Many factors have impacted the delay on nationwide, accessible same day delivery. However, looking ahead, same day can eventually become the standard without causing company headaches. Here’s how
Same day delivery is still a relatively recent and rare trend for retailers. In the UK, it’s being rolled out by giants such as Royal Mail, Amazon and Waitrose but we’re still limited to certain areas of the country, restricted product offerings and it’s often expensive.
Last mile concerns
One of the biggest drawbacks of nationwide same day delivery is the 9.3 million people currently living in rural areas of the UK. Delivery luxuries like click and collect, pick-up lockers and fast delivery aren’t as feasible for those living out in the countryside because of the length of time and distance between them and city-dwellers. While drivers have regular stops in urban areas to boost their profits, if there’s only one drop-off point in a ten mile radius, it can be difficult to justify the need to deliver there without hefty fees to the customer.
That said, people are willing to pay more for same day delivery, you just have to ensure the quality of the delivery is high and the customers can communicate with the driver or the customer service centre with ease. The fastest growth rate of e-commerce and parcel deliveries over the next five years is expected to occur in rural areas, so it’s wise to start planning your same day strategy to avoid falling behind.
Make sure the courier service has a good reputation and that its drivers have good quality connection to their HQ so they can be aware of any incidents which might cause barriers to their delivery. Just ensure any surcharges aren’t hidden - the Advertising Standards Agency recently announced new legislation to make this explicitly known from the start.
Time sensitive, work intensive
Chances are, people ordering same day delivery are doing so for a reason. That means you need to get it to them in time. Ensure you have the inventory, regularly replenished stock, the right courier service, the products and all the information ready. Also, have a social media assistant to help with any issues and choose your courier service wisely.
For small businesses that want to get on top of the e-commerce game but don’t always have the resources or staff to get the orders out fast, it can be difficult to build a same day business model without stress. They want to attract new customers but without spending a fortune or sacrificing the quality. But by partnering with courier services they can get access to a dedicated shipping expert which can find the preferred rates ideal for small businesses, give advice and also partner with the best global carriers to bring the best shipping solutions and save time and money.
Also be wary of setting cut-off times too late just to appeal to customers. A safer cut-off time at the start of your roll out, such as 11am, will allow delivery firms to have more capacity to wager it into their route.
Value added appeal
Don’t just assume people will be happy because you’re offering same day. Recipients want value added services. They don’t want their product thrown over the fence or delivered crumpled. Miserable delivery drivers and difficult systems to track their parcels are also undesirable.
There is little point offering a service to please your customers if the product has been ruined mid-transit or arrives so late they’re sleeping.
If a customer associates your brand with damaged goods it might be an uphill struggle to turn them into a loyal customer, especially if they weren’t before. Again, do your research on the courier firm you use and, if there are complaints from your customers, address these, no matter the deal you’re getting. Happy customers equal loyal customers, which ultimately means success.
Connect the data dots
We’ve all heard that data is king and it’s true. In the digital age, we can use data to really take advantage of personalities, shopper behaviours and the most efficient way to do processes. Couriers can now merge data from the cloud with historical statistics to give them insight into traffic patterns, enabling them to plan well on the day and avoid high congestion.
Analytical tools can gain fast insights into reports, what products are most soughtafter, common popular order dates and customer satisfaction rates. You can also use data to issue immediate responses to urgent customer requests, especially if they have ordered something specifically for same day but haven’t received it in time.Apps also enable the courier service to plan ahead and devise the most efficient route, analyse driver behaviour and continue to communicate with drivers back and forth. Take full advantage of the massive amount of data you have access to. If you have the data but aren’t connecting the dots to gain insight, your operations are likely not as efficient as they can be.
2019 is a transformative year for retailers, with same day deliveries joining the likes of drones and virtual reality in boosting the customer experience. Same day doesn’t have to be logistically problematic and, if you offer it well, you can massively improve the customer loyalty and the retention rate. Do it wrong or rushed and it can affect not just current customers but potential ones too.