Module: Delivery: the last mile dilemma

“Amazon delivery drones will be as common as seeing a mail truck.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO


How can retailers have all those billions of goods delivered the world over? To what lengths do they need to go in order to solve the so-called dilemma of the last mile, working together with all those mail and parcel delivery businesses, both new and familiar? The aim: to deliver purchases right on the doorstep of the consumer.


Delivery is the fourth step in the customer journey. This includes both home delivery and pickup points, the information regarding delivery, and the various related services, including return policies.


We will offer a description of this stage of the customer journey from the onlife consumer’s perspective. What are their options? What are the expectations held by the different kinds of onlife shoppers?

Next, we plan to describe delivery from the perspective of the (web) stores. What’s involved in having parcels delivered to a consumer’s home address, what are the challenges relating to doing so in other countries, and finally, how future-proof is the model — introduced by Amazon and Zalando — of free delivery and free returns?

The third part of the chapter is where we turn to the biggest challenge faced by (web) stores and logistics service providers: the eponymous last mile of delivery. What role can the Internet of Things (IoT) play here, and what are new business models for parcel delivery companies and (web) stores?


Topics in this module:

  • Delivery options
    • Attended home delivery
    • Unattended home delivery
    • Attended intermediate delivery
    • Unattended intermediate delivery
    • Expectations paired to shopping types
    • Prerequisites according to shopper types
  • Retailer considerations
    • Own delivery
    • Niche delivery companies
    • Robot delivery
    • Do-it-yourself or tag along?
  • International deliveries
    • European deliveries
    • Free delivery and return                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Challenges in the last mile
    • The Internet of Things and the last mile
    • Internet of Postal Things
  • New business models
    • Social delivery
    • Drone delivery
    • In-store distribution center
    • Returns
  • And finally: the last mile
    • Sustainability and its effects on delivery
    • Last mile effects

Target group: Manager

Module level: Manager

Version | 13 - 08 - 2018

Part of course: Ecommerce Strategy (ECON2)

Topics in this module: Delivery and Service, Ecommerce Packaging, Ecommerce Strategy, Online Marketing, Online Marketing Plan, The New Store, User Experience