Gary Rosier-Taylor from Descartes Systems Group was a keynote speaker at our Urban Logistics & Last Mile event in Central London on November 28th. Gary shed light on the transformative impact of the last mile, a crucial stage where consumer choices shape the evolving consumer landscape.
The shift in consumer behaviour has significantly diverted from traditional high street shopping to online platforms, creating challenges in existing infrastructure, notably the strain from increased car usage, causing a ripple effect of logistical hurdles, as Gary explained.
An essential highlight was consumers’ limited awareness of the consequences of their choices, influencing their willingness to pay based on delivery adaptability and scheduling. Gary emphasised the complex interplay between specific circumstances and consumer preferences in shaping this willingness.
The discussion also focused on the significance of ESG goals for consumers and the challenges of predicting consumption patterns in the food delivery sector. Prioritising customer segments for better service quality in high-volume scenarios emerged as crucial for the industry.
Effective communication channels and optimal data utilisation within organisations were stressed by Gary as fundamental to enhancing customer experiences and streamlining logistical processes.
During the subsequent discussion, attendees delved into the multifaceted nature of consumer behaviour and its impact on last-mile logistics. The challenges posed by spontaneous shopping habits leading to potential waste generation were highlighted, sparking suggestions like designated shopping days akin to Amazon Day.
There was speculation about emerging platforms such as TikTok potentially rivalling Amazon in distribution in the future. The lack of visibility of delivery costs to consumers and the incentivization of cautious purchasing behaviour through return charges were key concerns raised, underscoring the need for greater consumer mindfulness and transparency in last-mile logistics.