Your customers expect a lot from the delivery experience, from full visibility into their orders to flexible delivery choices. That means retailers need solutions that ensure seamless pickup and delivery of any order, anytime, anywhere. After all, if you can’t deliver on time, you risk sending the customers you worked so hard for into the arms of a competitor. 

That’s where solutions like crowdsourced delivery platform Roadie and its application programming interface (API) can help. An API allows two or more computer programs to communicate directly with each other. Retailers that integrate their fulfillment process with Roadie’s robust API have complete control over the customer delivery experience, can easily give shoppers options for same-day and next-day delivery, and provide the real time delivery tracking customers expect and retailers need.

Read on to learn how Roadie’s API works.

Making the most of Roadie’s API

If your volume is too large for manual or bulk order uploads, no problem. Our API allows for flexibility and scalability by making posting deliveries quick and easy — whether on-demand, point-to-point deliveries or scheduling round-trip and multi-stop orders. Once your order is entered, Roadie’s algorithm will analyze the optimal combination of orders for a single driver to deliver.

The ease of posting deliveries is translated to traditionally hard-to-send items, too. Need to deliver a big and bulky item like a couch or an appliance? Instead of paying extra for a dedicated courier or trying to squeeze another delivery into a truck’s crowded schedule, you can instantly tap into the national network of drivers using Roadie. They are already on the road and can take care of the order — often within a few hours — without the need to check truck schedules and capacity.

Plus, API integration allows you even greater visibility into deliveries’ progression. Got time-sensitive items to deliver — or want to know where the delivery is at all times? Real-time visibility is baked into Roadie’s system. And Roadie’s API allows you to share delivery milestones directly to your transportation management system (TMS). That includes Roadie’s standard photographic chain of custody and signature confirmations.

Getting ready for API integration

What can you do to prepare your system and team for integration with Roadie?

The short answer: You’re probably already ready. We’ve built our API to be super easy to integrate and it works in almost any IT environment. 

One exception to the no-preparation-required rule is that you’ll need to find out the correct dimensions and package weight of your deliveries. If you’re used to giving end customers the actual assembled item dimensions, you may need to make a call to the warehouse to get the box measurements. Our algorithm needs this information to match the order with the right vehicle size and capacity.

Ready, set, test

Once Roadie’s system is integrated with yours, it’s time to test it out to make sure everything is properly connected. During the testing phase, you’ll want to mimic the item size, weight and locations for pick-up and drop-off that are likely for live orders. This will give you a better sense of delivery costs and what the process will look like in real time.

What about your team? Because the API connects with your existing order management system, you’ll need to educate team members on how to work with orders delivered using Roadie’s platform. This is especially true if you’re adding same-day or next-day delivery to your fulfillment strategy for the first time. Your team needs to know how much lead time they have to prepare and stage Roadie orders, and how you’ll verify the drivers who arrive to pick them up.

Roadie’s API creates a seamless connection from your existing systems to our network, with error codes that provide clear feedback throughout the integration process. In the event you do run into any hiccups during testing, our team of engineers is ready to help. You’ll also have a dedicated account manager to help spot issues with your delivery process.

If your IT team is ready to roll up their sleeves and get started, you can get your sandbox credentials and go live with Roadie’s API in a matter of two or three weeks. Farm goods retailer Tractor Supply did just this, ramping up same-day delivery in 1,462 locations in less than three weeks.

Life after Roadie API integration: seamless fulfillment

Having your ordering and fulfillment system linked up with Roadie’s API will make scheduling deliveries much more efficient. Your orders will flow quickly and seamlessly to Roadie’s system for pickup, saving your employees a ton of time and reducing manual entry errors.

Your customers will also appreciate the improved, real-time visibility they’ll get with notifications when their orders are picked up, in transit and delivered.

These days, a tracking number is the bare minimum customers expect from you. A crowdsourced delivery network backed by a powerful API helps you give customers the flexible delivery options and deep visibility they demand, keeping them happy and deliveries running smoothly from purchase to doorstep.

Want more help optimizing your deliveries? Learn why your SLA is one of your most powerful tools for on-time arrivals with every order.

Why SLAs are the key to success with your last-mile delivery platform