You can have a winning product, nail down the price point, provide a great checkout experience, and still fall short of the finish line if you don’t solve the final puzzle of your product journey – the final mile delivery to your customer.
Final mile, or last mile delivery focuses on a product leaving the fulfillment center and reaching the doorstep of the customer. In a way, this is the first, physical impression of your business and if you don’t sweep customers off their feet with seamless final mile delivery, you’ll have a hard time taking your business to the next level.
Why’s the last mile delivery such a big issue?
Most small and midsize businesses focus on streamlining the logistics but falter at the last step. Here are the major roadblocks.
Lack of transparency
Pandemic has permanently changed the priorities and behaviors of online customers. On top of fast delivery, customers now want to have full transparency over how their products travel. According to an Accenture report, 90% of customers want to track every bit of their product journey to make sure it reaches them safely.
However, once the product leaves the final delivery hub, it becomes increasingly challenging to track it. Wrong delivery time, changing delivery routes, and huge pressure to deliver goods as fast as possible lead to a breakdown in communication. Varying customer expectations and traffic situations only add to the long list of hurdles for delivery partners. The challenges re-emphasize the fact that ecommerce businesses need to address the lack of transparency and control to position themselves as reliable options for their customers.
Final mile delivery is one of the shortest elements of logistics, yet one of the costliest. Business Insider reports that last mile delivery takes up 53% of the entire logistics cost.
An inefficient delivery system means that SMBs pay more for each product delivered. The costs rise up even more when the products return to origin. Scheduling conflicts, the absence of homeowners, and damaged products are the main reasons behind failed deliveries. Moreover, an overwhelming demand for free delivery means that businesses have to factor in the cost in their logistics budget.
A major chunk of last mile delivery problems can be attributed to the use of legacy software and inadequate infrastructure. When businesses use updated GPS tracking software and allocate tasks based on driver availability and plan for unexpected challenges on the road, they can improve the delivery experience. Properly optimizing routes to deliver product clusters in the same region also helps reduce friction.
Last mile delivery: the weapon of SMBs against big corporations
When Amazon started its one-day and two-day delivery policies, it changed the entire shipping industry. A decade and a pandemic later, customers want one-day and even same-day delivery. Big companies like Amazon are trying to usher in a new age of e-commerce shopping and SMBs have a great opportunity to make a claim for themselves. More than distance and package specifications, it’s the last mile delivery where smaller, local companies can race ahead of the big players.
Benefits of optimized last mile delivery to customers
An improved final leg of the delivery process spells good news for both a company and its customers.
Faster product delivery
More often than not, final mile delivery optimization directly results in faster delivery. Consumers can get their hands on the product they’ve ordered faster. This can be done by strategizing delivery routes. One way to do it is by grouping delivery timelines for orders in the same regions. Another way companies can send products faster is by determining the distance from the last fulfillment store.
With improved traceability of products and constantly keeping customers in the loop when a product is out for delivery, SMBs can greatly improve customer loyalty. After all, an efficient and transparent delivery makes the final impression in customers’ minds.
Safer product journey
In a post-pandemic world, the safety of a product has never been more important. Customers are always looking to make sure their products reach safely and without any damage. An inefficient final mile infrastructure includes multiple checkpoints and longer handover periods. If the courier strategy can get rid of the bottlenecks and focus on a lean and fast delivery process, it will put less stress on the packages.
A consumer’s interaction with a business doesn’t end with placing an order, it ends when the product reaches the customer’s doorstep safely and on time. When an ecommerce business solves the last mile puzzle, it creates a positive experience for the customer. This leads to more orders, better word of mouth, and brand recognition. Considering the fact that it will cost you up to 25 times more to acquire new customers than retain the old ones, businesses should focus on providing a seamless delivery experience to customers.
IntelliQuick Delivery: the local delivery partner solving the final question
To solve the last mile question, you need a courier partner that has an incredible understanding of local routes and that’s where we come into the picture. At IntelliQuick Delivery, we’ve positioned ourselves as the go-to shipping partner in southwest America. With 100,000 square feet of warehouse storage and cross-docking facilities across Las Vegas, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Phoenix, we deliver products faster, safer, and smarter than anyone else.
IntelliQuick Delivery uses ASN, OSD, and one-of-a-kind Enterprise Digital Assistant to enable drivers to follow the most optimized routes to reach you. On top of that, we have a Have It Today or H.I.T program that can deliver goods in as fast as 1 hour. If you have frequent deliveries each day in the same neighborhood, we offer routing twice a day to help you save costs. Contact us today to get a free evaluation of your last mile strategy.