3 min read

The Last Mile Advantage

By Gina Anderson on Apr 20, 2021 7:16:00 PM

Today, market conditions within the highly competitive parcel market have climbed to unprecedented levels, thanks largely to increasing customer demand. This has resulted in higher rates, tighter capacity, port congestion, and difficult service conditions--despite elevated customer expectations.

That’s why the last mile advantage is so critical for brands to focus on as customers’ expectations and overall satisfaction are paramount for sustainable growth. Without solid partners and a well-planned last-mile solution, it’s easy for one bad delivery experience to severely damage a brand’s reputation.

After all, slow and expensive last-mile deliveries continue to be a real problem for meeting and exceeding customer expectations. 83% of customers these days expect guaranteed delivery date, with 80% wanting an exact delivery time slot! These elevated expectations, paired with intense pricing increases across the board, leave little — if any — room for error in your last-mile delivery. 

Even as fulfillment becomes increasingly efficient and technologically advanced, this shift in consumer buying behavior has thrust e-commerce purchasing and delivery services to new levels, forcing shippers to increase rates and get creative with their last-mile delivery strategy to stand out. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

 

Guaranteed Delivery and Predicable Same-Day Solution Using Micro-Fulfillment  

At a minimum, brands will require their shippers to promise guaranteed delivery, always on-time plus real-time in-transit tracking. And with millennials making up a large portion of their e-commerce customers, brands must offer same-day delivery options since many in this demographic have reported to pay up to a 30% premium for this delivery service.

GEODIS City Delivery uses a network of micro-fulfillment providers to ensure predictable last-mile delivery solutions so brands aren’t solely reliant on national and regional carriers. With capacity restrictions, surcharges, and lack of carrier diversity, brands have an opportunity to create a last-mile advantage using GEODIS City Delivery for micro-fulfillment opportunities.

 

Same-Day Ship-from-Store Is Still A Last-Mile Advantage

We’re already seeing how trends supporting the dramatic rise in e-commerce demand, including ship from store, are reshaping retail. Experts advise that these trends are here to stay, forcing brands of all sizes to address these new challenges immediately, particularly those around efficient and effective last-mile delivery solutions. Agile, innovative operations are crucial attributes of any brand that wants to grow and scale in 2021 and beyond. GEODIS City Delivery advises brands how to leverage their stores and distribution centers to maximize same-day ship from store delivery.

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As brands now encourage shoppers to visit stores, expanding same-day delivery options from stores and delivery centers, including curbside pickup or Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS), provides yet another layer of convenience for the customer.

 

Sustainability in The Last Mile Is the Delivery of the Future

Another consideration for consumers looking to support their favorite brands is knowing just how sustainable their supply chain is. One move toward sustainability comes in the form of electric fleets and overall reduction in carbon emissions. As brands look to increase speed to market and leveraging localized, last-mile delivery solutions, GEODIS’s carbon emission calculator helps brands take the next step in measuring their carbon emissions.  

The future of last-mile delivery will need to include more sustainable solutions and creative ways to drive efficiencies in the supply chain. GEODIS City Delivery works hand and hand with our clients to balance sustainability as an advantage in their last-mile operations.

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Unfortunately, parcel rates will remain high, yet what, if any, additional value brands are experiencing from the traditional parcel carriers is questionable. As e-commerce continues to grow in tandem with shifting consumer preferences, resilient brands are looking for the best partners to continuously improve their supply chains, from fulfillment all the way from order to fulfillment through last-mile delivery. 

Gina Anderson

Written by Gina Anderson

Vice President of Solutions & Growth. Gina Manis Anderson is an experienced entrepreneur, executive and logistics expert who’s spent more than 30 years helping Fortune 500 companies optimize their supply chains. A skilled leader and influencer, Gina has earned the respect of a large professional network through her businesses successes and passionate leadership.