The increased value of lastmile logistics in the e-commerce value chain - The perspective of logistics actors on the Swedish market
Examensarbete för masterexamen
The Swedish e-commerce market has increased dramatically during the last years with an astounding 40% growth in sales in 2020. The development has been ongoing for a long time, but was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak which restricted the possibilities of shopping in physical stores, resulting in customers using digital substitutes. This has resulted in high pressure on logistics service providers to keep up with the growth and offer valuable last-mile delivery solutions to the end customers. The aim of the thesis was to investigate in what ways the last-mile delivery solutions add value to the e-commerce value chain, and what aspects of the customer interaction related to last-mile delivery that was perceived as most value-adding by the logistics actors. To realize the aim, a literature study was conducted to investigate the current research state of the topics after which 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 different logistics companies, consulting firms and research institutes. The findings show that the last-mile delivery solutions create value by offering deliveries that reduce the effort needed by the customer to receive the parcel. Furthermore, as the e-commerce customers purchase the items with limited information, the availability of convenient return processes is found to be an important aspect in order to convince the customer to go through with the purchase. When the number of e-commerce customers grows, so does the need for different delivery options to suit the varying demands. The most important aspects of the delivery are found to be convenience and the availability of different delivery options. We conclude that the value created by logistics service providers manifests in the way it provides the customer with deliveries and returns that requires less effort compared to shopping in physical stores. The main aspect of the interaction is the ability to choose between different delivery solutions to choose what is most convenient in the specific context of each purchase as well as to be able to change the type, or time of delivery if the circumstances change.