With e-commerce rapidly evolving , retailers are beginning to feel the pressure to offer ’the best’ delivery option for customers. If Elon Musk can send a sports car into space playing ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie on repeat, surely it’s plausible that retailers can offer their customers delivery how and when they want. According to a report done by Barclays, 30% of retailers would use Click & Collect as their preferred delivery option, yet less than 20% of consumers chose this service in the past 12 months.
A study explored the utilitarian shopper and what tactics retailers could use to ensure the sale is processed. Consumers with a utilitarian view were mainly concerned with purchasing products quickly and efficiently and reducing sources of irritation during their e-commerce journey. Utilitarian shoppers only purchase items they need, they do not spend time browsing which item they want or browsing through items they may want, they simply purchase what they need. The checkout process for these types of shoppers should be as simple as possible. Often offering click and collect can add to the source of irritation for many shoppers, particularly when there is a charge for this, or it takes 3-5 working days to reach the store.
Transparency is a large factor in a consumer’s e-commerce experience, offering customers a time slot in which the package will be delivered by, or offering same-day trackable delivery ensures retailers lessen the sources of irritation. Many retailers offer tracking on packages within the 3 to 5 days, but often these do live up to customer’s expectations. The customer must click on a link that will take them to a shipping website, where they must copy and paste the tracking number into the new site. Once they have reached this website, they are often met with the message “This package contains no scans.”, which for many customers defeats the purpose of offering the option to track a package. These experiences will often damage a consumer’s relationship to a brand, they may search for alternative options in the future when shopping online, particularly if another store offers faster and more transparent delivery options to their customers.
Although last mile can seem like a large cost for many retailers, there are many companies who specialize in last-mile logistics *Cough WeBringg Cough* and can offer retailers an affordable fee for deliveries close to their store. In the same report by Barclays, over 70% of customers chose the option to have their deliveries delivered by courier, with 70% believing couriers should also deliver on Sundays, when most people are at home to accept their package. Almost 45% of consumers said they would order online more often if delivery services were improved to suit their busy lifestyles.
Integrating systems is often the best option to ensure retailers’ meet their customer’s demands and it allows them to cope with logistical complexities of newer delivery systems. Outsourcing their needs to external companies who specialize in the last-mile logistic market can take the pressure from retailers and allows them to focus on their customer’s e-commerce experience.
Pressure is placed on restaurants to offer digital ordering and delivery:
According to NPS, half of all dinners bought from restaurants are eaten at home, with figures expected to grow in 2018. Bonnie Riggs, NPD said, “the most popular place to eat out this year will be our home.”
Speed and efficiency are large factors in this shift in human behaviour. Not everyone has time to sit down at a restaurant and eat, and technologies have made it possible for people to order food with the click of a finger. Digital ordering has seen rapid growth in the past five years, according to NPR, the most recent data shows an increment from 33 percent to 53 percent.
With price still at the forefront of customers’ decisions, restaurants are under pressure to offer digital ordering and delivery options to customers at a good price point. For some restaurants, online ordering and delivery may not seem like an easy option, in fact, the process can seem quite daunting, time-consuming and costly. For restaurants who do not wish to source their own fleet of drivers, they are urged to search for a third party service who can help them to meet customers’ demands.
Crowdsourcing drivers for restaurant deliveries is often the answer to solving the delivery problem. Perhaps the highest importance to restaurants, owning a flexible fleet allows the company to offer customers a delivery service that fixed-fleet carriers traditionally find too expensive to provide. It also means drivers are always at hand, so deliveries may be done at any time of the day.
The amount of food sold by restaurants is not set to increase, but rather the amount of home deliveries sold. This means there is more pressure than ever for restaurants to offer digital ordering and home delivery.
Many companies now offer the technologies and platforms for restaurants specifically for home delivery, with a rise in companies offering driver management for restaurants. If the figures continue to increase, digital ordering will become a must-have for most.
