The Retail and eCommerce industries are on the rise which involves the exponential growth of the last-mile delivery market. Over the current decade, it’s projected to increase by over 13% yearly and ultimately amount to $123 billion. That said, consumer expectations are higher than ever, fuelled by fast-evolving tech and the breadth of choice. Buyers assume accurate, complimentary, and speedy service no matter what it costs a business and how much time it takes in reality. Fortunately, companies are able to streamline the work to a great extent with last-mile delivery software. How does last-mile delivery work, and how exactly can you change the challenges into assets? Andersen’s experts discuss.
What is last-mile delivery and why is it relevant?
This closing delivery stage includes picking an order from a warehouse, conveying it, and handing it over to a buyer. This comes after the item is manufactured, distributed to storage, batched, and packed.
A wide range of industries avail themselves of last-mile delivery opportunities, e.g. eCommerce businesses, retailers, the catering industry, pharmacies, postal service companies, etc. For all of them, this stage is not only the point of contact with buyers that dramatically affects their satisfaction and brand reputation, but it’s also a problematic activity. Why?
What are the last-mile delivery сhallenges?
Statistically, over 80% of buyers will abandon a firm that fails to meet their delivery expectations. The task gets complicated for the following reasons.
It takes considerable time Over half of the shoppers stated that they’ll leave a company that brings them a belated order more than once. This can happen due to the substantial number of stops along the route, traffic jams, lack of available parking spaces, the need for prompt rerouting, the difficulty of accessing real-time accurate parcel location data, and so on.
It’s expensive This stage costs approximately half as much as the entire shipping price as various resources are involved to transport small numbers of orders, including the need to manage their storage, pay couriers, use a fleet of vehicles, take into account excessive fuel consumption in cities, etc.
It’s difficult to efficiently devise routes The last-mile delivery route optimization can be arduous when carried out manually. The task gets even more complicated due to unforeseen circumstances such as failed deliveries, poor weather conditions, staff members’ sick leaves, border closures, and so on. All this leads to increased costs.
Failed deliveries This issue often takes place due to poor planning, lack of communication between a buyer and a courier, and human errors, ultimately costing retailers a lot of money.
How software helps solve the problems in last-mile delivery
Fortunately, all the above adversities are effectively solved with the last-mile delivery management software. This is meant for managing the storage, vehicle fleet, payments, and conveyance in a coherent, constructive, and businesslike manner.
As a rule, professional last-mile delivery solutions include the following features for dispatchers, couriers, and buyers:
Route elaboration with the possibility of rerouting The program is integrated with GPS tools and third-party APIs to analyze all the conditions and possible constraints and efficiently plan routes. By taking into account key factors, you’ll be able to draw up the most advantageous routes to reduce costs and time on the road. Moreover, unforeseen eventualities such as the employees’ sick leaves, supplier errors, or order cancellations won’t be a hindrance for you any longer as the routes will be automatically changed with the consideration of every unexpected event.
Automated notifications The system tracks the location of all parcels and calculates their ETA to provide accurate information about their locations. Automated customer notifications with updates on order statuses increase client satisfaction rates, reduce cancellations, and take the unnecessary burden from companies’ customer support specialists. In addition, the accurate provision of services is ensured by the embedded ePOD feature with notifications of successfully completed orders, e-signatures, uploaded photos, and so on.
Efficient parking slot search Making use of advanced location intelligence capabilities, drivers can avail themselves of solutions that help them find free parking slots even in dense areas and during the holiday season. This allows them to perform their work in a time-efficient manner and considerably improves the service quality.
Fleet management and detailed analytics Telematics tools, GPS tracking, and data acquisition from sensors allow managers to receive accounts on the last-mile delivery statistics in a convenient manner on data dashboards. This improves work efficiency and allows for making data-driven decisions regarding staff augmentation, service scalability, vehicle maintenance, and optimization of costs.
Live chat features AI-powered chatbots, voice recognition features, and in-app chatboxes allow all the parties involved to successfully solve even the slightest issues. This adds to last-mile delivery optimization and ensures high client satisfaction rates and positive feedback.
Last-mile delivery technology’s most recent trends
New last-mile delivery trends are emerging at a blistering pace. What are the most promising ones?
- Self-driving vehicles and robotics ensure consistent deliveries even during peak hours in an eco-friendly and contactless fashion. Moreover, the ever-increasing indoor navigation capabilities allow robots and drones to easily find their way in stores, warehouses, pharmacies, and other facilities.
- Crowdsourcing allows companies to entrust the work to freelance couriers and thus, cut costs, speed up, and scale.
- Big Data for informed decision-making. Collecting information from IoT sensors and embedded in-app analytics tools and turning to Machine Learning and cloud integration capabilities helps business owners receive prompt access to key performance metrics such as client satisfaction rates, distances covered over certain periods of time, failed deliveries, etc. This allows them to think through their companies’ strategic development and increase profits.
- Supply chain digital twins test routes and improve operations with no risk of breaking their present logic.
- Automated batching tools allow warehouse staff to manage item grouping and dispatching to deliver rapidly and eliminate delays.
- IoT devices and sensors provide for tracking the location and the technical state of vehicles and allow for improved planning and the elimination of possible issues.
Tailor-made feature-rich last-mile logistics software is crucial for the establishment of constructive, expeditious, and seamless processes. Adroitly developed solutions with intuitive interfaces not only add to a substantial increase in customer loyalty but also open new opportunities for businesses and help them scale.
Andersen possesses vast expertise and a proven track record in Logistics software development with over a hundred-and-fifty successfully implemented projects. Therefore, if you need a hand with going digital to grow your sales and improve performance, do not hesitate to contact our experts for a free IT consultation.
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