Last Mile Delivery: location technology at the heart of a strategic challenge
Retail companies as well as their other sector counterparts are in the same boat when it comes to consumers’ wishes: they rank second in command. As for consumers, their wishes are modeled after the deep-rooted trends of their era, an era in which instantaneity and connectivity are increasingly more important. In this ever-changing scenery, virtual platforms like Amazon seem to have the upper edge on more “conventional” retailers by offering consumers the delivery of fresh products within the hour, whether you’re in fast-paced New York or a chic London neighborhood. As logic would dictate, well-established brand names are now starting to turn to innovation, a primordial path to take in order to adapt to the new demands of the e-commerce market. The defining moment in this new age for the sector may well involve relying on mobile location technology to provide a solution to the logistic difficulties encountered during the last miles of delivery operations, and to offer consumers the customer experience they seek— a complete service from the first click to the arrival of the delivery truck at their doorstep.
Last Mile Delivery management: an equation for success?
All company logistics coordinators who offer e-commerce services are faced with this same problem. Although the first miles of delivery in urban settings are often well under control, with excellent just-in-time management between inventory and destinations and pooling systems put in place, the last miles, however, are often wrought with problems, such as traffic jams and unpredictable mailmen. The result is a setback in delivery times and a dissatisfied customer. Setting up real-time mobile location services therefore offers consumers transparency when it comes to tracking their packages.
Uberization of society: a force to be embraced, not feared
Customers seeking these types of services falls within a broader gradual upheaval in consumption habits, almost considered a stage in societal evolution, known as the “Uberization of society”. Emerging from widespread connectivity and location services thanks to our Smartphones, this phenomenon has become a genuine axiom pushing companies to further optimize customer experience day after day. For retailers this is as much a danger as it is an opportunity. They see themselves being replaced by direct selling platforms but at the same time, by stepping up to the challenges of innovation, they can develop their market.
A reality that is taking root abroad
The American retail giant Walmart has already grabbed hold of emerging possibilities by joining forces with transportation companies that use applications to connect users and drivers. The goal is to offer their customers the possibility to track their packages in real-time. Lyft, Deliv and, it goes without saying, Uber are just some of these companies that already offer consumers instant mobile location services to track their packages.
Ooshop leads the way in France
French company Ooshop, a subsidiary of the Carrefour group that provides grocery home delivery services, has taken customer experience optimization to the next level. The company has set up an application for its consumers to offer them not only real-time mobile location services but also what has become the seductive slogan of their latest campaign: “groceries delivered to your home right on time.” A new stage in e-commerce has been born thanks to this application which combines mobile location services with information provided by drivers to generate a predictive algorithm for delivery times. Along with an intuitive interface, it enables consumers to conveniently track their packages.
“Parcel delivery is a fundamental challenge. It’s our only physical contact with our customers, a significant area of innovation and our second largest cost after merchandise.” Hugues Pelletier, director of Ooshop, perfectly sums up two crucial points: optimizing delivery services is a huge challenge for the booming e-commerce market and innovation is a key factor to achieving this optimization. Mobile location technology is thus an essential solution for working out the problems related to Last Mile Delivery, but it is not the only one. This technology has established itself as a vital building block in constructing the e-commerce of the future. However, the main challenge lies in maximizing customer experience at the heart of a service sector that is gradually being pushed towards becoming a consumption norm.