A Dropoff delivery truck next to a courier completing a delivery and a phone tracking the delivery.

If you’re running a business, then you know that delivery is a key part of the customer experience. In fact, many customers will judge your business based on the quality of your delivery service. That’s why it’s important to invest in good last-mile delivery solutions.

According to Statista (2022), the global last-mile delivery market is expected to grow to more than 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2027 from 108.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. So what should you look for in a last-mile delivery solution? Here are 9 must-have features!

What Is Last-Mile Delivery?

A Dropoff courier delivering a package
Dropoff delivers packages through last-mile services nationwide.

Last-mile delivery is the last step of the shipping process. It’s when your product or package is finally delivered to the customer’s doorstep. This last leg of the journey is often the most important, as it’s the last chance to make a good impression on your customer. Overall, businesses are continuously trying to optimize this important stage for a prompt and efficient shipment in response to the rise in customer demand.

Last-mile delivery solutions are important because they allow businesses to improve their delivery service. In addition, 3PL providers know that even offering same-day delivery services is not enough to cater to customers’ changing demands. In relation to that, same-day delivery services and next-day services have their distinct differences.

By using the features mentioned below, businesses can track data, collect customer feedback, and prove that their product was delivered on time and in good condition. Head on over to our guide of the top 8 last-mile delivery companies and startups in the US to learn more about similar features they have to offer.

It is important to continuously improve last-mile delivery solutions with advanced features because businesses need to constantly adapt to the ever-changing logistics landscape. By using the latest and greatest features, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and provide their customers with the best possible service.

9 Must-Have Features in Last-Mile Delivery Solutions 

1. Auto-Dispatch

Last-mile delivery demand rose by 50% from 2020 to 2021, and it will continue to expand.

You should look for a last-mile delivery solution that offers auto-dispatch. This feature will automatically assign orders to the nearest driver. This is a great way to save time and ensure that your orders are always delivered on time. 

It is one of the most key aspects of any last-mile delivery system since it allows final mile carrier companies to manage essential assignments and on-demand orders in a simple manner. By assigning the best driver for the job, the goal is to reduce both service time and labor costs.

One of the main benefits of the auto-dispatch feature on last-mile delivery solutions would be logistics and distribution management. The system can create a daily schedule for dispatching drivers, send out real-time notifications (phone pop-ups), handle billing, and optimize operations based on available resources. In short, this system ensures that its entire range of operations is always transparent and visible.

2. Live / Smart Tracking

Live delivery tracking - Dropoff same-day delivery
Dropoff’s advanced tracking system allows for real-time updates for every delivery. See how it works.

Live or smart tracking is one of the most important features to look for in a last-mile delivery solution. This feature allows you to see the real-time location of your drivers and packages. That way, you can always know where your product is and when it will be delivered.

Using our delivery tracking system will give your customers a complete understanding of their orders. This will build trust and assurance in your brand. Meanwhile, our real-time driver location feature will help you increase operational efficiency.

“Transparency and convenience are key to any successful logistics service, and that often shines through in a provider’s ability to give customers accurate last-mile delivery tracking. Dropoff customers get clear oversight and clarity into all their deliveries in-the-moment. This has always been a core focus for Dropoff’s development team and it’s one of the many reasons we’ve grown as a leader in the last-mile industry.”

Neil Seth, Chief Technology Officer at Dropoff

In addition, if you have any concerns, you can contact a delivery service representative through chat or phone. You will also be notified if there are any projected delivery delays. Here is everything you need to know about last-mile delivery tracking.

3. Customer Live Chat

The customer feedback feature is another important feature to look for in a last-mile delivery solution. Most businesses use advanced technology to help them be more efficient and reduce mistakes. This feature allows you to collect customer feedback after each delivery. That way, you can constantly improve your delivery service.

The customer reviews and rating tools in your logistics management software help the company develop in many ways. Keep your consumers informed as much as possible. Keep track of their order, and also listen to them and learn about their issues with the service.

Without this feature, poor communication is more likely to occur between the customer and your business. This is just one of the many challenges the logistics industry often faces and is due for improvement.

