Delivery service is the face of your organization. In the entire e-commerce value chain, delivery is the only touch point where there is face to face interaction. Product quality should be augmented with timely and friendly delivery services to ensure good customer experience. On the other hand, last mile delivery adds significant cost to your bottom line and squeezes the already thin profit margins in a competitive e-commerce scenario. Due to low entry barrier, there are new delivery companies coming up every day with the promise of best in class service at highly discounted prices. Most of the times organizations fall prey to such false claims and end up losing face to the customer.
Organizations should balance the service levels and cost to arrive at delivery service which is efficient and at the same time suits their budget.
In this blog we would discuss five criteria on which you can evaluate delivery services and find the best solution for your business:
- Service Level – Service level of a 3PL defines its reliability. In e-commerce, it is important to meet customer expectations and delayed delivery is the biggest reason for customer dissatisfaction. You must enquire about service level of the delivery service providers and check for references before finalizing a service provider.
- Customer experience – You can’t afford to spoil your only human interaction with the customer. The appearance of delivery boys, their behavior and way of greeting customers go a long way in making a lasting impression. It is important that the delivery service provider you are considering has trained professional delivery boys. Same is also applicable to the customer care unit of the delivery service provider.
- Tracking – Delivery service providers should have a robust IT infrastructure in place to track each transaction and movement of shipment. Tracking is important for the safety of products and reduces the chances of theft and losses. A good tracking system is also important to give customers accurate updates about their product delivery status.
- Price – Delivery service is a highly manpower intensive job and can add significant cost on your balance sheet. Many delivery companies advertise low cost but then there are associated hidden costs which can shoot up the total cost. It is always a good idea to do a market research and benchmarking of prices before signing the final deal.
- Customized services – Last mile delivery can be complex depending on the nature of products. White goods like TV & refrigerators are bulky and need to be handled separately. Similarly, fragile items need special handling to ensure there are no damages in transit. It is important to check if the delivery service provider is capable of offering customized solutions as per the product.
Different organizations have different delivery needs depending on the type of product and the customer segment they are targeting. Accordingly, you should weigh the factors mentioned above and evaluate them accordingly, to find the best-fit delivery service provider for your company. It is a good practice to have multiple delivery partners rather than relying on a single service provider. Organizations spend a lot of money on customer acquisition, so it is important to retain the customers by complementing your product with the best delivery service.