The use of the Internet for purchasing goods has opened up a set of new transport concepts. The changes could be compared with the changes that took place when self-service supermarkets appeared some 40-50 years ago. This requires the development of new distribution schemes for the increased share of business-to-consumer (B2C) transport.
The objectives of the E-Bizz project are to develop new distribution methods which can be used when goods are ordered on the Internet by private customers. The methods must also be able to handle return of goods from the consumer to the producer.
The project covers the business-to-consumer (B2C) transport, but not business-to-business (B2B). Furthermore, the project hopes to assist in the development of the Øresund region, which is becoming more integrated after the opening of the fixed link between Denmark and Sweden in 2000.
The basis of the project is a number of transport runs from actual companies, which attempt to adapt to new possibilities regarding e-trade. The new possibilities require a totally new way of planning distribution. The project co-operates with a similar project in USA, led by Michigan State University.
The companies involved in the project represent producers, wholesale traders and transport companies as well as producers of packaging materials. Each participant initiates his own projects in order to provide suitable transport solutions. A special focus is on food and other goods that require low temperatures or other special conditions during transport.
Type of goods
The goods with the largest online potential are standard goods, speciality goods, and more generally speaking, goods consumers have some knowledge about. If knowledge about either standard or speciality goods is lacking, consumers still prefer personal advice and personal service.
Product should be of the highest quality in order to avoid complaints and to increase consumer trust in the online delivery service.
Web and interface design
Web and interface design should be improved. This is especially important for online supermarkets. Ordering procedures should be simplified and the time to place and order needs to be reduced. Web sites should be build up quickly, even if users log on using a 56 k modem.
It should go without saying that consumers receive the goods they have ordered. But it has shown, this is not always true. A likely reason for that is that no common procedures to handle online orders have yet been established. It might be a cheap solution to let temporary workers like school kids handle the online orders. But unless a detailed process description is in place and sufficient training is provided, this will not lead to the needed consistency in building up a high reputation online service.