COVID-19 triggered phenomenal growth for e-commerce but it also created issues for last mile delivery firms.
One challenge is the huge rise in age-restricted goods being purchased online for home delivery.
At the same time, speed and efficiency are crucial factors when ensuring seamless deliveries. Whether on the doorstep or at a designated pickup point.
Operational processes need to be optimized to stay profitable. Especially as consumers are unwilling to pay more for home deliveries.
And that means completing age verification checks quickly, accurately, and from a safe distance.
This guide explores the complexities last mile operators face in order to achieve an advantage in a fiercely competitive market. All while staying legally compliant.
We’ll look at the role of smart data capture on smart devices can play in helping you to:
- Scale at speed with super efficient age verification
- Focus on customer satisfaction to stay ahead
- Transform last mile workflows and increase compliance
- Increase the delivery quality of operational KPIs
- ID verification operational essentials
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Scale at speed with super efficient age verification
The rise in e-commerce and seasonal demands pressurize last-mile operations to scale at speed.
Compliant-essential age checks add extra challenges. These include the need to process age verification quickly, while still maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Scaling up to meet demand is already stretching delivery capacity.
According to the 2022 Alcohol E-commerce Playbook by Agrifood, US online alcohol sales are now worth $6.1 billion – a rise of 131% since 2019.
New processes to complete age verification create additional complications. These are likely to increase.
In most cases, it is a legal requirement to verify the recipient’s age from identity documents.
How do you do that without inconveniencing customers or incurring unnecessary delivery delays and increased dwell time?
Deploying ID scanning on smart devices is a simple way to streamline age verification. It automates, updates and mobilizes processes for faster, more reliable document checks.
Many leading last mile carriers have already turned to smartphones as the de facto delivery drivers’ technology of choice.
Here are some of the reasons for the increasing popularity of smartphones.
- Last mile operators can scale at speed by equipping drivers with familiar mobile devices or adopting a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy.
- Organizations can save up to 40% on the total cost of ownership (TCO) by replacing expensive, dedicated scanners with smart devices.
- Smartphones powered with Scandit Smart Data Capture, including ID scanning, enables drivers, contractors and couriers to verify ages. It also captures proof of delivery.
Focus on customer satisfaction to stay ahead
Last mile businesses need to comply with local age verification legislation. This is true whether delivering alcohol with a grocery order or a fast food delivery.
They will gain a competitive advantage if they do complete age verification checks at the point of delivery or pickup. As this means minimal customer disruption.
Create customer service superheroes
ID scanning on smart devices enables drivers to deliver a hassle-free age-restricted verification experience by:
- Validating age in seconds at the point of delivery by scanning ID cards, passports or driving licenses accurately
- Processing age checks safely by scanning IDs contactlessly and from a distance
- Avoiding embarrassing situations by being able to automatize age verifications
- Leveraging reliable ID capture technology to reduce scanning failures and hence, time consuming manual entries
- Minimizing dwell time and efficiently moving on to the next customer drop-off
Any employee can handle these tasks with the same device. One that easily fits in their pocket, anywhere, anytime.
See how easy it is to verify a customer’s ID on the doorstep.
Identify future customer trends by leveraging data from every scan
With every scan, data can be collected about the deliveries and specific workflows.
Real-time data insights help to drive service improvements. These include planning staffing and anticipating peak demand periods, especially for age-related goods.
In the case of ID scans, the actual ID data capture and the age check takes place on the device itself. So no sensitive ID data is transferred from the device.
However, additional metadata around the type and structure of a customer ID, driving license or passport, is collected. These insights are crucial to keep data parsing of different ID formats up to date and continually ensure robust ID scanning.
Seamless age verification delivery requires high-performance scanning. Every employee needs the assurance that any scan of an ID document will work first time, every time to avoid customer friction.
Transform last mile workflows and increase compliance
With e-commerce growth showing little signs of abating, last mile companies are under immense pressure to streamline operations and enhance efficiency.
And that includes the age verification workflow.
Here are some ways to do that:
Scalable capacity on demand
Because of the ubiquity of the mobile device, delivery capacity isn’t limited by the reliance on single-purpose hardware. Instead, it can be rapidly scaled up to handle any volume of age-related deliveries with no hold-up in the driver’s daily schedule.
Be smart to reduce hardware costs
Replacing expensive dedicated scanners with multi-functional smart data capture on lower-cost smart devices is a simple way to reduce hardware and costs in the last mile Switching to smart devices saves up to 40% on TCO.
Securely integrate ID capture into existing apps
ID scans and age checks are easily recorded and confirmed, lowering exposure to legal risks. Security and data privacy is assured – all data extraction and processing is done entirely on the device.
Increase productivity with one device
Delivery capacities are scarce. So drivers need reliable ID scanning software to save time with manual entries. Scandit’s ID scanning technology comes with a 99.75% success rate.
What does this mean for delivery companies?
It results in substantial reduction in the amount of time a driver spends verifying age and an estimate 71% increase in productivity.
Increase margins with advanced delivery services
Consumer demands are increasing, with customers expecting same day / next day delivery as standard. In fact, 66% of millennials want the option of 1 hour delivery in cities (Accenture).
