In 2015, forbes.com reported that savvy retailers, focused on developing a fully integrated business model that allows for the greatest convenience to customers, were turning to omnichannel planning: implementing a point-of-sale-through-delivery seamless customer experience via bricks-and-mortar, mobile and online avenues. Today, this trend continues but not without challenges. A January 2017 article from the business intelligence firm l2inc states, “…research reveals that very few brands offer consumers…a shopping experience across all three channels:” the indicators of a truly omnichannel strategy citing mass market giant Target as a successful example.
Data reveals that younger generations – 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers – prefer to shop online rather than in store, leaving some companies stymied by the costs and complexities of the final mile: the key leg in the hub to last-mile delivery chain of events. Final-mile delivery is the most customer-facing component in this chain. It is also the most likely to adversely affect the consumer’s brand experience for reasons that can include displeasure with shipping costs, inflexible arrival times and no option for next-day delivery.