We take a look at the future and the thirteen trends in last-mile delivery. And how they'll transform your operations in the years to come.
Frictionless Delivery: Elevating Customer Experience
In this post, we will show you how to create frictionless delivery that elevates the customer experience and win them over with order fulfillment.
In this post, we will show you how to create frictionless delivery that elevates the customer experience.
You will learn:
- What Is Customer Friction?
- What Causes Customer Friction in Delivery?
- How to Build a Frictionless Delivery with Software
- Frictionless Delivery Solutions That Improve Customer Experience
What Is Customer Friction?
As today’s shoppers are getting harder to please, companies are struggling to reduce customer friction points within their buyer journeys.
According to Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report, around 50% of customers would switch to a company’s competitor after a single negative experience. In case of more than one, the number goes up to 80%.
So what exactly is customer friction?
Customer friction is any kind of roadblock that makes your customer hesitate to complete their customer journey or even causes them to leave.
Whatever your product or service is, creating a frictionless experience is key to building brand loyalty, and increasing sales and revenue.
What Causes Customer Friction in Delivery?
- Inconvenient Ordering and Payment
- Limited Delivery Options
- Delivery Efficiency
- Wait Times and Delivery Speed
Inconvenient Ordering and Payment
When a customer comes close to making a purchase, it is important to make them feel secure.
Offering an unknown payment system, or having a website that seems insecure can make the customer reconsider placing the order.
Enabling flexible payment options is another way to reduce friction.
Whether it is PayPal or a credit card, online shoppers enjoy the ability to use their preferred payment method.
Today’s customers are looking for seamless experiences, and a simple checkout process is definitely one of them.
Multi-page checkout or an overly complicated process with too many forms and aggressive pop-ups is a common stepping stone.
In fact, 87% of online shoppers would abandon their cart in case of a complicated checkout.
Customers appreciate simplicity and instant onboarding.
Try to remove friction by asking for the minimum amount of information at each step of the journey.
Only request the information that you ACTUALLY need to register an order request.
Offering a guest checkout option is another way to go since 23% of shoppers would abandon their cart if they are forced to create a new account.
Limited Delivery Options
Nowadays, customers expect certain standards to be met when it comes to delivery options.
Since not all of them stick to the same criteria, building a one-size-fits-all delivery strategy is not a wise move.
The more shipping options you offer, the more customers will be able to find the one they prefer.
In fact, 9 out of 10 shoppers claim that free shipping is their biggest incentive to shop online.
Including options such as free delivery, and the ability to collect items in-store or at a designated point are some of the strategies you can implement to make your shipping options more attractive.
And 86% of online shoppers prefer when retailers offer a range of delivery options, according to Royal Mail.
From unexpected delays to poor delivery scheduling, there are many factors that can disrupt delivery efficiency.
Proper delivery management requires seamless coordination between all departments. This includes drivers, dispatchers, and customer support.
Inefficiency causes unpredictable costs to both retailers and logistics companies.
It can arise from any segment, for example, unfulfilled vehicle capacity, inventory management, scheduling, routing, and more.
There are many ways to measure delivery performance, and companies need to be careful not to neglect this.
Customers have high expectations of last-mile delivery, and friction is hard to avoid if there is room for errors.
Ultimately, efficiency is crucial for order fulfillment capacity.
If you cannot manage the order volume, services can go off schedule, which leads to late or failed deliveries, and irritated customers.
Wait Times and Delivery Speed
Shoppers are no longer willing to wait weeks for their orders to arrive.
Expectations about shipping times have grown tremendously, and offering fast delivery is a sure way to reduce friction.
In fact, 87% of online shoppers stated that shipping speed is the key factor when they decide whether to shop with an online retailer again.
And although customers idealize free shipping, many of them are willing to pay more for faster delivery time (according to these delivery statistics).
Customers also expect an excellent delivery experience each time.
One way to provide it is to offer accurate online tracking for all orders.
This can reduce the frustration of not knowing where their package is, and when it will arrive.
Lack of personalization during customer journeys creates extra room for friction and a chance for competitors to take the lead.
Providing customers with generic estimated times of arrival (e.g. seven business days) is no longer sufficient.
Shoppers expect more specific ETAs, calculated based on their delivery address.
Ideally, the delivery process should be followed with real-time updates and custom notifications.
Providing a customer with delivery tracking and giving them real-time access to the shipping status can reduce friction and increase brand loyalty and trust.
Having a proactive and personalized approach to communication is a great strategy to implement.
Informing customers about potential delays or sending follow-up emails after the purchase can increase client retention and overall satisfaction.
To bring personalization a step further, you can incentivize loyal customers with extra features such as faster or even free delivery.
Using Route Optimization Software to Build a Frictionless Delivery
If you are used to manual route planning, you may be wondering why you would need route optimization software.
Route planning software can improve delivery in many ways.
Essentially, it allows you to spend less time scheduling and planning while getting faster and more efficient routes using fewer resources.
It can help you:
- Increase earnings by completing more orders
- Improve both employee and client satisfaction
- Cut operating costs
With proper technologies and the right procedures in place, you can create a highly functional, agile delivery operation.
