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5 Things Businesses Need in a Last-Mile Delivery Partner

Emphasizing the importance of meeting modern customer expectations for last-mile delivery, including the need for quick, convenient, environmentally friendly shipping with real-time updates.

Your all-in-one local delivery app for Shopify

Due to the pandemic, e-commerce sales increased dramatically in 2020, nearly tripling from the previous year to $791.7 billion. Despite the difficulties, customer expectations for last-mile delivery are higher than ever: they expect shipping to be quick, convenient, and environmentally friendly, as well as provide real-time updates.

And failing to meet (or exceed) today’s customer expectations carries real risks. In fact, 84 percent of buyers who had a bad delivery experience said they would never buy from that retailer again. Your company’s reputation and growth are at risk if you have a bad delivery experience.

Take the exercise equipment company Peloton, for example. Its pandemic-induced popularity is jeopardized by 10-week delivery times, last-minute delays, and a payment-upon-delivery requirement (prior to delivery). Customers vented their discontent on social media, cancelled orders, and switched to competitors.

Having an end-to-end supply chain strategy for after the world re-opens that ensures excellent delivery will be standard practice. Retailers require a last-mile delivery partner who can help them scale and modernize their logistics in order to meet customer expectations.

Last-mile delivery’s inefficiencies

The transport of items to their final destination, generally from a warehouse or retail store to the customer’s doorstep, is known as last-mile delivery. While it may appear straightforward, the last-mile is by far the most expensive element of the fulfillment chain, and it is also the region where businesses have the most difficulty. Last-mile delivery and fulfillment logistics are a significant challenge for more than half of retailers.

The difficulty and cost arise from the need for a large number of stops with small drop sizes. Over half of the total cost of shipping in the supply chain is spent on last-mile delivery. Even more inefficient is same-day shipping. Despite this, 80% of customers want same-day delivery, and more than a quarter of shoppers will abandon an online shopping cart if it isn’t available.

Retailers of all sizes face challenges as delivery volumes increase and customers demand faster delivery. Time and resources are diverted from core business activities by hiring delivery drivers, managing vehicle operation costs, and licensing technology.

Last-mile delivery can help you cut costs, grow your business, and exceed customer expectations by partnering with a last-mile delivery company to supplement your existing fleet or completely outsource last-mile delivery.

Five qualities to look for in a last-mile delivery partner

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a last-mile delivery partner:

Scalability

Order surges can come at any time, regardless of whether or not you have your own fleet. While certain changes are expected, such as around the holidays or during a campaign, others might catch you off guard, causing delays and aggravating customers.

Retailers must always have the necessary fleet size on ready to accommodate last-minute requests. If you have your own fleet, this implies you’ll either have too many or not enough vehicles and drivers. A last-mile delivery partner who connects shops with crowdsourced fleets and drivers through an online marketplace can help you scale as demand changes, so you can deliver goods on time and only pay for the services you require.

Easyroutes has free 14-day trials and plans to accommodate any size business with any size fleet.

Transparency

Both you and your clients need to know where their packages are in the delivery process. Look for a last-mile partner who can provide you with real-time package tracking and proof of delivery so you can keep track of your deliveries at scale. Real-time delivery ETAs aid in the management of customer expectations, resulting in a better delivery experience and less time spent dealing with customer inquiries. Even when delays occur, knowing the status of a delivery helps to alleviate aggravation.

GPS tracking, algorithms, and automated processes are all used in many current logistics platforms. This visibility enables your team to identify and address delays in real time. The technology also allows for more detailed reporting, which gives logistics experts more predictability.

EasyRoutes lets you monitor when deliveries happen, and our app handles all your customer email delivery notifications.

Reliability & Predictability

When a consumer requests same-day (or even three-hour) delivery, you need a last-mile delivery partner you can trust. You must have faith in their fleet’s capacity to accept and deliver your order within the specified time range. Look for a delivery partner who can crowd-source fleets and drivers on demand to ensure that you never miss a deadline due to a lack of capacity.

Pricing predictability is also significant. Many delivery companies tack on surcharges to the final bill that weren’t mentioned in the first quote. In addition, they frequently charge extra for expedited delivery. You’ll be able to predict delivery costs with the support of a partner who has a defined pricing methodology.

EasyRoutes lets you run your own delivery fleet with ease. This allows you to capture much more of your revenue.

Sustainability

Working with a delivery partner who has a solid sustainability plan can help your brand’s reputation and bottom line. As consumer awareness of the effect and relevance of sustainable business practices rises, more people will want to buy from or partner with companies that do so – and research suggests that the majority are prepared to pay a premium for it.

Given the logistics industry’s high carbon footprint, a delivery partner with innovative alliances and plans in place to convert its fleet to electric vehicles (EVs) can assist your firm in meeting its carbon targets. Electric vehicles also cost less to operate and repair, resulting in further cost savings.

Consider the overstuffed boxes that are commonly utilized in standard carrier shipments. Excessive corrugate and void fill is both expensive and wasteful, and customers despise having to break down boxes on garbage day. Unnecessary packaging should be avoided by your local last-mile delivery company’s policies.

Routes planned with EasyRoutes are optimized for fuel-efficiency. Our app also allows your delivery team to operate digitally, saving paper. Of course, you can still print routes; EasyRoutes has made it so you can only print the exact information you need.

Experiences with Minimal Friction

A logistics partner should make requesting delivery easier, not more difficult. Some companies include API connectors straight into your eCommerce, ERP, and POS systems, as well as WMS, TMS, and other third-party systems, making delivery management a simple and automated operation.

Your partner must also provide a frictionless customer support experience in addition to providing seamless e-commerce experiences. Look for organizations that keep track of client satisfaction ratings, on-time delivery rates, and client comments. Inquire about their customer service choices to ensure they have sufficient resources (such as an online portal, chatbot, and phone). Ascertain that if something goes wrong, you — and your clients — will receive the assistance needed to remedy the problem quickly and effectively.

EasyRoutes is directly integrated with Shopify and your orders. As soon as you open our app in Shopify, your orders will be there, ready to route.

Quick last-mile delivery gives you a competitive advantage

In today’s internet world, a pleasant, quick, and tech-savvy last-mile delivery experience is critical. 75% of shoppers and sellers prefer digital shopping presently, and e-commerce is anticipated to rise 40% from 2019 to 2021. Working with the right last-mile delivery partner allows your business to scale to meet customer demand, increasing revenue and giving you a leg up on competitors who can’t deliver quickly.

Speed up last-mile delivery with EasyRoutes

EasyRoutes is a local delivery route planner tool that makes planning a route a breeze. After that, you can either share your routes with drivers or deliver them yourself using our mobile-friendly driver mode.

Shopify and EasyRoutes work together effortlessly. You will no longer need to waste time exporting and importing spreadsheets. Simply select the orders you’d want to deliver, and EasyRoutes will figure out the most cost-effective delivery route for you.

Learn more at Roundtrip.ai, or click the button below to install EasyRoutes from the Shopify App Store:

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store
Get EasyRoutes last-mile delivery route planner on the Shopify App Store

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of Shopify merchants worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"Easy Routes is great, it made a task that was taking me an hour take literally a minute! I use it every day for my business and still can't believe how much time it saves me!"
The Saltiest Dog
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