Consumers are becoming more accustomed to faster delivery times as online commerce continues to grow globally, so retail supply chain delivery methods should also evolve. As a result, online retailers have begun to experiment with new technologies and supply patterns in order to increase the volume of parcels delivered. Last mile delivery has recently become one of the challenges of online shopping.
What does last mile mean?
The task of delivering an item as quickly as possible to the recipient. The achievement of the final step in delivery, ie the departure of the order from the distribution center or warehouse to the final customer, is referred to as the last mile in a supply chain. The delivery methods are as follows: door delivery, same-day delivery, scheduled time interval deliveries; deliveries outside the home: lockers, click & collect, and so on.
Why are last mile deliveries important?
Last mile deliveries account for over 53% of total shipping costs. As a result, logistics operators and carriers are expanding their services and resources in order to achieve the best possible process for them.
Customer preferences currently have a strong influence on accessibility and convenience. This trend implies that consumers’ frequent interactions with courier service providers are determined by their choices. During the pandemic period, most of them chose deliveries based on the comfort and convenience they provided, so home delivery was one of the most frequently chosen methods.
2. Consumer expectations
Customer expectations continue to rise. When ordering online, most people expect quick delivery. According to statistics, 74 percent of customers want to buy from the same source again if they receive same-day delivery. Furthermore, 25% are willing to pay a fee to benefit from last mile premium services.
As a result, e-commerce merchants are looking for new ways to meet consumer demands and process orders quickly.
3. Operational scalability
During the holidays and on weekends, the number of orders increases and becomes more difficult to manage, so last mile delivery is critical to increasing the business’s operational scalability. By developing technological solutions, delivery drivers, and efficient resource allocation, operational scalability can be managed productively.
To meet last mile delivery requirements, retailers frequently turn to third-party logistics providers to expand their operations. As a result, they will benefit from faster growth while remaining competitive in the market.
4. Customers satisfaction
Once the products are packed and labeled, they are ready to leave the warehouse or distribution center. However, without last mile delivery, it will not be possible to transport the products from the hub center to the final address, ie at the customer’s home. That’s why a customized last mile delivery service allows both companies and end customers to benefit from orders delivered on time and efficiently.
5. Adapting to technological change
The e-commerce industry is being transformed by new technologies, and the last mile is also being transformed by new technologies. Simultaneously, capital investments in supply chain management and logistics start-ups are growing. They look into a variety of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, automation, delivery robots, robotic drones, and self-driving cars.
Significant investments in route optimization software and other cost-effective delivery solutions are also being made.
In 2022, any online retailer or delivery service must manage last mile delivery effectively. The goals and challenges of online stores are related to issues such as sustainability, low cost, fast delivery, security, and automation. All of this is possible through continuous improvements and optimized strategies, a positive driver experience, and the development of lockers and electric bicycle networks.