As online shopping becomes increasingly popular, the last mile of delivery is becoming increasingly important. This is the leg of the journey from the fulfillment center to the customer’s door, and it can make or break a company’s reputation.
During peak shopping times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s even more crucial that companies get this part of the process right. So here are some practices for ensuring your last-mile delivery for Black Friday and Cyber Monday goes smoothly.
Best Practices for BFCM:
Keep Your Fulfillment Process Smooth and Efficient
The first step in ensuring a successful last-mile delivery is ensuring your fulfillment process is running smoothly. This means having enough staff to pick up and pack orders quickly and efficiently. It also means having a sound system to track orders and keep them organized.
If your fulfillment center is overwhelmed during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, getting orders out the door on time will be challenging. This can lead to angry customers and a lot of returns. To improve your chances of success, make sure your fulfillment process is up to par before the holidays by doing a dry run or two.
Investing in some automation is a great way to improve your fulfillment process. For example, many software programs and robots can help with tasks like picking and packing orders. This can free up your staff to do other tasks and help you quickly get orders out the door.
Plan for Extra Traffic During Peak Shopping Times
Another essential tip for last-mile delivery is to plan for extra traffic during peak shopping times. This means ensuring you have enough vehicles and drivers to handle the increased volume of orders. It also means planning your routes carefully to avoid traffic congestion and make delivery times as fast as possible.
If you’re not used to dealing with a lot of traffic, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a real challenge. To make things go more smoothly, planning ahead and allowing extra time for deliveries is essential. You may also consider using a eCommerce delivery service to help you with the additional volume.
You could also employ technology to help you with delivery planning. For example, many software programs can help you map the best routes and avoid traffic congestion. These programs can be a real lifesaver during peak shopping times since they can help you quickly get orders to your customers.
Communicate With Your Customers About Delivery Times
Another vital tip for last-mile delivery is communicating with your customers about expected delivery times. This is especially important during Black Friday and Cyber Monday when many people order gifts. Nobody wants to be surprised with a late delivery, so it’s essential to set expectations in advance.
The best way to do this is to include delivery information on your product pages. Make sure to list the estimated delivery time for each item and update it if there are any delays. You should also send out shipping confirmation notifications as soon as an order is placed so that your customers know when to expect their package.
Michael Nemeroff, CEO & Co-Founder of Rush Order Tees, says, “The most important thing is to be upfront with your customers about when they can expect their orders. We always list the expected delivery date on our product pages and send out shipping confirmation messages as soon as someone places an order. This helps to avoid any surprises or disappointed customers.”
You should also have a plan for dealing with late deliveries. If a package is delayed, reach out to the customer as soon as possible and let them know. Offer to refund their shipping costs or give them a discount on their next purchase. Dealing with late deliveries can be a hassle, but it’s important to remember that your customers are more understanding than you think.
Offer Customers Tracking Information
Another vital tip for last-mile delivery is to offer tracking information to let customers follow their orders. This is a great way to keep your customers updated on their delivery status and help them feel more in control. There are many ways to provide tracking information, but the most common method is to include a tracking number in the shipping confirmation email.
You can also provide tracking information on your website. Many e-commerce platforms have built-in branded tracking features that you can use. Alternatively, there are many third-party plugins and apps that you can use to add tracking functionality to your site.
If you use a delivery service, they may also offer to track information. This can be a great way to keep your customers updated on the status of their delivery without having to do any extra work. In addition, offering tracking information is a great way to improve the customer experience and build customer trust.
Use a Reputable Shipping Company
When shipping orders during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s essential to use a shipping company with a good track record. This is because there will be a lot of orders and you need to ensure that your packages will be delivered on time.
There are many shipping companies, but not all are created equal. In addition, some shipping companies are more reliable than others. To find a shipping company that you can trust, read online reviews and compare prices.
Using a shipping company that offers tracking information is also a good idea. This way, you can keep your customers updated on their delivery status and ensure that they receive their packages on time.
Shipping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be challenging, but if you use a reputable shipping company with a good track record, you can rest assured that your packages will arrive on time.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Finally, it’s essential to prepare for the unexpected and be ready to solve problems as they come up. This is because there will inevitably be some orders that don’t go as planned.
It’s essential to have a plan for dealing with problems that may arise. For example, you should have a system for dealing with returns. You should also have a plan for dealing with late or missing deliveries.
Weather can also be an unexpected factor in last mile delivery. In the winter, snow and ice can cause delays and problems for delivery drivers. In the summer, extreme heat can be a problem.
If you’re expecting bad weather, you must let your customers know. You can include a weather update on your website or send out a weather notification email. This way, your customers will know what to expect, and they won’t be surprised if their order is delayed.
It’s also essential to have a plan for dealing with bad weather. For example, you may want extra staff to help with the influx of orders. You may also want to have additional inventory on hand in case there are any delays.
Bad weather can be a significant inconvenience, but it’s important to remember that it’s beyond your control. By preparing for the worst, you can minimize the effects of bad weather on your business.
Last-mile delivery can be a challenge during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, by using a reputable shipping company, preparing for the unexpected, and providing tracking information to your customers, you can ensure that your orders are delivered on time. In addition, by offering excellent customer service, you can build trust with your customers and create a positive customer experience.