How last-mile delivery will shape grocery business in 2021?

Last mile delivery business trends

In the U.S, 75 percent of the companies have reported that their supply chain got affected due to the outbreak of a pandemic. Whereas most customers preferred online shopping in times of COVID 19. As a result of consumer behavioral changes, the last mile delivery got rapid growth in the market.

How last-mile delivery helps in the Grocery business?

The consumer's purchase behavior is rapidly shifting each day. As consumers encourage to have fast and frequent grocery deliveries, the future of last mile delivery in food and grocery business is significant.

However, it's challenging for grocery chains to manage last-mile delivery. Recently, Walmart announced its Express delivery options.

This new initiative by Walmart delivers its grocery and food items within two hours to the customer's doorstep. This helps customers to get their last-minute ingredients in time or medicines for fever.

Let's discuss the Top last-mile delivery trends that will shape up the grocery business in 2021.

 1. Contactless delivery

According to a survey by Salesforce, 40% of consumers in the U.S prefer contactless delivery as a result of contagions and safety concerns. This clearly proves contactless grocery ordering can offer a good customer experience and it also ensures consumer's safety.

Many companies are embracing Last-mile delivery options using automated delivery processes using digital solutions. These digital methods include Electronic Proof of Delivery software (e-POD) and digital payments that maximize contactless processes.

In upcoming years, grocery businesses need to focus on contactless delivery options to ensure their customer's and delivery agent's safety.

2. Drones and delivery bots

As technology is booming in every industry, many grocery retailers are experimenting with robot delivery options. For example, using drones, self-driving vehicles, and automated bots. 

Amazon, the top-notch retail giant, invested over USD 500 million for developing automated delivery bots with Aurora. In 2019, Alphabet tested its wing delivery drones for delivering parts to the ships away from shore.

Moreover, many companies will adopt delivery bot solutions or automated robots for their last-mile deliveries in upcoming years. Also, companies need to get government approvals to make the most out of these new-age technologies.

3. Expansions of urban warehouses

Nowadays, customers encourage same-day grocery deliveries that demand companies build more warehouses and hubs. In order to meet your customer expectations, e-commerce businesses will need to maximize their urban warehouses to deliver products faster. This helps to reduce the transportation time and ensures delivery agents process grocery deliveries easily.

Many companies have turned their physical stores into micro fulfillment centers to meet easy access and same-day delivery options. For example, Amazon is in discussion with mall owners like Sears and J.C. Penney to shift them into warehouse spaces, which is reported in WSJ. 

4. Insourcing last-mile deliveries

Most retailers have started using their own vehicles to handle last-mile deliveries. Also, few companies have developed their own fleet management system to deliver efficiently.

With the rapid growth in last-mile deliveries, most e-commerce retailers use their own trucks for local shipments. However, there are many other firms in the marketplace that rely on delivery outsourcing options.

5. Smart location tracking intelligence

Logistic and e-commerce businesses encourage technology advancements such as location intelligence (LI) to improve last-mile delivery for grocery business. To deliver groceries and handle fleet management seamlessly, you need to have inbuilt features for real-time tracking, route optimization, and visibility. 

Retailers can leverage their business using LI platforms. That helps retailers to inform their customers about product locations and delivery routes.

6. Efficient fulfillment

Amazon is the pioneer in experimenting with same-day delivery services. As consumer demand is rapidly evolving each day, companies are focusing more on logistics and shipments.

Therefore, many retailers are shifting to the latest technologies for providing robust grocery delivery. According to a report by McKinsey, customers are willing to invest 30% more money to avail of the premium same-day delivery options.

7. Drivers turn into a salesman

Retailers can leverage their business by collecting big data on customer's interests. This helps retailers to reach more new customers and easily convert them. Hence, drivers are shifting into the salesman role by predicting customer's likes that increases your sales. This new concept has developed mobile warehouses and results in a high growth rate.

However, it's really challenging for retailers to deal with mobile warehouses directly. Some of the common challenges these retailers need to face includes,

  • The drivers will have a tough time handling accounts
  • The procedures to manage return order from these drivers

Along with this, there are a few more challenges faced by many grocery stores that you can read and get its solutions.

Wrap up 

Expanding last-mile deliveries using smart technologies can help grocery businesses to maximize growth. As predictions say, the last mile logistics market will have exciting times in the near future.

Shopurgrocery's grocery ecommerce platform ensures to maximize your grocery business growth. Manage and automate last-mile deliveries efficiently using our smart solutions.