Changes in consumer demands due to the pandemic have helped European delivery companies focus their efforts on innovation. According to a study carried out by Scandit, a world leader in data capture and augmented reality solutions, 14.3% of those surveyed are turning to new services such as Pick Up & Drop Off, as well as innovation (20.6% The study, which has included the participation of 118 companies in the logistics and last-mile postal sector in Europe and North America, analyzes how those companies that use smartphones tend to give greater importance to innovation.
These results contrast with their North American counterparts, of which only 5.9% prioritize new services and focus more on meeting current demands. Furthermore, European companies are also more likely to invest in augmented reality (69.2%) than North American companies (58.8%).
Differences in investment worldwide
The study reveals the existence of different challenges and priorities in investment depending on the geographical location. While companies in Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries are more focused on adding new applications and functions (43.8%) and technology that supports new services (18.8%), Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, is more balanced in your technology investment plans.
These are divided between the improvement of fundamental aspects, such as advances in delivery applications (37%) and the offer of new services (18.5%) or contactless processes (25.9%). However, Western Europe is significantly more open than the south of the continent, including Spain, when it comes to deploying new capabilities and services.
For example, 18.5% plan to invest in new applications and functions in Western Europe, compared to just 5% in the South, whose top priority is to improve their current delivery application (60%).
Augmented reality: the big trend of the last mile
Regardless of the region, more than three-quarters (76%) of companies consider augmented reality to be an important technology in the last mile, and more than a third (34%) say it is a priority in which they should invest currently. 85% of companies that use smartphones consider it important and 42.9% believe that it is essential to invest in it now.
“Augmented reality is key to gaining competitiveness and differentiation. For example, these types of solutions can help a driver quickly identify a specific package in a van or access delivery instructions in real time. In addition, they allow reduce the stress load on workers and help make the operation more efficient overall, “said Pat Nolan, senior research analyst at VDC Research.
It is important that the technology responds to specific needs
In addition to being more open to innovation, half of the companies that use smartphones take advantage of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model. The main reason among European respondents is cost reduction (57.1%) and replacement of old hardware (42%), which helps balance profitability.
BYOD is a logical investment for last-mile delivery, since it almost completely eliminates hardware costs, contributing to scalability and flexibility, which is key in peak periods. It is not surprising, therefore, that 100% of dedicated device users in Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries report that they have switched or are considering switching to smartphones.
“While COVID-19 and supply chain issues across Europe have created new challenges for last mile deliveries, they have also accelerated long-term solutions. With the arrival of key dates such as Black Friday and By Christmas, logistics companies are aware of the impact of last-mile problems on their customers. Addressing them is essential to ensure the best service, “concludes Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit.