While shopping trends and patterns of users have shifted majorly to online from the traditional brick-and-mortar stores, what still has not changed in terms of consumer behavior is consumer expectations.
To keep up with rapidly evolving customer demands, savvy brands are embracing last-mile delivery software. Consumers, while shopping online, demand and expect rapid, expedited shipping. A primary factor that makes a buyer choose between product A and product B is not the price anymore; it is the speed of delivery. Consumers do not even mind paying extra dollars, over and above the product cost, if the seller site guarantees a quick delivery.
To meet the said expectation of the users, hence, even the sellers have now understood the importance of investing in technologies that can provide such services to the buyers. While, in most cases, consumers can track if their order has been packed and left the warehouse, they cannot usually track the last leg of delivery. This part of the supply chain management is also perhaps the most important because this is that part of the entire relay which determines the actualization of delivery expectations and a last-mile delivery solution with granular tracking capabilities can be of immense help.
Along the same lines, without further ado, let us talk about the entire phenomenon of Last Mile Tracking; what is it, how do carriers benefit, and how can it be implemented by businesses.
E-commerce and Last Mile Tracking: Everything you need to know about it and more
First things first: What is Last Mile Carrier Tracking?
Last Mile Tracking, as a whole, encompasses two different kinds of tracking technologies;
a) Last-mile tracking on the customer end: This kind of last-mile tracking gives the customers the actual, real-time insights about their orders and deliveries
b) Last-mile tracking on the carrier end: Last-mile tracking, on the other hand at the carrier end, is about a holistic view of delivery logistics for the carriers. This eventually helps them align their services with the expectations of the consumers.
But what or who is a Last-Mile carrier?
Last-Mile carriers are essentially the courier or the delivery companies that are responsible for the whole process of shipping and transporting of goods. The entire process of last-mile delivery encompasses the process of getting a packet shipped from Origin A to Destination B as rapidly and as cost-effectively as possible; and Last-Mile carriers take this responsibility. Some known examples of Last-Mile carriers include FedEx and UPS. These shipping companies take care of the last leg of the delivery of goods and hence, the name last-mile carriers.
In order to meet the expectations of the ultimate end consumer, Last-Mile carriers need to consistently work on certain factors that can help them improve their efficiency.
1. Enabling Driver Tracking
Your website might allow the consumer to set a particular slot of delivery, however, that slot usually would not be about a particular delivery time; it will be a range of hours that the delivery can be expected in. For example, “between 5 PM- 8 PM.” A consumer who needs to suddenly visit a friend on that particular day at 6 PM, will find themselves worrying about the scheduled delivery.
It is in cases like such that driver tracking comes to help. By allowing your users to track the driver or by providing them the contact number of the driver, you let the users determine an exact time of delivery. Along the lines of the same example above, if the consumer has the driver’s number, they can call them up at 4 PM and find out the ETA of the driver and thereby, plan their visit accordingly without unnecessary worrying.
By signing up for software like FarEye, this is one thing that becomes possible amongst so much more like:
- Direct communications with the driver, as discussed
- Real-time app tracking of the driver without having to make a call
- SMS and E-mail alerts about the delivery progress
- Delivery feedback and redressal
This also, in a way, helps the driver be sure that their trip would not be unfulfilled if the consumer is not at home.
2. Last Mile Tracking for Carriers
While the consumer end remains the ultimate end of the ‘expectation spectrum’ that needs to be met with, it is often forgotten that the carrier end is the first step to ensure that fulfillment.
By enabling Last-Mile tracking on the carrier end via software like Far Eye, the carrier can avail an ultimate overview of the visibility of the entire supply chain process. Albeit, with a special focus on the Last-Mile bit.
The “Last-Mile” visibility in question enables the carrier with-
- Tracking of the shipment once they are loaded on the delivery vehicle
When you, as a carrier, are updated on the loading of packages on the delivery trucks, you will have a clearer picture of the entire delivery schedule. You would be in a better position with regard to the expectations v/s reality. You would know if there is a delay beforehand.
Since there is a sense of awareness in you, as a carrier, you can also further update your customers with a tentative ETA. This works wonders for achieving customer reassurance.
- Real-time tracking of the packages as well as the vehicles
In order to be able to inform your consumers of the whereabouts of their packages, you, as a carrier, need to be up-to-date on the whereabouts of your vehicles and drivers. With our software, you can do just that and more! Keep yourself in the loop with the status of the driver as well as the status of delivery.
- Proof of delivery
Have you ever been on a call with a customer who’s package was delivered but they outrightly denied it? Our software makes this fool-proofing hassle-free too! Your delivery men can collect proof of delivery with our mobile app that can record the consumer signature and barcodes.
- Measurement of customer satisfaction
Our software further completes a full circle by helping you understand the post-delivery metrics in terms of customer satisfaction. You can view and analyze the performance indicators like success rates and feedback scores all at once!
The Interdependence Between Last Mile Tracking and Organisational Costs
Coming to the financial aspects of workflow, let us also quickly discuss how last mile tracking directly reduces the last mile delivery costs of organizations-
- Reduced fuel costs: By enabling last mile tracking, organizations are empowered to monitor the routes of their truck drivers. By doing so, one can optimize the routings by identifying traffic patterns and idle driver times. All of this will eventually help cut down on fuel costs.
- Reduced redundant operational costs: With the insights, an organization gathers on the basis of past trends, the companies can further identify and cut down redundant operational costs.
- Reduced failed-delivery costs: The worst part of the entire delivery flow process is when the driver arrives at the delivery address and there is nobody to receive the parcel. This does not only mean fuel costs but also, the intangible time-cost, effort-cost, and opportunity cost.
- Reduced Documentation Costs: With the possibility of electronically recording all proofs of deliveries, one also gets to save extra on the money spent on delivery confirmations. You also get to eliminate the traditional paperwork documentation and the costs thereof.
Final Thoughts- Last-Mile Tracking is Win-Win for all!
As it must now be obvious to you, Last-Mile tracking greatly benefits the customers and the carriers alike. It helps both the ends have a clearer view and understanding of the entire flow of delivery by providing a holistic overview and visibility to all. With Far Eye, you can bid worries of tracking good-bye and focus on what matters the most: creating great delivery experiences.
FAQs- E-commerce and Last Mile Tracking: Everything you need to know about it
1. How can Far Eye help me with logistic operations?
FarEye’s predictive logistics platform helps organizations orchestrate, track, and optimize overall logistics operations. We help you achieve and surpass the delivery expectations of the customers with efficient movement of goods.
2. How long does the last mile carrier take?
This depends on the kind of shipping the user has signed up for. Last-mile delivery, typically, takes 8-10 business days for economy service, 4-6 days in cases of expedited service, and as less as a day when signed up for premium expedited service.
3. What is real-time dynamic routing?
The process of real-time dynamic routing lets companies create optimized real-time routes that can achieve the goal of timely delivery of goods; despite the occurrence of contingent conditions. Far Eye takes care of real-time dynamic routing, never letting you down in terms of meeting customer expectations!
4. Why is last-mile delivery important?
In one line: Last-Mile delivery is important in order to meet a customer’s expectations efficiently. The whole concept of last-mile delivery is about transporting goods to a recipient as quickly as possible; and hence, by enabling last-mile tracking, last-mile delivery becomes possible. With last-mile tracking, besides, since the ultimate customers can directly get in touch with the carrier drivers, there’s also increased communication that serves the purpose of customer gratification.