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Get Ahead Of Last Mile Challenges With These 8 Steps

Instant gratification is the new norm for customers. Gone are the days of waiting for 5 or 6 days for delivery, not knowing the status or delays, if any. Pandemic or not, today’s ecommerce customer wants deliveries to be instant! 

Whether it is for delivering basic groceries or high-end gadgets, logistics and supply-side requirements have had to be reworked dramatically. It is not only the retailers but also the customers who are demanding up-to-the-second visibility into the delivery process. 

So, what is last-mile delivery?

In ecommerce logistics, last-mile delivery refers to the final stage of the delivery process, from the last dispatch of the order to the acceptance by the customer. Depending on the type of product or order, the last mile delivery could range anywhere from a few meters to a different city altogether. 

Most supply chains and logistics are resilient, tried and tested until the last mile. It is the last mile delivery that poses the biggest challenges in ensuring timely delivery and customer satisfaction. This article talks about how using a last-mile logistics platform can help ecommerce companies and retailers to overcome last-mile delivery challenges. 

Inventory Visibility
Such a platform can provide cohesive inventory visibility across multiple channels/locations like the store, fulfillment center, and other third-party logistics locations. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered algorithms can compute the closest locations to improve the planning and distribution of orders and minimize last-mile delivery times.

Real-Time Tracking
By providing real-time tracking of the order, the retailer can provide the updated status to customers via the web or a mobile app automatically, without the need for manual interaction. This also helps in providing improved transparency into the order ETA, while reducing customer service costs. 

Route Optimization
By using dynamic delivery route optimization software, the retailer can be assured that problems like route closures, traffic, or weather hazards will not be an obstacle to the delivery of the package. Route optimization allows for efficient aggregation of orders at their sorting and distribution centers, along with the consolidation of orders at nearby locations.

Responsiveness to Order Changes
Last minute order cancellation, order changes (addition or deletion of items), or changes in the delivery address can be compensated for by using the software. Cancellations and returns can also be handled efficiently using the same system.

Timely Alerts
The system can automatically alert both the retailer as well as the customer about anticipated or unexpected delays in the delivery times. By proactively informing the customers about changes in the ETA, the retailer can foster a better relationship with their customers.

Auto-Allocation of Resources
By using AI-based intuitive planning and allocation algorithms, resources like transport, drivers, and inventory can be auto-allocated, saving time and money, while increasing turnaround time (TAT). The system can assess the number of orders for a location which can be fulfilled, and plan for multiple drops, increasing resource utilization. 

Customer Engagement
An informed customer generally translates to a happy customer. By keeping the customer updated about the progress of their delivery, or alerting them of delays, the customers can be kept engaged. By providing delivery details, customers can be kept aware of the exact delivery time and ensure their availability to accept the order, increasing their delivery happiness score.

Convenient Pick-up Locations
Large retailers can also offer convenient pick-up locations in proximity to the delivery address. By providing an integrated and secure mobile key, customers can pick their orders up at their convenience, safely and securely.

Omnichannel retailers need to seamlessly combine their online and in-store experience. To grow their business, every retailer needs to leverage the right technology to exceed customer expectations for faster and better delivery. Last-mile connectivity remains a hurdle for many businesses, as a lot of the challenges are outside the company’s control. However, newer technology solutions now offer a way to better leverage their existing physical investments and minimize last-mile delivery challenges.

FarEye is empowering retailers across the globe to achieve high levels of delivery efficiency, especially with regards to same day delivery expectations and shorter hyperlocal delivery cycles. To know how we can help you achieve the same, sign up for a quick demo here.