The last mile may be the shortest step in the supply chain, but when it comes to visibility for your end customers, it’s the most important one. Transparency around that final step often is lacking, however, leaving shoppers in the dark. 

That disconnect is becoming even more critical for brands to address as they respond to customer demand for faster fulfillment by investing in same-day delivery. Simply offering the service isn’t enough, however. Customers also want options for when, how and where their delivery happens — and they want to keep an eye on their order’s progress from click to delivery. 

Mobility solutions firm SOTI found that over two-thirds of consumers now expect to know where their order is at all times throughout the delivery process. 

The good news is that while consumer frustrations around visibility have grown as e-commerce has evolved, crowdsourcing has naturally emerged as a solution to deliver on that promise. Real-time visibility is an integral feature of any crowdsourced delivery platform, offering customers the highest level of transparency they can expect in the last mile. 

Visibility at the highest level

Visibility is one of those buzzwords often associated with the supply chain. From a business perspective, visibility means having data readily available to provide insight into inventory and order activity. By offering proactive updates, data visibility limits disruptions and risk, often leading to improved customer service and lower costs. 

For the consumer, visibility is simpler. They just want to know when their purchase left the retailer’s hands and when it will be in theirs. 

While speed and cost are still the biggest factors influencing a purchase, consumer visibility through tracking could mean the difference between a one-time buyer and a loyal customer. A survey by Metapack found that more than a third of consumers would change retailers after a negative delivery experience. 

The same Metapack survey also found that nine in 10 consumers say order tracking is “important” or “very important,” but only about one in 10 shoppers say they value tracking most in their deliveries from online retailers. This suggests that customers rely on the retailer to provide visibility in the last mile. In fact, they may take for granted that it will be available. 

The right crowdsourced delivery platform can help retailers take on this demand by expanding their existing customer-oriented visibility enhancements. Metapak’s survey notes that many retailers are improving their tracking services, from updating customers at critical benchmarks in the order journey to offering real-time tracking. Adopting a delivery strategy that includes crowdsourcing delivery platforms ensures real-time visibility is available in the ever-important last mile. 

Give your customers the visibility they demand with crowdsourcing

As retailers look for faster ways to fulfill orders, a lack of data from and efficiency in their delivery processes risk holding many back. A survey from Bringg found that 61% of retailers said a lack of real-time visibility once the order is out for delivery was their top challenge, and 55% cited the inefficient manual nature of their current processes.  

These gaps in data and legacy processes not only stand in the way of making same-day delivery possible but also fail to meet the customer’s demand for end-to-end visibility. To combat this, retailers must continue digitizing and connecting their last-mile resources and network. 

Roadie’s crowdsourcing platform offers a comprehensive solution for retailers, using a straightforward API that allows for quick integration and real-time delivery tracking built-in from the start. With out-of-the-box tracking and data pushed to any system, both retailers and their customers know where items are at all times. A photographic chain of custody helps confirm order arrival and also lets everyone know sooner if there was a problem with the delivery, such as a missed delivery or lost product. In addition, fewer items are transported per vehicle, so retailers have a better idea of the true status of each order. 

Integrating with a crowdsourcing platform such as Roadie is a step in the right direction for retailers that want to offer the level of visibility today’s customers expect from your brand.

Ready to learn more? Download our report to discover how retailers are responding to customer demand for faster delivery by offering same-day fulfillment. 

2022 Last-Mile Outlook: The Future of Crowdsourced Delivery