PETALING JAYA: The surge in e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing movement restrictions have led to a sudden, large increase in demand for delivery services, according to logistics aggregator EasyParcel’s founder and CEO, Clarence Leong (pix), leading the company to surpass monthly targets as well as achieving new records.
He recalled that initially it saw a 40% drop in parcel volumes for the first two to three weeks of the movement control order (MCO) period, as many sellers were adjusting to the sudden pandemic impact and keeping their expenses low.
“The volume of parcels started to regain momentum in the fourth week of the MCO onwards, as sellers rapidly moved their businesses into the e-commerce space,” Leong told SunBiz.
Likewise, its courier partners have experienced a surge too.
The sudden boom due to the surge in e-commerce, he explained, brought forward EasyParcel’s growth and expansion plans from the third quarter to the first quarter.
“We had to cater to the sudden spike in the volume of parcels while simultaneously managing the limited supplies of resources, such as transport vehicles, manpower and shorter working hours due to MCO restrictions,” said the founder of EasyParcel.
During the MCO, it introduced Pgeon Paperless, which enables customers without printers to write tracking numbers directly onto the parcel in lieu of a printed label, and PgeonMart, an online grocery marketplace for sundry shops to serve their neighbourhood customers.
The period also saw the launch of EasyParcel’s PgeonFlex, a programme to onboard freelance drivers and help those who have lost their jobs.
As the pandemic brought into being a new normal of conducting business, Leong pointed out this turned into a realisation that everyone can become a home-based micro entrepreneur with the help of their smartphone.
“The start of the MCO accelerated the process of creating many new micro entrepreneurs in e-commerce who were exploring and understanding how e-commerce works.”
In response to this new generation of entrepreneurs, EasyParcel took up the challenge of educating these new customers, drawing their experience from interactions with over 700,000 customers across four countries to create “how to” content to educate their customers.
Such content covers a whole range of topics from how to book a delivery service, wrapping a parcel to choosing the best courier service provider and more.
To supplement its effort, the aggregator has also conducted more than a hundred sessions of live-streaming events over the past six months to further educate these customers.
With regard to its future, Leong related that the company is in the midst of acquiring more service providers as well as rolling out new services to cater to the internet and online space, which moves quickly.
“We cannot neglect the need to have a sufficient amount of service partners and services so that we maintain EasyParcel’s convenience for our customers,” he reasoned.
Furthermore, EasyParcel has not forgotten those in the rural and outskirt areas, as it opens up partnership and agent opportunities to the public to develop more retail neighbourhood EasyParcel stores in those areas.
“Our goal with this is to create a mass offline and online network to grow the ecosystem and make delivery services even more accessible to a wider group of people,” Leong said.