The Technology That Powers Last Mile Solutions
In 2018, the online shopping juggernaut known as Amazon captured 49.1% of all US-based online shopping sales. That kind of sheer dominance has many online businesses fighting for a small chunk of that valuable online market. And they go about it by integrating some of Amazon’s very own tricks of the trade; last-mile solutions.
However, there is no one single trick that puts Amazon at the top of the ladder. Honestly, it all just boils down to the type of software they utilize and how well they integrate it.
And according to most logistics experts, the best and most affordable tools that any online merchant can invest in – is last mile technology.
The last mile refers to the last step of a delivery; when the carrier hands the products to the customer. This phase in any delivery is the most crucial as it leaves a certain impression with the customer. They are no longer dealing with just numbers on a screen or voices over a phone call. They are dealing directly with a real person. But depending on how that carrier treats the customer at this time will paint how the customer views the company from whom they purchased the product. For this reason, many shippers will go out of their way to ensure that they treat the final step of delivery as a delicate situation and seek to optimize it.
But don’t let the name fool you, in most cases, these last-mile logistics services begin as soon as the customer clicks the purchase button. This is where the infusion of affordable, scalable, and easy to implement technology can elevate the average e-commerce operation and give them a fighting chance in the highly competitive online market.
Ready to learn more? Read on…
How is Technology Improving Last Mile Solutions in the Online Marketplace?
We use technology to power everything sold online. From the platform you use for hosting your online marketplace to the forwarding software used to send order information to the fulfillment center. Yep, it is all handled through software solutions. That being said, the same could be said for last-mile solutions.
See, last-mile is about more than just showing up on-time with a smile. It is about showing the customer the care and attention you pour into their entire shipping experience. And it takes more than just arriving to leave them feeling cared for and satisfied with their purchase. You have to find a way to tie the whole experience together in a cohesive and efficient manner. You have to make sure that deliveries are on-time, the customer is kept in the loop for every small change, and that their packages are handled with the utmost care.
Luckily, these are all areas in which last-mile solutions can monitor and help you modify accordingly.
Today, technology has expanded last-mile logistics service offerings for small to medium-sized businesses that serve customers online.
Let’s take a quick look at the technology that powers the best last-mile software out there.
Everyone has heard of the Blockchain at this point. It’s the technology made famous for its usage in the trading and storage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Recently, Blockchain technology increases the efficiency of logistics platforms!
In its new adaptation, this technology is used mainly in CRM or TMS solutions that help to improve the communication process between shipping partners. Blockchain technology is widely attributed to the automation of customer notifications, such as instant updates with package deliveries, or notifications to reschedule the delivery to fit their availability.
Most e-commerce businesses currently depend on cloud-based technology to host their shopping carts, payment processors or other selling tools.
However, when it comes to ordering fulfillment, especially when you’re doing it on your own, using the same technology to power your order management system or 3PL software makes things incredibly efficient. Cloud-based technology permits users to access all order processing or fulfillment software tools from different desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. No manual installations or updating required!
Upgrading your existing 3PL software to a cloud-based system simply makes sense.
Direct to Consumer Delivery Applications
The final item to add to your 2020 last-mile efforts is the integration of a direct to consumer delivery app.
There are multiple crowdsourcing apps like Postmates, Uber Eats and others that permit local sub-contractors to deliver products. However, the direct to consumer delivery app goes one step further. Essentially, this type of technology is perfect for secure shipments or signature required items. This is a great solution for shippers who do not have a primary carrier or need the goods taken right to the customer’s door.
This technology allows a customer that is expecting a direct signature service contact the shipper directly, asking to have the package re-attempted before the delivery attempt or re-directed to a different address on behalf of the recipient. This helps to reduce missed-delivery attempts, improves on-road efficiency, and most importantly, drives customers service in a positive direction.
Of course, the best resource that any e-commerce company can have in their corner is an experienced 3PL. With the help of a 3PL, shippers can upgrade their technology solutions and manage their fulfillment needs without the stress of worrying if they are doing it all wrong.
Redwood Logistics has been working with e-commerce businesses since the early days of online shopping. We’ve been helping them improve customer satisfaction, especially their last-mile delivery services and white-glove offerings.
If you’re looking to improve your service and technology solutions for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year, contact Redwood Logistics today!