Elevate Customer Experience with Same Day and Scheduled Delivery
Chapter 1. Introduction
The customer experience has changed rapidly since the invention of the internet. Going to retail or store showrooms, browsing the aisles and standing in line to make purchases are no longer the norm. While that method of shopping will probably still be around for a while, no one can deny the convenience and practicality of shopping online. For people that don’t accept that now, they will. In fact, by 2040, an estimated 95% of all purchases will take place online!
Although the methods consumers use to shop have changed, the goal of retailers has not. Providing exceptional customer experiences is what retailers must do to retain their customers and attract new ones. However, wowing customers and keeping them coming back for more is an increasing challenge. With hundreds of online competitors, supply chain issues and logistical nightmares, many difficulties are out of retailers’ hands.
To rise above the competition, whether online or in-store, retailers can elevate the customer experience by offering same day and scheduled delivery.
This guide includes:
- A look at what consumers expect in their delivery experiences
- An analysis of what goes into same day and scheduled delivery
- The pros and potential challenges of same day and scheduled delivery
Chapter 2. What Customers Want in a Delivery Experience
Give the people what they want. It’s a simple but complex idea behind exceptional experiences in any part of the customer journey. Make sure stores are stocked with the desired items. Price goods fairly and competitively. And, when it comes to delivery, provide consumers what they want when they want it. That means deliveries of all types of items must be fast, convenient and professional.
There’s no denying that Amazon has played a major role in the shifting of consumer expectations. Even with the development of online shopping, shoppers used to be content waiting five, seven or even 10 days to receive their items. In 2005, Amazon began the competition of offering the fastest shipping times by rolling out Amazon Prime, their solution for two-day shipping. Ever since then, local and national retailers have been trying to catch up by offering the quickest shipping and delivery solutions they can provide.
We know what comes next. Because they anticipated the needs and desires of consumers, Amazon eventually began offering next day and same day delivery. They raised the bar again, leaving all other retailers struggling to compete.
Customers have been conditioned to getting their purchases immediately. 56% of online consumers between the ages of 18-34 years expect to have same day delivery and 96% of customers consider “fast delivery” to mean same day delivery. Having a solution for “fast delivery” is critical to attracting and retaining customers.
Quick delivery taps into the overall idea of control. Customers want to have full control over when, where and how their purchases are delivered. Therefore, flexibility and convenience must be offered with every delivery.
Retailers can satisfy customers by offering both same day and scheduled delivery. This is especially true if the items being delivered are big, heavy or are of high value. The buyer wants to be home when a delivery of this type is made. The ability to plan deliveries around work and other commitments is a major selling point. Consumers are more likely to move forward with a purchase if they can select exactly when it will be delivered. 77% of global consumers have abandoned their purchases because they did not like the available delivery options.
Offering same day and scheduled delivery is just part of the equation. These options must be executed exceptionally for the customers to want to return. In fact, 70% of consumers say that a negative delivery experience negatively impacts their impression of the retailer, regardless of who is making the delivery.
Factors like ease of delivery scheduling, communication, order tracking and delivery execution are just some of the areas retailers should excel at to elevate the customer experience. Also, one could argue that trusted delivery is the most important factor of all. If a customer has a bad experience with a delivery person, the results could range from poor reviews to possible legal action. Fully-vetted delivery teams are a must.
These factors can only be addressed through a perfect blend of the right people and advanced technology. Technology can handle delivery windows and inventory visibility, while friendly customer support teams and highly qualified delivery pros ensure deliveries get to their destinations on time.
Chapter 3. The Inner Workings of Same Day and Scheduled Delivery
There’s much more to same day and scheduled delivery than one may expect, especially when executed in an elevated way. Advanced technology is what is needed to make deliveries as seamless as possible. However, people are equally as important. The human connection takes delivery to the next level.
The most obvious group of people needed is the delivery team which can be made up of many types of people. These days, many companies are opting for third-party services that would traditionally be considered “gig worker” companies. Think Uber or Lyft, but for delivery. Gigsters can sign up to be on a delivery team and then will select the times when they are available for work.
Our approach to onboarding is much more sophisticated. Whereas others may accept just anybody off the street, PICKUP works extra hard to recruit the best of the best. PICKUP Good Guys go through a lengthy vetting and onboarding process to ensure we have the highest quality people representing PICKUP and our partners.
Whatever solution you choose for same day and scheduled delivery, remember that the people making deliveries are essentially an extension of your brand. Think about who you want representing your company. They should be punctual, professional, friendly and reliable. application requirements include:
- Uploading pictures of the vehicle
- Providing driver license, insurance, registration and inspection
- Phone conversation
- 40 point background check
Delivery teams represent part of what’s needed for elevated delivery. Just as important are the support teams. There should be live customer support ready to help at a moment’s notice. There may be questions about delivery times. Maybe there’s an issue with an item that was delivered. Whatever the case, providing live customer support in the form of email, text or phone call will go a long way to keep customers informed, and therefore, satisfied. They just want to know they are being heard and that someone cares enough to resolve their issue. PICKUP’s customer experience team goes miles beyond others in the industry. Our core values – trust, transparency and fairness – guide our team members through each support call they handle.
For a truly seamless and convenient delivery experience, businesses should consider API (application programming interface) integration with their partner’s system. A fully integrated API solution allows a retailer to tap into the technology of a delivery provider. With a setup like this, customers can shop online and schedule deliveries at checkout. Because the integration is seamless, the customer doesn’t know they are actually scheduling directly with the delivery company. Plus, with a feature like smart windows, customers will only see available delivery times. Smart windows are based on the availability of nearby delivery teams, factoring in other deliveries that may be taking place and how many teams are on the clock.
