The eCommerce industry is as huge as it seems. It is one hunk of an industry and it several wings underneath it. Therefore, there many terms that hold relevance in this industry. Often we get confused between terms and tend to use them in an interchangeable pattern. Last-mile delivery and hyperlocal delivery falls under such terms. Maybe these terms are quite similar when it comes to their functions but slightly differs when it comes to their functionality and specifications. However the end goal of both the terms is quite similar i.e. getting things to be delivered at a faster pace, tamper-proof, provide for the best consumer experience for any sort of business.
- What is a last-mile delivery?
- What is hyperlocal delivery?
- The key difference between the hyperlocal delivery and the last mile delivery
- The relevance of hyperlocal and last-mile delivery in recent times
However, for understanding which delivery model you need to strengthen more, you need to know the exact difference between the two terminologies. Let us discuss the same.
What is a last-mile delivery?
Usually, a last-mile delivery fleet of a particular courier company takes care of these types of deliveries. Specific delivery agents carry the particular package on their vans, bikes or any other means of transport to deliver the package to the authorized customer. The actual definition of last-mile delivery is the transportation process of a particular package from the central hub to the exact location stated by the customer. It is the final wing of a fulfillment process followed by the eCommerce companies. There is no exact product category when it comes to last-mile deliveries. Any item except the grocery or food items is delivered. There is no restriction on the weight of the item. Here the items are charged based on volumetric measures of the package.
What is hyperlocal delivery?
Hyperlocal delivery is a delivery process where packages are delivered directly from the seller to the consumer. In these delivery process, a particular courier agent picks up the specific product from the accurate seller, then deliver the package directly at the consumer’s doorstep. The whole delivery process is limited to a specific geographical area and the deliveries are usually completed within a few hours. There is some product category in these deliveries. Any item that weighs more than ten to twelve KG cannot be delivered. You have to maintain a weight restriction in this type of delivery.
The key difference between the hyperlocal delivery and the last mile delivery
Required time for the delivery
The maximum time required for completing the last mile delivery is around 12 to 16 hours. If the customer gets a message from the eCommerce operator that the package will be delivered by that day, then the customers can expect the product to be delivered within 13 to 16 hours or the next consecutive business day. Many times when the area is quite big similar to that of metropolitan cities, then the delivery might take more than 16 hours to reach their customers.
On the other hand, in hyperlocal delivery, the delivery agents aim at delivering the package within 2 to 3 hours or 6 to 8 hours max. Since, the geographical area limited, so the ground to be covered is way less than the last mile delivery and thus the deliveries take much less time in the hyperlocal model in comparison to the last-mile delivery model.
The entire responsibility of the last mile product delivery lies in the hands of the courier agent assigned by the authorized courier company. The end-to-end procedure is taken care of by a single partner
On the other, in hyperlocal delivery, the entire delivery is not someone’s sole responsibility. The responsibility can be taken by the delivery company or the seller’s fleet, which is entirely employed by him.
Delivery area covered
The delivery area is not limited when it comes to last-mile deliveries. The delivery guy can cover even a distance of 30 KM for delivering packages on time. The delivery area in the last mile deliveries is usually determined by the location of the main central hub for transportation.
However, in the case of hyperlocal delivery, the delivery area is quite limited and much smaller than that of the last-mile delivery. The maximum distance of each delivery is completed within a radius of 5 to 15 KM. Sometimes, the delivery can be conducted as a form of intra-city where a distance of 20 KM or more can be covered.
Volume and weight restrictions
In the last-mile delivery, no restrictions are provided on the packaging. The entire amount is charged from the seller depending upon the volumetric weight of the package. In the last mile delivery, the delivery charges are inclusive and no extra amount is charged from the seller.
On the other hand, in the hyperlocal deliveries, a restriction on the weight of products is to be delivered. The maximum weight that is allowed is 10 to 12 KGs. As the delivery agent is responsible for carrying the entire package on their two-wheeler or three-wheelers, they bound to be careful about the package weight. If somehow the weight tends to exceed the designated numbers, then an extra amount is charged.
There can be any sort of products in the last mile delivery. For instance, there can be several products ranging from cutlery, fridge, television, cosmetic items, clothes, accessories, cooler, etc. There is no specific category of item that is delivered through the last mile delivery process. However, grocery items or food items are generally not included in this.
On the other hand, in hyperlocal delivery the area is limited. Therefore, it generally takes less time to carry out deliveries. The category of products that are delivered through this process includes medicines, grocery items, food items, small containers and tiffin boxes, and many as such.
The relevance of hyperlocal and last-mile delivery in recent times
If we look at the present situation, when the entire country is under the commencement of lockdown, both last mile, and hyperlocal deliveries have a pivotal role to play. Due to this outbreak, the entire buying pattern has changed. As the eCommerce industry is facing a major halt, only essential items like medicines, grocery items, healthcare equipment, food items, pet supplies, and many as such are made available for the people. In some areas are entirely shut down and people are strictly not allowed to step out from their houses. These are the areas where eCommerce is very essential.
Some of the courier companies have recently started delivery essentials across the nation. Therefore, in this case, the courier company’s last-mile delivery process should be very good and should be top-notch to ensure that the delivery agent, as well as the customer, is completely safe. Protective equipment like surgical masks, surgical gloves, sanitizers, and other essential safety items should be provided and made available. After keeping everything in mind, the timing should also be maintained. The delivery should be conducted within time so that the customers do not have to wait for their items.
Some people are buying essential stuff from nearby local shops. In this situation, the hyperlocal delivery can also be a game-changer. After the commencement of complete lockdown, people are not allowed to go to shops or places where there is a possibility of social gathering. Looking at the present state of the country, we are running at a high risk of getting affected by the virus. In these times, it is better to stay completely quarantined. Thus, it has become impossible for individuals to purchase essential items like grocery or food items, healthcare, and medicinal requirements, etc. Sellers can adopt the hyperlocal delivery system for delivering essential items to their customer’s doorstep. As the hyperlocal delivery system, is not that popular in India, a fast track method can be adopted.
In this mad technology era, there is a lot of engagement in the eCommerce business that can provide you with online access to their items. Customers expect their items to be delivered as quickly as possible. You can call it a revolution or a diversion of time but technology has taken a huge leap. Therefore, people have adopted all the latest ways of lifestyle. Now customers prefer to purchase their item online rather than visiting the traditional stores and that is why both hyperlocal and last-mile delivery process holds a lot of relevance in recent times.
Both the delivery systems are quite relevant and very essential in this difficult time. If you adopt the delivery systems, you are bound to see the success of your business. These delivery processes are not relevant in this pandemic but also after this ends. Our eCommerce industry has seen a lot of development since the “delivery at the doorstep” is made viable. Therefore, you must give equal importance to both the delivery systems. If you plan to adopt the hyperlocal delivery process, you need to have an excellent last-mile network. Both the delivery system is functional together. Therefore, hyperlocal delivery is like a micro-arm or an essential subhead of the last-mile delivery.