Over the last few months, there has been a rapid increase in e-commerce, and it is predicted that it might become bigger than physical retail in the next coming years. This growing trend in e-commerce has also placed greater emphasis on last-mile delivery, and we will look at the impact that these trends have had.
eCommerce refers to the process involving buying and selling of services or products done through the internet, and it requires money or data to be transferred for the sales to be completed. Below are some of the e-commerce trends that have been noted.
1. Growth in online sales
There has been an increase in e-commerce sales as consumers have started to embrace online shopping. This growth in online shopping can be credited to the level of comfort that it offers.
2. Growth in mobile shopping
A rise has also been noted in e-commerce growth due to the increased usage of mobile devices. That is why sites need to be optimised for mobile use. In addition, by making e-commerce sites more effortless and more accessible, businesses will be able to reach a larger audience.
3. Rise in voice search
More people have started relying on voice assistants to conduct daily tasks. Customers will also begin to use voice search while shopping online. This offers e-commerce businesses the opportunity to create keywords and content to be able to provide voice-enabled solutions.
4. Customers wanting transparency and honesty
Technology has played an enormous role in shaping the expectations that customers have for deliveries. In a world where everything is one quick Google search away, customers require data from the company, such as stock information or the delivery dates.
The Impact of eCommerce Trends on Last-Mile Delivery
The impact of these e-commerce trends has also affected last-mile delivery. It has become the most crucial aspect of the shopping experience. For customers to have fulfilling processes, their delivery experience should be exceptional. Here are some of the ways that e-commerce trends have affected last-mile delivery.
1. Faster fulfilment
Customers have to come to expect to receive their orders without having to wait for too long as delivery options such as same-day delivery have become more popular. That is why there has been a greater emphasis on faster order fulfilment as companies have had to deal with customers demanding these deliveries. That is why the entire system needs to be designed in a manner that allows for faster deliveries.
Not only does fast order fulfilment involve better speed on the road, but the time that orders are prepared also have to be faster. If it usually takes hours to prepare an order, order preparation should only take a couple of minutes. Therefore, from the moment an order is placed, it should be processed and dispatched to meet the narrow delivery window.
2. Emphasis on visibility
One of the most important aspects for customers to have from e-commerce businesses is the ability to track their deliveries, as 85% of customers are likely to choose companies that offer delivery tracking. Therefore, part of the last-mile delivery experience now involves offering transparency and traceability. Last-mile delivery needs to not only track deliveries, but they assist in situations when packages get lost or when deliveries are delayed. Customers should be able to track the exact location of their packages and the driver in real-time, which customers can easily do with GPS tracking. In addition, smart technology can offer customers a greater level of transparency. It could be beneficial for e-commerce businesses as they can monitor the weather and choose better routes during deliveries.
3. Voice instructions
There are now last-mile delivery apps and software with features such as voice instructions that allow the users to record real-time instructions for the workers involved in the delivery process. These instructions can range from asking about their package location or giving them directions about where to leave their package.
4. Insourcing deliveries
In order to meet e-commerce demands while providing customers with the best possible service, many businesses have opted to insource deliveries. Though outsourcing deliveries to 3PL providers is one of the most cost-efficient methods, it becomes difficult when there is a considerable demand for last-mile deliveries. When businesses use their vehicles to handle deliveries, it ensures that they fulfil orders in the manner that they see fit, as they control the entire delivery process. Insourcing deliveries also ensures that the company’s goals and values are fulfilled as the staff already understand them. It also reduces the chances of miscommunication occurring, which is a huge issue that is common when outsourcing.
5. Use of urban warehouses
With there being a growing demand for e-commerce and quick order fulfilment, there is a need for change in the approach of warehousing. That is why most businesses are starting to consider using urban warehousing. Simply put, urban warehousing refers to having fulfilment centres closer to the customer, which translates to reduced delivery time. Urban warehousing is convenient as most customers either reside in or around metropolitan areas, so having warehouses closer to them makes it easier to fulfil orders faster and makes it possible to offer same-day delivery. Another significant benefit of having urban warehouses is that there is easier access to labour. Employees either reside in or around the city, bringing work closer to home for them.
With a continued rise and growth in e-commerce, there will likely be greater demand for efficient and fast last-mile delivery.