Despite the various problems created by the global spread of COVID-19, ecommerce has witnessed a massive acceleration, pushing its adoption and growth two to four years ahead of expectation. As people come to terms with the current situation, a profound shift has come about in online buying behavior. Online shopping is becoming a normal way of life. From daily groceries to heavy engine parts, shopping online has never been more fun!
Nevertheless, this ease of online ordering for customers has created challenges for the ecommerce industry. Order sizes are shrinking in monetary terms, while at the same time, the committed order delivery times have also contracted. People are not just expecting but demanding same-day or even one-hour deliveries. This has pressurized retailers to begin focusing on and improving their last-mile delivery infrastructure.
So, What Is Last-Mile Delivery Exactly?
Last-mile delivery is nothing but the movement of an item from the last dispatch by the logistics hub to the destination or end-user. Increasingly sophisticated users and penetration of the internet to remote areas have people clamoring for more deliveries from far off places. In this scenario, it becomes all the more important to use the right platform to mitigate last-mile delivery concerns, as it can add up to the high cost of the total supply chain, as well as make or break a retailer's reputation.
Some of the major pitfalls that e-commerce players need to avoid in their last-mile delivery are:
Increased Time & Delivery Costs
The final step of the delivery typically involves multiple stops with small drop sizes. As a result, the delivery takes a longer time as well as more fuel, compared to single stop deliveries with a large payload. Other factors like empty return trips, vehicle wear and tear, tolls, etc. also go up accordingly.
Last Minute Order Changes
As easy as it is to place an order online, it is even simpler to cancel an order, change the delivery address, or add another item to the order. These last-minute changes can very easily hurt the profitability of any business by affecting already diminishing margins. Also Raed
Last Mile Solutions: 7 Key Challenges That Need Your Attention
Lack of Visibility & Tracking
The lack of visibility into the exact location of the order is one of the biggest problems faced by both the customer and the retailer. With customer expectations rocketing sky-high, they need to be provided real-time updates on the whereabouts of their order. Last-mile delivery software keeps customers informed about the exact status of their order, alerts them to inadvertent changes in their scheduled delivery, and reduces the number of angry calls to the call center.
While every logistics company tries to choose the safest and shortest route, the reality is quite different. Inclement weather conditions, road blockages, or traffic jams lead to unpredictable delays and angry customers. A good logistics platform provides dynamic routing to cater to the different challenges posed during the journey.
Types of Delivery Items
As we have seen, online orders can be of a variety of types, ranging from perishables to motor parts. The delivery tier chosen can also vary, from being a priority delivery to a regular one. These differences can cause unplanned diversions or exhaust the in-house logistics capacity of the retailer. Last-mile delivery software can help the retailer plan and manage warehouse operations to work seamlessly with the delivery system.
A comprehensive platform like FarEye can help retailers alleviate problems arising from last-mile delivery. Such a Machine Learning based logistics platform allows retailers to streamline their shipping, delivery, and logistics into one integrated platform, saving costs while increasing the number of timely and error-free deliveries. To see FarEye in action, signup for a quick demo here.