Going by a Statista report, E-commerce sales are expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021.
This underscores the role of a final mile delivery service to a business.
Customer’s expectations are at an all-time high. They expect great quality goods and very short delivery time as well.
What Is Last Mile Delivery Service?
Last mile delivery or last mile distribution is the transport of goods from the transportation hub to the final destination.
The final destination is typically a customer’s private residence. Some companies go the extra mile and help customers unpack, or place items in different parts of the house.
The focus of this service is to get the items to the purchaser within the shortest time possible.
The changes and growth of multichannel retailing have also seen these services grow and expand to keep up with the market demands.
Why Should You Partner with a Final Mile Delivery Service?
Any business will benefit from a reliable delivery partner. Here are a few reasons to consider the service.
1. To Improve Efficiency
A delivery company has storage for both long and short term needs lessening your storage needs.
Further, this being their core business, they are able to do their scheduling to ensure all deliveries are done on time.
Again, they take up the role of staffing and handle the training needs for drivers and logisticians.
2. It’s Cost Effective
Most last mile distribution services handle deliveries in bulk and are able to plan their routes around the day’s drop-offs.
If you had to do the deliveries yourself, it becomes cumbersome and less cost effective.
It’s not uncommon to see huge trucks pulling up with two or three small packages on board.
This takes a lot of manpower and time to go across town for one or two deliveries, which is not cost effective in itself.
Hiring a delivery firm takes away this problem, along with last mile logistics issues from your business and allows you to focus on our core business.
Also, doing deliveries in-house mean hiring drivers and logisticians as well as purchasing delivery trucks and their subsequent service and maintenance costs.
3. It Can Give You a Competitive Edge
According to a 2015 study, 66% of shoppers bought goods from one retailer over others because they considered the delivery services offered to be more appealing.
As products become more similar in term of quality, quantity, and packaging, delivery can be a differentiator for your business.
This further contributes to customer experience which is a key determinant in customer retention, and in turn, revenue.
4. Reduce Damaged Items
If your business gets occasional complaints of items arriving with some damage, a few factors could be to blame.
Key among them, incorrect handling while in transit.
Last mile delivery companies have adequately skilled personnel who take extra caution during the entire transportation process.
While you might pay slightly more for this service than for regular delivery companies, you are assured of customers receiving their goods in good condition.
This is great for your business reputation.
5. Product Confirmation
Some last mile delivery companies will go the extra mile for your clients. At Need It Now Delivers, for example, we do not just hand over a package and request for a signature.
We value the satisfaction of our customers. Therefore, we wait for the recipient of the package to open and confirm that their delivery is in order before we leave.
Similarly, and more so for bulkier items, we can assist the recipient to place their package in a specific room in their house as well.
How to Find the Best Last Mile Shipping Company for Your Business
From the above, it’s clear that’s it’s imperative for you to partner with the last mile delivery company.
The next step is picking a company that will compliment your business needs.
Here is how to go about it.
Evaluate the company’s reputation
Getting some background information will give you an idea of a company’s reputation.
This should include looking at its years of operation and other companies it has worked with.
Generally, go for a company with a few solid years in the industry. This speaks to its level of experience and business astuteness.
Similarly, a quick internet search can show you how customers have reviewed the delivery company and its personnel.
This will again give tell you if a company is reputable or not.
Determine Their Availability
The company’s availability should align with your delivery requirements.
Say for example your customers are only home in the evenings or on weekends, can your delivery company adapt to this pattern?
If they answer no to this question, then you need to re-evaluate.
Some company policies have extra charges for certain hours or for peak seasons.
Find out if this is the case and what the extra costs are to allow you to evaluate how this will affect your business.
Check out Their Tracking systems
Tracking systems have come a long way and what is available in the market today is much more accurate.
Find out what the company’s tracking systems are and their levels of accuracy.
Technology also aids in better route planning, sound loading, and unloading equipment as well as weather and traffic patterns.
Today, miss-estimating delivery times can lead to backlash on social media, which can have disastrous consequences to your business’s reputation. It can also impact your sales.
The Future of Last Mile Logistics
Last mile shipping is only going to get bigger and more sophisticated as e-commerce grows.
While it is key in cutting costs and reducing business functions, more so for startup companies, its key advantage lies in its role in customer experience.
With retailers competing for the same pool of customers, the experience your customers get from you is a major determinant of whether they will make another purchase from you or not.
The challenge for delivery companies will then lie in trying to keep their costs low amid rising transportation costs.
All in all, for your business right now, the focus still remains to get goods out safely and speedily.
Get the Right Partner
Are you looking for the right final mile delivery partner? Contact us today and we’ll help you take your business to the next level.