Startups are bringing retailers a ray of hope in improving the last mile problem.
The last mile often poses the most problems for many retailers. There are many examples of this, if the customer is not at home at the time of the delivery it exposes the goods to theft, damage and loss. When goods are not delivered, it can be costly and time consuming for all parties involved. With a large increase of online orders, instances such as these will continue to increase and become more of a threat to company profit.
In logistical terms, this final struggle for delivery is known as the ‘last mile problem.’ Considering the extent of online e-commerce growth, opportunities have arisen for budding start-ups to change the game when it comes to technology and driver management. The growing number of startups focusing on this issue brings a ray of hope to many retailers worldwide.
Last mile delivery startups are focusing on creating a value ecosystem, becoming the crucial link to improve logistical cost and time efficiency. For many retailers, in-sourcing last-mile delivery can be expensive, it is difficult to forecast the amount of delivery drivers needed to fulfill consumers’ expectations in a cost effective manner. Last mile delivery startups are using revolutionary technologies and processes to maximize company profit and offer high class customer service.
Crowdsourcing is an efficient process in which many startups are using. Drivers are given access to an ‘app’ in which they can choose when and where they want to work. When they are ‘on the clock’ and active, they will be directed to a location near them in which they can pick-up a package and deliver it within a local radius. This ensures all packages are safely transported in an extremely efficient manner. Crowdsourcing can also ensure packages are delivered one by one, meaning goods will not be stacked in a large truck with little care for their handling.
Startup companies are also looking at bettering the technology and tracking of individual packages. With these ground breaking breakthroughs in technology customers will know exactly when and where their package will be delivered. These processes decrease the ‘last mile problem’ substantially, meaning overall e-commerce companies will be less likely to lose millions on lost and broken packages each year. Thus, improving the logistics ecosystem worldwide.
The logistics ecosystem is poised for change as budding entrepreneurs are now focusing on creating and bettering technologies that will allow retailers to outsource their last mile deliveries. These technologies will ensure customers receive high class customer service, with the option to track their deliveries in real time.
The global e-commerce revolution continues to expand to unimaginable figures. According to Forrester, e-commerce grew by 14% in 2017 and the retail market is predicted to continue to soar in Europe, The UK, America and Asia. With figures continuing to rise,there is the looming question, ‘How will retailers continue to meet customers’ demands?’ Last-mile logistics are often the most expensive and time-consuming part of a package’s delivery. Inconsistencies continue to arise with lost packages, or packages left outside a customers’ house. Due to these inconsistencies, there is a demand for GPS tracking on each delivery. Today, very few delivery companies offer the technology that allows customers to track their orders in real-time.
As part of a wider effort to solve the looming last-mile problem, companies are beginning to seek a solution through the use of robots. Amazon’s patent application was published with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and it refers to “autonomous ground vehicle” that can carry items from a delivery truck to a person’s front door, or even bring them into the customers’ home. The design also describes a robot that can open garage doors and front doors. This idea may not sit well with many individuals but should continue to grab headlines for the near future. How close is the e-commerce world to a world in which robots drive alongside cars in traffic and have the keys to unlock the door to people’s homes after climbing a set of porch stairs? This technology warrants a huge amount of time and effort and it seems we are no closer to having robots go the last mile without a human helper watching each move.
Another effort to solve the last-mile problem is the use of drones to deliver packages quickly. Digital Trends recently reported that drone deliveries had begun in Shangai, in an effort to solve the last-mile problem. However, we are not close to seeing this trend in Ireland due to various issues. It is unlikely important deliveries will be made using drones as the loss or damage to an item would be too great. Clearance is needed for each flight from the Irish Aviation Authority, and to complete a very small drone delivery will require clearance weeks in advance. This technology has yet to be perfected and predictions are it will be a long time before Ireland will see this on the cards.
