How last mile efficiency can make or break your brand

Last-mile delivery can be a make-or-break activity as it is the touchpoint between you and your end consumer. Ever since the pandemic hit, getting the pulse of customers has become a greater challenge than ever. Their rapidly changing behaviour and expectations are pushing the last mile logistics to be more efficient and considerate towards consumers, needs, wants, and demands.

According to a survey conducted by APQC, companies have seen expectations shift in key ways over the last three years.

As per the finding from the survey, 69% of the company says B2B customers are acting like B2C customers in terms of expectations, 60% say customers have increased expectations for consistency across channels and about 29% say customers have less patience with delays or poor visibility.

These behavioral changes have made supply chain functions difficult, as they are directly impacting their cost to serve, profitability, and ability to fulfill orders promptly. According to APQC’s survey, 61% say they have been affected a great deal. 38% say they have been affected a little bit.

Customers now demand consistent, quick, and on-time delivery, which has made the last mile of delivery more important than ever.

Gen Z and millennials-extremely tech-savvy customers have thin patience for limited visibility into the status of their orders and the speed.

As per APQC’s research, nearly half of the organizations are now enabling customers to see real-time order status to the last mile to a significant extent. The research revealed that more than half do so to some degree or a small extent – resulting in these customers having much less visibility into orders during the last mile of delivery.

How can organizations constitute a positive delivery experience and keep consumers satisfied?

Deliver products with speed and quality

Consumer loyalty comes with a promise kept. Customers expect to receive the order with quality and at the promised time, If the product received is late and in a damaged condition it can cause frustration and lead to customer churn. Intact and timely delivery can gain customers’ trust in your commitment. To keep up with speed and quality, organizations are making tech developments like autonomous vehicles, delivery drones, and delivery robots that promise more reliable last-mile deliveries.

Visibility and control are key

Giving consumers a sense of control, and establishing good communication and transparency in your relationship can help a great deal. In case of a delayed delivery instant communication with the customer about the delay will still help keep their trust. Adapting technologies such as GPS and RFID tags can also address order tracking.

Organizations should investigate other ways to make the last mile more reliable and cost-e­ffective. For instance, rethinking warehouse locations to maximize the reach of delivery trucks can also help with meeting delivery expectations. Moreover, organizations can also examine the possibility of data sharing among partners to identify lower-cost shipping options. A combination of all these options can ensure an improved last-mile delivery experience & gain consumer loyalty.

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