Demand for same-day delivery is ramping up quickly. In fact, McKinsey found one-in-three shoppers expect it. As many sellers already found out when Amazon set two-day as the delivery standard, brand loyalty erodes quickly when customers aren’t getting the experience they expect. McKinsey also revealed that about 46% of ecommerce shoppers abandon their shopping carts when they discover during checkout that they may need to wait longer for delivery.
Your ecommerce customers are clamoring for same-day delivery, which means they don’t have the patience to wait six or nine months while you figure out the best way to roll it out. The longer you take to meet demand for same-day delivery, the more likely you will lose shoppers to a competitor who already offers it.
Here are five actionable steps you can take to successfully launch your own same-day delivery-service offering:
1. Get buy-in from relevant internal stakeholders
Due to changing consumer expectations, same-day delivery is quickly moving from differentiator to requirement. Sharing relevant proof about evolving customer expectations, as well as what your competitors are doing, can help command the attention of those directly involved in making same-day delivery work. This includes looping in store operation employees, warehouse and distribution workers, marketing and ecommerce stakeholders, and IT executives.
Capgemini, a global research institute that publishes findings on the impact of digital technologies on large traditional businesses, found 74% of customers satisfied with delivery intend to increase purchase levels by 12% with their preferred seller. Combine the changing customer sentiment with the wealth of data and the result is a good argument to take to the C-suite for putting same-day delivery at the top of priority lists across the organization.
2. Find a same-day delivery provider
Options for same-day delivery in your locations may include parcel carriers, regional carriers, local couriers, or your own fleet. But each of these can be costly and difficult to manage. Instead, sellers such as Tractor Supply Company, Fanatics and The Home Depot are turning to crowdsourced delivery to handle their same-day deliveries.
Crowdsourced delivery taps a ready pool of independent drivers and their personal vehicles to transport goods directly to customers. Roadie, for example, partners with more than 200,000 independent drivers nationwide, enabling you to reach more than 20,000 ZIP codes — the largest local same-day delivery network in the nation. Be sure your crowdsourced delivery provider’s footprint covers all the markets you serve — and plan to serve — and offers the service levels, technology and partnership support you need to make your same-day delivery program a success.
3. Set up accounts, processes and integrations
Once you’ve selected a provider, you’ll want to decide whether you’ll use their portal or integrate their platform with your key backend systems such as ERP, warehouse management or order management. Integration work should start right away.
Additionally, you’ll set up the operational processes and standards to make the program work, such as deciding whether to fulfill from stores, warehouses or both, and establishing pick, pack and pickup processes and training programs at those sites. You and your team will want to decide what SKUs, locations or customers will initially be offered same-day and at what price. You’ll also set a rollout schedule and determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure results and fine-tune as you go. Don’t forget a marketing plan that takes you from soft launch through widespread rollout.
A great crowdsourced delivery platform will provide you with an expert team to work with you every step of the way, as well as templates, guides, and insight into best practices and solutions to common challenges.
4. Implement a pilot program
Soft-launch pilot tests are a great way to see how well your integrations, policies and processes stand up to real-world conditions and allow you to fine-tune where warranted. The best practice is to start in larger markets with greater consumer demand. Some sellers pilot in their headquarters city, while others begin with the market generating their highest volume. To better hone in on the success of the pilot, your crowdsourced delivery partner should regularly provide you data such as:
- Delivery volume period-over-period
- On-time delivery rate period-over-period
- Average cost-per-delivery compared to previous solution
- Customer net promoter score before launching same-day delivery, and then starting at least one month after full rollout
It’s helpful to monitor the end-to-end program closely so you can make adjustments and update procedures as needed. Take a look at in-store order fulfillment missteps, as well as what’s working — especially if picking/packing is a new task. You’ll want to monitor new loading-dock staging processes and order pick accuracy, and determine the right mix of warehouse and store picking if you’re fulfilling from both. Also consider each location’s ability to deliver within the designated window.
5. Plan your nationwide rollout
After incorporating all the learnings from your pilot into your same-day program, it’s time to cast a wider net. Be sure to document any updates and changes to ensure each new location runs smoothly, and keep this up as things evolve. A phased rollout can help keep the process manageable. Leverage the KPIs you set early on to measure performance at each location, so you can ensure the experience is efficient, consistent and predictable across your entire network. Monitoring these regularly or in real-time can help you spot and address issues quickly.
Make sure you have a program in place to train workers on backend processes and same-day fulfillment steps at each location, as well as new ones who join later. And of course, you’ll want a robust marketing campaign to let your customers and potential customers know you’re ready to whisk their purchases to them the same day they place an order. A close working relationship with marketing moving forward helps ensure your same-day processes are ready for the surges that can accompany promotions.
Beyond the launch, continue to monitor, market and fine-tune your same-day offering. Consider quarterly business reviews with your crowdsourced delivery partner’s account team to get help problem-solving or uncovering new growth opportunities.
The necessity of same-day delivery
The momentum toward same-day delivery isn’t just hype. According to Gartner, “Many types of deliveries can be augmented by crowdshipping platforms, including direct-to-consumer, consumer-to-business for returns and business-to-business [B2B] — all driving improvement in the customer experience that ultimately defines your success with ecommerce fulfillment.
“When segmented properly as part of your overall ecommerce delivery strategy,” according to the Gartner research, “crowdsourcing can improve both the customer experience and reduce costs for last-mile deliveries.”
For more information on the implementation process, contact a Roadie representative today.