By modernizing workflows – with smart data capture technology including ID scanning – logistics organizations can meet these needs with services like PUDO and same day delivery. They can also boost the bottom line with value adding services like age restricted goods delivery or registered letters, which require proof of ID.
Increase the delivery quality of operational KPIs
Last mile operators are continually striving to exceed key performance indicators. This is whether reducing dwell time, increasing delivered in full on time (DIFOT) rates, reducing damage claims, cutting parcel theft or age verification compliance.
As a result, operational leaders are increasingly turning to technology like smart data capture to help with:
Failed deliveries because non-compliant age verification is costly. Both in terms of repeated deliveries and the impact of reputation because of poor customer service.
Smart data capture makes proof of delivery and ID verification simpler and helps guarantee first time delivery rates.
Every second costs with last mile delivery, so every second saved helps improve the bottom line. Multiplied, this becomes significant. With technology like smart data capture, identifying items requiring age verification is much faster and simpler. Significant time is saved scanning ID documentation compared to manual processes because of no scan or false parsings.
Avoid the risks of non compliance
By automating and standardizing the way retailers and delivery drivers verify ages avoid the risks of non-compliance and complex delivery driver training programs.
More secure delivery
Parcel and identity theft are on the rise. In fact, roughly 14% of Americans (about 35.5 million people) say they’ve been victims of package theft in the last 12 months, according to a recent survey by finder.com.
With smart data capture security and data privacy is assured. And being able to scan IDs effectively means the parcel gets delivered to the right person, first time, every time.
ID scanning operational essentials
ID scanning is the extraction of data from documents into a digital format that can be tracked, validated, or queried. It provides an audit trail of what is being verified and the reasons why.
As discussed earlier, a smartphone enabled with smart data capture including ID scanning gives anybody the ability to check a person’s age and identity.
But to be truly effective, consideration needs to be given to performance factors, including:
Can the software scan multiple codes and different ID documents?
With Scandit Smart Data Capture, our ID scanning solution supports a wide range of ID documents:
- Machine Readable Zone (MRZ): Passports & ID Cards: Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) include many countries’ ID cards, all passports and visa stickers. These documents are standardized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and feature text in a Machine Readable Zone
- PDF417 Barcode: Driving Licenses: PDF14 scanning and parsing is used on all driving licenses issued in the USA and Canada by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), along with US Military ID
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Front of ID Documents without Machine Readable Data: Data from driving licenses in the EU, UK and US, and many other ID cards, can be captured by scanning the regular text containing personal details on the front of the license using text recognition (OCR)
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID): ePassports: Electronically Machine Readable Travel Documents (eMRTD) or e-Passports), and ePassports with embedded RFID chips
It’s important to have software support that monitors changes to all ID types and continuously updates the parser to ensure the most reliable scanning results.
Is ID scanning performance guaranteed?
In last mile ID scanning, speed and accuracy are essential for delivering the optimum experience. Any scanning app must work on a multitude of devices and in real-life conditions.
Documents may be torn or damaged, lighting may be poor or causing glare, and with ongoing social distancing, scanning must work at a distance, and at awkward angles. Any failure causes friction and frustration, resulting in a poor experience and poor engagement.
Choose a software provider that guarantees high performance scanning in challenging conditions and includes an always up-to-date parser, so no resources or time is wasted building or maintaining the parser.
Industry-leading scanning performance from Scandit has a 99.74% scan success rate for IDs with PDF 417.
Scandit has identified all 163 different versions of how the ID standards are implemented across all jurisdictions and monitors any changes.
Is the ID scanning solution easy to use?
Any age verification solution must be flexible and easy to use with many companies crowdsourcing to meet demand for new drivers. Also, delivery employees need to cope with up to a 90% increase in parcel volume in some countries (Source: Pacific Consulting Group).
Where mobile apps are already deployed for delivery workflows, adding ID scanning capability is a proven, available solution and secure way to verify the age during the Proof of Delivery process.
How easy is it to integrate ID scanning into an existing app?
It is quick and straightforward to add smart data capture into an existing IT infrastructure, including native and web apps. With or without integration. Scandit’s barcode and ID scanner SDK is designed to require less code. It also comes with extensive documentation and code samples to simplify the development process.
Is your ID scanning solution future-proofed?
It’s important to have the right platform on which to add new innovative technology. Having the right technology platform now, like Scandit Smart Data Capture, enables last mile businesses to capture real-time operational data.
As a result they can make informed decisions and ensure age verification is completed accurately and quickly. It’s the foundation on which new products are built.
Protect against risk while maintaining speed and agility
It’s clear that having a viable solution in place to verify age when delivering the growing volume of age-restricted goods is essential. Last mile companies need to protect against risk and liability while maintaining speed and agility.
Smart data capture and ID scanning-enabled mobile apps on smart devices provide a safer, flexible, future proof solution for your customers and last mile workers.
Scandit helps delivery businesses to develop the right mobile and smart data capture strategy to ensure profitability amid unpredictable demands.
Why not schedule a call with one of our experts to discuss how we can help you with your last mile operations.