The increasing demand for e-commerce and steadily rising consumer expectations have put more pressure on retailers to improve the delivery process while keeping a check on the costs. It is estimated that customers spent nearly $791.70 billion online with US merchants in 2020, up a striking incredible 32.4% year over year. This has turned up renewed attention to order fulfillment, especially last-mile delivery.
Here are some of the top trends that retailers can expect in the coming years:
1. Smart Tracking
Logistics companies have been increasingly investing in technology to enable better real-time tracking and enhanced visibility. For surviving in this competitive industry, it is a must to utilize features like route optimization and deliver packages quickly in condition. For instance, some companies rely on GPS tracking systems for monitoring the performance of drivers and guiding them on better routes to make efficient deliveries. It helps them in enhancing productivity by up to 20% and reducing fuel costs by almost 15%.
2. Robotic Delivery
Labor accounts for more than half of the expenses associated with last-mile delivery. And with labor, there are many issues that the logistics companies have to manage, such as rising costs, availability, and scheduling. That is why some of them are shifting their focus to robotic delivery in the form of self-driving vehicles, drones, and autonomous delivery bots.
3. Increase in Urban Warehouses
Logistics companies have been witnessing rapid growth in same-day deliveries over recent years. It is expected that their market share will reach a combined share of 20%-25% of the entire last-mile delivery market by 2025. To catch up with this trend, they are increasingly building warehouses in metropolitan cities for the immediate delivery of products. They are hoping to significantly reduce their delivery time while simplifying the work of delivery executives.
4. Importance of Big Data
Another trend that has gained importance is the increasing use of big data by companies for predictive analytics to optimize the delivery process. It is indeed the next big thing for the industry. It’s being used in almost every aspect of last-mile delivery including planning, rerouting, and even inventory management. Companies are hoping to boost their revenue by making well-informed decisions based on the huge volumes of data accessible to them.
5. Drivers Become Merchants
As customer demand is rising, logistics companies are looking for more innovative solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market. They have begun using delivery agents to increase sales. While Big Data has been helping them predict the customers’ behavior towards their products, their agents are engaged in word-of-mouth publicity for your brand.
Exciting things have been happening in last-mile logistics. However, the level of technology being used to push the frontiers of this market and same-day delivery is getting more complex while enhancing the scope of the market. That’s why it’s vital for logistics companies to take note of these trends in last-mile logistics today, so they may be able to maintain their competitive advantage.