It’s time to jumpstart the evolution of the delivery ecosystem

The last-mile challenge in Canada

Canadian consumer and retail businesses are facing growing challenges in their efforts to differentiate themselves and stay competitive in a tough market. It’s no longer enough to compete on price, quality, or even on the seamlessness of the customer experience; today, companies must compete on the increase demands for speed and convenience of delivery of e-commerce purchases. The last mile matters more than ever.

We recently surveyed 57 Canadian consumer and retail companies in a variety of industry categories, including apparel, electronics, grocery, specialty, and mass merchants. Our findings demonstrate retailers are responding to consumers’ increasing demands—but to make last-mile delivery truly sustainable, they must let go of traditional delivery supply chains, connect to new and emerging delivery ecosystems, and digitize the last mile.

Rethinking the last-mile:

E-commerce sales reached 9 percent of total Canadian retail sales in 2018. They’re expected to rise another 25 percent by 2023, to reach $55.4 billion.

Canadian consumers’ preferences and expectations for delivery have also increased, although their willingness to pay for shipping has dropped.

To jumpstart the evolution of the delivery ecosystem, these are our key recommendations:

  • Invest in the technology that best supports delivery: 
    Adopt flexible, connected technology that can be integrated into emerging delivery ecosystems.
  • Build processes that streamline delivery decision-making:
    Create processes to draw immediate insights from data being collected across their last-mile delivery ecosystem.
  • Develop people capabilities to support strategic delivery sourcing: 
    Bring on people with the ability to understand and act on data-driven insights.
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