6 Tips for Successful Last Mile Delivery
Dropping the ball with only 1 yard to go is heart-breaking — don’t be that business! Keep your customers happy with these tips for successful last mile delivery.
What is Last Mile Delivery
Last-mile delivery is the last stage on the shipping line and refers to the transportation of goods from the logistics hub to the hands of the customer.
E-commerce growth is fueling an increase in last mile delivery solutions
This last stage of delivery is essential for e-commerce and omnichannel supply chains is the real contact with the customer, and the moment that concludes the purchasing experience.
Since the e-commerce market is expected to double in value in the next ten years, is crucial for companies to deliver the products to consumers in a faster and more cost-efficient way.
More customers are choosing shorter delivery times, and even willing to pay extra for instant or same-day delivery.
Customers want instant gratification, and a good last mile delivery service can be the difference between choosing your company or your competitor.
Good management of last mile logistics can help your company to build customer loyalty.
Good service presents its own challenges
While it is indispensable for e-commerce, this last stage of delivery is the trickiest to manage. Just keeping it cost effective is a challenge, as it can amount to 28% of the cost.
Add to it that consumers want faster fulfillment, pushing companies to process shipments in three minutes instead of an hour.
Shippers usually outsource this leg of delivery on small parcel carriers to deliver this product to consumers. This presents a series of challenges like keeping a constant quality of service while providing faster fulfillment.
Other common challenges include:
- Transportation infrastructure issues—inefficient routes and transportation technologies add to the hassle of getting the parcel to the customer.
- B2C fuel and time wastage— in the run to provide a better delivery, sometimes carriers are moving a vehicle to deliver a single package. The use of autonomously controlled vehicles (ACV) like drones, can be a solution to this.
- Customer issues —common mistakes like incorrect addresses, absence of the recipient, or order cancellations, add to the cost and impact the customer experience.
For companies selling online or through omnichannel options, giving a great delivery experience is part of the customer’s shopping experience. Following we give you tips to help you win the great last mile delivery challenge.
6 Tips to Win Last-Mile Delivery
- Get real-time tracking and visibility— an integrated last mile tracking system can help both companies and users to have real-time visibility. Transportation management systems (TMS), through the use of internet of things (IoT), use sensors and applications to track shipments in real time. A smart tracking system then sends alerts both to shipper and customers. The use of data analytics gives valuable information about high traffic congestion, or popular delivery areas improving the process efficiency.
- Increase the proximity to the customer—by setting more distribution centers in high concentration areas, offering company lockers in popular places like malls, post offices. This can help minimize the cost of B2C single package deliveries.
- Keep your customer informed—with notifications along the delivery process keeps the customer in the loop and helps coordinate the delivery in a timely manner. Giving streamlined deliveries provides the customer with a good last mile experience building trust in your company.
- Use autonomous vehicles when possible—they are especially useful for single package delivery. E-commerce giants like Amazon are using drones for their premium deliveries. It makes sense, as drones save up fuel and parking costs, can be directed above traffic on the shortest routs. In its white paper, Parcel delivery: the future of last mile, experts are predicting that drones will do all same day deliveries for rural areas in the next ten years.
- Fine-tune your roadmap—using route mapping software to help drivers plan their routes. Issues like incomplete deliveries, inaccurate delivery routes, are solved with smart routing software.
- Outsource smart—most retailers and shippers outsource the last-mile delivery to small parcel carriers. Choosing the right provider can make the difference between a good customer experience or the opposite. You should identify the carrier or carriers, that fulfill better your customer’s needs. Using multiple carriers, while a bit of a hassle, can be solved with a centralized transport management system.
Last-mile delivery continues being the trickiest leg of the delivery process. Handling it with the help of smart technology and clever strategy can optimize the supply chain. Giving customers a cost-effective, timely delivery experience can only reap benefits in terms of customer satisfaction.