The holiday season is here, and retailers are ready to cater to a huge online shopping demand. According to an Adobe report, online buyers spent an estimated $9 billion on U.S. retail websites for Black Friday, up 22% from 2019. Meanwhile, for Cyber Monday, the spending is expected to hit around $12.7 billion.
Looking at these significant figures, it is safe to say that the last mile deliveries will feel the pressure of the increasing holiday shopping. Let’s check out some of the ways in which retailers can plan their last-mile distribution operations.
Refer to Historical Data
Retailers can leverage historical data that offers insights on customers’ buying trends and patterns. They can use location intelligence software to plan the scheduling of deliveries for the increasing demand of the holiday season by adding additional vehicles or an additional depot. This will help them in improving their deliveries or in-store store service to cater to the increased footfall as compared to the previous year.
One of the top challenges for e-commerce stores and retailers is to ensure cost-effective, timely deliveries when the volume is significant. Location intelligence platforms can also help in determining traffic movement and select the best route for delivery. Retailers can also use AI-based location apps to assign tasks to several delivery agents and track them on the field. Moreover, they can leverage advanced analytics to forecast events like delays in shipping or items running out-of-stock.
Set Up Metro Hubs
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the course of the supply chain, and retailers are focusing more on metro hubs instead of national or regional distribution hubs. It is expected that more than half of fulfillment will be from a local inventory position by 2021. Several delivery companies and retailers will adopt this trend to ship inventory more quickly during the holiday period.
Efficient logistics management is a vital element to last mile e-commerce fulfillment during the holiday season.
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