Solving the Last Mile: Re-Imagining the Supply Chain on the Local Level
Updated: Sep 15
The last-mile problem has plagued the e-commerce retail world for years. There are many innovations rising to attack this issue, but the problem is only exponentially increasing in 2020 with COVID-19. And, like we mentioned in our previous article, COVID-19 is speeding up the necessity for delivery like never before. There are a few ways to address this problem, but with its growth over the past few months, the localization of the retail supply chain is becoming imminent. Not only are national retailers discovering that they can use their local neighborhood stores in many cities to provide their products on-demand at the customer’s fingertips, but they’re seeing that the effects of this shift will ultimately put an end to the last-mile problem in supply chain logistics.
What is the Last Mile?
The last mile in logistics is the final stretch for a package to be delivered to the customer’s door. It's the most difficult part of logistics that has caused a lot of headaches for retailers for years. It is during the last mile that so many issues can happen, and that final carrier has to be able to handle unpredictability. This makes up many variables that add to the problem: "customers not available at home, package theft, urban congestion and rising expectations for guaranteed, two-day delivery or omnichannel options aggravate the already existing challenges," says Edwin Lopez of Supply Chain Dive. For a while, "businesses have begun racing to develop new technologies and experimental supply chain models to increase parcel volume, expedite deliveries, and delight customers — all while trying to cut costs. Unfortunately, one of their biggest expenses and challenges is same-day, last mile shipping," says Shelagh Dolan of Business Insider. It requires innovative thinking to overcome the headache. A revolution against the last-mile problem can open the door to same-day delivery solutions for retailers. The increasing value of a same-day delivery model is unprecedented and companies need to get on board as soon as possible.
There has been a shift in logistics to using a local-store model for delivery. If you offer your products from the shelves of your local store to be delivered to the customer's home in the same neighborhood, not only does it relieve the logistical frustration of the last-mile problem, but it also offers the fastest possible delivery to the customer. With the demand for immediate order fulfillment of online shopping increasing this year, supply chain logistics is being forced to take a close look at the local level in order to keep their stores up to speed. Ship-from-store fulfillment has been a concept for years now, but there still hasn't been one solid solution to arise at the forefront of this year's change in the retail world.
In 2018, 23% of consumers said they were willing to pay for same-day delivery options. Since then, that rate has only steadily increased, but it seems that the industry is slow to evolve. In 2019, the last mile delivery market size was $30B and expected to reach $55 billion in the next 5 years. With an increasing consumer need and growing market like that, why hasn’t same-day delivery become the standard for retailers and e-commerce?
One thing that most companies are adopting is the in-store or curbside pickup system. But why stop at customer pickup, when you can offer those same products from the shelves of your store directly to the customer's door? OneVim offers a seamless integration with your in-store pickup platform that will send a driver to pick up the item and bring it to the customer. Finally, your local customers will get that instant satisfaction by receiving your product within an hour of ordering from their fingertips.
Reaching customers is the ultimate challenge for retailers in 2020, but OneVim offers a way for companies to stretch their local stores right to the customer's doorstep without them ever having to leave the website. They can already download our app for iOS and Android for their pickup and drop off needs, but an integration with our retail partners makes ordering on-demand delivery from the local store an easy one-step process.
If you're interested in learning more about how we can integrate with your online store or just have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out! You can email me at email@example.com, or send us a message via the WebChat icon in the bottom right corner.