Importance Of Final Mile And On-Time Delivery

Posted by Marian
Delivery Trucks, Automobile, Truck, Vehicle, Transport

Times have changed, which is an exciting time to be a consumer. Today, technology and the internet have made shopping fun, fast, and convenient. We have so many options: go to a store or buy online, pick it up in the store or have it sent home, choose the best delivery schedule to work with our own.

Increasingly, the quality of our shopping experiences is shaped by the value we get from delivery promises. As final-mile logistics evolves, the emphasis on fast, free shipping continues to be crucial. But, there’s more to it—it’s also about convenience and choice.

Being able to offer shoppers a positive customer experience is critical to winning and retaining customers, and it comes down to:

  • Ensuring your logistics and supply chain strategy can support your delivery promise
  • Recognizing that shopping behaviors have changed and understanding where your brand fits
  • Optimizing last-mile logistics across multiple channels to support your shoppers and leveraging that strategy to boost your brand by adding value

Strengthening Your Supply Chain For A Great Customer Experience!

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We’ve all been conditioned to expect more—more personalization, information about our purchases, and on-time delivery. So it’s no longer acceptable to miss the mark because your customers have options. So the way we choose to shop should fit into our lives, not the other way around.

Consumers have a lot of power. Over the last few years, we’ve seen this through the so-called “Retail Apocalypse” and the number of retailers that have lost customers and have had to close their doors.

Those that have chosen to innovate and adapt to increasing customer expectations have survived. For many, that has included rethinking fundamentals like the traditional supply chain.

The retailers today that are killing it are leveraging data and new technologies to create exceptional customer experiences. It starts with marketing and ends with logistics. Improving last-mile delivery—whether it’s making sure your shelves are stocked or that eCommerce orders are delivered on time—is the backbone of every great customer experience.

If you don’t have the right fulfillment network in place to support the delivery promise you’ve made, you’ll lose customers.

Shopping Has Evolved Rapidly!

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E-commerce has made last-mile logistics incredibly complex. Customers used to go to stores to get what they needed; your customer base only extended so many miles from the location itself. Last-mile logistics meant getting bulk inventory to a store and distributing items to shelves.

The way we choose to shop should fit into our lives, not the other way around.

Now, the inverse is true; demand is decentralized. The internet makes it possible for your customers to be anywhere—browsing your products at any time of the day. And, your competition is only a click away.

Another characteristic is quickly gaining traction in final mile delivery, and that’s visibility into how, when, and where our purchases are being delivered.

Why Final Mile and On-Time Delivery is a Priority

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E-commerce sales account for a larger portion of total retail sales, including automotive sales, gas stations, and groceries.

People are getting more comfortable ordering items online. Meanwhile, urban populations are increasing. Goods can come from anywhere, but most are headed to major metropolitan areas—furthering the complexity for final mile delivery.

But, the average consumer doesn’t care about the complexities of final mile delivery; they want their order. Today, buying something online and knowing when you can expect it to arrive, or being able to track it, is critical, especially as already-burgeoning cities continue to grow and people’s lives get busier.

Last Mile Logistics

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Getting your customers to the point of decision—the moment when they buy your products—requires a lot of investment. The cost of acquisition is five times higher than customer retention. So that can add up quickly.

Delighting first-time buyers, and turning them into loyal customers, has as much to do with your storefront or website, the products you sell, and ease of checkout as it does with your post-purchase logistics strategy. And, it creates a lot of opportunities to reinforce your brand as one they trust.

Your customers view the delivery experience as a part of your brand and reputation. How are you managing the post-purchase experience? Do your customers know what to expect once they buy something from you? Will their orders show up on time and in good condition? Is it easy to make returns?

You can further engage and communicate with your customers during the post-purchase phase. The experience you provide drives loyalty and retention.

Convenient Delivery Experience

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Today, because customers have so many options, loyalty comes down to the value you add to each purchase they make with you. Providing reliable, convenient delivery experiences gives your shoppers the confidence they need to keep coming back.

Your supply chain, and the technologies that support it, are the backbone of customer experience. If you want the last mile to be great, you need visibility up the supply chain. It isn’t enough to optimize for the last mile. Instead, it requires an integrated logistics infrastructure that gives you visibility and information from start to finish.

E-commerce deliveries have changed the dynamics from shipping a few large orders from storage locations to businesses and stores to shipping many smaller orders to multiple locations in a broader geographical scope.

There are many factors to consider when selecting the correct shipping partner for your final mile deliveries:

  • Centrally located warehouse close to major highways for ease of access. This is important as the warehouse will not only be closer to your clients, but it will also help shorten delivery times.
  • 24-Hour access. The warehouse and sorting facility should be accessible 24 hours a day; business never stops, and neither should your ability to move your products.
  • Handling of heavy and oversized shipments. This is a critical function for large commercial, industrial or residential shipments, whether air conditioning units for a strip mall, a CNC machine for an auto parts shop, or a 10-person hot tub for a homeowner.
  • Experienced staff. You need professional and expert people in handling high volumes of orders with a history of reliable, on-time deliveries.
  • Excellent communications and collaboration. This will ensure the smooth handling of your shipments and delivering the correct order to the right customer at the right time.

Final Mile Delivery with Zip Logistics!

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You don’t have to do it alone. Partnering with Zip Logistics can help you create the supply chain you need to make the post-purchase experience seamless—both for your customers and for your business

Final Mile Delivery or Last-Mile Delivery is the last link in the supply chain where a product or shipment makes it to its intended recipient, whether it’s at a business location, a retail store, a customer’s home, or a designated collection point like a lockbox used for e-commerce.

The products may be stored in a warehouse location, a distribution center, or even a retail store, and getting them to the client on time is crucial. The final mile delivery is the most expensive part of the supply chain. It can create a lot of headaches for 3PL companies, especially since there are more e-commerce deliveries now than ever before.

3PL companies are struggling with this new environment. This is where a reliable transportation partner like Zip Logistics can make a world of difference in keeping costs down, accelerating delivery speed, and increasing customer satisfaction.

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