Try to think of a delivery you didn’t know was coming. Aside from birthday or anniversary surprises, you almost always know when your next box of contact lenses is on the way or your takeout is about to arrive.
Consumers have become so accustomed to being informed via email or text that failing to provide insight into the delivery journey is an immediate turnoff. Digital Commerce 360 found that 47% of consumers will never re-order from a brand with poor delivery visibility. But on the flip side, Capgemini reports that 75% of customers are willing to spend more if they are satisfied with delivery services.
Streamlining last-mile delivery is critical not only for managing costs, but also for customer retention and revenue growth. But how do you do it? In this article, we discuss three ways Posts can perfect the delivery process and deliver a delightful customer experience in the process.
Meeting operational goals is a constant challenge for any Post. Luckily, technology can help. Route planning software assigns parcels to the fastest possible delivery routes based on geography, physical attributes like height and weight, and even a company’s delivery KPIs. And even if jobs need to be added or removed while drivers are already en route, the GPS tracking inherent to route software automatically updates drivers’ turn-by-turn navigation. This dynamic route optimization prevents extra stops and starts along drivers’ routes, supporting more seamless, punctual deliveries.
Unsurprisingly, 93% of consumers want to stay informed throughout the delivery process. Transparency gives customers peace of mind, but it also helps them plan their life and look forward to their upcoming delivery. Consider implementing a robust track & trace solution where customers can opt-in to SMS alerts, redirect parcels to a new address, view proof of delivery, or even request to speak to a driver. These solutions also encourage customers to rate encounters, giving Posts valuable insight into any breakdowns in communication. Self-service kiosks or post office kiosks are another way to serve customers better. Instead of waiting in long lines at the post office, these always-on post office kiosks give customers the option to ship parcels whenever it’s convenient for them. Not only that, they can track the delivery journey electronically using a self-service app or text messages.
Pick-up-drop-off, or PUDO, refers to designated locations for dropping off and receiving packages. PUDO stations can be placed anywhere, including gas stations, pharmacies, or convenience stores. PUDO locations can dramatically increase a Post’s network, reduce the need for post-owned post offices, and give Posts real-time data to assist in decision-making. The PUDO format is ideal for customers as well, giving them the flexibility to complete postal transactions outside of normal Post operating hours and eliminating the need for them to be at home to accept deliveries.
An even more modern form of PUDO called Universal ePOS offers full postal service functionality in any third-party location. However, Universal ePOS connects directly to a retailer’s existing payment system, meaning that customers can pay for store merchandise and postal goods or services all in one transaction at the front of store check-out area. With Universal ePOS, Posts don’t incur the fixed IT costs of extra POS hardware or peripherals, and don’t carry the cost of managing technical support and maintenance. At the same time, retailers save floor space, benefit from expanded product offerings, and higher foot traffic.
Two years ago, Statista found that the average last-mile cost incurred to organizations was roughly US$10.10. With e-retail revenues projected to grow to US$6.54T by 2022, that cost is bound to surge. Fortunately, the pandemic forced innovation in the delivery space, giving retailers an enormous opportunity to optimize last-mile options.
Now is the optimal time to revamp your delivery processes with capabilities such as precision delivery or preassigning parcels to delivery routes. These solutions will strengthen operational efficiency by reducing overhead and cutting delivery costs. Customers will also value more robust self-service options which will increase transparency and drive loyalty. And finally, more convenient locations to pick up and drop off parcels through PUDO can help grow your retail network and shifts your costs from fixed to variable, while enhancing service availability. While there are many ways to perfect the delivery process, these strategies will help you stay ahead of the curve, improve profitability and remain competitive.
Looking for help? Escher’s team of postal technology experts has navigated almost every situation imaginable. Book a complimentary strategic consultation with one of our consultants today.