Exploring peer-to-peer last-mile delivery: an IKEA case study
Sammanfattning: The retail landscape has endured significant changes as a result of the e-commerce industry’s rapid growth over the last decade. As new channels are being added, traditional brick-andmortar retailers have transformed into multi- and omni-channel retailers in order to seize this growth opportunity. Last-mile delivery is stated to be one of the logistical processes mostly affected by the shift to omni-channel retailing. Changing shopping behaviors and rising customer expectations are putting higher pressure on e-retailers to reposition their delivery service offerings in order to provide a compelling value proposition. At the same time, last-mile delivery is frequently regarded as the most inefficient and expensive aspect of the supply chain, as well as the one with the most critical environmental concerns. Accordingly, there is an identified need to explore how omni-channel retailers can develop a last-mile delivery offer that is both appealing to customers and economically as well as environmentally sustainable. To respond to urban logistical challenges in last-mile delivery, IKEA has identified the possibility of utilizing peer-to-peer delivery, as a subset of crowdsourcing, for the last mile. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explore and recommend a peer-to-peer last-mile delivery solution for IKEA to test that takes into account customer expectations along with economical and environmental requirements. The purpose is addressed through an exploratory study with a design science research approach, involving a multiple case study for data collection. The analysis covers the mapping of the current last-mile delivery set-up for each case as well as identifying requirements of last-mile delivery, including external customer expectations along with internal economic and environmental requirements. Given the unexplored nature of peer-to-peer delivery in research and the scarcity of practical examples, the main theoretical contribution of this thesis is the exploration of how peer-to-peer delivery relates to identified requirements of last-mile delivery. Beyond the theoretical contribution, this thesis provides a real-world example of a peer-to-peer last-mile delivery solution developed for IKEA to test in an urban, omni-channel environment. The results of this thesis expects to inspire researchers and practitioners on how to develop and test a peer-to-peer last-mile delivery solution while also contributing to the generation of new knowledge and theoretical insights into the subject. However, this thesis calls for further research evaluating the performance of peer-to-peer last-mile delivery in comparison to other last-mile delivery alternatives as well as its relation to the most critical logistical challenges of last-mile delivery.
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