What Is Last Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery is a crucial part of the logistics cycle. It refers to the final movement of products from distribution centers to customers’ doorsteps. This is a key position in the expanding Indian e-commerce sector that aims to enhance business revenues. It also satisfies young customers who increasingly prefer online shopping. As of 2018, over 50% of the e-retail deliveries in the country are for tier 1 and 2 cities, towns, and even rural areas. This poses a great challenge to the e-commerce sector in the following areas:
Making on-time deliveries
Managing the workforce to cover far-reaching areas
Coordinating with the workforce in real time
Processing customer returns quickly to ensure satisfaction
Types of Last Mile Delivery
For timely delivery of goods ordered by customers, regardless of their location, e-retailers can choose to:
Self-manage last mile delivery by using their own fleet of delivery vehicles and personnel
Outsource last mile delivery by utilizing the services of a third-party logistics provider
Self-managed last mile delivery ensures quality of service, helps increase revenues, and enables retailers to personally reach out to customers. Because Indian e-retailers must make a significant share of their deliveries to places outside the metro areas, managing shipments and a delivery workforce can be tedious. It is also cost-intensive and can reduce focus on business expansion.
Outsourcing last mile delivery provides e-retailers with the benefits of a dedicated logistics service provider that handles all aspects of package delivery. It also offers multiple delivery options, has quick and inexpensive shipments, and results in enhanced customer satisfaction. Outsourced last mile delivery allows companies to focus more on acquiring and retaining customers for increased productivity. However, retailers can risk foregoing control of their customer experience, which may affect their brand position in the market.
To ensure quality last mile delivery, e-retailers can use the QB inventory management app. This app provides a quick overview of items on order to enable on-time shipment. They can also use CRM app integration to collect and organize actionable customer data and enhance satisfaction.
Last mile delivery is a vital lever for the growing Indian e-commerce sector which looks to maximize customer satisfaction. E-retailers can choose to self-manage or outsource last mile delivery depending on their business strategy.