Final mile has become a key part of the customer journey and shoppers will begin to forgive other aspects of the experience if they receive a product at their desired time, according to commercetools Australia and New Zealand territory director, Joshua Emblin.

“In the appliance space, if you are buying bulk goods, the final mile is key and is no longer just a delivery window as many appliances including washing machines and dishwashers require plumbing,” he told Appliance Retailer in a recent interview.

“Retailers are now approaching final mile with a service on top of the delivery of a product. For example, a promise of being there on the delivery day within 15 minutes of a set time, plugging in the new machine and taking away the rubbish, and I believe these brands will thrive moving forward.”

There has been an acceleration of consumers wanting a product delivered same day during lockdown and they are demanding that same service post-pandemic, according to Emblin.

“Particularly as people invest more in the home and purchase products that push beyond price points that they would’ve typically been comfortable with previously,” he said.

“The commercetools platform can facilitate inventory by store location for our customers to quickly and easily display goods in a store and make them available to purchase online and get the order fulfilled.”

In addition to the final mile delivery promise, there is an increasing move toward direct-to-consumer models that allow brands to own the experience, their customers and customer data to build a closer relationship and long-term loyalty.

“There will be a shift in the way general retail needs to behave when selling on a brand’s behalf. We have seen Kmart move to private label with the Anko brand and the opening of standalone Anko stores across the US and Southeast Asia to separate it from the Kmart brand.

“We are also seeing brands who previously sold through general retail using digital channels to go direct to consumer. It will be interesting to see how the role of marketplaces continues to evolve. I believe that Amazon will need to launch its own private label products and differentiate on final mile delivery to continue to survive and thrive.”