Customer demands for efficient last-mile delivery of e-commerce orders didn't slacken during the pandemic, and will only grow more intense in the years to come, says Manil Uppal, co-founder of Delivery Solutions.
Retailers today are tasked with having to provide e-commerce customers with multiple options for delivering their orders, including to the home, office, store (for customer pickup) and in some cases lockbox. On top of that, the expected delivery time is shrinking.
Same-day delivery is becoming the standard in some locations. It began with grocery purchases, but has since expanded to include products such as video games and apparel. To make that level of service possible, retailers and delivery provides can’t rely on a collection of point-solutions, says Uppal. Their offering needs to reflect the omnichannel nature of retailing today, which calls for a unified and comprehensive menu of services. Uppal describes it as a “holistic” approach that makes it possible for retailers to make good on their promises of rapid last-mile delivery.
Even in a time of pandemic, with multiple supply-chain disruptions, customers expect flawless fulfillment of their e-commerce orders. Uppal says service providers will have to continue improving their offerings to keep pace with what’s expected to be continued growth in last-mile delivery. To make it happen, technology will play a key role. The future will see the coming of drones and even self-driving robots in areas where they’re appropriate.
As for the service providers themselves, Uppal predicts some degree of consolidation among major players, as the industry strives to maximize efficiency and control the high cost of bespoke last-mile services.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.