This one common term has been around in the online marketplace for quite a few years. But what does the term actually mean? The term last mile was initially used for referring to the final stage of telecommunication networks and has nowadays widely used to describe the final lap of package delivery services.
Last-mile delivery hence can be defined as the transportation of goods from a warehouse or hub to a destined address which can either be a home or commercial space. The term also refers to the delivery of goods from the source to the destination as fast as possible.
Lately, last-mile logistics has gained a high significance in retailers, restaurants and e-commerce providers due to the omnichannel retailing processes. For all those who are unaware of omnichannel retailing, it is very similar to multi-channel retailing.
With the onset of ‘Internet of Things’ people have moved on to shopping on multiple channels, i.e; both online shopping through online stores and e-commerce websites and offline shopping from brand stores. Hence, when the scenario reaches to online shopping or package deliveries, last mile delivery has a large significance on branding. Studies have shown that consumers are ready to pay better for same-day and last mile deliveries.
Last-mile delivery system for Retailers
Gone is the time, people wanna go to retail stores to buy their groceries, stand in long queues for weighing and billing. Mostly every household now prefers groceries to be delivered at their doorstep n the same day of delivery. This forms the biggest challenge for retailers to get the items delivered the same day. They will have to not only keep up to the quality of their products but must also ensure the quality and timely delivery of the products simultaneously.
As per a recent study conducted by Capgemini, 3 out of every 4 consumers and ready to increase the spend for online grocery deliveries. This has forced a great investment issue on the retailers regarding faster delivery of products at free cost at every location. Certain locations still are uncovered due to the lesser number of probable orders to come in and the distance from the nearest delivery hub. Almost 65% of customers nowadays opt for the giants such as Google Express, Instacart or Ocado for faster deliveries which can act as a threat for the local retailers due to the inept delivery services.
Last-mile delivery system for Restaurants
In the past years, food delivery has opened up to a lot of scope in the delivery business. With the convenience of ordering food on a single tap and having them freshly delivered within a short time has caught a lot of attention and appreciation. But the growing demand has put a heavy responsibility on the delivery agents to deliver them on time without any damage or quality concerns.
Pizza deliveries have mastered the art of self-delivery without outsourcing deliveries to third-party delivery service providers. This has led many restaurants to in sourcing their delivery systems leading to a much more efficient system.
Last mile delivery system for e-Commerce dealers
Online shopping websites must implement a good delivery system else will lose good customers and potential customers due to the negative reviews. This has forced many of the e-commerce dealers to start their own delivery services. Big shot e-commerce businesses such as Amazon has now started their own delivery services.
From all the above-mentioned cases we can see a surge of opportunity for automating the warehousing and logistics process. This can be easily taken care by employing an order and delivery management software like the iScripts LocoLogic. This system will let you easily track every order both on your desktop and smart devices at the same time.
Factors to keep in check for Last-Mile Delivery Systems
When delivery management remains to be an important factor it also has its own fair share of cons. With the increase of customers opting for online shopping, speedy fulfillment isn’t that possible to fulfill every time. You must have waited for a lifetime at the time even after you see the products being shipped and being set out for delivery as in the status. The systems that could work casually up to an hour for processing now requires to be processed within minutes which has turned out to be the biggest challenge for delivery system providers. Let us discuss some of the key factors that can effect last mile delivery systems if not closely taken care of.
The cost has been a raging factor depending upon the geographical areas and the frequency of product delivery. Customers prefer fast deliveries but there occur situations when there is only a single delivery to a far off region from the nearest delivery hub but the receiver will not be present. Such scenarios create anguish on the overall expenditure for delivery systems. The last mile delivery services are estimated to comprise up to 28% of the total transportation cost worldwide.
Technology has grown to such an extent where not only the service provider but the customer also receives alerts and updations on how the order has been processed. From the initial stage of order completion till delivery all the stages can be tracked using dedicated tracking IDs or directly from the mobile applications.
Producing the product to the customer at the expected time is the main criterion for efficient delivery systems. As discussed above, customers always appreciate updates and alerts via SMS and email regarding the order status and followups after delivering the products. This is one factor that can be worked on efficiently to retain customers and gain more at the same time.
People now not only order groceries, food or small stuff online but has now begun to order pricey and expensive stuff such as electronics and jewelry online. In such cases, security is highly important. The products must be delivered with zero damage comprising of all the manuals, certificates and warranty papers for future communications.
Recent studies have proven that the online economy is expected to increase to more than 4k trillion dollars worldwide by 2021. Therefore, implementing the right management systems and employing the best service providers in the market is the only ideal solution to stand out from the crowd.
The Future of Last-Mile Delivery Systems
Have a look at some of the interesting concepts below.
- Implementation of the most accurate order and delivery management system for real-time updates.
- Automation and robotization are the new trendsetters in freight solutions. Technology has improved to such that you will be delivered products by robots and drones in the near future. This will become a necessity soon due to the shortage of drivers and changing labor market scenarios. From packaging, shipping and delivery robots will take up the responsibility.
- Light electric freight vehicles will be employed for deliveries to reach the goal of zero-emission transport modes. All the cargo vehicles will be electrified. This will aid in reducing the costs, especially in the central densely populated urban regions.
- Delivery hubs and centers will open up to new furbished partnerships and investments for a new economic division.
From all of these, you must have definitely reached a conclusion on the significance of the delivery system in your business. Try out the live demo on how order tracking and delivery management software works here.