Getting Online Retail Up to Speed with Better Logistics Optimization
4 Min Read
Written by: Parcel Pending
With the explosion in customer demand for online sales, cost-effective solutions to getting goods to customers quickly, efficiently, and on-time is a persistent concern for business leaders in the retail industry. Logistics optimization can provide a number of key benefits for retailers and logistics providers looking for support through the various steps of planning, executing, and shipping items to their end destinations.1
In the pursuit of supply chain network optimization, smart lockers are a valuable tool in the suite of emerging technologies that can help support logistics management and supply chain management as well as lower the costs of last mile logistics, including delivery and fulfillment.
Saving time and money
For over 70% of customers, convenience and free shipping are the main reasons to buy online.2 And with customer expectations for lightning-fast same-day delivery on the increase, finding ways to improve all stages of the delivery process is no longer a question of securing a competitive advantage, but simply the new reality of keeping up with your competitors.
Logistics optimization enables businesses to increase forecast accuracy, supply chain efficiencies, and competitive advantage in the market. Improved performance can be implemented at every stage of the global supply chain, distribution, and delivery processes. Some of the most valuable benefits occur through the use of transport inventory management systems that allow shippers and their partners to have access to real-time shipment and inventory data and shipping routes.3
Leveraging logistics planning and transportation tools such as warehouse automation and autonomous delivery vehicles, as well as outsourcing tasks that cost too much time or money to handle internally, are valuable ways to move goods quickly and efficiently, better manage customer expectations, and ensure customer satisfaction.
Wondering “what is a distribution strategy”? Be sure to check out our related blog on the topic, as having one can help improve how your products reach your customers.
Reducing errors and unhappy customers
One of the most frustrating things about delivery from the customer’s perspective is having to track a lost or misplaced item. For retailers, the price of a delivery disruption and a disgruntled customer is not just a lost sale and a potential negative social media post. It can also damage a hard-earned reputation, involve time-consuming customer service interactions, and even the cost of recovering or replacing lost or stolen items.
Logistics optimization focusing on new and innovative ways to automate and outsource processes can help limit some risks by helping businesses deal with these operating costs. As many as 82% of consumers in the U.S. are willing to purchase more items to take advantage of a minimum spending “free delivery” option.2 Identifying effective ways of streamlining distribution and fulfillment processes through automation or outsourcing simply makes good business sense.
In this regard, options include auditing current processes and vendors and automating manual processes such as route setting and package delivery planning. Audits and automating processes can speed up delivery and lower the costs of the most expensive and difficult part of the fulfillment process – last mile delivery.4
Engaging customers from “order confirmed” to “order delivered”
One aspect of logistics optimization that we are now used to and have come to expect as online shoppers is the ability to know the status of an order throughout the fulfillment process lifecycle. Online customers now expect a high degree of visibility into where their order is at all times. They want to be able to track their orders from the moment they enter their credit card information on the website to the moment they have their purchase in hand.
Integrating supply chain and logistics optimization software to ensure smooth goods movement, as well as quick and timely demand fulfillment, is an important strategy, particularly when it integrates with real-time delivery tracking tools.1 Leveraging smart electronic locker, for instance, allows logistics industry players to deliver secure, 24/7 access to their goods and automated delivery notifications for customers as part of the process. They ultimately provide the kind of online shopping and delivery experience that today’s customers are looking for.
Logistics optimization can play an important role in supporting a business’s environmental commitments by helping streamline delivery routes and reduce overall CO2 emissions. Not only is this good for the planet, but it is critical for companies operating in countries with environmental responsibility targets.
Every effort counts. So, auditing delivery routes with route planning software and reducing the stops required for delivery with first- and last-mile logistics tools like smart parcel locker solutions can make a significant impact in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
With elevated consumer expectations for same-day delivery and on-demand order access, innovative solutions for logistics optimization are critical for business success in today’s competitive retail environment.
Retailers and logistics providers, such as Purolator, DHL, and DPD in the UK, are turning to smart retail lockers to fulfill more parcel pick-ups and returns, provide greater convenience for their customers, and offer a new level of choice over where, when, and how customers get the item they ordered.
For delivery companies, new technologies like Parcel Pending by Quadient smart lockers are emerging as a logistics solution that speeds up delivery times, improves the delivery experience, allows for greater supply chain visibility and package visibility, as well as increases end-customer satisfaction.
Discover how our locker solutions can help with your company’s logistics optimization strategy by contacting a Parcel Pending representative today.
- Lahoti, Nitin. “Logistics Optimization: The Best Way to Scale Your Ecommerce and Retail Business”. Mobisoft. December 3, 2019. https://mobisoftinfotech.com/resources/blog/ecommerce-logistics-optimization/
- Romiane, Ed. “20 Statistics that Show the Importance of Same-Day Delivery”. Conveyco. November 30, 2021. https://www.conveyco.com/blog/delivery-statistics/
- Javaid, Shehmir. “4 Ways to Optimize Logistics Operations”. AI Multiple. July 19, 2022 https://research.aimultiple.com/logistics-optimization/
- Parcel Pending. Understanding Courier Delivery Process Flow. Parcel Pending. https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/understanding-courier-delivery-process-flow/