e-mail at mareyes@philstarmedia.com

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