As customer expectations increase, the home-delivery dilemma continues to plague both traditional brick and mortar pharmacies that offer home delivery and, more directly, those that offer eCommerce for whom a positive delivery experience is absolutely paramount in ensuring patient satisfaction.
This increased customer demand, combined with a slew of other factors, including driver shortages, fuel costs, and unpredictable variables such as misplaced packages and delivering to the wrong address, all compound to make last-mile logistics a real headache for pharmacies of all sizes.
eCommerce giants has tried to address the last-mile dilemma by introducing it’s own solution which entices people to deliver packages to customers for the company at an hourly rate. Pharmacies are now are turning to end to end delivery combined with eCommerce platforms in order to ensure successful last-mile delivery such as DoorstepRx®.
Best practices for successful home delivery...
Leveraging technology is crucial for home-delivery success. The available end-to-end shipping logistics solutions form an important part of this best practice by integrating such platforms with various systems, such as proprietary software combined with logistical management systems. Technology helps you gain accurate information on delivery status and anticipate future resources needed.
You don’t need to limit the technology at your disposal to software, though, for optimizing last-mile deliveries. Several eCommerce companies, including Amazon, now use contracted drivers in improving the speed of last-mile delivery, particularly for customers situated in rural areas, who are quite costly to reach. Pharmacies can expand their market and grow their business by utilizing resources available to them and work with companies that offer advice and technological platforms to achieve their goal.
Prepare for Same-Day Delivery
Patient demand is the key shaper of home-delivery logistics. In a world of instant gratification, there is an increasing trend towards a preference for same-day delivery among online shoppers, with the latest surveys showing that 60 percent of customers are willing to pay extra for same-day delivery. Pharmacies delivering goods should realize the importance of same-day delivery and begin to prepare for its implementation.
You cannot accurately judge your performance at improving last mile delivery efficiency without metrics. You can collect tons of data related to specific metrics, such as on-time delivery, driver productivity, etc. Then, these measurements can be used to improve and refine your business strategies.
You need to meet customer requirements for home-delivery in a cost-efficient manner and the data gained from measuring performance goes a long way to help in achieving this.
Communicate with Customers
Customer-centric home-delivery is the only way forward. Customers now want total visibility into the delivery progress, with many people demanding to know where their driver is and at what time he/she will arrive with their goods.
Communication and visibility into the last mile for the customer are necessities. Furthermore, offering more choice can only lead to good things. For example, many eCommerce consumers want delivery dates and even time slots that suits their need.
Shrinking the distance between the pharmacy and the patient is another best practice for a robust last-mile logistics strategy. Running a tighter last-mile ship, including when shipping products over long distances, could entail using local chain stores as distribution centers to ultimately shrink distances and reduce potential disruptions to the delivery journey.
A reduction in transport distances over the last-mile inevitably leads to savings on human labor, fuel costs, etc. As retailers expand, they must increasingly invest in local stores as distribution centers in areas with large customer bases.