Viewpoint: The importance of a holistic approach to last mile delivery

This review was written by Arshaad Mirza, co-founder of Delivery Solutions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Modern Shipper or its affiliates.

The retail landscape is rapidly changing due to the consumer’s desire for speed and instant gratification. Specifically, last mile delivery has evolved as a result of the paradigm shift caused by food delivery and Amazon Prime, which has increased people’s perception of delivery. For example, a person can have their meal ordered and delivered to them in 45 minutes. Similarly, most purchases on Amazon are delivered the same or next day. Customers, unsurprisingly, have reacted positively to this level of instant gratification and want it to be applied across all retail sectors for the brands they interact with. This need for an optimized last-mile delivery model is now consumer-centric and has extended to all touchpoints for retailers.

Experts predict that retailers will invest and implement inventory optimization platforms and last mile orchestration to meet this demand while coping with the challenges of the current supply chain crisis and production delays. of products. However, most companies begin their journey by taking a monocular approach to this orchestration, focusing only on a single vendor, which results in a small subset of the last mile fulfillment spectrum (pickup, delivery, dispatch from the store, parcel lockers, etc.). This leads to disconnects in retail operations and the inability to provide customers with a wide range of fulfillment choices and post-purchase options across a retailer’s product aisle. .

A holistic approach to last mile delivery is essential as it emphasizes the customer experience while streamlining and bringing efficiency to the entire process to balance the unit economics of the distribution channel. This holistic orchestrated delivery approach gives retailers insight into all aspects of their digital consumer interaction, such as inventory, last mile fulfillment, post-purchase experience, and more, enabling customer service exceptional based on data. Below are three reasons why this approach is necessary for last mile delivery.

Machine learning capabilities: Retailers are turning to companies like Delivery Solutions that can provide a single, robust API and dashboard for orchestrating last mile delivery with self-healing capabilities that bring reliability to last mile performance. kilometer on its SaaS platform. The overall orchestrated delivery strategy is based on service capability, quality, pricing, etc. among many delivery providers to obtain the best delivery option for each transaction. For example, once a retail partner selects the criteria and services that match their business needs on the dashboard, delivery orchestration happens seamlessly behind the scenes to present the appropriate options. to the front end customer. Self-healing, a crucial component of machine learning, eliminates the need for merchants to manually undo, rebuild, and notify the delivery provider of changes or fulfillment issues. The platform can deliver the ideal end result for both supplier and consumer to deliver on the promise of same-day delivery while predicting difficulties and automatically navigating to avoid delays. The use of this strategy is particularly essential to prevent losses and unforeseen risks on the distribution and supply chain channels, as it allows the company to remain focused on the customer.

Multi-vendor strategy: Companies like Delivery Solutions partner with multiple delivery providers, including Instacart, Uber, Lyft, Bungii, Shipt, UPS, and FedEx. This takes the hassle out of singular integrations, contracts with each partner, and operating in silos. Retailers are not limited to a single vendor for fulfillment, allowing them greater flexibility and service coverage when fulfilling and orchestrating orders, while reducing costs through purchase of fares. Overall, this multi-partner strategy ensures that it does not prevent retailers from switching partners mid-cycle. Imagine a delivery service can’t support a pickup or experience a spike or unplanned downtime. In this case, it is easy to select another delivery partner so that nothing disrupts the customer’s same-day delivery.

Customer communication after purchase: While last mile delivery is the primary focus, retailers must also consider customer satisfaction once a package has reached its destination. A holistic approach to last-mile delivery allows retailers to monitor the post-purchase experience as well. This technology manages intelligent communication regarding the current transaction and informs customers of the latest and greatest brands and promotions that may be of interest to them. Retailers, in turn, can leverage these customer experience data points to continually evolve orchestration algorithms. generate great results for clients.

A more holistic approach to last mile delivery integrates and standardizes fulfillment operations under one platform, creating a seamless process for retailer and customer. From navigation to purchase and post-purchase, holistic experience-driven orchestration aims to keep the customer coming back for more.

About the Author

As co-founder of Delivery solutions, Arshaad Mirza has reinvented the e-commerce space, modernizing shipping with third-party orchestration and same-day delivery to better serve retailers and customers. As an end-to-end service, Delivery Solutions streamlines the shipping process while providing an invaluable opportunity for retailers to expand their brand into areas they might otherwise not have access to. He believes that every customer interaction with a retailer should be through the sacred prism of that retailer’s brand. Mirza spends her days making this a possibility for amazing retailers who hope to improve their online shopping and shipping experiences for their customers.

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