Small businesses are on the constant lookout for ways to make themselves stand out in a busy market. We live in a customer-driven world, so it’s never been more important than it is today to find ways to meet their demands.
Customer service has become a more important demand than price itself as customers are willing to pay more for products or services, as long as they provide specific benefits. However, we have seen a new trend take a foothold in the online market – same day deliveries.
One day delivery service has become a huge selling point of many retailers. Amazon started this trend with their Prime membership – a service where people pay over $100 to get free two-day shipping. The sheer popularity of this service prompted the behemoth company to find ways to guarantee same day delivery. But it doesn’t come without its challenges.
Looking at this from a small business perspective, we can see that same-day delivery boosts customer satisfaction, which in turn increases customer retention. Getting repeat customers is essential to the continued growth of small businesses.
Why the Growing Demand for Same Day Deliveries?
Small businesses can set themselves apart from the majority of their competition by offering same day deliveries. These businesses tend to double their conversion and boost their sales over time. The key is to be capable of delivering on those promises.
The demand for same day delivery is created by the technology that we use. The fact that we can do so many other things at such a rapid pace predisposes a desire for everything to be done faster. Self-checkouts create a faster experience. Thus there is a demand for it. Same day deliveries are no different. People will pay more for a faster, more convenient shopping experience.
Some of the advantages include:
- The ability to provide customers with the shopping experience that they desperately crave. Therefore, they will come back and do more business with you.
- When a promise like same day delivery is kept, it increases the likelihood of the customer leaving positive feedback.
- Since shopping is not restricted by the time of day, it will boost sales.
Big Retailers Have Already Created a Blueprint
A few retailers have already created the blueprint for success. This was attempted a decade ago, but we didn’t have the technology to make it profitable. Companies that tried had to deal with razor-thin margins, and they usually failed in their attempts.
But things have changed. Technology provides businesses with the ability to optimize the flow of their deliveries in such a way where having a one-day delivery service is a possibility. Let’s look at a few examples.
Instacart revolutionized same-day grocery by using big data alongside personal shoppers. A customer places an order using the Instacart website. Then that order is sent to a personal shopper, who then goes out and buys the items. The items are then delivered by the personal shopper.
This is only possible due to the rapid growth in technology that allows the instant sending of data. The status of these orders is kept up to date using a system that monitors the deliveries. Personal shoppers send updates via their app. This system also improves on itself as it gathers more data from deliveries. Weather and customer behavior play a greater role here.
While it’s not a national company, Postmates has dug its roots into the heart of San Francisco. They deliver anything from office supplies to lunch. It works a lot like the Uber system where freelance contractors sign up using their mobile devices. So when an order is placed in the Postmates system, it is automatically sent to the nearest contractor.
The most difficult aspect of this system is that it must factor in who is more capable of delivering the item efficiently. This is done by using data accumulated in real time. In short, the more deliveries the system processes, the more efficient it becomes.
Since contractors play such a vital role, Postmates invests in community events that are designed to provide useful information to make them more efficient.
The behemoth retailer has taken notice of this trend and has already begun to expand its services to include same day deliveries. They tested this system in smaller areas and saw huge success. Therefore, Walmart decided to roll out a system to expand to more than 40% of households within a year.
Walmart uses its employees in combination with ride-hailing services for the actual delivery of items. More often than not, they provide an incentive for employees to drop off deliveries at the end of their work shift. But the overall system works in much the same way as the previous two. Data is funneled through a powerful processing system when a customer places an order.
Challenges of Same Day Delivery
We still see the same challenges with same-day delivery that were experienced a decade ago. The difference is that we now have the technology to streamline the process in a way that meets most of these challenges. However, small businesses looking to offer same-day deliveries need to consider these unique challenges.
- Processes need to be created to accommodate same-day delivery.
- Small businesses must ensure that it’s possible to fulfill orders in their local area.
- Data must be streamlined in a way so that when customers place an order, the system can automatically assign a person to carry through with the actual delivery. This system must be automated.
- One-Day delivery service is expensive so it must be priced accordingly.
- Inventory must be accurate. Most businesses struggle with inaccurate inventory, but for a one-day delivery service to work, a business must constantly update their inventory.
The option for a one-day delivery service is going to trend until it becomes a standard business practice. That’s why it’s so important for retailers to develop proper data strategies to prepare them for these growing trends in which using data transforms from an advantage into a necessity.
Gracie Myers is a content writer at Research Optimus a company that specializes in helping small businesses streamline their data. She enjoys writing on various topics mainly associated with research. Her famous articles are on the topics of Business Research, Market Research, Business Analytics and many more.