With the universal adoption of smartphones, the restrictions on in-person shopping during the pandemic, and the technology savvy consumer, e-commerce is experiencing an unprecedented boom over the last two years. However, opportunity also has its challenges: the increase in online shopping, coupled with a long-standing driver shortage due to recruitment challenges, is causing congestion and delays in the supply chain. Navigating this environment is a difficult feat, especially at a time when customer expectations are rapidly rising. Though speed of delivery is often considered the gold standard for achieving customer satisfaction, especially with the uptick in next-day final mile delivery options, recent findings show that certainty of delivery now has the edge over speed.
So, what does this mean for businesses and retailers? In what ways must they adapt to evolving demands? Consumers want assurance that their packages will be delivered within a specific timeframe, even if it takes incrementally longer. A final mile logistics partner like USPack goes beyond what large parcel companies are capable of—with customized and tech-based solutions to create delivery experiences that meet customers’ expectations.
Make it Clear: Implement Complete Last Mile Visibility
Consumers want to feel in control, and one of the best ways to do that is to offer full transparency when it comes to delivery. Offering customers live updates on the location of their delivery in real-time instills trust in your business and drives loyalty. From an ROI perspective, live updates help cut down on the need for customers to call a business’s customer support team to see when their delivery will arrive. And last, end-to-end transparency in the final mile helps fleet managers, dispatchers, drivers, and customers stay on the same page—avoiding situations where dispatchers and customer service representatives provide conflicting information to the customer.
On the inside, complete visibility allows operations to run more smoothly. Through the automation of manual procedures, like paperwork and driver check-ins, there’s a greater focus on maximizing daily capacity. The ability to track drivers in real-time helps fleet managers and dispatchers make informed decisions and necessary adjustments when unexpected situations arise, when a route needs to be optimized, or when a customer’s needs change.
(Photo: USPack’s ADDI Portal, a proprietary data dashboard for clients, delivers real-time final mile performance insights to operations teams to communicate with their end customers.)
Champion Convenience: Allow Customers to Select Their Delivery Window
Offering the ability to choose a delivery window benefits both the customer and the company. Time slot selection personalizes the overall buying experience. Delivering an order within a customer’s preferred window makes them feel more valued and catered to. According to an Oracle customer survey, 86% of consumers would like the ability to choose a delivery window while they are placing their order.
Implementing a time-slot delivery option also reduces the number of failed or missed deliveries, boosting a company’s bottom line. According to a survey by Voxware, 30% of consumers are much less likely to purchase from an online retailer that previously failed to deliver an item on time. That’s a one-in-three customer loyalty loss – a steep penalty. Along with minimizing the risk of losing customers, brands that provide delivery window selection also reduce the incremental costs involved in storing, shipping, and re-delivering parcels.
Win on All Sides: Provide Delivery Subscription Options
Subscription services have jumped in popularity since the pandemic and bring certainty to all sides of the supply chain—from company, to carrier, to customer. As a manufacturer or retailer, subscription services lower customer acquisition cost and, by prompting recurring spend, ensure a more predictable revenue stream. From the customer’s side, subscription services offer convenience, cost savings, and reliability. From the carrier’s perspective, subscription models allow the last mile to be more easily optimized. For example, with the additional visibility that subscription models offer, repeat visits to the same location to deliver the same parcel can be avoided, and routes can be more efficiently planned.
Along with catering to increased demand, the supply chain is also under pressure to address its environmental impact and develop a more sustainable system. Not only do subscription models promote certainty and reduce delivery costs, optimizing the supply chain helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Significant cost savings and predictable revenue, coupled with the environmental benefits, have prompted some companies to provide subscription options in which three months’ worth of product is delivered at once.
Gain Last Mile Delivery Certainty with USPack
As customer expectations for deliveries continue to evolve, companies need to find creative solutions, which often means harnessing the power of technology. When presented with speed versus certainty, customers will often opt for a little less speed and a lot more certainty. USPack has the technology you need to meet consumer demands, optimize your bottom line, and bring certainty back into the final mile.