As online shopping becomes more and more common throughout the world, consumers’ expectations of order fulfillment continue to rise. How often have you purchased a product on Amazon simply because you knew it’d show up within two days due to prime delivery? Alternatively, how often have you strayed away from smaller businesses’ products because they have longer expected shipping times? As customers come to expect their order fulfillment times to decrease, more and more companies are continuing to struggle to meet these demands.
In order fulfillment, there is an end phase known as Last Mile Delivery. This is when a purchased product moves from its fulfillment center or fulfillment hub to the final point of sale. As mentioned previously, for many companies without the same capabilities as Amazon, this phase is not as fleshed out. As such, it has become a critical problem for these companies and in many cases has led to a decrease in online sales.
For many years, the concept of last mile delivery didn’t exist. Many online shoppers decades ago would order something and not receive such robust tracking information as online shoppers now. In most instances, the product an online customer would order would arrive as quickly as a company could get it out to them, and at the time, this didn’t bother online shoppers. Now, as Amazon continues to dominate the space, the shipping expectations of online shoppers have been set around Amazon’s prime delivery service; with some customers expecting delivery within an hour.
For many sellers today, delivery speeds are only half the issue. As more and more online shopping has been done throughout the pandemic, sellers have seen incredible leaps in order and delivery volume. The solution to these delivery woes? In most instances, is fully fleshing out your company’s Last Mile Delivery strategy. Most times, this requires an inventory management system that ensures there are no backorders. It also requires ample warehouse space around the country that reduces the distance between product and customer. These warehouse spaces allow for more robust delivery options in order to accommodate more thoroughly for your customers. In addition to this, companies must have established quality standards for their customers. That is going beyond just providing an excellent product, but also providing rigid tracking for placed orders.
If you feel that your Last Mile Delivery operations are struggling, it may be wise to consider how tuning this fulfillment phase can better serve your customers. If not, your regular customers may turn to other suppliers to receive their items at a more accelerated pace. If that weren’t enough to scare you, there are also additional costs as a result of an inefficient last mile fulfillment process. Whether that be a crippling competitive disadvantage compared to your competitors that eats into profits or litigation costs as a result of a slower-than-promised delivery. Whatever the case maybe, always think about how you can be improving your Last Mile Delivery process.
To learn more about Last Mile Delivery and how you can improve it, please check out the featured infographic below. Courtesy of WAREHOWZ.