The final mile (also called the last mile) refers to the last stretch of delivery when a product actually heads to a customer’s address.
While rarely literally a mile, it is a useful term when discussing how long it takes a product to get to a customer once it is in place and ready. This arguably makes the final mile delivery one of the most critical parts of a supply chain, since all delays translate directly to the customer.
Today we’re here to offer some tips to help make sure your final mile deliveries go as smoothly as they can. This in turn will help keep your online customers happy and the profits rolling in! Read on for more.
Why You Need to Care About Final Mile Delivery
For better or worse, customers today expect quick delivery. Perhaps in part thanks to the rise of supergiants like Amazon, as much as 48% of customers expect a product to be delivered within 2-3 days.
This is a big change from even a few years ago. For example, in 2016, shoppers expected a wait of about 5 days. However, things have quickly evolved since then and they now want products fast.
Service like that isn’t easy for every company to keep up with. Luckily there are companies like ours that can help. If you’re not confident you can meet consumer demands, check with us at Need It Now Delivers to help figure out how to meet modern shipping needs.
Benefits of a Quality Final Mile
Most experts agree that a quality final mile is critical to customer satisfaction. The reality is that on-time delivery is undeniably a priority for most customers, with some surveys saying as many as 97% of customers felt it to be important.
While that may put a lot of stress on your business, it also means the ability to deliver fast and reliably can garner a lot of love from customers. If you’re able to deliver what you say you will, when you say it will arrive, people can take notice.
Perfecting your final mile specifically means any delays that do happen don’t necessarily need to affect your customers either. If you can secure a solid final mile that is logistically adaptable to change, you may even be able to absorb delays further up the chain by rushing products out in the final stretch of delivery.
This is important because, as we touched on, delays during your final mile often can’t be made up for. If a product is delayed on the way to the customer, there isn’t really enough time or leeway to hurry the process so it makes it to their home.
The conclusion to come to is that while a solid delivery chain is important generally speaking, your final mile specifically should take top priority. But how does one perfect their final mile?
Final Mile Delivery Tips
Admittedly, knowing your final mile is important doesn’t magically translate into anything actionable. Luckily we’ve got you covered on that front too. Below are a few quick tips to help make sure your final mile is solid and your customers receive their packages right on schedule:
Tip 1: Form a Reliable Chain
This one is pretty simple and doesn’t translate purely to a strong final mile. The reality is that a supply/delivery chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So choose strong links!
Make sure you and your suppliers’ ship on time and the warehouses your products go through are able to deliver products on time and undamaged. Choose reliable companies like ours to ensure you can trust delivery to be efficient, quick, and without error.
Tip 2: Correct Mistakes Quickly
If a product being delivered is delayed for any reason, be it damage, a flooded warehouse, or lost address, your company should race to fix the mistake. As a general rule, you should consider getting your product to a customer on time essential.
Even a minor delay in delivery could potentially lose a customer. The longer your delay, the less reliable you will seem.
A rushed delivery may be expensive if you don’t translate the cost to your customer (which you should never do for delays), but it can still be worth it to get the product to them on time. If they buy even one more product from you when a delay would have lost that sale, the extra cost was probably worth it.
Tip 3: Be Realistic
Your company isn’t Amazon, so don’t pretend to be. Your production and shipping capabilities are going to be limited by what resources you do and don’t have.
Fast shipping is absolutely possible but becomes more difficult the more products you have to ship quickly. While offering fast shipping to customers is certainly a positive, it only makes sense if you can actually deliver on that promise.
If you have the choice between unreliably getting products to customers within two days or reliably in five, then choose the reliable option. What many smaller companies do is offer fast shipping on purchases over a certain cost or size.
This helps cut down on the volume of products you have to push your logistical chain to deliver fast. Since you are delivering quickly specifically for high volume sales, it also helps to justify any potential extra costs associated with quickly shipping products.
Aim For Consistency and Reliability
If you really want your company to succeed, you need to be consistent and reliable. This applies to basically all aspects of business, your final mile included.
If you’re interested in a shipping solution that can help you meet the modern customer’s demands, we hope you’ll consider Need It Now Delivery. Contact us today and we can help discuss what options we offer that will best fit your organization’s needs!