According to one study, 2.14 billion people bought something online in 2021 – more than 27% of the world’s population. It’s difficult to overstate how ubiquitous e-commerce has become in our everyday lives. From paper towels to appliances, consumers increasingly are bypassing brick-and-mortar stores, opting to have their purchases shipped directly to their home.
Decades of research around in-store customer experience (CX) now is being reassessed to support the consumers’ online buying journey. But there still is one element of this process that allows for personal interaction – the delivery, or final mile.
Often, this last step is the only time in which a business has any direct contact with their customer. As a result, their experience can impact their impression of a brand. Delays, damages, and unprofessional drivers all are common problems affecting final mile CX.
Here are four statistics underscoring this trend and why it’s important that your logistics provider is up to the task.
Surges in orders are great for business, but they also can overwhelm logistics providers if they lack the trucks or staff to keep up. There’s enough going on in the world impacting the global supply chain, so much of which is outside our control. Things you can dictate, like your logistics provider, shouldn’t be a weak link for your business. How much warehouse space do they have? How many drivers, trucks, and vans do they have? These are all in historically short supply, which is severely affecting many logistics providers’ operations.
Happy drivers lead to happy customers. What is your logistics provider’s approach to driver support and retention? As this stat shows, drivers who feel appreciated and supported are going to leave a positive impression with your customers. A big part of this is ensuring that they are trained and equipped to handle your customers’ orders, especially big and bulky items. Homes are a much different environment compared to a loading dock. Navigating doorways, stairs, and existing furniture can be a challenge. It’s important your logistics provider’s drivers are well trained for these situations so they can keep their cool no matter what they’re moving and delivering.
When people open their home for a delivery, they expect the item to be brought in safely, but they also want to have a positive experience with the delivery team. Does your logistics provider’s drivers and crew have a strong history of in-home deliveries? Do they have a good track record of providing the same service and professionalism that you expect from your own staff?
It’s important your customers’ impression of your company isn’t damaged at the last step – particularly given all the time and investment to acquire them. Remember, most consumers don’t distinguish between a brand and its logistics provider. Final mile is part of their experience with your brand.
When making purchasing decisions from home, online reviews are critical in evaluating products and merchants alike. Consumers obviously want the item itself to meet their needs and expectations, but they also want confidence that the retailer will provide a frictionless process from start to finish. This includes items showing up on time and in good condition. One of the biggest complaints from consumers in recent years is delivery delays, as highlighted above. Relying on a logistics provider with poor delivery delay rates and other issues could spell real trouble for your brand’s online reputation.
Customer experience always has been a foundational piece of retail success. In the age of e-commerce, businesses need to account for all the different stages in which a customer interacts with their brand, which includes home delivery. Misalignment of your brand’s promise and values at this stage can sour their impression, ultimately affecting your bottom line.
Allow Hilldrup to do the heavy lifting and create a final mile solution catered to meet your unique needs. Contact us today!