With social distancing now being the norm throughout the world, businesses that -- in the past -- have relied on inbound foot traffic to move merchandise, food, groceries, drugs, medical supplies, and other items are now scrambling to get into the game of “last mile” deliveries so they can compete.
The percentage of last mile deliveries has and will increase exponentially as more people in the United States make social distancing a way of life in the future to avoid becoming ill. Additionally, customers are becoming accustomed to the ease of deliveries; this is a marked change from the past, where the U.S. has lagged considerably behind China in deliveries.
According to the March 2020 Harvard Business Review (HBR), China has been leveraging dispatch management technology long before COVID-19 hit. HBR said in 2019, “China’s e-commerce penetration had, by one estimate, reached 36.6% of retail sales, with 71% of Chinese consumers transacting online at some point, mostly via smartphone apps.” In comparison, only 16% of 2019 sales in the U.S. were delivered.
Fast forward to March 2020, and there’s a different story unfolding: Digital Commerce 360 reported that in mid-March, sales and deliveries of one wine producer/retailer doubled in one day, and is continuing to peak. That is one example, but other markets are also surging.
Deliveries are predicted to increase further, even after the pandemic is over because consumer behavior regarding deliveries has forever changed as a result of the crisis.
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