There has been constant pressure on the retailers to improve the last-mile fulfillment experience of their customers. According to a recent article published by Deloitte, the value of same-day delivery sales has grown significantly from practically zero in 2013 to over four billion dollars in 2018. Also, more than 50% of the customers are willing to pay for it. This has pushed close to 65% of retailers to offer same-day delivery by investing in solutions that bring down the time to deliver to a customer.
The biggest challenge that the retailers face in last-mile deliveries is delivery efficiency. Since it constitutes a big part of the overall shipping cost, any drawbacks in the last mile delivery can adversely affect the businesses. Here are four ways you can improve the entire delivery process:
Optimize Delivery Routes
The cost of delivery is directly related to the distance between the pick-up and drop points. Therefore, the delivery routes should be constantly optimized to prevent any unnecessary delays. The drivers should be kept aware of real-time scenarios like traffic, weather, construction, and other factors with the help of courier optimization platforms. With courier and dispatch software and GPS tracking, route optimization will bring down the shipping costs, says an article published by Key Software Systems.
According to an article published by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2016, the delivery process can be improved and automated with the help of innovations like autonomous vehicles or delivery drones. Besides these radical solutions, other efficient technologies like augmented reality solutions can be used to give drivers more information about their environment and the packages still on board. Thus, automation has the potential to reshape the workforce in this industry.
Offer Multiple Delivery Options
Some customers might prefer delivery of their parcel at a convenient time over faster delivery. Although the demand for same-day deliveries is on the rise, the customers should still be offered multiple delivery options. It will not only enhance the customer experience but will also reduce your last-mile delivery costs as you can schedule the delivery economically that matches the time slot of the customer.
Ensure Reverse Logistics
It is important to have a proper returns management plan in place to minimize the costs of product returns. It will reduce the capital tied into inventory and will enhance the overall transparency of the supply chain.
For retailers who wish to maintain their dominance in the market, the last-mile delivery process should be consistently upgraded with the advancement in technologies. Also, some third-party logistics providers can be employed to save both time and money that can be utilized for scaling up the business. Outsourcing some aspects of last-mile delivery such as delivery software, warehouse space, transportation, and manpower can bring down the costs and improve the overall delivery process.