While automation is poised to revolutionize eCommerce Logistics and last mile delivery, last mile eCommerce will benefit from increased use of white glove logistics services. As explained by Andrea Obston of Parcel Industry, last mile delivery must be free, fast and all-inclusive. Although free and fast are standard parts of last mile delivery in eCommerce, the last word, all-inclusive, poses a new challenge for shippers. How do they provide better, all-inclusive service? The answer is by providing white glove services as part of last mile eCommerce, and shippers need to know a few things about why last mile eCommerce logistics now require white glove services too.
eCommerce Consumers Demand the Best Service Possible
Now includes installation, so home improvement shippers, like Home Depot and Lowes Home Improvement, must now consider eCommerce to be a venue for selling items requiring installation and assembly, reports Stuart Lauchlan of Diginomica. Even custom-built kitchens can now be ordered via Homedepot.com, so the demand for more than just delivery is present, explains Supply Chain Digest. In fact, more than 30 percent of revenue for furniture and appliance sales comes from eCommerce sites. Therefore, many less-than-truckload carriers are now offering white glove services as part of their services to tap into this revenue stream, allowing carriers to drive traditional delivery costs for large, bulky shipments down by providing extra services that customers are willing to pay for.
eCommerce is growing by rates in excess of 300 percent, reports McKinsey and Company via Business of Fashion, especially in emerging markets. Moreover, emerging markets face added pressures in last mile delivery, which may account for up to 50 percent of total delivery costs, compared to the average of 28 percent in the U.S. Unfortunately, many addresses and delivery locations are difficult-to-find, if not near impossible, in emerging markets, like India and China, so delivery must go beyond the simple delivery instructions of standard delivery. In other words, it must take on the characteristics of white glove service, including the premiums associated with it.
White Glove Logistics Service Overcome Last Mile eCommerce Challenges
White glove service. If personalized service. It can include assembly and installation, furniture repair, pickups, and exchanges, reports Brian Straight of Freight Waves. Furthermore, white glove logistics service allow shippers to overcome the challenges in delivering these larger items by including the equipment and machinery necessary to safely move these items into consumers home, like lift gates and dollies. Also, the historic stereotype of installers as being dirty and unprofessional must change, and white glove logistics make this possible.
For example, installers and white glove service professionals made aware booties on their feet to prevent tracking dirt, mud or other debris into consumers’ homes.
Last Mile eCommerce Is Subject to the Amazon-Effect Too
Amazon contributed to the push for white glove service in last mile eCommerce logistics with its focus on speed of delivery, especially among Amazon Prime benefits, of same-day or next-day delivery for eligible purchases. This push is further reiterated as Amazon continues to test its plans for Amazon PrimeAir, which will use drones to deliver products within hours, if not instantly, explains a Headwaters publication. More importantly, the most popular store for purchasing large, bulky items, such as furniture and appliances, is still Amazon, followed by the Home Depot. As a result, no niche industry is excluded from the need to offer better white glove services and effective last mile logistics.
Putting the Last Mile Logistics Picture Together
It can be hard to wrap your mind around how encompassing last mile Logistics can be. Last mile eCommerce, last mile technology, last mile metrics and white glove services make standard shipping conversations seem like child’s play, and the new focus on last mile is anything but. Shippers must adapt to the changing consumer demands and tailor last mile strategies to mesh well with such demands. To round off the series, here is another quick rundown of the top things shippers need to know about last mile logistics in the modern era.
- Shippers’ Last Mile Logistics Strategies Must Evolve to Meet Renewed Demands.
- Strategies Must Consider the Big and Small Stuff.
- Technology and TMS Catalyze Efficiency in Last Mile Delivery.
- Leveraging Metrics, Shippers Find Better Ways to Excel at Customer Service and Last Mile Services.
- The Complexity of Last Mile Logistics Continues to Disrupt Existing Supply Chains.
- New Last Mile Logistics Trends of Pushing the Logistics Industry Forward As a Whole.
- White Glove Services and Transportation Management at an Extra Layer of Finesse to Last Mile Logistics.
- Robotics and Automation Are Making Their Way Into Last Mile Delivery to.
- eCommerce Logistics Will Continue to Evolve.
Shippers that understand how each of these topics will impact profit margins can successfully navigate the changing demands of a highly competitive, omnichannel-based world. Every major retailer is moving in this direction, and your organization needs to up the game to stay competitive and survive the last mile revolution.