The World Health Organisation has declared the Novel Coronavirus outbreak as pandemic. Governments in many countries are battling the virus with counter measures to some extent, more serious measures to restrict movement of people and ordering the closure of shop and requesting company employees to work from home to keep businesses going.
Home deliveries have now more than doubled or tripled as demands from online shopping for home essentials becomes the norm in majority of the orders. Many couriers are also providing more options for customers to select their preferred delivery options with more customers choosing the drop off or pick up options with ‘no contact’ with the couriers. David Jinks, head of consumer research at ParcelHero raised a valid point where there needs to be a single approach to delivery protocol and employee welfare so shoppers and delivery drivers can feel secure in the delivery options.
Alternate delivery options using autonomous vehicles like the mini van from Neolix is now gaining popularity as one of the delivery options offered to customers. Many eCommerce giants in China like Alibaba Group Holdings, Meituan Dianping and JD.Com Inc have increased orders for more than 200 vehicles to Neolix in the last two months. Neolix’s small van can help to ease customer concern by reducing physical contact and can also address the labour shortages caused by quarantine and travel restrictions imposed by local goverments.
Commentary by Huang Li Chung