How to Overcome Delivery Challenges
We’ve previously explored just how big of a role same day and scheduled delivery play in meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Retailers must provide delivery experiences that factor in speed, control, professionalism and communication in order to maintain brand loyalty and attract new customers.
However, while same day and scheduled delivery options are ideal, they are not without their challenges. Elevated service of any kind takes extra effort but the end results are more than worth it. Take a look at these common challenges and the strategies for successful delivery solutions.
Delivery is Expensive
When you factor in fuel, labor, complex routing and penalties for delays, last mile delivery accounts for an average of 53% of the total cost of shipping. Meeting customer demands for high-quality speedy deliveries can be a pricey endeavor. There are ways to get what shoppers want where they want it without taking a big hit in profits or passing major expenses on to customers.
Rather than maintaining a fleet of vehicles and hiring an on-call team of drivers, businesses should partner with a third-party delivery provider. With this approach, retailers only need to pay for each delivery rather than retain their own employees.
Finding a Trustworthy Delivery Team
Most retailers lack the staff necessary to employ a consistent delivery team. Plus, it’s just not practical to hire full-time drivers, especially when purchases can be somewhat unpredictable.
To overcome all delivery team challenges, retailers must partner with only the best delivery provider. The provider’s teams represent the retailer, so any negative customer interactions reflect poorly on the retailer. That’s completely unacceptable, considering that nearly three-quarters of poor deliveries will result in a customer likely to stop recommending the retailer.
Finding a trustworthy partner requires lots of research. Retailers should do their due diligence in vetting potential partners, considering factors such as customer reviews, transparency, on-time delivery performance, net promoter score (NPS), available products and delivery team presentation.
Technology is Outdated
Technology plays a huge role in elevating same day and scheduled delivery. Retailers who lack the necessary tech infrastructure will fall behind competitors who have invested in it. Without the right tools, there are a number of challenges that same day and scheduled delivery could introduce or amplify:
- Poor order visibility
- Scheduling issues caused by confusion or miscommunication
- No easy way to track the status of a delivery
- Ambiguous inventory levels
- Inconsistent delivery performance
These potential pitfalls are avoidable with advanced delivery technology. Teaming up with the right delivery partner means finding one with the systems capable of handling a large number of deliveries simultaneously.
In addition to providing a seamless ecommerce experience, each one of the challenges of same day and scheduled delivery can be solved with the right tech. With PICKUP, for example, customers get a clear picture of their order’s journey from start to finish. Scheduling is easy, automated and handled digitally. Inventory is much more visible and customers enjoy consistent deliveries because the logistics are managed through integrated apps and systems.
Lack of Clear and Transparent Communication
Perhaps the most important element of any type of delivery is clear communication with the customer. For some, this can be extremely difficult with same day and scheduled deliveries. Because of the rapid pace of pulling an item from the store floor, getting it to a delivery vehicle and delivering it to the correct destination, there are many points in the process where communication could fall through. Plus, with a number of people involved from start to finish, like sales associates and delivery teams, the odds are pretty good that a customer will have a hard time staying connected.
83% of shoppers expect regular communication about their orders. It’s too large a number to ignore. Elevated delivery is only possible with transparent communication. The customer should be informed at every step of their purchasing journey. The key touchpoints include:
- Order confirmation
- Delivery schedule confirmation
- Who to expect
- When an order is picked up
- Estimated delivery time that updates in real-time
- Notification of any delays
- Delivery confirmation
In addition to the messages getting to the customer, they should be able to contact the store, delivery team and customer support with any questions or concerns they may have. Maybe they need to change the delivery window at the last minute. Hopefully, delivery teams are on time, but if there’s a delay, it’s their right to inquire about it. And, if an item was delivered damaged, they should immediately be able to contact the right party to get the issue resolved. These touchpoints are all possible with a fully integrated delivery solution like PICKUP’s.
If you’ve put off investing in a same day and scheduled delivery solution because of the potential challenges, get in touch with us. We’ll show you how our API eCommerce and POS portal products address these issues and enable you to offer your customers elevated delivery experiences.