Consumer expectations for local same-day and next-day home delivery are higher than ever. The World Economic Forum predicts demand for same-day delivery will grow 36% a year, and instant delivery expectations will rise 17% annually. 

Retailers are eager to answer this demand. For example, McKinsey found more than 75% of specialty retailers prioritize two-day delivery, indicating that retailers are building out network capabilities to enhance their fulfillment speed.

In doing so, many retailers are putting more emphasis on channels that can provide better speed, efficiency and reliability than traditional fulfillment options. One approach is quickly becoming a preferred way to reach this goal: direct delivery from distribution centers (DCs) to customers’ homes via crowdsourced delivery. 

Fulfilling directly from the DC brings speed and efficiency by cutting out links in the supply chain. It helps ecommerce-only shippers compete with brick-and-mortar operators leveraging these physical locations to quickly get orders out to local customers. And it helps senders with physical locations avoid the extra time, training, space and labor required to receive, put away, pick and send items from store inventory.

4 steps to setting up DC-to-home crowdsourced delivery

Setting up crowdsourced delivery from any warehouse or fulfillment center is surprisingly fast and easy. Here are the key decisions and processes to consider as you get started.

Step 1: Determine the business impact of not offering on-demand delivery.

When you’re competing against Amazon or retailers with large physical footprints, crowdsourced delivery from DC to home can be your secret weapon for attracting and converting local buyers to your brand and avoiding abandoned carts. Offering same-day or next-day local delivery can drive additional orders and elevate your brand’s customer experience and net promoter scores. 

Half of logistics executives who Roadie recently surveyed said the fact that customers expect and demand same-day delivery, and that it can improve customer retention, are big factors in their decision to offer the option. Nearly as many (44%) cited the ability to increase sales.

Consider that increased order volume when determining whether you have enough density to offer crowdsourced home delivery from a given fulfillment location. Pilot tests in a few markets can be a great way to put numbers around the additional demand this option can drive.

Step 2: Decide where to offer same and next-day local delivery

Retailers must be able to reach their customers wherever they live, but deliveries to rural, suburban and urban areas bring different challenges and requirements. A mix of solutions is often needed to cover all the possible geographic variations efficiently.

To determine what DCs to use for local same-day and next-day delivery and which customer zip codes to target, start by assessing your order volume and the proximity of your fulfillment locations (including DCs, warehouses, 3PLs, dark stores, etc.) to customers. 

Take a look at your general demand within those delivery areas. You’ll want to ensure there’s enough density of orders to create efficient, multistop delivery routes for crowdsourced drivers.

Use Roadie Direct™ warehouse delivery to crowdsource drivers to deliver within a 75- to 100-mile radius of each fulfillment center, giving  you a lot of opportunities to provide this service to your customers. 

Step 3: Prepare your DCs for crowdsourced delivery

Setting up your fulfillment centers to handle local same-day and next-day crowdsourced delivery typically takes only a few weeks. That’s because it uses resources you already have.

The best practice is to devote one bay to these deliveries and to reconfigure your conveyor equipment to direct those orders to a small, dedicated area where they can be collected for sortation. Roadie’s flexible solution can accommodate other arrangements as well.

The Roadie Direct™ warehouse delivery solution provides everything you need to make this work: 

  • Roadie’s system can read any barcode or QR code, so you don’t need special packaging or labeling.  
  • Roadie’s routing algorithm organizes your same-day and next-day local shipments into routes. 
  • Roadie SmartSort™, installed onto your existing scanning devices, makes it easy to sort shipments into batches for pickup

Most Roadie customers train two dedicated workers to manage their DC-to-home crowdsourced delivery.

You’ll sort orders for each delivery route into bins and then give each load to the Roadie driver matched to that load when they come to the bay. The Roadie app matches drivers based on factors such as availability and the size of their vehicle, which can range from a passenger car to a pickup truck. When drivers arrive at the facility, they use the app to scan orders to confirm they’re picking up the right items.

Providing clear directions to drivers on how to access the right pickup bay, and making sure they can get past any security barriers, helps ensure smooth pickups and faster delivery. That includes marking designated parking spots for crowdsourcing delivery pickups, and posting signage at the entrance to your facility as well as to the door or dock drivers should access.

Step 4: Integrate Roadie Direct™ with your logistics systems

Roadie offers an API to ensure your local same-day and next-day DC-to-home shipments flow as smoothly as possible. The API integrates with a wide variety of warehouse management and other logistics solutions, and the integration can be completed in just a few weeks. 

That integration gives you access to routing, driver matching, posting, tracking and notifications. This level of functionality allows Roadie Direct™ to work seamlessly for your warehouse staff and your customers.

Roadie software also integrates into your ecommerce shopping cart, so only qualified customers in the locations where you provide local same-day and next-day delivery are offered this option. 

Adopting Roadie Direct™ is a straightforward process, so in most cases, you’ll be able to start offering same or next-day local delivery within just a few weeks. Your Roadie dedicated account management team is available to help you every step of the way, even coming on-site to help you.

Ready to get started with same-day or next-day DC-to-home delivery? Contact Roadie today.

Fanatics Leverages Roadie for Next-Day Local Delivery

Fanatics, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based global digital sports platform, needed a way to put in-demand licensed sports merchandise in the hands of fans faster than ever before. By partnering with Roadie, Fanatics could remove two to three steps in the supply chain and start delivering directly from their distribution centers to their end customers. 

At the launch, Fanatics customers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, St. Louis and Jacksonville could select any item labeled “Next Business Day Shipping” and receive next-day delivery from a Roadie driver. The service will expand to more cities in the future. 

“Fanatics is incredibly excited to partner with Roadie and bring our customers the merchandise they crave faster than ever before,” says Lonnie Phillips, chief customer officer for Fanatics Commerce. “We place a continued emphasis on optimizing the fan experience, and this latest partnership with Roadie directly contributes to achieving that ultimate goal.”