Same-Day and Scheduled Delivery Are Now Consumer Mandates. Are You Prepared?
To rise above the competition, whether online or in-store, retailers need to ensure their customer experience remains consistent throughout the shopping journey, all the way to the consumer’s front door. Recent reports indicate that “one in three shoppers now expects same-day delivery,” and that “90 percent of consumers now see two- or three-day delivery as the baseline.”
However, there’s more to executing same-day and scheduled delivery than meets the eye, especially when the retailer is looking to make this part of an elevated customer journey. Consider ongoing supply chain disruptions and economic factors like inflation and labor shortages. To succeed against the current pain points and meet consumer expectations, a combination of advanced technology and professional teams are necessary to make same-day and scheduled delivery work.
Step 1: Technology
To help deliver on consumers’ last mile expectations, retailers should consider an API integration with their delivery partners’ systems. A fully integrated solution allows a retailer to tap into the technology of each provider. With a setup like this, customers can shop online and schedule deliveries at checkout more easily for a seamless shopping experience.
With a fully integrated solution, the customer doesn’t know they're actually scheduling directly with the delivery company, thereby shortening the path to the last mile. Features like smart windows that allow customers to only see open delivery times based on the availability of nearby delivery teams enhance that last mile experience for shoppers.
If API integration isn't an option, retailers can look to implement other digital tools that help them offer same-day and scheduled delivery, including a scheduling portal that customers access or the ability for cashiers to manage scheduling at the point of sale.
Step 2: People
Whatever solution a retailer chooses for same-day and scheduled delivery, remember that the people making deliveries are an extension of the brand. Retailers need to think critically about who they want to represent their company and fully vet their delivery partners. It’s essential to ensure trusted, friendly and reliable delivery professionals meet the consumer’s scheduled delivery window.
Live customer support teams are just as important as the delivery professionals. They should be ready to quickly answer questions about delivery times or help resolve any issues 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 keeping customers informed and satisfied. If possible, create a live delivery status page for easy access to ongoing updates.
Consumers are more willing to accept and understand a delivery delay if they know about it in advance and can actively communicate throughout the last mile. This helps consumers feel like they're being heard and supported throughout their experience.
Answering the Call for Same-Day and Scheduled Delivery
Each piece of the same-day and scheduled delivery machine is essential for providing elevated delivery experiences. While retailers will still have to deal with outside pain points, including global supply chain delays, they can still deliver upon consumer expectations by implementing the right combination of people and technology to proactively manage the last mile delivery experience.
Brian Kava is the CEO of PICKUP, a provider of same-day and scheduled deliveries.
Related story: What Consumers Expect From Their Delivery Experiences
Brian is recognized as a savvy, innovative C-level executive with a proven record of achieving revenue, profit, and business growth objectives by providing expert business process, outsourcing, and cutting-edge technology solutions for blue chip clients. He has more than 20 years of experience in generating consumer and brand awareness, maximizing product visibility and developing sales and marketing strategies for some of the world’s most renowned brands including Walmart, Google, Amazon, Home Depot, Whirlpool, Nike and Microsoft. He is recognized in the marketing services industry as one of the leading experts in the strategic development and execution of retail and commercial execution solutions. Brian maintains an uncompromising focus on high quality standards, employee centric culture and bottom-line profit improvements. Brian received his bachelor degree in Business Administration from Longwood University in Virginia.