E-commerce hasn’t slowed down since the boom at the start of the pandemic. Statesman predicts that online shopping will grow by 56% over the next four years, and Insider intelligence believes it will make up 22.3% of total retail sales worldwide by 2023 – now just around the corner.
The growth in online shopping has had a huge impact on customers’ shipping expectations. From the moment they checkout to the moment they see the product on their doorstep, customers expect a fast and seamless purchasing process. Of 75% of online shoppers worry about their orders being stolen at their doorstep this holiday season you need to make sure your shipping process is streamlined and painless. Last mile delivery is the final step in ensuring that efficient experience.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. According to Search8% of first deliveries in the US fail, and 68% of companies say a failed or late delivery is a “significant cost” to their business because they then have to pay to redeliver the product, or the customer offer a refund or discount.
This can happen for several reasons. Many shippers struggle to navigate busy streets or ports, lack tools to track shipments or communicate with other stakeholders, and face problems they can’t foresee due to lack of visibility into supply chain workflows.
Last mile delivery is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic due to increasing customer requirements. When shippers cannot provide tangible solutions, dissatisfied companies turn to other options. Shippers need to protect cargo effectively, ensure a seamless delivery process, and save money during last mile delivery, which is good for 53% of the total shipping costs. Let’s look at some of the ways your business can successfully avoid costly last-mile delivery accidents.
Invest in technology
Technology is key to improving supply chain management and avoiding problems during last mile delivery. It helps shippers increase efficiency and effectively prevent potential problems by providing greater visibility.
Real-time delivery tracking is a breakthrough when it comes to protecting your cargo. It enables customers to see exactly where their delivery is at any point in the logistics process, putting them in control. ShippingTrack says 90% of customers want the ability to track their order, but only 66% of customers were able to do so.
As customers gain greater insight, the technology integrates all management systems so you can quickly identify any issues with a delivery. ShippingTrack found that six in 10 consumers are unlikely to buy from a retailer again if a previous order falls outside the scheduled delivery window, so having more insight into deliveries gives you the ability to anticipate and resolve the issue — before the customer ever knows anything was wrong.
Optimize communication options
As supply chain disruptions continue to wreak havoc, you need to be able to communicate with customers as soon as a problem arises.
Technology platforms enable customizable and automated notifications to let a customer know when a package is delivered. This allows the customer to plan accordingly, avoiding one of the most costly and persistent problems: missed deliveries.
If the delivery needs a signature and the customer is not at home, that package will be returned to the sender on the costly journey. Search says 63% of consumers experienced a missed delivery, and failed deliveries cost U.S. businesses more than $193,000 last year.
If the customer is not at home and the package can be left at the front door, it could be damaged by the weather or stolen by porch pirates. Improving communication options is essential to ensure this does not happen.
In addition, you must make communication with logistics experts accessible and accessible. ShippingTrack found that half of consumers attribute negative delivery experiences to poor communication. For both customers and businesses, easy access to a team of experts can mean the difference between a long, complex logistics experience and a smooth shipping process.
Find reliable logistics partners
With online shopping orders only growing, you need to be able to balance the increasing shipping pressure that comes with it.
The Customized Logistics and Delivery Association (CLDA) and the Transportation Intermediaries Association emphasize the need for third-party logistics (3PLs) and last-mile delivery fleets to work more closely together so that you give customers a “seamless Amazon-scale delivery experience.” Collaboration enables critical needs to be resolved quickly in the first, middle and last mile of supply chains. Penske and NTT data found that 71% of shippers say using 3PLs has also helped improve their customer service.
Many fleets in the last mile sector belong to the CLDA, which has a “Find a Delivery Partner” service website that shippers and 3PLs can use to find last mile partners for delivery needs across the country. By using a reliable logistics partner to handle those short last mile deliveries, you can focus on other important activities to scale your business.
It is imperative that last mile delivery is a smooth, efficient experience for the customer and minimizes any costly issues on your end. Investing in technology to increase shipment visibility, improve communication capabilities, and outsource reliable logistics partners can save you money during last-mile delivery and keep customers happy during the holiday season.