With more and more businesses going online, efficient last-mile delivery has become a high priority for sellers. Customers demand one-day delivery or even same-day delivery at times, and keeping up with these demands is challenging. Making sure that you can deliver your shipments on the very first attempt is even more challenging. According to research, the first attempt to deliver to a customer's home address has a failure rate of 10 to 40%. But that also means your cost of fulfilling the order goes on increasing. Last-mile delivery is considered the least efficient link in the entire retail supply chain, being the costliest of all the processes involved. Last-mile delivery accounts for nearly 41% of the total cost involved in the retail supply chain, says a Capgemini research.
So unless you are able to deliver on the first attempt, you keep adding to that cost with each failed attempt. Timely delivery is also important for several other reasons. Apart from costs, your business's reputation also depends on the time you take to deliver your orders. Customers may not buy again from a retailer that is unable to deliver on the same day or on the promised date. So, there is a lot at stake here.
You can improve your first attempt deliveries, however, with a little planning. Here are a few tips on what you should do to improve first-time success in last-mile delivery.
The time window for last-mile deliveries plays a very critical role in ensuring success. You may attempt delivering a product faster, but what if the customer isn't available at that time? Though you put in the effort, it will still be your failure to deliver in the first attempt. It would be far more convenient to let customers select their delivery window. Offering customers the option to choose between a number of delivery slots before placing an order gives them the freedom to pick a time when somebody is home to receive it.
Customers should also be given the choice to change their delivery window until the order is out for delivery. So say, a customer picked a delivery time, but due to some unforeseen issue, they can't be home at that time. Letting them change the time window will ensure that your delivery personnel doesn't return with a failed delivery again.
This will require an omnichannel approach, where delivery windows are not just offered at the point of purchase but on other channels too, so customers can modify any time before the delivery date. This might need a little more effort on the part of the delivery team, staying updated with customer requests and continuously communicating the status of the order to the customer. But it will ensure that your deliveries are successful the very first time. Having a retail logistics software that offers these functionalities can be a big help.
Another important consideration in first attempt delivery success is route optimization. If your route planning is not efficient, you end up delaying your orders as well as losing productivity. The more time your delivery personnel spends stuck in traffic due to incorrect delivery route planning, the more your delivery costs rise.
Traffic consideration and prediction during delivery route planning can help you improve your first attempt deliveries. If you spend too much time in traffic or taking a longer route, customers may not keep waiting for the order beyond the time window they chose. Choosing the optimum route ensures that you reach exactly within the customer's preferred time window and lowers the chances of missing the delivery.
Most last-mile deliveries fail because the driver gets the location wrong. There is enough scope for such errors if your entire delivery process is not monitored well enough. Chances of a mix-up or getting the apartment number wrong or typos are possible, all of which can lead to incorrect delivery addresses and, eventually, failed deliveries.
There can be nothing more damaging to a business's reputation than missing a delivery because they got the customer's address wrong. Or worse still, misdelivering the package at a wrong address and marking it delivered, only to receive customer complaints later.
Make sure that the delivery location you record is accurate to prevent first attempt failures. Giving customers the option to pin their exact location on a map at the time of placing the order can be more convenient for everyone. A retail logistics software should have this feature essentially.
First attempt delivery success requires some diligent planning. The last-mile problems in logistics are going on scaling with the rising numbers of e-commerce platforms. To ensure your place amid the competition, efficient first attempt delivery using these few tips is imperative. Addressing the challenges and improving last-mile delivery with efficient logistics solutions will determine your success in the years ahead. For more tips on improving first attempt delivery, get in touch with our experts at Mojro today.