Pain Area for E-Commerce: Last Mile Delivery – Safeducate
Pain Area for E-Commerce: Last Mile Delivery

Pain Area for E-Commerce: Last Mile Delivery

Pain Area for E-Commerce: Last Mile Delivery

E-commerce has seen an unprecedented rise in business in the past year, with Paytm joining Flipkart and Snapdeal in the eight-member unicorn club. A report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2015 stated that the e-commerce market in India will be worth $220 billion by 2025. Yet, e-commerce is beyond just sales and GMV numbers. Speed of delivery is as important as the product quality for a customer. It would not be wrong to say that logistics could be the defining factor for success of e-commerce companies in retaining their customers.

At present, the country’s logistics industry is worth $300 billion, according to the ‘Logistics Market in India 2015-2020’ by market researcher Novonous. In fact, the report states, Indian logistics market itself is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.17 per cent by 2020.

Challenges of Last Mile

Every ecommerce business and logistics service provider, small or big, has to face a common last-mile problem of delivering stuff to customer within a tight delivery-time window. Last mile poses the maximum difficulty mainly because of the following reasons:

  • More and more customers are now online and are demanding products at their doorsteps. This has resulted in increase in the volume of goods shipped and returned.
  • As people are working for longer number of hours in the day, it’s becoming tougher to successfully deliver the products at their homes in one go.
  • Urban areas are full of traffic and remote areas take time and efforts to reach, thereby negatively impacting the economics.
  • High costs and carbon footprints are incurred as many-a-times vehicles used for shipments are not fully utilized.

Challenges of Last Mile

You realize your product’s journey to customer is not as satisfying, short, and quick as it should be. Reason? You don’t focus on last-mile logistics which make sure products are successfully delivered on time. Last-mile problem refers to loopholes in the final leg of your product’s journey. This means the last link through which your product is going to move from fulfillment centre to its final destination, that is, your customer’s doorstep, is an inefficient one in your supply chain.

Importance of Last Mile

Although every link within the supply chain should be robust, last mile or final mile is particularly crucial. This is because last leg of supply chain revolves around home-delivery aspect, wherein goods have to reach the spot where the customer is available.

Thus, this link is the sole face-to-face contact between the retailer and customer. Thus, this particular moment-of-truth contact needs to be strong, in that, it needs to be timely, precise, and successful as it is going to bespeak your brand and reputation.

Solving Last Mile Issue

Expediting last-mile journey of product ensures business remains competitive and meets customers’ expectations. Hence, in spite of the last-mile distribution challenges, some businesses worldwide have come up with incredible ways to smoothen and fasten the process of last leg of supply chain. These smart businesses are employing clever ways to solve the last-mile issue for making the grand finale of their product possible, thereby enhancing the end-customer experience.
Here are some ways through which you can run the last mile effortlessly:

  • Outsourcing via Hyper-local On-demand Delivery Services: Zomato Order, UberEats, UberRush, Amazon Flex, Amazon Fresh
  • Making Internal Improvements to the Proximity of Fulfilment Centres: Amazon
  • Using Big Data for Analysing and Predicting Customer Behaviour: Walmart
  • Leveraging Technology to build Better Interfaces: DPD


As per eMarketer, global B2C e-commerce will reach $2.3 trillion by 2017. Needless to say, supply chain is one of the most crucial ventures for an ecommerce business. Thus, with the growing ecommerce market, need for resolving last-mile issue and accelerating deliveries of goods to customers will increase.

In the past, many businesses have failed due to the lack of their last-mile management and presently, many others are struggling to figure out appropriate last-mile solutions. If you are a retailer, working either in online or offline space, your ability to fulfill deliveries on time will determine your success. Thus, you should not ignore the last-mile issue.
Take cues from what giant retailers and fresh startups round the world are doing and see what fits your model of retailing the best. By figuring out the best last-mile solution for your business, you ensure meeting customers’ expectations and winning their loyalty.

Leave a Reply