Title: The last mile of e-commerce – unattended delivery from the consumers and eTailers' perspectives

Authors: Mark Xu, Brett Ferrand, Martyn Roberts

Addresses: Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3DE, UK. ' Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3DE, UK. ' Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3DE, UK

Abstract: Many products ordered online need to be physically delivered to the consumers. The home delivery logistics in e-commerce, as it is so-called |the last mile| of online shopping, has been one of the key factors leading to failures of pioneering dot coms, and is becoming a great challenge facing many eTailers. The convenience and time saving benefits of online shopping may not be realised due to the inefficiency or failure of the last mile delivery. This paper examines consumers| experience with the current delivery services, and the perceptions of unattended delivery from both consumers and eTailers| perspectives. It found that UK e-shoppers do not perceive unattended delivery as favourably as reported elsewhere in Europe, but have a great desire for picking up from local collection points. Differences exist on future delivery preferences between eTailers and consumers. The results have many implications for eTailers to develop their home delivery logistics strategy.

Keywords: e-commerce; e-shopping; home delivery; unattended delivery; logistics models; online tracking; UK survey; United Kingdom; electronic commerce; online shopping; e-tailing; last mile delivery; local collection; logistics strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEMR.2008.016815

International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2008 Vol.2 No.1, pp.20 - 38

Available online: 24 Jan 2008 *

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