When we talk about bespoke or custom tailored brands, we are generally talking about fashion, luxury travel, or other extremely dialed in experiences. Sit down, mark your calendar, and take a deep breath- because what we're going to talk about next is something we've never really talked about before... and that is bespoke ecommerce interfacing, logistics, warehousing, and customer service on a global scale.
Lessons in Business 101
Belgian Post Group, also known as bpost, is Belgium's leading postal operator, and the masterminds behind the bespoke story of Radial. Applying deep foresight to an aligned vision of where logistics and business were headed, bpost took action, bulking up their offerings and operations, to stay relevant and offer more of what their clients needed.
Amazon's Biggest Competitor
Radial, formerly known as eBay Enterprise, was acquired for $820 million in 2017, a move Tim Hinckley, Chief Commercial Officer of Radial, called genius. Why? Because when it comes to fulfillment in the United States, Radial is Amazon's largest competitor. Not Walmart or the myriad other drop-ship capable, logistics, or ecommerce giants- but Radial. Their logistics services account for about 20% of all ecommerce orders flowing between the EU and the US, which is huge... especially for a business I bet you've never even heard of.
If your mind works anything like mine, you're wondering how something so large could offer tailor-made services over and over again, to businesses with very different needs and profiles. Coming in just under $3 billion a year in revenue, they must be doing it well, and logistics and ecommerce are not easy industries. Add to that the tumultuous and ever-changing economy both globally and online, Radial's ability to stay both absolutely dialed in and constantly innovating is impressive.
So How Does It Work?
Radial offers four integrated solutions, services that cyclically feed one another for constant progress, processing, and solutions.
Fulfillment and Transportation
Payments and Fraud Protection
The payment system feeds the order management system, which then feeds the warehouses, which feeds into the call centers, which oversees and feeds the returns process (something many entrepreneurs overlook entirely). This cycle creates a hitch-free and seamless ecommerce platform from beginning to end.
That all sounds very basic, and it's important to note that these umbrella categories leave plenty of room for industry experts and trusted advisers to then come in and customize any and every aspect necessary to fit a brand, business, needs, and so on.
Simplification of Customization
What Radial is really offering, through these custom bespoke services is simplification in the omnichannel space. Where a business or entrepreneur might be using three shopping carts for different platforms, or selling in multiple marketplaces and processing payments through different vendors, or even just trying to figure out their returns process; Radial has all of the infrastructure in place to simplify these pieces. And simplification is the ultimate bespoke sophistication.
Radial In Action
A seamless, flawless, beautifully branded, integrated process will change the perception customers have of your business. Take brands like Spanx or Puma for example, both partners of Radial. When you visit their website, you expect to be able to find exactly what you need, you expect to be able to order it without any hiccups, you expect the shipping to be free or very minimal, you expect to pay and get a confirmation, and go on with your day. There are so many of these moving pieces businesses or new startups don't even consider, because they are new to the game, and something crashes, or they need to get a return back somehow, or they need customer service... the list goes on and on, so it's great to see something as big as Radial also serving these startups and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
One last thing before you go. During our conversation, Hinckley spoke of the brands Radial represents as their companies, their partners, their brands. This kind of ownership language really stood out to me and it's worth noting for you as well. Ownership is a sign of a true partnership. As you navigate the world of ecommerce, logistics, and seek out your own partners in business- look for this. Ownership is in the language and the actions of a true partner, and Radial is a shining example of how successful that can be.