Expedited Shipping, E-commerce, Last Mile DeliveryAs retailers compete for the perfect delivery experience and consumers continue to pay premiums for speed and reliability, last mile delivery drives growth and profitability.Brian Bourke is Chief Growth Officer, SEKO Logistics, 630-919-4800In the ever-evolving landscape of eCommerce, brands are being judged on their ability to deliver on promises; and those retailers that don't widen their delivery fulfillment options risk losing their competitive advantage.Online shopping has become an extension of the in-store experience and, in some cases, a replacement for it. Consumers have become accustomed to receiving goods within a short timeframe. The successful retailer will be prepared with a variety of options to meet the increased demand.True Next Day DeliveryThe term 'next day' delivery can be misleading. Does it reference business days only or specific days of the week? And, what is the daily deadline for orders? By setting unclear parameters and failing to deliver, retailers risk damaging their reputations. As deadlines tighten and expectations grow, all of these nuances can make, or break, a successful delivery.When considering next day delivery, retailers must make sure their logistics provider offers the best shipment solutions. Later Cutoff Times Make ALL the DifferenceTrue next day delivery adheres to later cutoff times and involves a well-connected logistics operation. Retailers often claim to offer next day delivery when, in reality, their cutoff time falls early in the afternoon. When 'next day' really means two days, retailers risk missing out on lucrative sales.Offering a next day service with a midnight cutoff, instead of 3 p.m., could make all the difference—a well-connected provider can easily handle nationwide deliveries at a moment's notice.The Delivery Experience Defines the Customer ExperienceTracking technology that includes GPS and barcode systems enables clients to monitor their shipments via emails, text updates, real-time tracking, notifications and photos. Customized portals can be branded to offer a seamless, customer-focused experience from order placement to last mile delivery.As retailers compete for the perfect delivery experience and consumers continue to pay premiums for speed and reliability, last mile delivery is proving to be the key to successful growth and profitability.While the expense of failed deliveries is damaging to big companies, it is crippling to small businesses. All retailers should have a back-up plan for when things go awry. Tracking technology can clarify the driver/package's last location and alternate pickup options give consumers a choice.3PLs Give You the Competitive EdgeOne method of gaining coverage across multiple locations is to work with a 3PL (third-party logistics) provider or freight forwarder that is part of a large network. With experience in warehousing, transportation and distribution, 3PLs are perfectly placed to help retailers gain their competitive edge—making the delivery process seamless, efficient, simple and scalable.Large 3PLs have multiple warehouses, or fulfillment centers, dispersed throughout the country, enabling them to transport stock from the most convenient location to save time and cost. Additionally, they assume responsibility for inventory management, warehouse storage, packing and billing.A leading 3PL will help clients maintain excellent relationships with their customers by delivering goods in a timely, transparent way.Get in touch to find out how SEKO Logistics' True Next Day service can support your retail operations.
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