The Need for Speed:  Same-Day Delivery

The last mile, or final segment, to get a package delivered to a customer’s door has gotten a lot of attention the last few years. Online customers have raised the bar for e-retailers for shipping windows. Customers are no longer satisfied with a delivery of 3-7 days and expect their order to be delivered as soon as possible – and same-day is where the market is heading. New technology and delivery services have been focused on how to get orders delivered to customers faster.

The demand for faster delivery is only increasing and retailers will need to find a delivery solution that will satisfy millennials.  Fifty-six percent of online shoppers ages 18-34 expect to have same day delivery as an option at checkout, according to a survey by Trustev.  And, they expect it to be at a low (or even free!) cost.

Get it Delivered….Now

Amazon has certainly catapulted the industry into providing faster delivery timeframes for customers, and now many e-retailers are scrambling to find ways to deliver items to their customers within the same day of order.   Same day delivery used to be limited by the parcel’s size and weight, but new logistics technology is enabling more types of items to be fulfilled and shipped quicker.   While same-day delivery was previously limited to Amazon and a few select local retailers in certain urban areas, it is becoming more mainstream as an attractive online shipping option.

As same-day delivery becomes a more popular method for delivery, supply chains will need to improve operational processes and find cost-efficient ways to deliver customers’ orders.  Logistics providers will also have to transform their existing networks to position themselves to offer same-day delivery on a larger scale to deliver to more areas.

Crowdsourcing Apps

One of the ways that companies are able to offer faster delivery for a larger area through crowdsourcing.   Crowdsourced delivery is a new method of fulfillment that uses couriers to deliver packages to customers.   Companies such as Instacart, Deliv, and UberRush are using shared vehicles to deliver packages and data to figure out how to leverage drivers that have excess capacity.   Crowdsourcing was once reserved for meal and grocery delivery, but other types of retailers are experimenting with this delivery method.

Crowdsourcing allows for on-demand or scheduled delivery, so companies can meet their customers’ demands for instant delivery.  This is particularly attractive for younger, digitally-driven consumers and those who want to be home when their package is delivered, which eliminates time and costs for multiple delivery attempts.   Crowdsourcing delivery provides the consumer with more control over their shopping experience.

The final stage of delivery has almost been the most expensive and time-consuming for retailers, yet businesses need to balance their shipping costs with the demands of the market.   Crowdsourcing is a solution for this difficult segment as it relies on a local source for expedited fulfillment and delivery.   This increases the chance for customer satisfaction.

Retailers and their delivery providers will continue to improve on the last mile of fulfillment.  As we continue to see advances in crowdsourcing services, technology, and artificial intelligence, same day delivery services will skyrocket in coming years.   Legacy carriers may need to adjust their models to use their logistics networks to compete better in the retail arena.   For the competitive e-retail space, those companies that can prove themselves as a reliable and efficient delivery provider will also improve their customer relationships and brand reputation.

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