Bringing It Home: Expert Tips for Last-Mile Delivery in the Homeware Industry

Receiving parcel

The homeware industry is currently thriving online, with more buyers now completing purchases through eCommerce (70%) than in-store (64%). If you want your business to thrive in this marketplace, though, mastering the last-mile delivery element is vital.

Why Last-Mile Delivery Matters

Homeware has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the eCommerce marketplace for several years, with convenience being one of the main driving forces. Conversely, though, slow delivery times are cited by customers as one of the key reasons for cart abandonment, which leads to £34.4 billion of lost sales annually. One of the most critical aspects affecting delivery times is the final mile, which ultimately determines how quickly products reach their destination.

Last-mile delivery covers the final leg of delivery, in which the homeware product leaves a transportation hub and is taken to the consumer’s home or the retail store for collection. As this is the final step before a consumer receives their goods, success in other areas counts for very little if customer confidence is eroded through poor execution at this stage. When done well, last-mile delivery can;

  • Significantly improve the speed of your delivery times
  • Improve the overall customer experience
  • Ensure that consumers feel valued by the brand
  • Increase your brand reputation
  • Boost client retention rates

In other words, when wanting to tap into the UK’s £16.3bn online homeware industry, last-mile delivery needs more attention.

5 Last Mile Delivery Challenges & Solutions

Learning to mitigate last-mile delivery obstacles plays an integral role in maintaining smooth transportation services. Here are five you must address.

1. Product Size and Weight

The homewares industry is one in which you may need to handle large items like furniture, white goods, or bulky electronics. In addition to having the right fleet of delivery vans, it’s imperative that your courier company is capable of physically handling larger goods.

GFS’ two-man delivery services offer the perfect solution. By having two people on the job, the last-mile delivery can be completed quickly and efficiently. Moreover, customers gain the assurance of knowing they won’t need to support the delivery person. This also guards against the threat of issues such as customer injuries or damage to goods and/or property.

2. Fragility 

In addition to the dimensions, retailers should acknowledge that some items may be fragile. Glass could break, while many furniture pieces will have finishes that could be scratched if your courier teams do not take the right level of care.

Partnering with GFS’ managed multi-carrier services gives you access to over 1,000 services across more than 220 destinations. The industry’s widest network of delivery services across domestic, international and specialist carrier partners, through one GFS relationship ensures that the right steps are implemented to protect each package.

3. Returns Management 

Consumers will look for reasons not to complete a purchase, and inadequate returns management is one of the most common issues by far. After all, the homewares might not be right for their property or may even be faulty.

Therefore, managing returns promptly has to be a priority. GFS Global Returns Pro delivers a high-end returns experience without the high-end cost, including over 200 returns options in 195 countries. When coupled with your genuine commitment to solve customer issues, your last-mile delivery will be in far better health. Not least when sending replacement items.

4. Customer Expectations

The harsh reality is that the customer has the power to determine whether your eCommerce business sinks or swims. Therefore, understanding customer expectations and actively adapting your services to satisfy them is crucial.

Track and Trace solutions are an ideal option. With GFS Seeker, you can manage deliveries and monitor exceptions from one central hub, thus providing greater visibility and control of the customer delivery experience. As well as streamlining the last-mile delivery aspects through better organisation, it opens the door to transparent client communications.

Last-Mile Delivery

The Final Word

Last-mile delivery is a key ingredient in the recipe for business success and will significantly influence how consumers feel about your brand. To ensure that yours is under control for all online homewares sales, call our friendly experts today.