A version of this article first appeared in Last Mile Logistics on 5/16/2019
In fulfillment, the last mile of delivery is often the most important. However, last-mile logistics are also the most challenging, costly, and technologically flawed piece of the delivery process.
At the same time, more and more consumers are looking to e-commerce to shop. Trends predict more home deliveries in the future, indicating this common pain point isn’t going anywhere. To keep up with growing consumer expectations, the shipping and logistics sector needs to improve its last-mile delivery strategy.
Not only do last-mile delivery costs make up a substantial portion of the total freight, but most delivery networks aren’t built to handle the increased customer demand for door-to-door white glove service. Accompanying the growth of widespread e-commerce usage, customers now make purchases with the expectation that their shipping experience will be quick and cheap, with regular updates.
ARTA enables businesses of all kinds to move their inventory with ease and impress customers worldwide. We’ve also turned our last-mile delivery fulfillment into a strength, not a setback.
Leverage your last-mile delivery solutions & set yourself apart
What many sellers and e-tailers don’t realize is that the last mile can and should be used to their advantage. This is especially true regarding non-conveyable goods, like one-of-a-kind, rare, and precious items.
When it comes to shipping specialty items, such as artworks, antiques, and furniture, customers often need specialized services as part of the shipping process, like placement, installation, or debris disposal.
The last mile becomes even more vital in cases like these, because, whether for a gallery, auction house, museum, etc., the last mile is the last touchpoint for the end client.
These services leave a final and lasting impression on the customer’s overall experience with the seller. The last mile of delivery provides a unique opportunity to shine.
Benefits and opportunities to last mile fulfillment
A few simple steps can ensure the Last Mile is the best mile for sellers, e-tailers, and e-commerce sites:
Widen the Gap.
Offer a wide range of services to satisfy the client. This may include custom crate fabrication, specialized installation, assembly, placement, debris removal, and managing customs formalities, among others.
Cost is key.
Meeting the expected level of service through professionalism, safety, and dedication is fundamental for the longevity of the relationship with the customer. The catch is to be able to provide it in a cost-effective manner.
Know your customers.
Managing consumers’ expectations has always been one of the challenges of the logistics sector. Understanding consumer demand and being ready to adapt as a company is critical in providing a positive last-mile experience as a merchant.
Leverage innovations in technology to streamline and automate processes. Modern technology helps us to understand consumers to better serve clients.
Infusing technology can lead to clearer buyer-seller communication, a responsive and personalized client experience, and a more streamlined supply chain. Technology can help specialized carriers empower their sellers to meet lofty consumer expectations.
Anticipate the next mile.
The last mile emphasizes the customer’s vision of the company. A buyer’s point of contact with a business’ Last Mile agent becomes representative of the company as a whole. This can set off a loyalty loop, prompting them to continue using the same company in the future.
Reframing your approach to last mile logistics
The key to making the Last Mile a strength and not a setback is twofold:
- Provide highly professional in-person customer experiences, including friendly faces, trustworthy personnel, knowledgeable providers, and efficient service.
- Utilizing intuitive, strategic technology to understand what services clients expect so you can plan ahead. This can help you provide strong communication and become a reliable source for logistics in the global supply chain.
Investing in the Last Mile through technology and the right partnerships with providers is becoming increasingly essential. Given the changing nature of consumer buying patterns and the increase in global trade, last-mile logistics should a high priority in planning and growth strategies.
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