Therefore, make sure the last-mile delivery and logistics solution you choose has features that are helpful for customers. This includes the ability for end-users to provide comments and evaluations on their delivery experience.

4. Data Analytics

The data analytics feature is another important feature to look for in a last-mile delivery solution. This feature allows you to collect data about your deliveries and then use that data to improve your service. Some things you can track with the data analytics feature include delivery times, customer satisfaction, and driver performance.

This gives a better view of the company, which makes it easier to see what is happening. Businesses can use these technologies to predict problems and avoid delays or failures in deliveries.

5. Proof of Delivery 

The proof of delivery feature is another important feature to look for in a last-mile delivery solution. This feature allows you to collect signatures and photos from customers after each delivery. That way, you can always prove that your product was delivered on time and in good condition.

A proof of delivery (POD) is a document that has information about the person who received the package. The POD includes their signature, the date and time it was delivered, and a picture of the package. You can make the delivery process easier for customers by using a smartphone app that collects signatures, takes pictures, and stores notes.

Overall, POD is a way for businesses to let customers sign receipts using mobile apps. This is important because it helps keep people safe by avoiding physical touch, and it also makes it easier to archive data, get feedback from customers, and reduce mistakes.

6. Route Optimization

A Dropoff delivery truck driving on a route

This feature allows you to optimize your delivery routes so that you can save time and money. It is hard to find the best route to get to a certain spot quickly. Many companies are using new technology to help them find the quickest way to deliver packages. Hence, this technology shows managers where their executives and fleet are and suggests efficient paths for delivering packages more quickly.

Generally, this feature is sourced from an app. The app sends out text alerts if there are any problems on the way, like traffic jams or long stops. It also changes the route in real-time depending on things like traffic and weather. And it keeps you up-to-date with what is happening on your journey.

Furthermore, dynamic routing calculates the most efficient route for a customer’s location. It takes into account how productive the route is, how much capacity the vehicle has, and how much fuel is consumed. This way, it can also predict delivery times.

7. Crowdsourcing Delivery Jobs

Crowdsourcing is a way for organizations to get help from people outside of the company. When the company is busy, or there is a lot of work to do, they can ask other people to help out. Simply put, this software is for the company to hire people who are not working for the company to do some work.

The computer will choose drivers based on where they live, how much it costs, and how soon the work needs to be done. Overall, the goal is to help you to send things quickly. It is easy to use, even in today’s technology world.

8. Estimated Time of Arrival

This one goes without saying. Nowadays, customers expect no less than being able to track their deliveries in real-time and anticipate exactly what time they will arrive.

The ETA feature predicts when a driver or courier will deliver a package to a customer’s door. Predictive analytics and machine learning technologies improve the accuracy of such estimates by taking into account variables like GPS coordinates, distance to the next stop, average break lengths, and historical data.

Having this feature in last-mile delivery solutions would allow the courier service to show up at the promised time, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

9. Benchmark for KPIs

A Dropoff courier tracking delivery metrics
Tracking logistics KPIs is critical to growing any successful delivery program.

Having a modern logistics platform can help businesses effectively benchmark their KPIs and improve adherence to SLAs. For instance, by giving access to essential delivery benchmarks, such as executive performance, delayed deliveries, customer ratings, ETA adherence, pending deliveries, 3PL performance, and more.

It’s easier to identify blockages in the system through reporting. With comprehensive reports, track crucial variables such as success rates, on-time rates, service times, feedback scores, distance traveled, and more to spot areas for improvement in the last-mile supply chain.

With the help of logistical KPIs to track same-day deliveries, last-mile delivery solutions are becoming more efficient.

If you’re looking for a last-mile delivery solution for your business, be sure to look for these must-have features. With the right solution in place, you can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and make your customers happy. However, as technology advances and automation takes over, last-mile delivery services still wouldn’t run as smoothly without the help of a logistics processor.

When choosing to partner with a last-mile delivery company, be sure to choose one with plenty of experience. Talk with an expert at Dropoff to learn more about our services.