Last Mile E-Commerce Delivery Success Starts Early

In the age of instant gratification, timely delivery stays at the heart of Ecommerce success. That’s why the trend of goods delivery is shifted from a couple of days to same-day and a few hours delivery.

There are some Ecommerce giants such as Amazon, Walmart, and others that have optimized the supply chain to deliver the goods in the minimum timeframe as customers demand.

For delivering orders in a matter of minutes, Ecommerce players are spending bundles on new tools and technologies such as IoT, big data, drones, electrical vehicles, GPS, and pretty more.

But, research had proven that in the whole supply chain, the last leg of the chain- last-mile delivery plays a crucial role that can make or break Ecommerce success. Despite eating up 30% of the supply chain cost, the last-mile delivery is not bringing optimum results to the Ecommerce stores.

It pops-up several questions – why is the fag-end of the chain that’s incurring high cost still inefficient? Why is the last-mile delivery that’s representing the business not performing as expected? How can the last-mile delivery be made successful? And, other questions!  

Before taking a walk through the problems that are making last-mile delivery inefficient and their solutions; we will understand what last-mile delivery is and its growing importance.

What is a last-mile delivery?

Last-mile delivery is all about the distribution of goods from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. Click To Tweet
The complete supply chain heavily relies on the final link to deliver the goods at the right time and at a reduced cost to bring a win-win situation for both customers and businesses.

The step is crucial because the end customers make the opinion about the business based on the quality of service they received during last-mile delivery. A single delay forms a common perception about the business which later flutters in the market in the form of negative reviews and preferring competition.  

Ecommerce businesses have to optimize the E-Commerce Delivery app to keep customers continuously happy as the online retailing market is expected to grow boundlessly with an increasing number of orders placed by the customers. The key point is that modern customers are ready to pay extra for same-day delivery.

In a nutshell, last-mile delivery system optimization is a single way to stay in the game and stay ahead of the game. Click To Tweet
Here, we will discuss the common challenges that businesses are facing and the ways to resolve them.

 The challenges

  • Infrastructural concerns: The transportation structure is too poor where the inefficient routes, no information about traffic jams or unexpected changes in weather conditions, and little-to-no usage of advanced technology lead to delayed deliveries.
  • Customer issues: Despite expecting error-free services, the customers themselves make so many mistakes such as an incorrect address, not available at the time of delivery, canceling the order when the order is about to deliver, and others, which all add up as overhead to the business and negatively impact the Return On Investment (ROI).
  • Fuel and time wastage: Generally, the orders are dispatched in bulk, but to enable the timely delivery of one order, the carriers move a vehicle and end up wasting fuel and cost for just one delivery. Excessive expenditure hurts business profit.
  • Products type: Yes, the orders to deliver may be temperature-sensitive, flammable, toxic, or fragile, which requires businesses to plan the last-mile transportation accordingly.  

7 tips to make the last-mile delivery cherish the grandeur success:

Enable real-time tracking

The Estimate time of arrival (ETA) provided to the customers at the time of ordering the product gives them a tentative idea of when they will receive the product. But, unless the order is not received, the customers stay curious to know its delivery status and a little delay is enough to make them frustrated.

With E-Commerce Delivery software, the smart tracking system increases visibility into the supply chain and the customers can view the order status at every step of the way.

Get closer to the customers

With the urbanization of distribution centers, businesses can increase the proximity to their customers. Local shops, in-mall stores, or post offices can be converted into distribution centers rather than relying on fulfillment centers to enable Business to Customer (B2C) deliveries, which further helps in minimizing the cost of delivery. The better practice involves opening numerous stores as distribution centers around the high-density population zone.

Consider local option as much as possible

It’s found that opting for the local third-party carriers operating in the customers’ local area is a cost-effective alternative rather than building the transportation infrastructure like Amazon. Increasingly, businesses are considering independent crowd-sourced drivers, third-party fleets, and drivers in combination with the in-house fleet. It speeds up the deliveries and mitigates cost, but it’s tricky to choose and manage the local carriers.

That’s where the transportation management system under retail delivery solutions can help. Certainly, the choice of local providers to manage the workload relies on business, but they can be better managed with seamless communication and the right conduct of code and behavior through TMS, which ensures the business’s reputation remains intact.   

Autonomous vehicle is gaining traction

Leading players are investing heavily in advanced technologies for premium deliveries such as drones, driver-less vehicles, and other smart cars.

The benefit of deploying an advanced transportation medium is that it delivers goods at speed in reduced time and fuel consumption, which ultimately reduces the operational cost. They are a perfect fit for single order deliveries and their 24/7 availability is another add-on.

Route optimization

Long routes or no information about the traffic jam on the next signal results in delayed deliveries. The delivery route planner helps in preventing poor consequences of inefficient routes by intelligently creating the routes for the drivers based on traffic conditions, weather situations, and road conditions. Drivers can be dynamically re-routed when any unexpected things are encountered.

Push notifications for the delivery status

Notification is an inherent feature of mobile applications that engage customers. When push notifications are sent to the customers in real-time regarding the order status or any delays in deliveries with a reason, it builds a sense of trust in the business, and customers will choose the brand the next time when they want to buy.

On-demand assignment

Last-mile delivery is a part of on-demand services where fixed routes and orders won’t allow businesses to reap rewards. Businesses must have a mechanism for assigning on-demand deliveries to the right driver at the right time.

The dynamic on-demand dispatching helps businesses to deliver the order in a timely fashion and at a reduced cost. For instance, when a single order delivery needs pop-up, instead of assigning the order delivery task to a new carrier boy, it’s better to check the carrier boy that’s heading in the same direction to deliver more orders and he can be considered to deliver this order as well.

Featured Image Source: Freepik

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    Noman Shaikh
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