Last Mile Delivery Challenges of a Food Delivery Business
As more and more customers shift to online ordering and expect faster deliveries, the Last Mile Delivery has become quite mainstream these days.
But, even with a lot of technological advancements, last mile delivery challenges seem to have evolved more rather than being diminished.
For example, there are only a handful of brands that have been successful in providing a seamless last mile delivery experience, and these brands seem to have set high benchmarks for their competitors.
That being said, if you’re not providing faster delivery options to customers that they want, they will just shop from elsewhere.
So, in order to make sure that customers don’t leave, businesses must overcome the following last mile delivery challenges first.
Key Last Mile Delivery Challenges
Here are the 7 key challenges brands must overcome to meet the “need-it-now” consumer mindset.
Delivery cost is undoubtedly the biggest challenge businesses from all industries face. For example, failed and late deliveries, according to a study, cost businesses nearly $70.
Though 86% of customers are ready to pay extra for expedited deliveries, but this percentage is likely to decrease in the near future as same-day deliveries are increasingly becoming a new normal.
In simple words, customers have already started expecting cheap same-day delivery and free next-day deliveries from brick-and-mortar retailers as well as online businesses.
And for this reason, businesses just can’t push the expedited delivery costs on their customers because by doing so, they’ll only push their customers to leave.
The best way to keep your customers happy and reduce the last mile delivery costs, businesses must rely on modern-day last mile delivery solutions that are efficient and cost-effective.
Delivery Route Planning
When it comes to last-mile delivery, businesses often face the problem of changing routes based on conditions on that particular day, which causes delays and customer dissatisfaction.
However, there are a few last mile delivery solutions like Fixlastmile that provide auto-routing technology, which greatly contributes to helping businesses achieve better efficiency in their delivery route planning.
In simple terms, modern-day last mile solutions come with algorithms that ensure that delivery agents complete most order deliveries in the least amount of time possible with least amount of fuel burned.
These algorithms take important variables into account such as location proximity, delivery windows, delivery agent availability, traffic conditions, and a lot of other variables.
In fact, businesses that are yet to adapt last mile delivery solutions with auto-routing technology are destined to face major operational issues.
Unavailability of Customer
Let’s say you shipped an order across seven seas and took all measures to ensure the order gets delivered on time.
But, as your delivery agent reaches the customer’s door, he is greeted with a guard who just wouldn’t accept the package on behalf of the customer or just finds the door locked.
In such situations, the delivery timelines are missed and it generally leads to less-than-satisfied customer experience.
To avoid such situations, businesses must have necessary checks in place so that there is seamless communication and collaboration between the customers and delivery agents.
Delivery Address Issues
Businesses that make the mistake of allocating jobs manually oftentimes face the issue of destination management.
In most cases, it basically increases the chances of human error, which ultimately results in missing out on a particular route or shipments getting mislocated.
When this happens, businesses usually have to shoulder a huge amount of extra last-mile delivery costs.
Besides the added costs, the delivery agents also often have to go on a long, complex, and never-ending maze.
Therefore, businesses must address this challenge by assessing the bad quality or incorrect addresses through a modern last mile delivery software as soon as the order is received.
Meeting Fulfillment Timeline
In today’s era where customers believe that everything is just a click away, adhering to fulfillment timelines is of utmost importance for businesses if they wish to survive in the market.
In the case of food delivery businesses, especially, if the guaranteed timeline is missed, not only the reputation gets ruined, but the businesses also have to bear delivery charges off customers.
In a nutshell, food delivery businesses must make their delivery process as robust as possible to fulfill all orders in a timely manner. However, achieving a higher level of robustness is no piece of cake.
It requires lots of agility and flexibility in the context of their real-time delivery tracking management software.
There are certain last mile solutions like Fixlastmile, though, that can assist in solving the challenge of meeting fulfillment timelines.
Maintaining Proper Infrastructure
Customers’ demands are always shifting and there might come a time where businesses will no longer need to have a distribution center or a warehouse setup.
But in any case, it is still necessary for businesses to maintain the right amount of labor force to fulfill all last mile deliveries.
Now, the challenge is that there is already a shortage of delivery agents and drivers. And without enough delivery agents, businesses will find themselves in a situation where there are more orders than their labor force can fulfill.
The only way to avoid such a situation and stay competitive in the market is to be aware about the inefficiencies in the current operations and establishing and maintaining a proper infrastructure to make sure businesses stay on top of delivery orders before the problem goes out of hand to tackle.
Handling Returns & Damaged Goods
Many online businesses including food delivery businesses offer free returns of orders. This flexibility just allows customers to order items without any worry. But, offering free returns is also one of the biggest challenges for businesses.
For example, it significantly adds extra cost to provide free return service and free returns also complicate the inventory management process.
Another biggest challenge businesses face handling damaged goods. We all know that accidents happen. But it doesn’t mean customers will accept deliveries with damaged packages or damaged goods.
That’s not what they purchased, that’s not what they paid for, that’s not what they should receive, and that’s not what they deserve.
In fact, receiving damaged goods or with damaged packaging increases the chances of customers leaving your brand forever.
The best solution to overcome this challenge is to provide an attractive warranty or insurance coverage to your customers in which if their order arrives late or damaged, they will feel at ease knowing that their order is ensured no matter what happens.
Dealing with last mile challenges demands investing in a proper last mile solution that can help your business manage deliveries efficiently and cost-effectively.
With last mile delivery solutions available today, it has become easier for businesses to overcome the above last mile delivery challenges.