Digital transformation has radically changed how we buy things, from streamlining research and discovery to processing transactions. But most products still have to physically move from seller to buyer, and that process hasn’t kept up with the pace of digital change. Mega-retailers such as Amazon have fielded their own massive fleets that raised consumer expectations for fast delivery of their ecommerce orders. Others have been left to figure out how to compete with a fragmented range of last-mile delivery logistics solutions that make it tough to keep up.
But that’s changing. Thanks to innovations behind the scenes — in everything from forecasting software to on-demand warehousing to routing algorithms — you can offer the ultrafast, efficient, seamless final-mile delivery process customers now demand. These advancements are the perfect complement to a next-generation last-mile crowdsourced delivery solution. This means companies like yours can offer efficient next- and even same-day delivery for the first time, without relying solely on traditional courier and parcel services.
Digitally powered crowdsourced delivery enables senders of all sizes to unlock:
- Flexibility and scale
- Coverage and speed
- Customer choice
How digital tools help optimize same-day delivery
Crowdsourced delivery is already providing an effective alternative to regular delivery routes, parcel carrier shipments and other final-mile delivery methods. It’s also enabling companies to affordably accommodate VIP and rush orders, fluctuations in demand, and big and bulky items without costly investments in delivery infrastructure.
With the addition of the following advances in digital tools, your crowdsourced, ultrafast final-mile delivery gets even more effective:
The ability to sense and understand consumer demand is more granular and accurate than ever. According to McKinsey, today’s forecasting solutions can be as much as 85% more accurate thanks to developments in data and analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
These advances enable you to make more educated predictions on where demand will be realized, so you can position inventory intelligently. The combination of strategically placed inventory and ultrafast crowdsourced delivery creates a powerful market play — you can fulfill orders faster with locally available goods for an optimized delivery experience that attracts and retains customers.
As with delivery capacity, your need for storage and fulfillment may fluctuate over time — something many companies experienced over the last two years as supply-chain logjams brought too much inventory to market too late for its intended promotions. To deal with such a significant inventory surge in the past, you would have to turn to 3PLs or short-term space leases, sell off inventory or settle for locating goods in the warehouses you do have, which might be far from the point of demand.
But now, on-demand fulfillment and warehousing platforms such as Ware2Go (another UPS company) enable companies like yours to quickly identify and book open warehouse space only when and where you need it. On-demand warehouse space can help you cope with inventory surges, open up new markets and position goods closer to where you anticipate rising demand for same- or next-day delivery. Together, on-demand warehousing and Roadie’s crowdsourced delivery platform enable you to add same- and next-day delivery services in multiple markets in just weeks.
End-to-end shipment visibility
Consumers want complete visibility into the shipment process. It starts before they even click the buy button. Recent research found 56% of shoppers are more likely to complete a purchase if they can see the estimated delivery date in the shopping cart. Then they want to see where it is every step of the way. In fact, a separate study by SOTI found 68% of consumers expect to know where their order is at all times during the delivery process.
Now you can meet these expectations with Roadie crowdsourced delivery. Access to the national network of 200,000-plus drivers who use Roadie means you can confidently promise same- or next-day delivery, significantly increasing the likelihood of closing the sale. Roadie’s real-time tracking, signature confirmation and photographic chain of custody ensure your customer can track the status of their shipment at every step.
Advanced route optimization
Routing and clustering algorithms in the Roadie SmartSort® app enable you to group and pre-sort a set of orders in the most efficient way. A single driver picks up a pre-sorted batch of orders from the warehouse or store and follows an optimized route to get items delivered quickly and efficiently. Because a Roadie driver isn’t chained to the rigid routes of a parcel carrier, you can dynamically create the most efficient last-mile delivery route to meet each day’s orders. This means you can achieve greater speed and flexibility in your last-mile strategy while saving fuel and avoiding costly traffic delays.
Roadie’s platform is also scaled precisely to your needs right now, accommodating fluctuation in demand across seasons, days or even hours. When your need for last-mile shipping increases, you can meet it immediately and efficiently, without experiencing some of the surcharges or delays common with fixed-asset networks and static routes.
Shippers can maximize efficiency by sorting orders for pickup to skip additional sorting centers and deliver faster to customers. Pre-sorting automatically allocates orders into groups or bins based on where those shipments are being routed. This data is delivered right to your employee’s mobile devices, so a warehouse worker simply uses their phone to scan the barcode on each item to determine on which bin it belongs. Each bin or group automatically matches up to a single driver, so when that driver arrives, they know everything in that bin or group is included in that particular delivery route. An easy, smooth pickup process means those orders go out the door quickly.
Roadie SmartSort® enables pre-sorting to be done at your pickup location. The pre-sort process requires very little warehouse floor space and can be handled by just one to two employees, so you can deliver faster with minimal additional cost.
Digitally enabled crowdsourcing solves the last mile
Analysts call digital transformation essential for businesses to thrive — and even survive. Today’s customers expect seamless, digitally enabled experiences, and that extends all the way to their doorsteps. Meeting those expectations is rewarding: one study found companies that offer a high-quality customer experience stand to generate 4% to 8% more revenue than the rest of their market.
Digitally enabling last-mile logistics with powerful tools and ultrafast crowdsourced delivery enables senders to satisfy this demand with exceptional delivery service levels that keep customers coming back.
To learn more about how Roadie can help your company deliver faster, check out our best practices for batching and routing orders or contact a Roadie representative today.