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Vrhovac, V.; Vasić, S.; Milisavljević, S.; Dudić, B.; Štarchoň, P.; Žižakov, M. E-Commerce User Experience in the Last-Mile Delivery. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 21 April 2024).
Vrhovac V, Vasić S, Milisavljević S, Dudić B, Štarchoň P, Žižakov M. E-Commerce User Experience in the Last-Mile Delivery. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 21, 2024.
Vrhovac, Vijoleta, Stana Vasić, Stevan Milisavljević, Branislav Dudić, Peter Štarchoň, Marina Žižakov. "E-Commerce User Experience in the Last-Mile Delivery" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 21, 2024).
Vrhovac, V., Vasić, S., Milisavljević, S., Dudić, B., Štarchoň, P., & Žižakov, M. (2024, February 29). E-Commerce User Experience in the Last-Mile Delivery. In Encyclopedia.
Vrhovac, Vijoleta, et al. "E-Commerce User Experience in the Last-Mile Delivery." Encyclopedia. Web. 29 February, 2024.
E-Commerce User Experience in the Last-Mile Delivery
The role of last-mile delivery implies the complexity of managing the flood of parcels in cities, along with the demands for and complexity of omnichannel retailing. The last-mile delivery process involves different stakeholders, such as consumers, logistics providers, and retailers. The last-mile delivery concept presents a chain of storage and transport process steps. Each chain starts at the depot and ends with a handover element. The process chain consists of one or multiple transport and storage process steps moving the shipments closer to the customer. Customer experience in the last-mile delivery process can be a key factor in a customer’s decision to return to the same retailer or brand. Customers are increasingly looking for reliable delivery, as well as flexibility in choosing the time and place of delivery. For this reason, retailers and logistics service providers (courier services) need to focus on providing an efficient and quality experience in the last-mile delivery process to meet customer needs and maintain competitiveness. In addition, the user experience in the product delivery process plays a key role in increasing the user satisfaction.
last-mile delivery customer satisfaction customer experience home delivery e-commerce logistics

1. E-Commerce and Last Mile Delivery

E-commerce is a form of business that is increasingly used nowadays due to the growing popularity of the Internet and digital commerce [1].
“Since the last decades e-commerce has become an increasingly important source of competitive advantages. The opportunities of e-commerce enforce managers to redesign business processes and even to rethink the existing business models and the relationships with their business partners” [1].
E-commerce in the last decade has changed the way they do business in terms of optimizing their business processes and reducing costs, which can be key to their competitive advantage. From the aspect of logistics, the rapid growth of e-commerce has led to awareness of the importance of logistics in every process of electronic commerce. E-commerce is a set of activities that take place on the Internet and that rely heavily on efficient logistics [2]. The logistics of goods delivery has become very important for e-commerce in the last decade and especially during the pandemic when the adoption of this way of shopping increased [3]. Here are the three main stages of delivery logistics: from the manufacturer to the distribution center, in the distribution center, and from the distribution center to the end user [4].The last-mile delivery refers to the stage of delivery from the distribution center to the end user.
E-commerce plays a significant role in the last-mile delivery. This is because e-commerce makes it easy to order and pay for goods online, which reduces the need to physically visit the store [5][6]. Additionally, e-commerce allows for tracking of the shipments and gives customers more information about expected delivery times, which can reduce frustrations with delivery delays or problems. On the other hand, e-commerce allows sellers to better manage their inventory and deliveries, thereby reducing the time it takes to deliver goods to customers [7]. Therefore, e-commerce can improve the efficiency of the last-mile delivery process and reduce costs for sellers [8].
Last-mile delivery represents the final step in the delivery process when the package is transferred from the transport hub to the end user, whether it is a home address, workplace, or another place that is selected for the product delivery [9][10]. This step is considered the most challenging, expensive, and inefficient part of the logistics process, as it involves multiple factors such as delivery to different addresses, meeting different customer requirements, and requirements for efficient delivery [11][12][13]. In recent years, the last-mile delivery has become an important factor in the success of online shopping, considering that more and more people are choosing to shop online. Therefore, more and more companies are investing efforts to optimize this step, to ensure fast and efficient delivery that leads to customer satisfaction, as research shows that the experience of the end users and their satisfaction in the last-mile delivery process play an important role in the overall customer experience of online shopping [9][13][14].

