Let’s assume we are in the 1990s, and the online business sector is at the early stage of establishing its base along with the internet itself. You can create your business monopoly and sail smoothly through the less-competitive business sector. Doesn’t it sound enthralling? Online business was an easy bite at the cake back then. However, the waves of digitization have hit the shore hard and revolutionized the online business sector.
Today, eCommerce businesses are not just marketed by their unique selling propositions but by the customer experience they offer. A HubSpot Research suggests, 93% of customers prefer to make repeat purchases from eCommerce businesses that offer impressive customer experience. And an important parameter of eCommerce customer experience is the ‘order delivery process.’
But, what is the true definition of customer experience for online shoppers?
Previously, eCommerce business could create a win-win situation by just creating an intuitive eCommerce app, a market competitive business strategy, and a smooth delivery process. But, with the growing eCommerce competition and an increasing number of online shoppers, you cannot leave your customer assistance efforts half-way. Customers today like to be assisted throughout the entire shopping process, from visiting your website to finally getting the order shipped at their doorsteps.
Instead, they are willing to pay extra for a superior shopping experience! This is where the role of courier companies come into the picture.
Let’s make it sound more viable with some facts:
A report from Statista says, 66% of customers expect the eCommerce providers to deliver their orders right at their doorsteps. Moreover, one-fourth of these customers are comfortable with paying extra for the same-day delivery option.
45% of the customers do not mind paying extra for fast delivery when purchasing product categories like electronic items and regular groceries.
So, what’s the takeaway?
Nowadays, customers appreciate a fast, smooth and trackable delivery process. This has given rise to last-mile delivery services model.
Last-mile Delivery as a Service – An Opportunity for Courier Companies and Startups
Referred to as a crucial process in the logistics and supply-chain businesses, last-mile delivery is the entire journey of an order from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. An optimized last-mile delivery service can help eCommerce businesses save a great deal of money and efforts. Recently, many leading eCommerce giants have understood the importance of last-mile delivery and started leveraging it for a profitable business.
On the other end, this opens the door to endless opportunities for courier companies and startups who can set up and start their own last-mile delivery services company. Several logistics providers have already started cashing upon the opportunity and have been optimizing their processes and expanding their network to offer seamless last-mile delivery services to their clients. Ecommerce leaders Amazon and FedEx have also been expanding their last-mile delivery network.
There is no denying that the last-mile delivery services sector is growing and has created new business opportunities for courier companies. But like every other model, there are some challenges associated with it.
Common Challenges that New Last-Mile Delivery Providers Face
The quintessential purpose of last-mile delivery model is to make the entire doorstep-delivery process seamless. However, until the model is executed correctly, you as a provider are likely to face challenges like excessive fuel consumption, delayed delivery schedules, and wayward deliveries. The other common challenges include:
1)Limitations in Order Tracking
The demand for a smooth and trackable delivery process has proliferated in recent times. However, it is hard for last-mile delivery service providers to meet the growing customer demand, unless they have a centralized system to track and manage the entire delivery process.
2) Restricted Visibility
With no managed delivery tracking system, there is a restricted visibility challenge between the delivery personnel, fleet owner, and the recipient. It instigates inaccuracies and delays in deliveries.
3) Inefficient Route Optimization
Inefficient route optimization is one of the most common challenges that lead to higher operating costs for last-mile delivery providers. With no proper delivery tracking system, customers are not able to locate delivery personnel and optimize the route. It further fades customer experience.
4) Lack of Customization
Customers today wish to make customization requests in their delivery process, these requests can be based on their availability to collect an order. In case, if a recipient is not available at the delivery address at the time of the delivery and is unavailable to be contacted, it will result in a waste of time and money. More inaccuracies in the process can result in damage or loss of the package.
So, how can last-mile delivery startups mitigate these major roadblocks?
Well, technology comes to the rescue here! Last-mile delivery software has been helping the startups and courier companies optimize their services and match customers’ expectations.
How a Last-mile Delivery Software can Help New LMD Providers?
A last-mile delivery software is custom-developed and integrated with a set of specific features that make the entire delivery process seamless. Some of these important features include:
- Route optimization feature that suggests the shortest/fastest route to a destination and updates the driver about any route customization requests.
- Real-time tracking feature that keeps the customer informed about the real-time status of the shipment. In case of any delay, the customer is priorly notified and can directly connect with the delivery agent.
- The real-time tracking feature also keeps the owner notified about the location of the delivery vehicle. He can manage the productivity of his staff and also check any spoilage or pilferage.
- Smart Allocation feature can help manage the delivery tasks efficiently. This feature can allocate the right tasks to the right driver at the right time, to reduce the operating cost and delivery time.
- Integrated Delivery Details feature reduces the inaccuracies and eliminates the loop-holes in last-mile delivery. The app can save delivery details like photos, notes, recipient signatures, and manage packages through barcodes.
- The Analytics feature of the software helps the owner track all the analytics detail like delivery success rate, average time per delivery, distance travelled, entire operations cost, etc. It enables the owner to check performance, feedback, and any inefficiencies that can be optimized.
We are witnessing significant growth in the popularity of last-mile services and how they are transforming the eCommerce industry. The increasing demand for these services creates a demand for new last-mile delivery service providers in the market. And the most efficient way to dominate the market as a new LMD provider is through a feature-rich LMD software.