The Importance of Last Mile Order Tracking for Your Business

Authored by tomdummer
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2024 - 09:44

Last mile order tracking is defined as the final step in the delivery process, between the distribution centre and the customers location. This is one of the most important moments in the delivery, because it’s also when hold ups can occur that impact the delivery to retail stores and consumers at home..

The range and cost of delivery options will influence buyer behaviour and the actual delivery experience will influence overall satisfaction, repeat purchase and loyalty. Couriers like Royal Mail have experienced delivery issues within Devon in the past, so this shows how important it is to get it right. Keep on reading to learn more about why last mile delivery is so important:

Customer Satisfaction

One of the main reasons as to why last mile order tracking is so important is because it has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. 

It helps to bring enhanced visibility and transparency, providing customers with real time data on the location of their parcel, diminishing unwanted anxiety on where their parcel is. This also helps a delivery integrate seamlessly in everyday life. Notifications from tracking devices help customers keep track of their orders whilst they are busy at work, or at home waiting for the delivery. 

If customers have little confidence in the timeframe of their delivery, it will have a bearing on their perceptions of the company and customers may not order from them again in the future.

Milestone Notifications

The use of last mile order tracking helps businesses receive important notifications about the delivery of products to their customers.

Last mile order tracking can help businesses know in real time if there is a delay in a delivery so that proactive action can be taken. Examples can include businesses reaching out to the customer directly letting them know there is a delay in their delivery. Resetting expectations is essential in maintaining good customer relationships. 

A milestone notification can also help optimise delivery routes. If there is a significant delay in a delivery missing a milestone (for example a delay in reaching the customers’ local post office), businesses can intervene for future deliveries and develop a better route for the delivery. Other ways of increasing the speed of reaching milestones can include using a different delivery provider. There may be a road holdup which will delay the parcel being delivered, or a provider may have issues internally, impacting the speed of a delivery. 

Faster Shipping Times

Last mile order tracking can also lead to faster shipping times. This is mainly down to the speed and accuracy of last mile delivery, and the constant tracking provided by this software means real time data can be collected and leveraged. The tracking data collected over time helps to identify patterns and trends in delivery routes and times. This then causes businesses to identify gaps in their delivery service, and implement strategies that can help improve their delivery processes further. 

An example of this could be in high traffic areas. Delivery schedules could be adjusted to avoid city rush hour, missing congestion and delivery speed. If delivery drivers are stuck in traffic, not only will deliveries be resolved later than they should be, but the stop-start nature of city traffic leads to more fuel being used, wasting money. 

The good news is there are last mile delivery software providers out there that can manage numerous dispatches every day, helping to monitor drivers, vehicles and orders. 

Is last mile delivery different in urban and rural areas?

The nature of last mile delivery can also be quite different if you are in a city over a rural area, where there are country roads and fewer traffic issues. 

The population density in a city is much higher, which will mean deliveries are made in a smaller place, in comparison to urban areas which are more spread out. Therefore, this leads to different challenges, with urban areas dealing with traffic or congestion and rural areas dealing with a larger gap between deliveries. 

There is also a dramatic difference in the infrastructure. Last mile delivery in a city benefits from a more developed road infrastructure and convenient delivery options, meaning if there was an issue with a certain route, another can be located quickly which isn’t too dissimilar from the original route. Rural areas however will have fewer road options. So if there was an issue with a road, the delivery could be significantly delayed, which looks bad on the business.

The location of your customers can have an impact on their expectations, due to the nature of living in both these areas. Customers in a city would be expecting a faster and more convenient service, due the nature of living in a city means customers are able to visit shops a short walk away. This is a stark comparison to rural customers, because some will rely solely on deliveries to receive products they need easily. This leads to rural customers prioritising reliability and accessibility over speed and security of delivery in the city. 

As a result, depending on the location of your business, the challenges faced by delivery companies can vary widely. 

Overall it’s clear last mile order tracking is a critical stage for your business, and is so important to get right. If you are a business offering a delivery service for your products, do ensure that the last mile service is as strong as the product itself that you are selling.