A leading big box retailer has experienced massive success thanks to PICKUP’s API integration known as Fusion Formula. By elevating customers’ delivery experiences, they had a significant increase in e-commerce growth. In the big and heavy category alone, the retailer saw a 300%increase in revenue.
Some businesses may not be ready for API integration and would rather try out a delivery solution before full commitment. Or, they just don’t have the resources or tech team to execute complete integration. Whatever the reason, there are still powerful digital tools available for planning same day and scheduled delivery. One such option is a scheduling portal. The portal is a standalone web page that either customers will be directed to or that a cashier will fill out at the register upon purchase.
By using PICKUP’s delivery portal, Fusion Theory, a major specialty baby merchandise retailer increased its customer satisfaction score by 30% while creating an elevated last mile delivery experience of its big and heavy items for expecting parents.
Finally, a crucial part of last mile delivery technology is reporting. Because every delivery is tracked through the digital platform, retailers get all sorts of data to keep them informed, like overall performance and real-time views.
Each piece of the same day and scheduled delivery machine is essential in providing elevated customer delivery experiences. Implementing a reliable solution is what it takes to truly stand out from competitors and become positioned as the go-to retailer for professional and convenient delivery. How much of a difference does this make? Well, same day delivery can increase an online retailer’s competitive edge by more than 85%!
Chapter 4. The Results of Same Day and Scheduled Delivery
Same day and scheduled delivery are all about elevating the experience for customers. By working towards that objective, retailers will see growth in crucial areas of their business.
When people know they can rely on the professionalism of a retailer, they are more likely to be repeat customers. 93% of shoppers will shop at a business again if they had a positive customer service experience. Think of the various ways customers interact with a retailer. Cashiers, sales associates, greeters and support teams immediately come to mind. Delivery encounters are just as important. By offering high-quality same day and scheduled delivery, you’re giving customers just one more reason to return.
Expand Customer Base
A large number of consumers still like to shop in store. They can test out products, see them in person and gauge whether or not it’s a good fit. However, there’s a segment of people who would rather not step foot inside a store. They are very unlikely to shop online at a place that has no delivery option. This was an even more pronounced issue with the COVID-19 pandemic. More options means more customers.
Decrease Abandonment Rates
How often do you go online to shop, put items in your cart and then never seal the deal? Odds are you’re guilty of it because 69.8% of all online orders are abandoned! There are several reasons why a shopper will choose not to complete an order. It could be a lack of payment options or a requirement to create an account. But slow delivery speeds or no delivery solution is available can and should be addressed. One source revealed that 16% of people will leave the cart if the delivery times are slow, while another suggests that number is even higher – 36%. In the case study mentioned earlier, the leading big box retailer saw website conversions more than double after they began offering faster delivery options.
Increase Inventory Turnover
While improved inventory turnover is not a direct benefit to customers, it does help a business keep inventory fresh and updated for shoppers to have the best products to choose from. One key to optimizing inventory turnover is streamlining the supply chain. Faster or guaranteed delivery times play a huge part in getting products in and out as efficiently as possible.
Chapter 5. Same Day and Scheduled Delivery Challenges and How to Overcome Them
While same day and scheduled delivery are ideal, they are not without their challenges. Elevated service of any kind takes extra effort but the results are more than worth it. Here are some common concerns about same day and scheduled delivery and the ways retailers can overcome them.
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. An on-call team is not cost-effective.
The best course of action is to partner with a third-party delivery solution. With this approach, retailers only need to pay for each delivery rather than retain their own employees.
But a delivery partnership is not without its own challenges. The provider’s teams represent the retailer, so any negative customer interactions reflect poorly on the retailer. And in most cases, these interactions are out of the retailers’ control. That’s completely unacceptable, considering that 72.5% of poor deliveries will result in a customer likely to stop recommending the retailer.
To overcome all delivery team challenges, retailers must partner with only the best delivery provider. This will require lots of research on their part. They 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 appearance.
Lack of Technology
As explored earlier, 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 many 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 e-commerce experience as mentioned earlier, 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 and all automated and handled digitally. Inventory is much more visible and customers enjoy consistent deliveries because the logistics are managed through innovative apps and systems.
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 getting to the correct destination, there are many points in the process where communication could fall through. Plus, with several 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 points 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. 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 as quickly as possible. Ideally, deliveries are fully insured like they are with PICKUP. These touchpoints are all possible with a fully integrated delivery solution.
Some mistakes are unavoidable and many consumers understand that. Roughly 50% of shoppers would give a retailer a second chance after a poor customer experience. If the same customer has two bad experiences with a retailer, they are 80% more likely to go to a competitor. A little bit of communication goes a long way.
Chapter 6. Conclusion
As we’ve seen, consumers expect speed, control, professionalism and communication when it comes to delivery. Ignoring these factors or approaching them haphazardly can very easily cause retailers to lose customers to competitors.
All is not lost. Retailers can offer the kinds of same day and scheduled delivery experiences that customers want. While most retailers are not capable of incorporating a solution on their own, the good news is that delivery partners exist to do the heavy lifting. By finding the right match, retailers can provide the kind of service that will make loyal and lasting customers.
We want to partner with you to offer your customers elevated same day and scheduled delivery! Please connect with us to learn more about how PICKUP is the leading solution for big, heavy and high value items.