If you’ve ever felt a rush of contentment simply by filling up your cart while online shopping you can thank dopamine. It’s the feel-good chemical in our brain that boosts mood, motivation, and attention. While it’s logical to expect a dopamine release to coincide with receiving a reward, research shows that it’s actually released in anticipation of a reward. That positive anticipation extends to the period when you’re waiting for goods to be delivered. The key is to not let all that dopamine-boosting anticipation slip into uncertainty around when a delivery will arrive. That’s where last mile delivery tracking comes in.
Today’s shoppers want to know where their packages are and when they’ll be arriving. And with the global e-commerce market predicted to grow from $3.3 trillion today to $5.4 trillion in 2026, shopper expectations for elegant and accurate last mile delivery tracking are only going to increase. Keep reading for ideas on how your brand can best keep shoppers in the loop and the dopamine flowing when it comes to their deliveries, big and small.
What is last mile delivery tracking?
The last mile of order fulfillment is where inventory travels from a fulfillment center or shipping hub to its final delivery destination. A last mile carrier is the logistics partner responsible for ensuring each order gets where it’s supposed to be, safely and on the date promised to the shopper.
Last mile delivery tracking keeps tabs on a package through this final leg of the journey, from the time it leaves the fulfillment center until it lands on the shopper’s doorstep.
What do today’s shoppers expect from their last mile delivery service?
We live in an era where consumers can track their food order in an app on their phone, watching their driver inch along, street by street, until the doorbell rings. So, it’s no surprise that shoppers have heightened expectations around how granular and immersive their delivery experiences should be.
- 93% want to stay informed throughout the delivery process—from in-transit status to final arrival date.
- 47% will not order again from a brand with poor delivery visibility. And 44% think brands are falling short of providing positive last mile delivery service.
- In one study, 96% of respondents said they would find GPS tracking useful when waiting for their deliveries.
One final thought: Shoppers who are disappointed with their deliveries are willing to take their complaints public. More than 1 in 10 customers (12%) are prepared to leave a bad online review of the brand and a further 9% would publicly complain via social media.
All of this adds up to your last mile delivery service having a big impact on your brand perception and future business.
How to take control of last mile delivery tracking
When you work with a 3PL partner you’re putting your trust in them to provide stand-out last mile delivery service. Their drivers will be the ones to leave a final brand impression on your behalf, so it’s essential to partner with a 3PL you trust to minimize problems and maximize communication.
Lean into the data
According to McKinsey, artificial intelligence (AI) will transform logistics by 2030. Many companies are already leaning into AI and machine learning to ensure faster, safer, more eco-friendly deliveries. For example, machine learning can optimize routing by analyzing factors like traffic patterns and number of stops to determine how to achieve the shortest travel time and improve on-time delivery (OTD). The result is a more accurate delivery window that provides a higher level of customer service. At GoBolt we use machine learning for route planning as part of our efforts to optimize the supply chain – including tracking inventory, shaving time off deliveries, and providing both merchants and shoppers with more precise shipment tracking.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Someone who is eagerly awaiting a package delivery wants updates. They also don’t want to be given a big delivery window time that shackles them to their home while they wait for their delivery to arrive.
GoBolt augments machine learning for route planning with real-time tracking that lets every shopper see exactly when their delivery will arrive. Our system also automatically sends notifications to each shopper at a few critical touch points:
- When the order is confirmed
- When our drivers have left the warehouse
- When our drivers are one stop away
- When our drivers are on our way to their destination
Make it personal
It should be easy for a shopper to resolve problems if something goes wrong. Make it clear what channel shoppers should be using to report issues like damaged shipments or missing/wrong inventory in their orders. Ensure your 3PL offers you, as the brand, a direct channel to escalate issues within their fulfillment and delivery teams for quick resolution.
Use last mile delivery tracking to differentiate your brand
The convenience of ordering online and having goods delivered to your door is table stakes. But the way you approach last mile delivery tracking can help you stand out from the competition and leave a lasting impression on your shoppers.
Discover how you can provide a positive last mile delivery service, plus get all your last mile carrier questions answered in our comprehensive guide – Everything You Could Ever Want to Know About Last Mile Carriers.