Parcel tracking study reveals growing customer expectations in delivery services
The first European Last Mile Delivery Experience Study aims at painting a coherent picture of the status quo of Real-time tracking services with all the major German carriers as well as some selected relevant startups.
In the age of online shopping, parcel delivery has become an integral part of the consumer's shopping experience. It's no longer just about delivering packages quickly to the right address; continuous communication during the delivery process is crucial for customer satisfaction. Recipients expect real-time information on the delivery day, with automatic updates in case of delays. Real-time parcel tracking is expected by 64% of recipients as a standard feature. A previous survey by Customer Code in 2022 showed that over 52% of recipients considered real-time tracking important when choosing a delivery method, representing a 12% increase from the previous year's results and underscoring the growing significance of the topic.
The RTT study highlights
Real-time parcel tracking has become standard for 64% of recipients and influences the daily plans of 77% of users.
Inadequate real-time tracking can negatively affect the customer experience.
94% of respondents stated that they use the function at least occasionally, with 63% using it almost continuously.
The importance of real-time tracking for consumer satisfaction with their orders is illustrated by the following result. For 62% of recipients, using real-time tracking increases anticipation, and for 69%, receiving the package in person is an emotional moment. The continuous updating of delivery information on the so-called last mile, from loading the delivery vehicle to handover on the day of delivery, is crucial. 78% of users stated that updates one to two hours before delivery are important to them, with 66% of them placing particular importance on tracking a few minutes before handover. The reasons for this are mainly the desire for flexibility (65%) and the feeling of being able to use the waiting time efficiently (63%). Real-time tracking even influences the daily plans of 77% of users. Equally important to respondents is the personal receipt of the desired package (66%), while other delivery locations, such as with neighbors or in a parcel shop, are less accepted.
In the second part of the study, various providers were examined and compared regarding their tracking performance. Established companies such as DHL, GLS, or Hermes, as well as tech giant Amazon and four startups, were considered. Interestingly, the big players outperformed the tested newcomers, who often promote the user-centricity of their services. None of the startups offered tracking that indicates the actual location of the vehicle. Additionally, the size and behavior of the offered time windows barely met current market standards and recipient expectations. Comprehensive real-time tracking, including dynamic time windows, vehicle location, and the number of stops, is only offered by established companies such as DHL, GLS, DPD, and Amazon. Instabox, Glocally, Liefergrün offer simple real-time tracking with dynamic time windows. Hermes and Urbify offer only static time windows.
The study identifies GLS and DHL as leaders in real-time tracking. These carriers excel in reliability, punctuality, and user-friendliness, as they provide a balanced ratio of availability and reliability of predicted time windows. On the other hand, providers with high tracking availability, such as DPD and Amazon, show lower reliability. However, the survey suggests that recipients place more value on the reliability of predicted time windows, and if they are not met, anticipation turns into frustration. Additionally, providers lacking this capability face challenges in the final phase of delivery. Location service failures, inaccurate vehicle location updates, and sudden changes in the number of stops led to uncertainty and frustration among recipients.
"We see that radically user-centric business models like Wolt or Uber are being applied to expectations of parcel delivery. Only a few players, such as GLS or DHL, are already meeting these expectations."
Simon Seeger, Founder and CEO of Bettermile
Precise tracking benefits everyone: recipients enjoy flexibility and certainty about delivery, drivers are greeted by satisfied customers, and delivery services achieve a higher level of operational efficiency.
"Artificial intelligence helps delivery companies find the balance between user orientation and productivity."
Simon Seeger, Founder and CEO of Bettermile
Bettermile provides a geo-based and AI-powered SaaS product suite for dynamic, multi-constraint, many-stop address processing, routing and navigation. Sound complex? It is. But we also make it easy to use with our web and mobile apps, APIs and SDKs.
We're setting a new standard for the last mile. And raising the bar for the delivery industry. All thanks to our seasoned, international team of tech enthusiasts and logistics experts and a truly dynamic product suite.