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The ultimate guide to last-mile order management
Order fulfilment

The ultimate guide to last-mile order management

Yukta Anand
December 22, 2022
6
mins read

A boost in ecommerce sales is a positive outcome for any brand as ecommerce sellers utilise a number of strategies to attract new customers and retain old ones. However, as more orders pour in, manual order management becomes inefficient; let’s see how.

A high number of orders can be difficult to manage manually, leading to errors and compromises in delivering a memorable Customer Experience (CX). At the same time, the already challenging last-mile delivery can become even more difficult if there is no efficient process for shipping orders.

Inefficiency in the order fulfilment process, especially in last-mile delivery, can lead to higher operational costs, shopping cart abandonment, and customer dissatisfaction.

Fortunately, an Order Management System (OMS) can be a viable option for ecommerce sellers feeling burdened by bulk order volume. An OMS automates the steps of order fulfilment to provide greater savings, cash flow, and profitability.

In this blog, you will learn what last-mile order management is, why it is important, the challenges of last-mile order management and how to overcome them.

What is last-mile order management?

Last-mile is the final leg of the fulfilment process and refers to delivering orders from an ecommerce warehouse or a fulfilment centre to the customer’s doorstep.

Order management refers to handling the lifecycle of an order. It includes steps like order placement, picking, packing, shipping the products, delivering the order, and handling returns or exchanges.

Steps of order management
Steps of order management

Thus, last-mile order management refers to handling the final step of order fulfilment- delivery to the customer’s doorstep. Last-mile order management helps bridge the gap between efficient order fulfilment and a memorable Customer Experience (CX).

Research has found that 73.6% of customers consider delivery the most crucial aspect of the shopping experience, making last-mile order management critical.

Why is last-mile order management important?

The goal of last-mile order management is to deliver orders as quickly as possible. 2-day shipping, next-day delivery, and same-day delivery have become staples for ecommerce shoppers. Research shows that 53% of customers have abandoned a purchase because the delivery time was too long. Thus, to stay competitive, ecommerce brands must deliver orders at a lightning-fast speed.

However, in an attempt to deliver orders quickly, ecommerce sellers may compromise the Customer Experience (CX) by not paying attention to factors that influence CX, like order accuracy, proper packaging, and proactive communication with the customer.

Moreover, to ensure expedited delivery, shipping costs may skyrocket. Higher shipping costs can cut into your profits and hamper the cost-effectiveness of the fulfilment process.

Last-mile order management is vital as it helps ensure quick delivery of orders without compromising on Customer Experience (CX). It also keeps costs in check to make the fulfilment process cost-effective and hassle-free.

What are the challenges of last-mile order management?

The challenges of last-mile order management that hamper efficient fulfilment are:

1. Delays in shipping

If an order is not packed and marked ‘ready to ship’ on time, it cannot be delivered on time. Moreover, marketplaces have shipping guidelines, and violating them can lead to penalties.

2. Low order accuracy

Shipping the wrong product or shipping to the wrong address reflects shortcomings in the fulfillment process. Lack of automation, human errors, and inefficiency can lead to low order accuracy, which can hamper your business’ growth.

3. Higher costs

Shipping costs can increase when orders have to be delivered quickly, but the distance between the ecommerce warehouse and the delivery location is a lot.

4. Delays in order delivery

Orders can be delayed for various reasons, such as late shipping, unavailability of the customer, and more. Irrespective of the reason, customers are dissatisfied if their orders are delayed.

5. Shipping exceptions

Shipping exceptions are unforeseen situations that cause delays in delivery, such as lost and damaged shipments.

6. Lack of order visibility

The biggest challenge in last-mile delivery is the lack of visibility once the order leaves the ecommerce warehouse. Once the order is handed over to the courier partner, you are unable to control anything and cannot guarantee fast delivery to your customers.

Eshopbox empowers sellers and customers with real-time order tracking
Eshopbox empowers sellers and customers with real-time order tracking

7. Improper packaging

Improper packaging can lead to in-transit damage, severely affecting a customer’s purchasing experience and tarnishing your brand’s reputation.

Improper packaging can cause in-transit damage
Improper packaging can cause in-transit damage

How to optimise last-mile order management to boost growth?

Ecommerce sellers can optimise last-mile order management to overcome potential challenges using an Order Management System (OMS). An OMS is a tool that automates the complete order management process by tracking and managing data such as sales channels, inventory levels, shipping, returns, and more.

An OMS organises everything that forms a part of the fulfilment process, from order placement to picking, packing, shipping, delivery, and even returns. Thus, an OMS helps ensure speedy fulfilment with high order accuracy and brings efficiency to last-mile order management.

The benefits of an OMS are:

  1. Easier inventory management
  2. Simplified order processing
  3. Increased cost-savings
  4. Optimised reverse logistics
  5. Better customer satisfaction

Streamline last-mile order management with Eshopbox

Eshopbox is an ecommerce acceleration platform and can solve all pain points you may face in order fulfilment. Eshopbox wields state-of-art technology to automate processes and reduce inefficiencies. Let’s see how Eshopbox can streamline last-mile order management to help unlock growth for your ecommerce brand:

  1. Eshopbox uses technology and SOP-driven (Standard Operating Procedure) pick and pack processes to ship orders on time with an incredible order accuracy rate of 99.65%.
  2. You can provide same-day, next-day, and express delivery using Eshopbox’s robust shipping network.
  3. Eshopbox has tie-ups with multiple courier partners and can provide discounted shipping rates due to the bulk order volume.
  4. Eshopbox empowers you with real-time order tracking details and notifies you about any shipping exceptions, such as damaged shipments.
  5. Eshopbox confirms customer availability through automated calls to increase the chances of a successful first delivery attempt to ensure greater savings.
  6. Proper packaging done by Eshopbox’s trained staff prevents in-transit damage. Moreover, you can also create custom packaging lists to delight customers.

Summing up

Efficient last-mile order management can help alleviate CX through expedited delivery while ensuring cost-effectiveness. An Order Management System is the most suitable tool to streamline fulfilment and reduce errors. 3PLs like Eshopbox make last-mile order management quick and efficient so you have time to focus on core business requirements.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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