Customers these days are spoilt for choice when it comes to delivery options - almost anything can be delivered anytime, and anywhere. What’s more, we’re seeing delivery services become a key aspect of our on-demand lifestyles, and as a result the industry has been given a shake-up with the rise of hyperlocal startups jostling with incumbent carriers for a piece of the US$90 billion pie.
From Sydney to San Francisco, delivery startups are thriving: food delivery app Deliveroo is backed by a $200 million investment, same-day delivery service Deliv dubbed by Forbes as “the Uber of the retail industry” has UPS on its board, and Uber itself has branched out with UberRUSH for package pickup and drop off that’s trackable in its native app. With all these options available literally at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that consumer expectations when it comes to delivery of retail goods have raised through the roof.
While innovative startups are certainly adding value to last mile delivery, traditional carriers who are able to leverage their networks and capabilities are still the preferred choice for many businesses. A 2015 Market Realist report on the American courier services industry singled out UPS and FedEx as the largest players in the industry, with almost 20% and 15% market share respectively. The challenge for retailers right now is to draw on the changing carrier landscape to bring ultimate value to customers, while keeping operational and product costs down. Here’s three things retailers should factor in when considering startups as part of your delivery strategy:
Drive demand by offering hyperlocal delivery
Even with the availability of data analytics, retailers of all sizes still find the science of anticipating consumer urgency a mystery. Offering a breadth of delivery options at checkout including same day or even one hour delivery which startups excel at, will give you a better chance of capturing the attention (and dollars) of ‘want it now’ shoppers, especially if it’s well communicated on your site.
Use last mile delivery as an extension of your brand
A common model for delivery startups is the crowdsourcing of labour which keeps costs down, and a rating system to keep quality up. This means that their workforce are personally invested in ensuring that they deliver the best customer service possible, which is great for you. Having your customer’s package delivered safely and on time is important, but having it delivered by someone who goes the extra mile with a warm smile and great attitude is priceless.
Tracking is a given in today’s world
Another great element of delivery startups is the ability to track journeys in real time. This feature helps both the retailer and consumer manage their time better, and is an indispensable tool in the way retailers dispatch and deliver goods to customers. Another upside to this is that it keeps your delivery partners transparent, thus increasing the quality of service that you’ll experience. Also remember, rely on trusted carriers with great tracking feeds who have a clear process in place when things go awry.
At Temando, we love seeing innovation in the shipping industry, and partnerships such as the one between UPS and Deliv suggests that carriers new and old are willing to work together to bring more value to consumers and retailers, and that to us is a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Like to know how Temando makes working with carriers easy for you? Let’s chat.