Online shopping remains the most safe and convenient way for customers to shop amidst COVID-19 restrictions. As the number of consumers refusing to visit physical retail locations increases, online order fulfillment responsibilities of smaller retail organizations become much harder to manage. While these smaller online retailers struggle, more and more consumers are receiving quality shipping times from Amazon as a result of their prime shipping options. Regardless of the quality of products Amazon offers, their shipping speeds can be a very convincing selling point to customers. This can lead to less business for smaller online retailers competing with Amazon.
But how can these smaller online retailers at least try to keep up? Regardless of the ways in which the order fulfillment processes of each organization can be different, there’s one phase that must be perfected: last mile delivery. Within order fulfillment, this phase is when a purchased product moves from the fulfillment center it was being held at to the product’s final point of sale, otherwise known as the customer. From the outside this may seem easy, but this is the phase that challenges many smaller online retailers. A lackluster last mile delivery strategy negatively impacts the quality of any customers’ experience.
Despite its impact today, last mile delivery wasn’t always as important. Not too long-ago online shoppers would place their orders and wouldn’t receive tracking information nearly as informative as today’s shoppers. There certainly was no ‘prime’ shipping options, online customers’ were at the mercy of the shipping capabilities of the business they ordered from and they didn’t mind at all. Of course, this is a time when much looser expectations were had by online shoppers. As it stands today, with companies such as Amazon continuing draw in so many customers, the average expectations in regards to shipping continues to increase.
While there are many smaller businesses operating amidst these struggles today, delivery is only part of the problem. As mentioned previously, more and more customers are looking to online offerings rather than physical retail locations for their purchases. Meaning the order volume these online retailers are seeing is much harder to keep up with. How are these businesses meant to deal with all of these additional orders and thus additional deliveries? Many businesses have found success through an inventory management system and investing into more scattered warehouse space. The impact that an increase of facilities meant to store your products cannot be overstated. This combination allows businesses to offer customized delivery options that could benefit their customers.
For organizations who feel as though their online sales are being negatively impacted by their delivery standards, it may be worth overhauling your existing last mile delivery strategy. Order fulfillment excellence can be the difference in retaining regular customers and attracting new ones. If you’re looking for even more information on how Last Mile Delivery impacts the online retailing industry, be sure to check out the featured resource with this post. Courtesy of WAREHOWZ.