Demand for home delivery continues to explode, including on-demand, same-day delivery services for everything from groceries to medicines to consumer staples and home improvement goods. And the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place mandates have accelerated online ordering even more. Total online sales are up nearly 20% year-on-year in the U.S., based on data from Earnest Research.  Both FedEx and UPS have raised home delivery fees due to the surge in eCommerce-generated deliveries.

Don’t discount the value of controlling your relationship with your customer – from the storefront to the doorstep.

The last-mile has long been the most challenging and most expensive leg of a product’s journey to the customer. It’s now a market awash in innovation from established players and an emerging field of alternative service providers rethinking last-mile logistics. There are many providers competing for a piece of the delivery pie, selling their version of the “best new thing” in on-demand delivery. But despite so much innovation, same-day delivery is at risk of becoming a race to the bottom, with retailers focused more on price than quality standards or the customer experience.

As transportation and logistics professionals have learned time and again over the years, the lowest prices don’t always achieve the lowest cost. Creating apples-to-apples comparisons of the variety of players in the field isn’t as easy as comparing price.