Last-Mile Strategies That Make Amazon Prime Day a Success
Amazon Prime Day is globally recognized as one of if not the most successful e-commerce events in the world. This year’s Prime Day was Amazon.com's most successful event to date, with Prime members in more than 20 countries purchasing upwards of 300 million products in the mere span of 48 hours.
With same- and next-day delivery now the status quo industrywide, guaranteeing on-time deliveries to millions of customers in a short time frame is the trickiest piece to this puzzle — and the priciest, too. In fact, last-mile deliveries account for 53 percent of overall shipping costs.
For e-commerce companies like Amazon, success lies in their ability to rapidly scale the efficiency of their fleet to manage the massive volume fluctuations while keeping costs as low as possible. As ambitious brands seek to emulate this same success throughout the year, especially with back-to-school shopping and the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s critical to discern strategies that make events like Prime Day possible and, more importantly, successful, both for e-commerce companies and their customers.
Attaining last-mile excellence is a difficult feat, no doubt, but with the right technology and solutions in place, brands can replicate this success year-round, increasing their operational efficiency and providing customers with best-in-class service.
Optimizing Operations Across the Fulfillment Cycle
One of the biggest hurdles e-commerce companies must first overcome is how to optimize operations across the fulfillment cycle. An influx of orders calls for efficiency on a much larger scale than brands may be accustomed to. Order management software systems that rely on cumbersome enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and spreadsheets slow down the movement of goods and are too outdated to support the fast-paced market of today.
Integrating an order management system that automates every step of the product journey allows managers to keep track of orders coming from multiple sales channels and fulfillment points.
Automated Route Planning Software
Multiple deliveries mean manually planning multiple routes with multiple stops, a time-consuming task that leaves room for human error. Multistop route planning software automates the route-planning process, taking into account hundreds of real-life variables, therefore optimizing delivery routes with multiple customer locations. Not only does this increase the likelihood of on-time deliveries — resulting in happy customers — it also makes last-mile delivery more efficient for brands. A data-driven route planning software with unlimited stops helps businesses increase their profit margin and makes the fleet manager’s job easier by planning effective delivery routes with ease. Automating tasks like route planning also allows the fleet manager to focus on more value-adding tasks, increasing workforce efficiency for e-commerce brands.
Multistop route planning software also saves unnecessary miles, reducing money spent on fuel as well as unnecessary wear and tear on delivery vehicles, minimizing maintenance and liability costs for the fleet as well. In addition, real-time tracking helps fleet managers analyze deliveries and devise ways to enhance their productivity and efficiency in the future — a win-win for companies and customers.
Successfully Managing Customer Expectations
While artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other sophisticated technologies can help bear the burden of the struggles that come with increased customer demand, real-world issues like delays and mishaps still happen. By utilizing control tower solutions that provide logistics supervisors with visibility into any obstacles on the horizon, drivers and couriers can be made aware of and plan for any oncoming issues they may encounter on their routes (e.g., delay times due to construction or weather events). Tracking pages that keep end customers apprised with real-time/turn-by-turn updates on the status of their orders is another solution that keeps customers in the loop on when they can expect packages and any issues that may impact their estimated delivery time.
Automation and AI software that incorporate rich intelligence and intuitive technology can help businesses know exactly when and what type of issues can or will arise so they can then relay that information to their drivers and customers and manage expectations accordingly, one of the most challenging pieces of the last-mile puzzle. Advanced analytics algorithms can also uncover any deep inefficiencies in the fulfillment process, allowing brands insight into how to improve efficiency across the product life cycle, as well as any new growth opportunities through the use of intuitive dashboards.
Amazon is no doubt a leader in e-commerce strategy, paving the way for an unparalleled customer experience. However, many of these technologies and tactics can be replicated to scale for brands of all sizes. By prioritizing data-driven solutions like automated order management software systems, optimizing route planning, and keeping customers updated on the real-time status of their orders, brands can level-up their last-mile strategies to meet the best-in-class service many e-commerce consumers expect and demand.
Nishith Rastogi is the founder and CEO of Locus, a real-world ready order-to-delivery dispatch management platform that optimizes last-mile logistics operations for enterprises across sectors to improve efficiencies, resulting in higher profitability.
Nishith is the Founder and CEO of Locus, a real-world ready order-to-delivery dispatch management platform that optimizes last-mile logistics operations for enterprises across sectors to improve efficiencies, resulting in higher profitability. It is a decision-making engine that uses deep learning and proprietary algorithms to provide intelligent route optimization, real-time tracking, insights and analytics, fleet optimization, efficient warehouse management, and vehicle allocation, and utilization. It has helped its customers execute more than 650 million deliveries across 30+ countries and 400 cities, and saving more than 43 million miles, $200 million in logistics costs, and 18 million tons in greenhouse gas emissions.