Last mile delivery has always been a challenge for eCommerce companies. Increased customer demands have made this task even harder in recent years.
But if you use advanced last mile delivery optimization tools like route optimization software, it’s not really that hard (that’s what she said). Such software will help you reduce costs and make your last mile deliveries more efficient.
Does that sound too good to be true? It won’t once you read the rest of the article and see why rising consumer demands increase eCommerce delivery expenses and how dynamic routing optimization software will save you from these expenses.
How Customer Demands Impact eCommerce Delivery Operations
The rise of eCommerce has changed consumer preferences. According to McKinsey & Company, the perceived quality of the delivery service as well as the variety of delivery options are the major decision-making criteria for online shoppers today.
Whoa, that’s a lot of jargon! Here’s a translation: online shoppers expect excellent service. They want an exact ETA, and they want their order to arrive by that time. If you can’t swing that, your customers won’t remain your customers much longer.
McKinsey also conducted a survey to understand consumers’ relative preferences for different delivery options. The survey found that 25% of consumers were willing to pay substantial premiums for instant or same-day deliveries. Millennials are especially willing to pay more for faster shipping, with 30% of younger consumers indicating that they would choose instant or same-day deliveries over regular deliveries.
McKinsey predicts that such deliveries will reach a combined share of 20-25% of the market in the next 10 years, and there’s a change for this figure to be even higher than 25%, depending on how far same-day service is expanded into rural areas.
So, if you run an eCommerce company, you can expect a big chunk of your customers to want same-day shipping.
Are your order management and route planning processes efficient enough to handle these requests?
You can’t afford to waste any time if you want to have the ability to make instant deliveries. Unfortunately, there are no eCommerce platforms that offer route planning capabilities. That means that fleet managers have to move order details from their eCommerce platform to their route planning software manually, one at a time. This is a hugely time-consuming process that can seriously delay deliveries.
Route4Me is aware of this problem, though, and we’ve developed a dedicated eCommerce plugin for major platforms like WooCommerce that automates the process of transferring order details to your delivery route planner. It’ll save you hours.
However, if you want, you can still move orders manually in Route4Me. All you have to do is select the “No” option under “Auto Send Orders,” as shown below:
Also, unlike other route planners, we give you the ability to reroute vehicles in real-time, which really helps with instant/same-day deliveries. You just need to change the customer addresses and our route mapping software will automatically re-optimize the routes and update the drivers accordingly. It’s that simple!
How Customer Demands Increase Last Mile Delivery Expenses
The customer is always right, of course. But giving customers what they want can be quite expensive. In the case of last mile delivery, it’ll cost you a lot in fuel expenses and work hours to reach customers in rural areas.
Planning routes with pen and paper makes it even more difficult to turn a profit. Route planning is a very complex task. You have to consider all the factors involved, such as traffic, construction, one-way roads, renamed roads, no-turn lanes, etc.
When you plan routes manually, you’re bound to make mistakes sometimes. You’re only human. And when you make a mistake, that’s going to slow your drivers down, which means you’ll have to pay more to get a package where it needs to go. Your driver might even get a ticket if you do something like, say, send them the wrong way down a one-way road – that’s a whole ‘nother expense to worry about.
The more orders you get, the more complex your routes will be. The more complex your routes are, the more mistakes you will make if you plan routes manually.
So what are you supposed to do? Should you discourage your customers from making so many orders?
Of course not. That’s how you make money.
They solution here is to find a way to plan complex routes without making any mistakes. Route4Me does exactly that. Just plug in the addresses you need to visit, and in less than 30 seconds Route4Me will produce the most efficient way to visit those addresses. It’s 100% accurate, every time.
Just think of all the fuel, time, and money you’ll save…
Route4Me also comes with a GPS tracking feature, which allows you to see if drivers are driving safely and make sure your employees aren’t making any personal stops on company time.
And all that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read the following article to learn more about the benefits of route mapping software:
So, what strategy do you have in place for last mile delivery optimization? Let us know in the comments section below.