2. Trust in Service

Long-term loyalty, as well as client feedback, are of great importance for delivery services. Considering the challenges faced through building successful client relationships based on trust, this process is time-consuming but at the same time crucial for modern organizations, especially service ones. Furthermore, the dual interaction between service providers and their clients is also an important factor to consider. These dualistic ties are reinforced by trust, which is comprised of cognitive, affective, and intentional components. Characteristics of trust can be summed up to the following: honesty, reliability, fulfillment, competence, quality, credibility, and benevolence [15]. Trust can be defined as the main driver of customers’ continuance intention, as it is the foundation of a relationship [16][17][18][19][20]. In the goal of customers feeling safe while sharing their personal information and having the willingness to make themselves vulnerable, trust carries an important role. Moreover, an assessment of trustworthiness is inevitable when evaluating the service provider. The level of trust should be rising throughout the service interaction, while the client is gaining confidence and positive mutual feelings such as commitment and loyalty [21].
The relationship between trust and the quality of service is two-way. To increase customer trust, a service provider should make an effort to reduce the perceived uncertainties and risk, while, on the other hand, when customers trust the solutions ordered by a service provider, their assessment of the service quality is higher [22]. The need for trust arises in any supplier/client business relationship characterized by a high degree of risk, thus, customers need to trust their service provider to deliver the desired service outcome. Personal qualities such as politeness and an empathetic attitude should reduce interpersonally barriers and, thereby, contribute toward the establishment of trust [23]. Customers rely on service providers and delivery personnel to deliver the ordered or purchased items undamaged and on time, just as the delivery personnel expects that a recipient will be available during the delivery period [24].
Taking into consideration the increased vulnerability of online consumers’ transaction risks, trust in an e-commerce environment is imperative [19]. Research shows that the literature on user continuance in the online environment and the finance industry has highlighted the role of trust [20][25][26]. Trust promotes interactions between customers and service providers. When the service provider is regarded as trustworthy by customers, the relationship continues to grow and develop [27]. Trust has an important influence on loyalty and positive word-of-mouth as a set of beliefs about competence and integrity. With this being said, relationships between customers and providers are determined by trust. Trust can be the driving force of customer commitment, therefore, through a trust-based relationship, loyalty is being built [28]. Trust develops over time, and it is an essential ingredient for creating satisfied and loyal customers in e-commerce, leading to higher levels of trust, which influences long-term relationships. Customers most often perceive online retailers as riskier than traditional retailers. Therefore, customers prefer to buy from online retailers they can trust. Trust has an important role for customers in moving from feelings to beliefs. The process of building trust is complex and different for every individual [29].
Trust significantly influences the satisfaction in home-delivery services [28]. Moreover, trust has a positive and significant relationship with satisfaction [30]. Trust can be defined as a mutual dependence between two parties, meaning, it can be a decisive factor in ascertaining customers’ engagement in e-commerce [31]. Expectations when waiting for their packages and experiences when they are delivered to the customers are always in comparison. The delivery experience depends mostly on the quality of the service and the level of trust the online buyers have in the delivery personnel. If the experience exceeds expectations, customers will be beyond satisfied. Furthermore, if the delivery personnel is able to build trust with the online purchasers, this will result in developing long-term relationships with customers [24].
Developed through interaction in practical forms, trust is needed for success in any industry [32]. Trust needs to be taken care of and tested over time once it is established.

3. User Experience and User Satisfaction

Competition in the service sector is constantly increasing. Companies recognize the needs of their customers and ensuring customer satisfaction with the services they receive is becoming of extraordinary importance. Customer satisfaction is crucial for all logistics providers who want a competitive advantage in the market. Further, if they do not meet customer expectations, their position in the market will be taken over by companies focused on meeting customer expectations [33]. The rapid growth of online shopping in recent years has highlighted the importance of home delivery services provided by package delivery personnel in ensuring customer satisfaction. Home delivery service is an opportunity to see customized, convenient, and efficient service as an opportunity to build long-term customer relationships, gain a competitive advantage and increase customer satisfaction. On-time delivery, better service, positive perceived customer value, and trust in service providers (logistics providers) contribute to customer satisfaction [24].
Most authors [9][34][35] agree that the user experience in last-mile delivery affects user satisfaction in the entire online shopping process. Ref. [22] state in their work that many researchers have identified trust as one of the key factors of e-user satisfaction. In the context of e-users’ satisfaction in the last-mile delivery process, the package distribution to the user requires fast transport with the shortest possible delivery time to meet the user’s expectations in terms of delivery speed. Customers’ trust is gained in the participating companies in the last-mile delivery process, which is also confirmed by [9] when he states that e-users are very demanding in terms of the accuracy and speed of delivery. Moreover, [36] concludes that customers value speed and accuracy of delivery. Users expect convenience and do not want to deal with package delivery problems (delivery delays, wrong products, lost packages). 
The quality of the delivery service affects the success of all e-commerce participants and impacts attracting e-customers [35]. One study [37] emphasizes the importance of user experience in the delivery process and states that the user experience becomes a source for gaining a competitive advantage in the electronic market. Ref. [38] explains that customer satisfaction can be seen as a consequence of the customer experience along the entire purchase journey, in which multiple touch points are associated with the delivery service in the online shopping process. Ref. [37] in their study define the e-customer journey in three stages: online experience, delivery experience, and product return service. Another study [38] defines these stages as the pre-purchase stage, purchase stage, and post-purchase stage. The level of customer satisfaction can vary between the online retail stage and the post-shipment stage. The customer satisfaction level can be very high in the online retail stage. After the delivery stage, if the customer is not satisfied with the delivery process, the level of satisfaction drops significantly, which confirms the impact of the delivery service on the overall customer satisfaction [39]. Measuring user satisfaction in all stages of the purchase journey can affect the management of the user experience and, therefore, the overall satisfaction of e-users in the delivery of the last-mile [38].
The logistics service quality has a significant impact on the positive user experience in the delivery of the last-mile. Thus, there are authors [20][22][24][40] who deal with the quality of services of courier services (logistics providers) in their research, because they represent the last and key step in the online shopping process. The quality of services seen by users (trust, delivery time, mobile applications, ability to track the shipment, and contact with the delivery person) should be a key element in the process of creating sustainable services for logistics providers [22]. The power of users in the B2C electronic market is growing more and more [41]. New formats of logistics services for courier companies are increasingly dependent on users. Taking the preferences and needs of e-users into consideration in the logistics environment of electronic commerce is necessary [38].


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