What is Last-Mile Delivery? Common Challenges and Solutions
When was the last time you shopped online and had a package shipped to you? Or skipped the cooking and had takeout delivered to your door?
For consumers, behaviors like these have become so ingrained in our day-to-day lives that we barely give these delivery practices much thought – until something goes wrong.
No one wants to track down a package that was mistakenly delivered to a neighbor’s home, or to have a fresh pizza delivered cold. Customer expectations are higher than ever (and always growing), and issues like these can spiral out of hand if organizations don’t have a solid grasp on their last-mile delivery approach.
What exactly is last-mile delivery? What are the challenges that businesses need to overcome to get it right? And what do those “right” last-mile delivery solutions look like?
What is Last-Mile Delivery?
Last-mile delivery (also known as final-mile delivery or hyperlocal delivery) is the final step in an item’s delivery journey, typically when it moves from a distribution center to the end consumer.
Whether it’s a package out for delivery from a nearby warehouse or a food delivery en route from a local restaurant, the different forms of last-mile delivery often share one big thing in common: they play a direct and important role in the customer experience and can influence brand perception based on the outcome.
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Last-Mile Delivery Challenges
Consumers today demand and expect fast, affordable, and error-free shipping. If you’re a business whose success hinges on meeting these demands, you’ve likely faced last-mile delivery challenges in some – or all – of the following areas:
- eCommerce order processing: high cart abandonment and low-quality and/or missing information capture at the point of sale
- Hyperlocal delivery: late and failed deliveries, which lead to high customer and driver attrition
- Location master data management (MDM): inability to organize and operationalize highly valuable internal data
- Consumer analytics: low insight into market potential/market share
Often, last-mile delivery challenges can be traced back to incomplete, low-quality addresses. Take the first point above, for example. Here’s how an incomplete address capture can create downstream impacts:
- A customer lives in an apartment complex, but secondary address information (in this case, their unit number in the building) isn’t captured
- The delivery driver arrives at the location, but has no context as to where to leave the package
- The driver needs to rely on either guesswork or direct contact with the consumer – creating confusion and inconvenience for all parties involved
Ultimately, a seemingly small omission like an apartment unit can amount to big consequences, like failed deliveries or increased delivery times, negative customer experiences, and an increase in customer – and driver – attrition.
What’s the Solution for Seamless Last-Mile Deliveries?
Accurate, consistent, and contextualized data powers flawless last-mile deliveries. And that’s what makes hyper-accurate geo addressing so critical to your success.
Geo addressing is our combination of three processes related to an address: address verification, geocoding, and the creation of a unique, persistent identifier (the PreciselyID).
These capabilities ensure that addresses found in your business data are verified, standardized, and cleaned for maximum accuracy. Then, we associate a hyper-accurate geocode or location (latitude/longitude), often at rooftop level, and assign each address a PreciselyID – which plays a powerful role in data enrichment, providing the context you need to ensure smooth and accurate deliveries, every time.
And with smart autocomplete features that return a suggested list of complete addresses, based on partial address keystrokes, you create an intuitive complete address capture experience for your customers, and reduce confusion and failed deliveries for your drivers.
Let’s revisit the four common challenges highlighted above, and how solutions from Precisely create better outcomes:
- eCommerce order processing:
- Reduce cart abandonment and enhance your customer experience
- Power highly accurate, consistent, and contextual processes from the point of sale
- Hyperlocal delivery:
- Build confidence with consumers and delivery drives with property-specific context and intelligence
- Deploy a solution that grows in scale and impact over time, as your needs shift
- Location master data management (MDM):
- Take an address-centric approach to align and operationalize highly valuable internal data
- Apply added context and accuracy to surface back into your business
- Consumer analytics:
- Gain better understanding of customer preferences
- Identify opportunities for market penetration
- Make informed decisions to maximize your market share
Ready to power better deliveries that save time, reduce costs, and boost customer loyalty? The driver’s seat is yours.
Read our eBook The 6 Capabilities You Need in a Geo Addressing Solution and explore the considerations for selecting a geo addressing solution that supports a winning location intelligence business strategy.