E-commerce is an industrial atomic bomb. Accounts of e-commerce growth permeate the Internet, and some expect more than 100 million parcels to be delivered daily by 2026. Unfortunately, as explained by Logistics Management, many retailers still struggle with providing the capacity and technology to secure white glove options for their customers. This creates a level of distrust between consumers and shippers, and failure to offer these increased services and transparency into the final mile will lead more customers to abandon your company in favor of Amazon. As a result, shippers need to understand why white glove options are not the same, how they can make or break final mile delivery and their benefits.
Aren’t All White Glove Options the Same?
Take a moment to think about white glove options. These range from the delivery of bulky, heavy appliances to the setup of electronics. The exact white-glove needs of customers will vary widely, and it is not enough to send order details to a specific white-glove servicer. With the rise of e-commerce, the level of white-glove services offered by local professionals has changed. White glove servicers may need to contact debris removal specialists, IT experts, and many more technicians in the process. It all depends on what the customer orders and expects.
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Why White Glove Service Can Make or Break Final Mile Delivery
White glove service can mean the difference between a successful, satisfying customer experience and complete abandonment. Take this example. Mr. Johnson orders a new smart refrigerator for his home, but he lacks the skill to connect it to Wi-Fi or remove the existing appliance. While he may have obtained a “good deal” by purchasing from your company, he may not know whom to contact for appliance removal or installation. More importantly, if the item is left on his porch, the loss could easily stagger into the thousands of dollars. As a result, e-commerce retailers or OEMs that wish to offer products from electronics to heavy, bulky items must provide white-glove services. Also, customers expect to have access to the services at the time of order, so the burden of responsibility to schedule white glove services and ensure all needs are met falls on shippers.
How White Glove Benefits Customers and Shippers
The use of white glove options in final mile logistics management offers vital benefits to both shippers and customers. These include:
- A diverse network of white glove options increases competition among carriers. As more carriers opt to connect white-glove service with the final mile, the competition will increase, keeping costs of such services competitive.
- More delivery options improve customer experiences. Providing service after the sale also enhances customer experiences by delivering more than a product.
- More extensive networks increase the speed of delivery. A more comprehensive supply chain network also increases the speed of delivery, a critical function for companies that wish to stay competitive with Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
- Taking advantage of local services to deliver a superior customer experience. Local services also know regional considerations, such as how to dispose of large, bulky debris and navigate new construction or other obstacles to delivery.
- Optional debris removal is essential. Speaking of debris, all shippers must offer the ability to remove debris at the customer’s request.
- White glove service demands personalized attention, customization of delivery planning. White glove service is unlike any other supply chain function. While it can be managed, it relies on personalized attention, customization of delivery planning, and a genuinely end-to-end process.
- Increased interactions with customers will set the tone for repeat purchases and brand loyalty. Finally, effective communications and engagement with customers will set the tone for future purchases and build brand loyalty, helping companies keep product price points under control.
Increase Your White Glove Capabilities with the Right Final Mile Partnership
The right supply chain partners will offer an array of white glove options to meet the needs of your business and customers. As e-commerce continues to grow, more customers will turn to the Internet for their purchases, and if your business cannot deliver and fulfill all needs, customers will look elsewhere. As a result, more shippers are turning to final mile carriers for help in managing white glove services, as well as the assistance of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and inclusive TMS platforms.
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