Last mile delivery should be key focus

To meet customer expectations.

Store-based delivery is on the rise and its journey to becoming the new norm is imminent, according to Radaro co-founder, Brenton Gill, who has forecasted trends in the last mile technology space and long-term benefits.

“As more brands take the necessary steps to streamline the path to purchase, a crucial focus is being placed on last mile delivery as retailers seek to continually remain at the forefront of progressive and new brand strategy,” he said.

Gill believes ‘on sale’ items are no longer the only drawcard for customer loyalty with convenience and fulfilment now leading the charge. “As a result, retailers are fighting for survival and need to adopt necessary technology and logistics to fit the modern-day consumer needs.”

Consumers can now track products and services, including pizza delivery, flight schedules and Uber, and businesses need to realise this is imperative if they are to remain competitive.

“When it comes to the delivery of an appliance, brands are now connecting trade services to retail distribution as a means of enhancing the customer accountability and experience. Not only does your fridge get delivered, it gets installed and set up by the same courier for no extra cost,” he said.

Gill used the example of FedEx testing new last mile delivery services overseas, including a ‘standard’ service, whereby shipments are delivered to a residence’s first point of entry, and a ‘premium’ service that includes white glove treatment, unpacking boxes and assembling products.

Traditionally, most retailers dispatch their products from a distribution centre but this ultimately slows down the delivery speed, he said.

“What is holding most companies back is access to the technology that would enable store-based fulfilment to enable a package to arrive at home faster than visiting the store. Amazon is achieving this by investing heavily in its logistics, from planes, vans, drones, sidewalk robots and more, but how can smaller businesses compete? With last-mile technology​.

“To ensure Australia remains ahead, we need to keep a close eye on the US market to ensure our local companies are equipped with the necessary tools to roll out superior last mile delivery services.”

On a final note he said: “The future’s looking bright for customers and the desire for transparency, speed, convenience and fulfilment when shopping online. And so too for brands, big and small, who have the fervour for disrupting their own markets.”

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