We are in a period of transition regarding the last mile and new, fast, exact services. Never before has the last mile, the end delivery to the customer, been so important.
Forget drones and automated cars. Instead, take a good look at what consumers really want today. For them, it’s more about making their daily lives easier than pure shopping. E-commerce’s rapid development changes the requirements – and opportunities – regarding the last mile, the final delivery to the customer.
Consumer expectations on e-commerce deliveries are changing, and the speed of this change is increasing, not least because of new market participants specialized in handling the last mile, often based on digital platforms. Customers want speed, more choice, and home delivery in the evenings, but the logistics industry is designed to deliver to businesses during the daytime. Yet the new market participants are showing what is possible and are in many cases also good for the environment. In the future, there will be many more delivery services available. You may get five delivery options, with one of these being our own delivery service, another being a bicycle courier, a green option, collect-in-store, and so on. The logistics industry must think differently and open up. We sometimes compete against each other, but sometimes work together with others. From the customer’s perspective, it should be possible to share infrastructure more often.
Retail is now being forced to act and provide an omni-channel perspective. Studies show that people born after the year 2000 are not as fond of going to brick-and-mortar stores compared to older people. They use more digital services, and want to have access to a large range of products and be able to conduct comparisons online. Stores will look quite differently in the future. There will probably be more stores that target specific segments and we will see more temporary pop-up stores.
I’m looking forward to even more exciting changes in the very near future!
Kenneth Verlage, Head of Business Development, eCommerce & Logistics at PostNord