The retail industry continues to be shaken up by the shifting presence of consumers. Now that online shopping as become the priority preference for a majority of shoppers, the order fulfillment expectations of businesses continue to be tested. In the case of industry giants, this isn’t too much of an issue. Take Amazon, and their Prime shipping offering as an example. Many customers default to shopping with Amazon explicitly for their shipping capabilities. For lesser established businesses in the space, this can be dangerous as their shipping times, on average, take much longer than companies such as Amazon. Keeping up with customers’ expectations can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
Every organization is going to handle their order fulfillment differently. However, in recent years, the last mile delivery phase of these processes has become increasingly important. In this phase, products purchased by customers are transported from their holding fulfillment centers to the final point of sale. This is where your less established organizations are truly challenged. Without a well-polished last mile delivery strategy, the online sales of these businesses will be negatively affected.
It wasn’t until recently that the last mile delivery stage of order fulfillment was fully fleshed out. Many years ago, orders placed online would not be met with such sophisticated tracking information. In most cases, online shoppers were told to expect a product within a range of dates and that was about all of the information they got. Of course businesses would still try their best to get their customers’ products to them as quickly as possible, but the expectations of customers were much less demanding then. Now, as more and more giants continue to control the space, shipment expectations have long been on the rise.
Not only can shipping pose an issue to these smaller businesses today, but so can order volume. As the pandemic began, more and more shoppers felt exclusively comfortable with shopping from their homes. Meaning these businesses were to be responsible for shipping more products on average than what they’d be used to. Keeping up with this shipping can be difficult, but not impossible. One of the most effective methods for maintaining a stable last mile delivery is through inventory management systems and warehouse space spanning throughout the states. With these facilities and the right system, more and more delivery options become available for your customers. Providing rigid tracking for these orders becomes increasingly easier as well as a result of these systems.
If your business has begun seeing a decrease in online sales, it might be worth considering how to adjust your last mile delivery strategy. A polished order fulfillment strategy ensures that your customers will continue shopping with your business. Acquiring a competitive advantage over your niche is accomplishable through this strategy. For more information on how these strategies can impact your business, be sure to check out the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of WAREHOWZ