The double whammy of supply chain delays and rising e-commerce activity increased the pressure already on retailers to offer faster delivery to match customers’ expectations. More than half of consumers now find shipping and delivery time to be the most frustrating part of online ordering, according to global research from SOTI. And more than a third said they’ll go somewhere else to place their order if delivery or pickup takes longer than two days.

Satisfying customers’ need for speedy delivery can be especially challenging for retailers selling bulky, heavy and oversized items

From extra packaging required to keep oversized products safe in transit to finding truck space at a moment’s notice, bulky items can be much more difficult to get to a customer’s doorstep on a same-day or next-day schedule using traditional channels.

The pandemic offered an example of the challenges facing retailers that ship big and bulky items. Take home furnishings. As consumers used their downtime during lockdowns to work on home improvement projects, demand for items like couches and desks skyrocketed. That uptick in demand, coupled with major supply chain delays, was a recipe for customer dissatisfaction

As pandemic worries ease, the majority of consumers (86%) say they’ll continue to shop more online, a Metapack survey found. That’s true for many big and bulky items, too: Around 30% of revenue in the household appliances market will come from online sales by 2022, according to Statista. And there are indicators that online purchases of other large items, like farm machinery parts and sporting goods, are rising, too.  

Retailers have room to grow when it comes to meeting that demand. Eight in 10 online shoppers had a negative delivery experience in the year before Metapack’s survey. That’s a lot of disappointed customers seeking better experiences on future orders.

The good news is that with crowdsourced delivery, retailers have a way to make good on the promise of ultrafast fulfillment of big, bulky and oversized items every time. Read on to learn how it works. 

Crowdsourcing makes shipping large items easy

Getting bigger items to customers’ doors in the current market requires a little extra planning. And when customers demand same-day delivery, meeting that need can feel like an uphill battle.

Enter the Roadie crowdsourced platform. With a nationwide network of drivers in passenger vehicles of all sizes using Roadie, retailers can find space for every order, big or small. This helps you avoid paying big shipping fees (even when an order isn’t needed urgently) and lets you keep your same-day delivery promise to customers.

Even better for you (and your customers’) peace of mind, you don’t have to worry about packing your bulky item deliveries. With crowdsourced delivery, items won’t bounce around on multiple trucks or travel through various warehouses before reaching their destination. Cutting down on packaging makes your operation more sustainable, too — which makes you more attractive to consumers concerned about the environmental impact of online ordering. And when your customer gets their order, they won’t have to worry about how to get rid of the extra packaging. 

Choosing Roadie’s crowdsourced delivery platform gives you and your customers real-time visibility from estimate to delivery. Whether the order is going across town or across the country, Roadie’s API lets your customers see at a glance where an order is at any moment. And by tapping into the national network of drivers using Roadie, you can find vehicle capacity when you need it. That means you can offer plenty of delivery options to your customers, from four hours to next day, scheduled around their needs.

Big and bulky orders don’t have to slow you down. As customers buy more online, retailers must be ready to meet their delivery needs no matter the size of the product. By crowdsourcing the last mile, you can make sure your customers aren’t left waiting.