The challenge of the last-mile for online deliveries

Guy Davenport, Co-Founder and CEO of Locpin, discusses how failed deliveries are impacting on retailers and how companies need to act now in the face of rising e-commerce.

A challenging ‘last mile’ landscape

E-commerce is booming and we’re now making more internet purchases than ever before. It’s second nature for us to buy products online or even on the go with our mobile phones.

The impact of this is on our delivery systems, many of which are still relying on postcodes that were first introduced in the 1950s. With only 30 percent of street addresses in the UK leading directly to the specific point of delivery, it’s no surprise that these inaccurate addresses are costing businesses money, as well as damaging customer relationships. The increase in same or next-day deliveries will continue to add to the pressure on delivery companies and retailers to ensure they are meeting the demands of the modern-day shopper.

It’s not just customer satisfaction that is at risk though, as failed deliveries can hit businesses where it hurts. With the last mile of delivery accounting for up to 55 percent of the total delivery cost its imperative for retailers to find a solution to this.

One idea proposed is an entirely new addressing system, but previous attempts to put this kind of system in place have received poor adoption rates and only 33 percent of customers are open to the concept of a new addressing system, as addresses are such a core part of our society. Another growing sector is click-and-collect solutions, whether instore or via a third-party company. However, a recent survey found that the large majority (82 percent) of shoppers would still prefer home delivery for online goods.

The details in the delivery

Locpin was founded out of a personal frustration in the delivery of goods and services. It became clear to us that more details are required for both couriers and consumers within the delivery process.

Additional details, such as the option to include precise GPS location (whether that’s for a home address, workplace or even a spot in a local park for deliveries of food and drink), safe-place locations, alternative delivery addresses or parking spaces, all help drivers make their successful deliveries first time.

With more and more purchases made via mobile devices, it makes sense that the delivery process reflects how people shop, allowing customers to pin point their location or add further details quickly and easily via their devices.

As our shopping habits change, our delivery processes also need to evolve. Customers want a no-fuss option to ensure deliveries happen first time, every time, while retailers want a solution that fits into existing systems and ultimately improves the overall shopper experience. By making the most of all the information available, the problems of the last mile can be a thing of the past.

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