Last Mile or Last Straw?

eDelivery EXPO, Europe’s leading event for retail fulfillment, recently polled 2,000 UK consumers to get their perceptions and experience on the delivery of goods purchased online. The results were recently published in a report titled The Importance of the Final Mile

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 93 percent had ordered a product online within the last month. This is nothing surprising, as we know more and more of us are ordering things online. Unfortunately though, we don’t always have a positive experience. And on that topic, the study showed that 1 in 5 customers actively avoid courier companies they have had a bad experience with in the past.

In fact, 17 percent of customers will check what company a retailer uses for shipment before making a purchase.

It boils down to this: the expectations of today’s consumer are higher than ever. The speed and dexterity of technology-driven logistics and customer communications have fostered a new world of customer demand.

The Last Mile is Make or Break

The “last mile” of delivery is the final leg of a product or service journey: from the time an order leaves fulfillment center as it makes its way through to the customer’s doorstep. It’s one of the most critical components of the distribution chain, and arguably the only customer-facing moment that really matters. That’s because happiness is won or lost in this often mysterious, low-visibility leg of any package’s journey.

Last mile delivery execution has become the keystone of excellent service. That’s because a delivery of goods or services to the home is the customer’s final touch point with the retailer in the purchase journey; it can literally make or break the customer relationship. Bringing it back to the research, The Importance of the Final Mile reports that poor delivery practices have made 18 percent of respondents stop shopping with certain retailers, with only 4 percent turning to click and collect and 4 percent resorting to purchasing in-store to circumvent poor last mile experiences.

Even more, poor delivery practices can tarnish a retailer’s reputation with customers’ friends and family. Almost a third admit to telling a friend or family members to avoid a particular retailer because of a bad experience they’ve had with a recent delivery.

Overall, the research highlights two things: (1) how easily a bad experience can result in lost customers and lost sales; and (2) the need for a seamless delivery process for consumers that can eradicate this risk.

We’re working with Fortune 1000 companies to transform that last mile from a final (or last) straw moment to more of a a relationship building moment with their customers. These leaders are committed to providing the best customer service, and we are proud to help them provide it.

What struggles are you facing with last mile delivery? What steps have you taken to reshape this moment to put customers back at the center?

Get in touch if you have questions about how Glympse is helping big brands make the change, or how we can help you do the same.