With the rise in online shopping trends, the UAE and Saudi Arabia markets have seen a rise in new e-commerce businesses as well. Potential for e-commerce businesses is high, but so is the competition with the giants. How would you stand out? You might have planned your entire supply chain thoroughly but, planning last mile delivery is so much more important as well. We all know that last mile delivery plays a crucial role in any e-commerce business, but why? Why is it important to choose the right logistics partner for your last mile efforts? Let’s take a deep dive.
Why Last Mile Delivery Is Important?
Years ago, customers would face long waiting periods for their online packages to be delivered, however, this has changed over time, to customers now expecting their packages as early as the next day or even the same evening! E-commerce industry has undergone several changes and companies are trying to woo their customers with faster deliveries and prompt support. This has largely changed the backend, that is – the logistics part of the e-commerce businesses.
The entire process of how a package is picked and delivered to a customer is known as the last mile delivery – and this last mile delivery can make or break a customer’s satisfaction and delight – because if you can’t do it – some other company will! It is also important to note that last mile delivery is not just important for achieving customer satisfaction, but it also impacts delivery costs, delivery time and the business itself.
It is worthy to note that the logistics behind the last mile delivery has changed big deal too. The logistics is complex, technology and resource intensive. Therefore, there are many aspects that you should consider when looking for a third party logistics (3PL) partner to handle your last mile delivery? Here are some major points that you should consider.
How To Choose a Last Mile Delivery Logistics Partner?
While there are multiple factors you would want to consider while evaluating a 3PL company for your last mile delivery, here are some of the major ones that should be evaluated.
- Technologically sound – A large chunk of last mile delivery relies on technology. Customers require real time updates on their packages. A 3PL company should have advanced technology to integrate their systems with yours, giving required visibility to you and your customers.
- Route Optimization and Delivery Speed – Route planning and optimization is the key to faster deliveries. Typically, e-commerce businesses need to deliver several packages in a day, it is important to evaluate how a 3PL optimizes the route planning to deliver the packages as fast as possible during the day.
- Delivery options – With increasing consumer awareness, people now demand more delivery options. They expect deliveries whenever and wherever they require, wanting options like rescheduling, changing the option, receiving deliveries within specific hours. Another classic example is that of the deliveries during COVID-19 pandemic, customers demand contactless deliveries and products to be sanitized. A 3PL company should be capable of handling such dynamic demands.
- Cash on Delivery – Several customers prefer Cash on Delivery (COD) payment option. A 3PL, like ProConnect Integrated Logistics, will have this COD option and an integrated system to manage and reconcile the same.
- Returns Management – About 18% to 40% of online orders are returned by customers. Bringing a returns process in place and aligning logistics to it is complex, yet vital. A 3PL will have a system to smoothly manage the returns for you.
- Cost Reduction – A 3PL partner for your last mile delivery can largely reduce the cost for you. When you entrust your last mile delivery to a 3PL, they take the overhead of labors, resources, fuel and other such logistics requirement from your shoulders – giving you time and resources to handle the frontend of your online business.
- Logistics Expertise – A 3PL would have been in the logistics industry for more years than you have been around. Their experience and expertise in all of the above points as well as some of the nitty-gritties that may seem small but have bigger impact could help your business in several ways.
While these are some of the common factors to be considered, there may be some other industry-specific factors that come into play when choosing the right third party logistics company for your last mile delivery.
We, ProConnect Integrated Logistics, are well known for our logistics services in the region. We are last mile delivery partners of some of the well known e-commerce companies in Saudi Arabia and have started our last mile operations in UAE too. We are also experts in warehousing and fulfillment with 21 warehouses across UAE and Saudi Arabia that can further help you streamline and reduce cost for your e-commerce business. If you are evaluating a 3PL partner, we can help you. Talk to Us today!