What do E-Commerce Customers Want? The Answer Lies in Last Mile Delivery Optimization!
As we sit in the aftermath of Alibaba’s epic Singles’ Day event where the total earnings cross $25 billion. They crossed $1 billion in a minute of opening operations. That is $166 million per second in that minute. That’s higher and stronger than ever noticed before.
What sold in these super seconds on the Singles’ Day?
It was the promise of great discounts and products.
What was this promise about that drove these epic sales?
The promise of great products availed at a cheaper price and on-time.
This last part, on-time, held the highest importance on this day. Alibaba employed more than 600,000 stores as retail and storage points for easy last mile delivery. These stores had their tech interface upgraded to support inter-linking and balancing of demand. This phenomenon, when perfected, is called ‘Connected Retail’.
Around 100,000 stores were also upgraded to accommodate face-recognition payments. These were the ‘Smart Stores’.
Why did all this work? How was Singles’ Day so much more successful than Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day?
Because it catered to the one-rule of consumerism. Cater to the singular need and drive of better buying experience around any product.
Last Mile Delivery Has Replaced Ambience in Retail!
It’s an adage that worked for malls before. Ambience can accentuate the value of a product long enough to merit a premium. With the advent of omnichannel aesthetics, this has changed to effective last mile delivery. The process is not just about reaching the concerned location on-time. Last mile delivery has much more to it.
What is Last Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery is the last leg of parcel or shipment delivery which takes it from the distribution hub or merchant to the final delivery location which could be a retailer or a person’s home (in case of e-commerce home deliveries).
Last mile delivery covers the final transportation of any parcel or shipment and hence is the only distribution leg which interacts with the final client or customer.
Here are some pointers that can help improve last mile logistics and enhance the overall delivery experience for the end-customer.
- Think from the perspective of service fulfillment when thinking of the physical processes involved in last mile delivery.
- Back-track from a desired customer delight moment (perhaps making the customer excited and elated enough to make them recommend the services to others).
- Analyze all current resource strengths in terms of vehicle capacity, field agent ability, location knowledge, shift timelines, etc.
- Analyze the current demand statistics (Drop Density – How many orders come in from a location? / How many shipments are delivered around a location?).
- Use predictive assessment to forecast the future demand.
- Map the current resources to the locations as per demand in conjunction with resource strengths.
- Identify the need for excess resources (whether more resources are required to manage the last mile deliveries).
- Allocate each order to the respective resource (again, as per the resource strength).
- Identify the shortest routes that the resources can use to make quicker deliveries and have a faster turnaround time.
- Dispatch all resources and track their movements to ensure they stick to the dedicated routes.
- Track their delivery time as per the estimated time of arrival (ETA).
- Communicate the ETA with the end-customer.
- Ensure that the delivery person avoids traffic prone areas to increase the probability of adhering to the ETA.
- Track all relevant service level agreements associated with the last mile deliveries.
- Track the service time associated with the actual delivery.
- Record the customers feedback for the delivery.
- Validate the delivery through electronic proof of delivery.
There is a better way to do all the things mentioned above. Delivery management companies can focus on resource management and client relations. They can partner with last mile delivery optimization companies like LogiNext, who hold expertise in this domain, for effective last mile delivery management.
There is a lot to learn from the Singles’ Day success. The most prominent is, however, that when you merge customer demand and desires with last mile delivery, you can achieve great success in retail and e-commerce.