Why Last Mile Delivery Is Essential To Retail Strategy

Thanks to Amazon and COVID-19, last mile delivery tracking has evolved FAST. Learn how to use it to compete in eCommerce retail.

In today’s e-commerce environment, delivery is constantly being redefined, and the same is true of customers’ final mile delivery expectations. With tech giants like Amazon leading the way in terms of last mile logistics and consistently raising the bar, all brands need to boost their performance and nail last mile delivery.

Why is last mile delivery important?

Offering real-time shipment visibility and accurate ETAs to your customers is one of the best ways to boost customer satisfaction. It may not be easy, but it is necessary. The cost of a poor last mile delivery experience can be hefty. Convey survey data found that 68% of customers will not return to a brand after just one poor delivery experience. 

What customers expect from last mile

So what exactly do customers want when it comes down to the last mile delivery process? Unsurprisingly, communication and real-time visibility are key, even if the news isn’t sunny.

When it comes to estimated delivery dates, confidence that you can deliver a package on time can be a huge boost. During the checkout process, 27% of consumers are more likely to convert if they’re given a delivery date, regardless of what that date is. 

And we know that customers, for the most part, won’t forgive mistakes (see 68% stat in the above section). Of course, how you handle a delivery exception can sometimes make all the difference. UrbanStems used advanced visibility tools to see all shipments that were predicted to miss their promised delivery date and contact the customer before they’re even aware of the issue. The company also found that customers weren’t as upset about their missed deliveries because they were informed in advance, creating brand loyalty and repeat business.

Smarter last mile delivery improves customer satisfaction

Thanks to the Amazon Effect, customer expectations when it comes to delivery experiences are sky high — and only getting higher. At the same time, because most of us have been stuck at home during the pandemic we’ve seen shipping delays become much more common, and exciting new services like same-day delivery take hold.

All of this means nailing the last mile isn’t just optional in today’s e-commerce environment — it’s a must. If you want to improve customer satisfaction and keep those customers around, leveraging Delivery Experience Management to provide real-time shipment visibility and last mile tracking to your customers is essential. 

Delivery Experience Management aims to increase supply chain visibility and transparency, enable real-time customer communication, and ultimately a superior delivery experience. A DEM system may include a range of features, including 

  • Shipment tracking. Branded tracking pages are an extremely useful tool for increasing supply chain visibility from the perspective of the customer, and clear, thoughtful visual design can go a long way.
  • Leverage APIs to create real-time visibility. Convey Extend’s tracking APIs can provide both you and your customers a clearer view of where your packages are on the delivery route and when they’ll be arriving. 
  • Delivery appointment scheduling. Convey’s platform helps to centralize communication between you, the customer, and delivery companies like FedEx and USPS, making flexible, customer-friendly Delivery Appointment Scheduling for white glove freight shipments a possibility. 

3 strategies retailers are using to improve the last mile delivery

1. Increasing supply chain visibility

Leveraging Convey EngageBodybuilding.com clarified the customer experience of last mile delivery by setting up automated shipping confirmation emails, developing branded tracking pages, and establishing in-transit delivery alerts via email and SMS. As a result of the brand’s proactive efforts, it reduced “where is my order” (WISMO) calls by 27%.

2. Personalizing the experience

Leveraging With the help of Convey Engage, UncommonGoods took communication to the next level. When a customer’s order ships, it now has instant access to a mobile-optimized, branded tracking page that offers personalized engagement — the customer can sign up for text message or email alerts, rate their experience, access promotional offers, or browse FAQs. All these offerings have helped UncommonGoods achieve a 6% CTR rate to its website from its new tracking pages.

3. Seeing the future

It’s critical to know what’s happening to a customer’s order before they do, and if you can know what’s about to happen to the order, it’s all the better. Taking advantage of Convey Discover, flower brand UrbanStems analyzed real-time reporting from across its delivery network to predict orders that were about to miss their delivery times and preemptively contact the customer. The streamlined process of customer service ended up netting UrbanStems a 75% reduction in resolution-related staff hours. 

To compete in today’s e-commerce market, go the extra (delivery) mile

The world of e-commerce is constantly evolving and at a seemingly more rapid pace recently. The competition grows stiffer by the day as an increasing number of brands adapt to the changing marketplace, including new delivery methods like BOPIS and same-day. One mistake can lose you a customer, and getting them back in a crowded field can be next to impossible. 

The surest way to keep your customers satisfied and to stay ahead of the competition is treating the post-purchase experience as the complex, variable-filled moment that it is. 

To learn more about which Convey products can help your brand succeed in the last mile, request a demo.