Take a look at the ways route optimization software can minimize friction:
Routing and Scheduling
Route optimization tools can cut down the time needed to organize shifts, workforce, schedules, and deliveries from hours to minutes.
You can easily create schedules for weeks in advance.
Planning routes manually is a daunting task.
Using automated software helps you visualize routes, make real-time changes, and include weather, traffic, or any other relevant factor.
Mapping multiple stops without the use of the software is close to impossible.
With route optimization tools, you can create detailed schedules based on employee availability, driver breaks, lunch breaks, customer availability, and more.
Finally, you will save time, and reduce friction with highly efficient routes.
Rising Delivery Speed
Using tools that can automatically calculate the most efficient routes in seconds can transform your delivery speed.
Advanced management software will always choose the fastest, most cost-effective routes.
Planning ahead is another way software can shorten delivery times.
It creates a healthier work environment for drivers and gives them enough space to react to unpredicted conditions and keep up with their performance.
Route optimization also lets you prioritize ordering stops and helps drivers reach all the customers with maximum speed and efficiency.
Finally, you will be able to combine reverse logistics pick-up routes and forward drop-off routes.
This can cut the travel time in half, enabling the drivers to significantly improve the speed of delivery.
Delivery management software helps you improve the efficiency of operations, regardless of your company size.
It creates the most efficient routes for all the locations that need to be reached, in a matter of seconds.
It helps you grow at scale by:
- Distributing workloads
- Improving employee performance
- Cutting down travel time
- Maximizing the number of orders per day
- Monitoring driver’s activities and tracking routes
- Increasing revenue per driver
- Reducing costs
Choosing the right route optimization software leads to significant cost reduction, and this is where the savings come from:
- Better planning and scheduling
- Increased vehicle utilization
- Improved driver performance
- Lower fuel costs
- Less need for contracted carriers
- Continuous improvement
Cutting costs in one segment lets you invest in others.
As the costs drop due to higher efficiency and lower fuel consumption, your chances to offer on-demand delivery increase.
Lower operational costs allow you to expand delivery options and create more attractive offers such as same-day or next-day delivery, click & collect, free delivery, and more.
Streamlined route optimization creates more than just faster routes. It also helps meet and even exceed client expectations with custom delivery options and improved on-time delivery.
More efficient routes lead to more accurate ETAs with tighter timeframes, which further increase customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
Also, drivers can use apps to communicate with clients and inform them about potential delays, or simply make sure they will be available to receive the order.
These are some of the main customer expectations from last-mile delivery:
- Full visibility
- Same day delivery
- Next day delivery
- Delivery hour notification
- Delivery slot selection
- Returns processing
Frictionless Delivery Solutions That Promise to Improve Experience
Customer satisfaction is key in delivery.
That’s why businesses are turning to advanced technologies to provide personalization and more efficient solutions.
When it comes to delivery, customers expect more speed at a lower cost, and they are not too concerned about the methods used.
Take a look at some innovative ways companies can improve last-mile delivery:
#1 Delivery Drones
According to Gartner, the number of retail deliveries carried by drones will reach more than one million by 2026.
Some companies have already adopted drone delivery while others are still concerned about privacy, security, and regulations.
For example, DHL turned to drone delivery in order to improve last-mile delivery in urban parts of China.
It turned out that drones can provide much faster delivery and significant cost reduction. DHL claims that drones made deliveries five times faster and 80% more affordable.
By remotely monitoring electronic proof of delivery (ePODs), companies can increase the speed and efficiency of deliveries.
Not only can ePODs speed up deliveries, they can also help retailers collect and analyze data needed for further optimization of operations and inventory management.
According to IBM, retail executives predict that intelligent automation will increase the annual revenue growth by almost 10%.
And one way you can achieve automation is with delivery management software like eLogii.
#3 Autonomous Delivery
Self-driving cars are the future of product delivery.
Companies such as Cruise and Pony.ai are working hard on the development of autonomous vehicles.
According to McKinsey, autonomous ground vehicles can reduce the cost per parcel by up to 50%.
Another possibility that brings improvement and increases efficiency is the use of semiautonomous delivery trucks that can reduce the time spent on driving and parking vans.
The adoption of autonomous and semi-autonomous delivery vehicles can reinvent last-mile delivery.
By removing the limit of working hours and keeping everything connected to the cloud, it could revolutionize on-demand delivery where the customer will have an insight into the entire process.
#4 Parcel Lockers
Parcel lockers are drop boxes placed in supermarkets, shopping malls, apartment buildings, and other convenient locations.
Online shoppers use them to pick up their packages using individual access codes.
With parcel lockers, customers benefit from 24/7 access, and shippers benefit from fewer failed delivery attempts and fewer delivery locations in total.
With proper use and strategic placement, parcel lockers can reduce vehicle emission up to 79%, and reduce delivery costs per parcel up to 35%, according to McKinsey.
In Finland, Posti is reinventing last-mile delivery with Box.
Box is a large parcel locker that even contains fitting rooms where shoppers can try on the items they purchased, and return them on the spot if needed.
But these trends in last-mile delivery are years in the making from full adoption.
If you’re looking to remove friction from your delivery right now, we can help you with that.