As if retailers didn’t have enough to worry about with peak season looming, reports of possible product shortages brought on by supply chain constraints are surfacing again. Hershey was among the first to throw its hat into this ring when it announced a potential shortage on Halloween candy this year, but more companies may follow suit as the year-end holidays get closer.
So far in 2022, a worldwide semiconductor shortage is making electronics more expensive and harder to find, bicycle makers are having a hard time keeping up with demand for parts and the semiconductor chip shortage for all electronics is expected to stick around until 2023.
You can credit the COVID-related shutdowns, faster-than-expected economic bounce back and high consumer demand with creating issues that were relatively unheard of just three years ago. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated the problem, making staples like wheat and even chickpeas more expensive.
“The pandemic completely upended retailers’ supply chains, and the repercussions are just as prevalent as ever,” one analyst wrote at Forbes, citing data showing that nearly 48% of U.S. adults expect current supply chain conditions to cause product shortages to persist for up to a year.
That’s where crowdsourcing comes in. With crowdsourced delivery in your last-mile logistics toolkit, your business has a way to stay nimble and ready to scale. Read on to learn how crowdsourced delivery with Roadie can help you stay on top amid today’s supply chain challenges.
Make up ground in the final mile with on-demand delivery
Even if they’re bracing for shortages, consumers want their orders on time, in full and in good condition. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, more than 90% of online shoppers in the U.S. expect free two- to three-day shipping even amid the current uncertainty. When delivery times are too long, more than half of consumers say they’ll buy from a different retailer.
By providing flexible and scalable last-mile delivery solutions, Roadie helps retailers meet customer demand for ultrafast deliveries. Crowdsourcing final mile delivery enables companies to get orders out the door faster, regardless of what’s happening upstream.
For example, a retailer with delayed orders due to a shortage at its supplier’s plant can use crowdsourcing to deliver quickly once goods hit its receiving dock.
Rather than putting the inventory into stock and then picking individual orders, the retailer can use a cross-docking approach. Crew members can unload the “late” goods from the truck, sort them and then reload orders right into the waiting driver’s vehicle to then be delivered through the Roadie app.
Combining cross-docking with crowdsourcing gets orders into customers’ hands faster and with fewer resources – shaving off critical hours and minutes in the final mile.
Keep customers in the loop
From the time they click “purchase” to the time the order shows up on their doorsteps, customers want to know their products’ whereabouts. In fact, technology management firm SOTI says 68% of consumers expect to know their order status throughout the delivery process.
Roadie’s real-time tracking features fulfill buyers’ visibility expectations and help build trust by keeping customers informed of their order status.
Real-time communications are important year-round, but they’re even more critical in peak seasons. During the holiday shopping season, for example, customers may be especially interested in knowing how soon their product will arrive.
Unleash the power of crowdsourced delivery
With no immediate end in sight to the current supply chain constraints, retailers continue to look for new ways to tackle the upcoming peak season. Crowdsourced last-mile delivery from Roadie:
- Gives retailers an on-demand fulfillment mode that ensures they have the capacity and reach to deliver any item, anytime and anywhere.
- Helps retailers fill gaps between courier, in-house fleet and parcel carrier schedules, and enables orders to arrive on fast timelines that traditional delivery providers can’t necessarily guarantee.
- Handles variable demand for all delivery types, including bulky, heavy and oversized items.
- Supports the movement of inventory between facilities to ensure products are always in the right place and at the right time.
Working with Roadie’s crowdsourced delivery platform allows retailers to meet their customers’ demands for ultrafast delivery, get received goods back out the door quickly and leverage the power of 200,000-plus drivers who can reach 90% of U.S. households with same-day delivery.
Are you ready to deliver this peak season? Check out our 7-step roadmap to delighting customers when demand spikes.