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Why are so many brands still ignoring the final mile?

Why are so many brands still ignoring the final mile?

It’s well-known that the logistics industry is a traditional one and this often means that businesses can be slow to change how they do things and even when they do, change isn’t always made quickly.

The impact of this could mean that your customers are dissatisfied with your service, and it’s likely it could be having a real impact on your bottom line too.

In today’s modern omni-channel world, ignoring the importance of the final mile is the biggest mistake of them all.
Why’s it so important?

Final mile is often the only part that the customer actually sees of the purchase process and that’s why it’s so important. And the truth is, even if you have new flashy website and brilliant products, customers won’t care if you can’t offer them a variety of delivery options and deliver to them at a time and way that they want.

Current customer demand
Today’s shoppers want convenience and choice. Therefore, the delivery options they are offered, must suit their lifestyles. The need for more control has come predominantly from ecommerce retail experiences that have transformed the ‘traditional’ supply chain, increasing the complexity of reverse logistics and placing even more emphasis on warehouse management and inventory.

The outcome of this means that a lot of change is required and, in a relatively short amount of time. It’s a big task, particularly for those brands that have previously been slow to adopt. Yet, for those brands who don’t get their supply chain in order, they risk being seriously exposed in the future.

Market changes
Competition in the market is growing. Your competitors are likely to be enhancing their customer journeys, offering them better experiences, with more convenience. But, if you’re not, then the gap between you and them, is getting ever bigger. 
This trend isn’t limited to the world of B2C either, as it’s having an impact on B2B too. And as B2C brands update their processes, to better meet the needs of their customer-base, the expectation being placed on B2B brands to match this standard is growing increasingly important. As with many things however, this is often easier said than done.

Why is it so hard to manage?
The final mile is difficult because of the growing complexities demanded by consumers. And, because the majority of the cost for shipping is attributed to the final mile.
Despite the phrase ‘nothing comes for free’, customers want to receive the same brand experience across every touchpoint but don’t want to pay for it. This leaves many brands reluctant to invest because of the additional costs required up-front.

The fickle nature of customers also means that even if you have a high-tech, friendly or efficient website, if your customers don’t receive the same experience when they pick up the phone to you, or when they track or return a parcel after ordering, then the whole sales process is undermined. In short, any improvement to the sales journey (by you or your competitor) is pushing up expectation across the whole sales journey – particularly at final mile - and this can be hard to keep up!

The final mile is no doubt a crucial part of the logistics process and a failure to get it right could mean you lose a customer for a lifetime. Yet, if you’re in a position to set up a flexible, cost-efficient and effective supply chain then the benefits are limitless. Just make sure you have the expertise, experience and infrastructure to deliver the best solution you can.

What now?
The first thing to find out is whether you need to upgrade your final mile offering.
Ask yourself:
• Do you have the flexibility to meet orders quickly, whenever and however they are placed?
• Do you have complete control of your deliveries – when and how they are made, and by whom?
• Can you scale up or scale down according to shipment volumes?
• Do you have the right facilities and infrastructure to streamline processes for speedy returns?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above, then it’s likely improvements do need to be made. These questions could be the difference between making it and breaking it in the future.

Carousel Logistics is a leading personalised logistics provider, offering expert solutions final mile solutions. Whether it’s regular, next day, timed or specialist deliveries, UK or international, we can help make the last mile delivery experience a better one.

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