There is no greater pleasure than receiving new orders on a daily basis in eCommerce. It is a direct indication that you are taking the right steps for your business. Your customers are happy with your performance and you are able to engage them with your products. While receiving orders is a big relief for your business, what follows next is more challenging. Once you receive the order on your online store, you have to pick, pack and ship the products. The courier delivery agent picks the product from your pick up address. It is then taken to the hub for processing. The most crucial part of the order fulfilment is however, when the parcel is taken out for delivery. This is what popularly constitutes last mile delivery.
Last mile delivery is one of the biggest challenges in eCommerce. It is non-negotiable, since parcels have to be taken to the customer’s doorsteps. But, last mile delivery is also a space that can destroy your business. It can make or break your business at any point of time. And guess what? It wouldn’t even be for any fault of yours.
When it comes to online deliveries, courier companies have a huge role to play in the process. They are the ones who take your parcel to the customer’s doorsteps. Therefore, most businesses feel like they are handing over their business to the courier company. And it is true as well.
The Order Delivery Process
Let’s understand the order delivery princess in detail to get a fair idea of this-
- You receive an order on your online store
- Upon receiving the order, you begin to pick and pack the products. Finally you dispatch the items upon assigning a courier partner.
- The courier company takes your order to the hub. This is where it is sorted and assigned as per the delivery destination.
- The next part of the delivery process is the transit period. It is during this time that the order is shipped to the nearest delivery location. There might be stops or change of shipping transportation in these prices. But it entirely depends on the type of product, prices and more.
- Now, the product reaches the final delivery location. It is now further sorted based on the delivery pincode. Next, a delivery agent is assigned to the parcel.
- The final part of the process is where the package is taken by the delivery agent. Their job is to now deliver it to the customer’s doorstep. Usually the mode of transport is bike or scooty in this process. But, depending upon the nature of the package it could also be a truck, mini van etc.
From the above process it is quite understandable that a large part of the package handling is done by the courier company. Therefore, it is natural to feel that you are handing over your business to the courier company upon dispatch. But, you don’t need to worry here. With the right courier company all this can be put to rest. We’ll come to that later.
But, for now, it is imperative to understand that the logistics can have a huge impact on your business. Let’s help you understand last mile delivery in more details-
What is Last Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery is the final step of the journey of the customer’s package. The journey of the package actually begins when it is dispatched by the seller. The first step involves taking the package to the courier hib from the seller’s doorstep. This is known as the first mile delivery. When the package is taken from the delivery hub to the customer’s address, where it travels for one last time, it’s known as last mile delivery.
Last mile delivery is an important part of the entire order fulfillment process. It ends once the package arrives at the customer’s doorstep. So, from this you can already understand the importance of last mile delivery. Since it directly deals with handing over the parcel to the customer, it means it directly impacts customer satisfaction.
But, you might have many questions at this point. In an ordinary business as usual process, all of this might seem pretty natural. However, if you’ve been in eCommerce long enough, you’d realize the importance of last mile delivery. There are more than a few issues that crop up in last mile delivery. These issues can directly hamper your customer experience and make your business easily lose money.
So, what are these issues after all? And why is last mile delivery of importance in online business? Just stick with us while we take you through the problems of last mile delivery.
Why is Last Mile Delivery Important?
Last mile delivery has several implications in e Commerce. Statistics suggest that they account for as much as 53 percent of the overall shipping costs. To begin with, it has to do with customer’s rising expectations and competitiveness in the market. As an online customer you must have been excited upon receiving the message that your package is out for delivery. This message is sent on the day that the package is handed over to the courier delivery agent.
Delivery Address is Too Far
But even with that message being sent, it seems like the package is taking forever to be delivered. This is where problems in last mile delivery crop up. Depending upon the customer’s delivery address, there might be a number of stops in the way. In other words, the customer’s address if it lies in a rural location, might be quite far from the delivery hub. Therefore, the package might take a longer time to be delivered. This is much better in the cities. But, once you open your business to the large area, orders from rural areas are bound to come up.
In addition to this, traffic remains one of the most important hurdles in last mile delivery. Suppose that your entire process of transit is refrigerated. This means that you are shipping a perishable item. Therefore, you have to make sure that once it is out for delivery, it reaches the customer’s doorstep asap. This can occur in frozen foods.
Last mile delivery is undoubtedly expensive. For a courier company this means handling the package responsible until it reaches the customer’s doorstep. In addition to this, when the delivery address is too far from the location, the courier might only be able to deliver one or two packages in a day. This raises the overall costs. For a seller, this translates into higher shipping costs based on the delivery pincode.
As you already know that customers are becoming more and more drawn towards online shopping, this means that they are also looking for lucrative shopping options. Free and fast delivery are one of these offers. This entices the customer to make a purchase. In case the customer is not able to receive these options from your business, they look for offers from your competitors. Therefore, the costs of last mile delivery have to be borne by the seller.
Now imagine a situation where the customer is waiting for the parcel. What if they receive the parcel in a damaged state? The delivery executive arrives with the parcel but it is present in a damaged condition. The outer packaging is shattered, any fragile item is broken, appliances have dent and more. Who will the customer blame in this situation?
The answer is simple- it is the business! The customer placed an order on your online store. And therefore, it becomes your responsibility to deliver these in a good condition to the customer. This is what makes last mile delivery more important than ever.
Steps to Improve Your Last Mile Delivery
Track Your Orders
The first and most important step in ensuring quality in last mile delivery is tracking your orders. Make sure you track your orders at every step of the way. Provide a tracking link to the customer as well. When you track your orders once they are dispatched you know about their whereabouts. Therefore, you know whether your package is being delivered on time. Similarly, you can highlight any issues that come up in the process to the courier company.
Let Customers Choose Delivery Windows
The goal of the last mile delivery is to effectively hand over your parcel to the customer. Many times last mile delivery fails because the parcel is not delivered to the customer due to many reasons. It might be because the customer is not available or they didn’t expect the order this early. To avoid such confusions, let your customer choose the delivery window by themselves.
No matter what, make it a golden rule to communicate with your customers. Be it a small detail about the package, send them notifications for the same. This keeps your customers informed about the package. Moreover, they get to know that their package is on the way. Even if you are facing any hurdles with the traffic or finding the delivery location, send them prompts about the same. It establishes transparency and helps customers trust your business.
Use a Reliable Shipping Provider
Make sure you use a reliable courier provider when you’re shipping a parcel. This ensures that your package is delivered effectively and in a promising manner. Moreover, the costs of last mile delivery also come with a logistics platform such as Dash101.
Improving last mile delivery can seem like a real hassle. But, this is when you don’t have the right courier partner besides you. Instead of relying on a single courier company, you can ship with multiple courier partners from a single roof. Dash101 is India’s best logistics platform that helps you ship with 8+ courier partners. It maximizes your reach to 26000+ pin codes in India with quality delivery. You can find all renowned delivery partners on the platform like FedEx, DTDC, Xpressbees and more. The best part is that with Dash101 you are guaranteed a delivery experience at shipping rates starting Rs 23/500 gms. Present the best foot in last mile delivery with Dash101!
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