In the past 18 months, the retail, logistics, and e-commerce sectors have seen customer attitudes and expectations quickly shift. Aside from fast delivery, today’s customer also wants knowledge about their order’s whereabouts and accurate information about delivery times.

In Southeast Asia (SEA), the 2021 e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) is estimated to hit $120 billion, twice the amount in 2020.

Customers in the region today consider same-day or next-day deliveries as the norm, and a development that could further expedite the growth of on-demand service providers such as Lalamove and Thailand’s Line Man which deliver in less than two hours. How can retailers build a robust last mile that is fast and affordable?

As part of the brand and consumer experience, the last mile is a key focus area that retailers cannot ignore to build brand loyalty and ensure high-quality service. Without transparency, communication, and access to delivery status, the online buying experience will disappoint customers.

Rapid innovation and digital investment are the keys to responding to this customer demand. Similar to Amazon, regional retailers could consider establishing their own delivery networks to their advantage, especially in metro areas. Retailers could ask customers a preferred delivery period and then prioritize the more urgent orders.

Consumer expectations will continue to evolve in the next five years. Whether the innovation comes in the form of new technology or better visibility, retailers, and logistics providers must be committed to improving the customer experience.

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