On paper, it seems the use of robotic technology is the way forward for the last-mile problem. In reality, these technologies need to be tried tested and tried again before trusting robots to handle people’s items. It may be cost effective and time saving for retailers to use robotics in the long term future.
Courier services are dated back to ancient history, with men delivering packages and messages on foot and horseback. The use of robotics may seem revolutionary, but what does it mean for couriers within the last-mile industry? People have been receiving packages from humans for thousands of years and as such, they value human to human contact in the last-mile logistic industry.
See our previous blog ‘How Retailers Can Optimize Their Delivery Services’ here.
David Byrne, from Phoenix Coaching and Consultancy will be holding a workshop with WeBringg.
At WeBringg, we have recently opened up a number of new practices to support wellness at work such as yoga and healthy meals delivered. At the core of every good employee is a great and healthy workplace environment. With the right education, skills, tools and social support, people change behaviours. These practices are proven to support more productive work. In order for us to increase motivation within the workplace, we will be having a workshop with David Byrne, from Phoenix Coaching and Consultancy on Monday, May 21st. David Byrne is an expert in leading coaching sessions and workshops. Phoenix Coaching and Consultancy hands on approach guarantees a profoundly positive effect on those who take part. Needless to say, we are excited to take part in this workshop and ensure every employee working with WeBringg can point their skills and tools in the right direction, and leave feeling more motivated than ever. ““We are so excited to have David Byrne in the office on Monday. I can’t wait for the team to experience his pzazz.” said Karl Coombes, COO at WeBringg.
Phoenix Coaching and Consultancy specialize in automotive coaching. They are experienced in partnering with clients to deliver measurable results. Their core values are people, process, productivity, performance and profit. David Byrne is highly rated and we very much look forward to his presence in the WeBringg office.
You can check out their website here.
What does the term last-mile mean?
The last mile is a metaphor used to describe the movement of goods from a fulfillment centre to their final destination. In other terms, it’s the last part of a product’s journey before it arrives at your customer’s door. According to the New York Times, Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research refers to the last mile as “the moment that matters.” She goes on to say,“Once you can own the moment that matters, you build a loyal customer base.”
For most consumers in Ireland, we spend a subordinate amount of time counting and estimating when a package will be delivered, particularly when ordering a gift or present that is needed within a certain time-frame. You are left staring at the computer screen, wondering whether to press that ‘click to pay’ button, what if the present doesn’t arrive in time? How many days from now is 3-5 working days if the weekend is coming up? What address should you order it to? you’re not in work next Thursday and the party is on Friday, you quickly change your mind and press that ‘x’ button the top right hand of your screen and start planning a day you can go to a busy shop to buy an item similar even it will cost you more, because it would be embarrassing to show up without the present.
E-commerce continues to grow at a rapid pace. Though the ecommerce industry has matured rapidly, one surprising area of neglect is the delivery process. Retailers should understand that often stores are closer to consumers than many of their warehouses. For stores on a main street, the last mile is now the first mile for many consumers. If you can fulfill a customer’s order direct from the location of your store, you can eliminate many issues customer’s experience from traditional delivery and ensure your customer’s journey with your brand is seamless.
Consumers want instant gratification, their time is valuable. If you can offer them something your competitor cannot it will put you a step above the rest. Do you want to build the foundation for a customer that returns to your brand or product time and time again? WeBringg offers delivery within 90 minutes and your customer can track it from your store to their door. Retailers should understand that often stores are closer to consumers than many of their warehouses. They can judge exactly where they will be, and know they will not need to wait around for hours, forget days. WeBringg has a team of crowd-sourced drivers that have gone through the necessary backchecks to ensure your product is delivered with care. Your customer’s can rest assured knowing their product is in good hands. Your customer can track their order in real-time through a link sent to them through SMS, so they know exactly where their driver is and they know exactly where they will need to be in the given time-frame.
The future of delivery is here. Meet your customers’ demands and ensure every moment of their purchase is a moment that matters.