Last mile delivery solutions were already experiencing strong growth as consumers recognised the convenience of shopping from home. However, the pandemic is supercharging this shift in consumer behaviour, creating a rapid upwards surge in home deliveries of non-essential and essential goods as brick and mortar stores face in-person trading restrictions and forced closures.
Retailers are quickly reassessing their business models, putting a focus on eCommerce. With health experts warning that the pandemic is here to stay for years to come, it is shaping the future of last mile delivery.
An Increase In Online Shopping
According to research published by Accenture, whether people are forced or choose to remain indoors, online orders with last mile delivery are up 71% in Europe and the UK. So, online delivery options are essential for almost any business that previously relied on face-to-face transactions.
To meet the demand from online shoppers, last mile delivery companies are beginning to create hyper-local relationships with retail outlets. This allows the retailer to continue operating effectively as a Cloud retail store. Alternatively, retailers bring last mile delivery in-house and purchase or lease last mile delivery vehicles, making contactless deliveries with digital payments.
Higher Expectations Mean More Pressure On Couriers
For consumers, immediacy is being replaced with safety, and customer motivations, behaviours, habits, and loyalty are all experiencing a change that may persist long after the pandemic ends.
According to Accenture, 40% of online shoppers expect fast and free delivery, creating a challenge for delivery companies, retailers, and urban transport. Seasonal pressure is transforming into year-round pressure as 63% of older millennials, and 43% of everyone else intending to shop exclusively online this year.
Large single-drop deliveries, such as a pallet of stock delivered to a retail store, are replaced with many small parcels delivered to many household or business addresses. With 56% of consumers stating they will not shop again with a retailer following an unsatisfactory delivery, the last mile solution needs to be quick, efficient, flexible, and safe.
So, how can retailers and couriers meet higher expectations?
Electric utility vehicles might be the solution for taking off the pressure on couriers. These urban electric vehicles are ideal for coping with increased parcel numbers and last-minute changes because they excel in a stop-start role within urban environments. Electric utility carts provide a zero-emissions solution that does not pollute the air or create noise pollution outside homes as they move in and out of city centres and residential areas.
The pressure to offer free deliveries is somewhat eased by electric last mile delivery vehicles’ lower energy demands. Vehicle reliability also improves while vehicle maintenance is significantly less, taking the pressure off operational costs.
To discuss the benefits of electric last mile delivery vehicles please contact our helpful team.