6 Final Mile Delivery Tracking Tips and Examples to Try in Your Business
Published on: April 25, 2022
Updated: August 29, 2023
We all know the drill. A customer browses a website, places an order, and then sits back with confidence that it will soon arrive at their doorstep.
Or do they?
For all the ease and convenience associated with e-commerce, so-called “delivery anxiety” is a real and serious problem.
Delivery anxiety is the result of a customer experiencing a lack of communication about the status of their order. If shoppers don’t know whether their order has been shipped or when it’s being delivered, they’re likely to become concerned and they may even cancel their order entirely.
This is why final mile delivery tracking is a vital logistics solution to create positive post-purchase experiences. By keeping customers in the loop from the moment they place an order, they can feel confident that everything is going smoothly.
6 Tips and examples of final mile delivery tracking in action
What does final mile delivery tracking look like in practice? Here are some examples that demonstrate the power of last mile initiatives.
1. Offer real-time order tracking
One of the key reasons for delivery anxiety in e-commerce is a lack of transparency after an order is placed. Many consumers receive little communication from the retailer after purchasing — or none at all.
Last mile tracking is a self-service tool that allows customers to check their order and delivery status as often as they like, without needing to file dozens of support tickets with your customer support team.
Final mile tracking enables customers to take charge of their post-purchase experience, which in turn means higher levels of customer satisfaction. In fact, 21% wouldn’t buy from a brand that offered no or limited LTL shipment tracking.For retailers, creating a tracking status for every order is also useful for internal purposes. Being able to spot potential complications and liaise with the relevant logistics company or warehouse helps to streamline final mile logistics, enabling brands to meet customer expectations for seamless delivery.
Gravis offers its customers detailed order status updates, including order preparation, shipping, and delivery notifications.
2. Set up a dedicated branded hub for order tracking
Although e-commerce retailers make a big effort to implement brand storytelling throughout the online shopping journey, this often doesn’t carry through to the post-purchase experience.
It’s important to remember that every just-converted customer is also a future customer. A consistent and reliable post-purchase experience is the key to improving customer retention — and it starts at the order tracking hub.
Although e-commerce retailers make a big effort to implement brand storytelling throughout the online shopping journey, this often doesn’t carry through to the post-purchase experience.It’s important to remember that every just-converted customer is also a future customer. A consistent and reliable post-purchase experience is the key to improving customer retention — and it starts at the order tracking hub.
After their order has been placed, a delivery tracking page is likely to be the next place your customer will look. While it’s easy to send your customers to an external carrier tracking page, this runs the risk of creating a poor customer experience.
By carrying your brand identity and personality over to your order tracking hub, you can instill confidence that the final mile of delivery will go smoothly.
parcelLab worked with Bose to design a bespoke order tracking hub for audio brand Bose. In addition to offering order updates, the hub also contains embedded brand content and personalized elements such as product recommendations to encourage future purchases.
3. Send “out for delivery” notifications
When customers place orders online, they normally receive two key communications: An initial confirmation providing an order number and summary, and a follow-up shipping notice with a tracking number and ETA.
However, this is often where communication ends, despite almost half (49%) of consumers wanting regular updates during the last mile delivery process.
Customers are left knowing that their order has been dispatched for home delivery, but they don’t know when they can expect it to arrive on their doorstep.Uncertainty over delivery timeframes adds a lot of friction to the delivery experience. This is especially true in the case of same-day delivery orders, which require advanced supply chain solutions for 3PLs and shippers to execute smoothly.Uncertainty over delivery timeframes adds a lot of friction to the delivery experience. This is especially true in the case of same-day delivery orders, which require advanced supply chain solutions for 3PLs and shippers to execute smoothly.
Sending an “out for delivery” email or SMS when the last mile delivery process begins means that customers know when their order is close at hand. This crucial touchpoint helps to ease delivery anxiety and leverage customer excitement for their purchase.
Peter Hahn sends their customers a notification when delivery is imminent. These proactive updates have led to 73% of their customers rating their communication as ”very good” and 98% said it was ”clear, helpful, and reliable.”
4. Allow customers to communicate with delivery personnel
E-commerce delivery can be logistically complex, especially when it comes to rural deliveries or deliveries to multi-unit apartment complexes. From being unable to access a property to a lack of parking for delivery vehicles, it’s not surprising that 1 in 20 deliveries are unsuccessful.Allowing customers to contact delivery personnel by including a phone number when placing their order makes it easy to communicate important delivery information, such as gate codes or other instructions, which reduces the odds of failed deliveries taking place.
These kinds of white glove delivery practices also bring a more personalized dimension to the delivery experience, which can sometimes feel clinical and impersonal.
This can even be extended to allowing customers to arrange a preferred delivery option or time slot with your final mile carrier, as shown here by parcelLab customer Bergzeit:
5. Send a delivery notification
Nearly half of consumers (45%) report that having a guaranteed delivery date would reduce stress when purchasing online. But giving customers confirmation that their order has officially arrived will help to alleviate delivery anxiety even further.
Since the onset of the pandemic and consumers’ increasing reliance on e-commerce, so-called “porch pirates” are a rising problem. According to a 2021 survey by Finder, 14% of Americans say they’ve been victims of package theft in the past 12 months, which equates to around 35.5 million Americans.
By notifying customers as soon as the moment of delivery happens, they can take action to retrieve their parcel quickly.
American Eagle sends all their customers a delivery confirmation email as soon as the parcel has been dropped off, allowing them to pick up their order as fast as possible:
6. Add proof of delivery
Due to the complexity and moving parts of e-commerce fulfillment, it’s easy for the last mile to get overlooked. But failing to be proactive in communicating with customers and providing self-help tools can have some serious consequences. If customers feel neglected during the post-purchase experience, they’re unlikely to shop with your brand again.
By investing in the necessary technological infrastructure to provide your customers with final mile tracking and regular updates, your brand can create positive delivery experiences that entice them to shop with you again in the future — and collect more revenue along the way.
parcelLab can help you do just that through our Operations Experience Management platform. Book your demo today.parcelLab is the leading Operations Experience Management platform globally. We bring people and brands closer together by closing the experience gap post-sales and beyond, transforming operational complexity into opportunities to outperform for 500+ brands worldwide, including IKEA, Bose, Puma, Farfetch and Nespresso. With offices in Munich, London, Paris and Boston, we have been highlighted by the Financial Times as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in Europe in 2021.
You may also be interested in What is Last Mile Carrier Tracking and How Does It Work?