Q1. What led to the decision to expand in the United States? How big is your presence here, and why New York City? How significant is the US expansion to your business?
Many of our global customers, such as Nespresso, Decathlon, and Waterdrop, are growing in the United States, and we have been active in the North American market since 2016 to support and scale their e-commerce logistics operations. Thus, establishing a physical presence and a team on the ground in the United States is vital to our business. In addition, many of our customers there are expanding their operations within Canada and Latin America; being physically closer to them and across the same time zones will enable us to serve them better and provide better operational capabilities and direct service points.
We chose New York City as our center of operations due to its global reputation as an international business and logistics hub and a gateway to expanding our presence into the broader regional market. New York City is also a global metropolis with a wide array of cultures, languages, and ethnic diversities from all over the world, a trait that we appreciate and have successfully replicated at Parcel Perform.
Q2. You had recently appointed Tiffany Jensen as your Executive Vice President for the Americas, What were the factors led to her appointment?
Tiffany impressed us with a great combination of passion, vision, and knowledge. She has vital experience in scale-up, data-driven environments and leading successful businesses with a commitment to developing strong client relationships. These factors, along with her deep knowledge of the global SaaS and e-commerce markets, made me and my Co-Founder Dana von der Heide, extremely confident that she is the right leader to lead our growth journey in the United States.
We also noted her commitment and experience toward promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which we strongly advocate for at Parcel Perform. Her appointment will serve as a boost to our global diversity efforts.
Q3. How are data and technology important in the logistics sector? What sorts of problems within the industry are solved with Parcel Perform’s services and products?
Two challenges that e-commerce brands, merchants, and marketplaces frequently encounter during the delivery process are unreliable delivery dates and timings and a lack of clarity/transparency with carrier partners on the status of their parcels. Due to the proliferation of online shopping options, end-consumers are extremely savvy e-commerce shoppers and are increasingly more discerning when selecting when, how, and whom they purchase from; hence maintaining positive relations with them is vital.
The growth of e-commerce worldwide is the silver lining of the pandemic. Over the past two and a half years, we have witnessed the continued evolution and increase in logistics solutions to meet this online demand. However, data remains complex across different providers, languages, and time zones in the logistics industry. In addition, different and divergent data sources make it challenging for logistics providers and merchants to gain full transparency of their end-to-end supply chain and ultimately keep up with end-consumer expectations.
Our platform tracks over 100 million parcel updates daily while connecting brands and marketplaces with over 850 carriers globally. In addition, our machine learning engine ensures data flows are standardized and interpretable across individual supply chain operations. We provide real-time and accurate parcel tracking updates to our customers, analyzing historical data from millions of past shipments to predict the estimated date of delivery timings (EDD) for parcels with up to 98% accuracy.
We anticipated increased demand for more machine learning and AI solutions by merchants to leverage their post-purchase experience to increase consumer engagement and retention within the next few years. In response, we grew our technology team in 2021 and have onboarded even more data scientists and machine learning experts. As a result, we now possess greater flexibility and expertise to add new and exciting features and the capability to continue to improve our existing ones.
With advances in machine learning, we can also anticipate delivery anomalies, address inefficiencies in logistics costs, and suggest immediate mitigation measures. Our customers have access to data-driven decision-making tools to maximize their e-commerce operations and ascertain carrier suitability for deliveries. This advantage enables them to shift their focus from reactive to more proactive services such as product upselling, retention, and loyalty engagement.
Q4. What are some trends you see in the foreseeable future for E-Commerce?
The growing demand for data-driven solutions
The e-commerce industry is peaking in terms of growth and operational capacity. As a result, we are witnessing an increased demand for more digital, data-driven solutions by retailers, brands, and marketplaces. They urgently want to and need to capitalize on the post-purchase experience for end-consumer engagement and retention. Advances in software powering the next generation of artificial intelligence, autonomous machines, and data analytics will improve order fulfillment time, eliminate inefficiencies, and significantly enhance operational effectiveness.
Greater ecosystem collaboration and increasing number of market entrants
Carriers can no longer rely on their historical data to predict and anticipate delivery dates and timings, so there will be increased reliance on real-time insights and visibility for parcels in transit. We see merchants, carriers, and software providers becoming more collaborative as the entire ecosystem is compelled to collaborate with the rise of innovation, end-consumer expectations, and the need for speed and transparency. At the same time, with the continued rise of e-commerce, 2025 will see a more open post and parcel industry – more software players will be attracted to enter the market.
Talent scarcity and the shift towards gender diversity
Thanks to the global boom in e-commerce, more young people, especially women, are considering and realizing careers in logistics and technology. However, the industry has yet to realize the full impact of this – gender-balanced environments are not a “nice to have” but are an essential consideration when younger talents evaluate a job offer, second to compensation and benefits.
The industry itself is also evolving, and we see new job creation in business development, customer service, marketing, and R&D. To keep up, we will need more innovative thinkers, leaders, and role models regardless of gender to help drive progress. Businesses must adapt to the changing landscape; leaders must do more to elevate and groom the next generation of tech and logistics leaders, male and female alike.
To that end, we are proud that we have achieved almost a 50-50 ratio of male and female colleagues across our global offices over the past few years. Sixteen nationalities and 18 spoken languages represent our efforts to build a truly global team. Both I and Dana believe that hiring with diversity brings out the best in us by bringing broader ideas and new perspectives to the table and enabling better collaboration, creativity, and productivity.
Q5. What’s next for Parcel Perform?
Our immediate plan is to scale and grow our commercial presence in North America and Latin America while concurrently doubling our headcount by 2022, doubling our ranks from over 150 employees across the United States, Germany, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Product development will continue to be a key cornerstone for us at Parcel Perform. We are in the midst of adding new and innovative features and consistently upgrading our existing ones. One example is our vastly expanded notification feature, where we are now able to drive highly data-focused approaches to recommend not only the best notification triggers but also their timing and the content of the notifications. We have stayed true to our approach to being an open system. This allows our customers to send notifications and alerts to their consumers via their existing CRM systems.
Data will be a vital part of the post-pandemic reality, and it will be the center of everything – driving actionable insights, intelligence, and the customer experience. With the right data, investment and insights, the entire e-commerce industry will be pushed to further improve, benefitting both the consumer and merchant. We are confident that our expertise in machine learning and data science will play a vital role in the next stage of competitive growth for e-commerce.