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How Small Businesses Can Use ‘Last Mile’ Delivery Services to Reach Customers Faster


Minyang Jiang


This article was originally published on the NextWaveSMB blog, which provides small- and medium-sized businesses with strategic insights and intelligence about the technologies and marketing trends that will give them a competitive advantage. NextWaveSMB is brought to you by Booker.

The “last mile” of getting your goods or services to a customer can be the hardest. Undelivered items or services might as well be abandoned shopping carts. The logistics in arranging timely deliveries is critical.

But the last mile also represents opportunities. The mega-retailers certainly see it this way. Walmart, Amazon, and Google are heavily investing in setting up same-day and even same-hour delivery. They hope to use their advantages in delivery to stave off competition, inspire loyalty, and encourage impulse buying.

Small businesses are also experimenting with last mile delivery services, working with third parties such as Postmates, Uber and GrubHub. These mobile-centric companies have initially focused on meal delivery, but retail delivery and other categories are also in the works.

WorkWave, which coordinates last mile services for a wide variety of service-oriented companies, is another one of those companies that is betting big that its last mile touchpoints with small and medium-sized businesses can result in new marketing offerings. The 33-year-old company got its start mapping out routes and coordinating schedules for service providers such as bug spray companies and construction contractors.

It is currently seeking to leverage its knowledge of delivery schedules to enable all kinds of new commerce, such as last-minute deals and unplanned appointments. Basically, WorkWave wants to legitimize the old sales ruse that “we just happened to be in the neighborhood and can provide you with a big discount.”

“We want to close the loop in the lead generation business,” WorkWave CEO Chris Sullens told us. “At the end of the day, people want to push a button and have people come.”