The rise in popularity of delivery services continues to increase, especially as COVID-19 continues to affect our day-to-day lives. Consumers are relying on delivery services for a multitude of reasons like delivering food, groceries, and other items that can be purchased online.
Companies with a delivery service are going above and beyond to ensure their customer’s safety while delivering during a pandemic using a contactless delivery service. Making this small adjustment in daily delivery processes is just one way businesses are adapting to the change without having to give up the use of a delivery service — understanding just how beneficial they can be to their business.
Because of the uncertainties that have evolved around the pandemic, more businesses are beginning to implement delivery services into their business plan, even if it wasn’t a part of it before this point. Some are even learning that their business is doing better with this implementation and plan to continue with it, even as the pandemic begins to pass.
Whether you choose to have a B2B or B2C delivery service, having one for your business can help you stay afloat, even during the most trying of times. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to implement a delivery system in their business.
Benefits of Adding Delivery to Your Business
Adding a delivery service can be beneficial to your business for many reasons. For example, delivery services can:
- Be easily and affordably implemented;
- Build a good reputation for your company;
- Create an online presence;
- Improve general customer service;
- Improve management of logistics and resource planning;
- Help you keep up with industry trends.
Customers are drawn to the idea of accessing items that are most convenient to them. Having a delivery service available can still ensure your customers are getting what they need, without having to leave their own home.
Tips for Adding a Local Delivery Service to Your Small Business
Implementing a delivery service can be a smooth and easy process as long as you have the right tools and information. Let’s take a look at how you, as a business owner, can onboard this new service into your daily routine.
Of course, with any implementation of a new, technical element like a delivery service, comes the responsibility of keeping track of logistics. Not only are you in charge of delivering orders, but you’ll also need to implement order management measures, track inventory, and be sure you’re adequately staffed to accomplish these tasks.
Considering logistics also includes gaining control over shipping speeds. It’s crucial to get your customers’ goods delivered in a reasonable amount of time. This is why you should consider offering same-day delivery or two-day shipping options for those who are eligible. For all other orders, you will want to disclose how long the customer should anticipate their shipment to be delivered. Keep in mind that anything that could take weeks on end may deter them from engaging with your business. Take control of your logistics and create a plan that benefits both you and your customers.
Add Products to Your Online Store
There is no sense in creating a delivery service if you don’t have many products to offer. Restaurants and other food establishments have an advantage because there is a steady demand for food at the consumer’s earliest convenience. However, the food industry isn’t the only one that is capable of success with the help of a delivery service.
Most industries can be successful with deliveries, as long as they have an online avenue to shop from.
Creating an online store allows your customers to shop from the comfort of their own homes. When creating an online store you will want to:
- Make sure it is mobile-friendly;
- Encourage shoppers to add more to their cart by suggesting other items they may like;
- Discuss the shipping, exchange, and return policy;
- Offer more than one shipping option;
- Integrate an easy checkout process;
- Request honest reviews from past shoppers;
- Take customer feedback seriously and implement changes as they’re suggested (and if they’re feasible).
These are all tips that are helpful and should be enforced, regardless of the type of items being sold.
Optimize Delivery Routes
No business can operate a successful delivery service without optimizing its delivery routes. This is why using software to help with route planning and optimization is a must. Not only can this software help plan routes, but it can also:
- Track arrivals and departures;
- Communicate back to dispatch;
- Track delivery vehicles using GPS;
- Plan the most eco-friendly route that reduces your carbon footprint;
- Measure analytics.
It also creates an opportunity for customers and drivers to communicate in real-time about the status of the delivery. Having a clear understanding of the benefits of route optimization can help ease your mind, knowing you made the right decision in implementing both a delivery service and route management software.
Keep Your Customers Updated
Communicating with customers about the whereabouts of their orders is a must when implementing a delivery service at your business. Using software that allows you to provide your customers with live updates on tracking and other notifications can help ease your mind, knowing they’re well taken care of.
You’ll want to be sure to inform your customers of any delivery delays, inventory (specifically if you no longer offer what they ordered or if it isn’t in stock), refunds, and when and where their package was delivered.
Collect Proof of Delivery
Unfortunately, not every delivery goes as planned. For example, a customer may receive a notification that their package was delivered, just to see that it is nowhere to be found. The driver is sure that it was delivered, yet the customer says otherwise.
This is why having a system in place that allows the driver to provide proof of delivery can be extremely helpful. Using a mobile app that can take a photo proving a successful delivery can help prevent these situations from happening again. That way, if the customer insists they didn’t receive the package, the driver can look back on the app to see when and where it was delivered and whether or not it was delivered to the right location.
Train Your Staff
Just as with any new process, it is important to train your staff on any changes within the business. This includes educating them on what’s expected out of them in regards to the new delivery service. Training your staff includes helping them obtain any necessary permit, license, and/or certification needed, especially if they’re the driver.
Because the changes are still new, it can be easy for staff to forget their training shortly after they’ve learned it. Hanging posters that showcase the new rules and regulations is a great way to ensure they’re reminded of the new changes. Setting goals and creating challenges can help engage the staff and make them want to remember their training.
If done correctly, implementing a delivery service can be extremely beneficial to your business. Following the tips mentioned above can help ensure you’re going about the implementation properly and are truly prepared for what’s to come.