Buy online, deliver from store (BODFS) became a lifeline for retailers during the pandemic. But as the retail industry continues to change rapidly, so do fulfillment models. 

As the pandemic flooded retailers with online orders, overwhelming many fulfillment centers, retailers had to get creative. BODFS became a logical answer by using businesses’ existing brick-and-mortar locations to deliver the same- or next-day. Even as the pandemic subsided and stores reopened, many retailers continued to fulfill orders from stores because it enabled the faster delivery consumers demanded. 

Unfortunately, for all its positives, store-based fulfillment is also one of the most expensive methods for fulfilling orders. As retailers emerge from a post-pandemic world, inflation and other economic stressors are bringing more attention to the cost of delivery. 

There’s certainly no shortage of fulfillment strategies. From more traditional methods like relying on a third-party logistics (3PL) firms to investing in expensive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), retailers have a lot to consider. 

Roadie Direct™ warehouse delivery is here to make it simple. With Roadie’s warehouse delivery platform, retailers can deliver straight to consumers from the warehouse, cutting out extra steps and lowering fulfillment costs. Retailers are able to accelerate operations by sorting, staging, routing and delivering directly from their existing warehouses, turning them into same-day logistics hubs. 

Understanding store fulfillment and delivery

The issue with store fulfillment is that it doubles the cost of fulfillment. Retailers must distribute inventory to the store, then send it again to the final destination. And that’s on top of the already lengthy process of ensuring accurate and efficient delivery to the customer. 

Providing same-day or next-day shipping places immense pressure on retailers already facing rising cost challenges. On average, last-mile delivery accounts for 53% of overall shipping costs due to expenditures on fuel, labor and repeat delivery attempts, not to mention requisite investments in technology to manage it all. 

Despite these challenges, ensuring ultra-fast delivery has never been more important. Consumers have come to not only expect but require same- or next-day shipping and will move onto whichever retailers can offer it. 

Using a delivery platform like Roadie Direct™ offers a clear competitive advantage to not only meet that demand but to grow business without huge investments in equipment or people.

Take control of logistics with direct warehouse delivery 

Roadie Direct™ allows retailers to self-manage their own logistics and achieve many of the same benefits offered by other fulfillment models, such as hiring a 3PL to handle the process or investing in an advanced technological solution. Roadie, however, requires minimal labor, no excess inventory transfers and eliminates the need for a dedicated third-party facility, thus skipping the middleman and reducing fulfillment time to less than six hours. 

Extend cutoff times 

When retailers use a 3PL for same-day shipping, the 3PL sets a cut-off time, then retailers pick, pack and consolidate these orders for bulk pickup by the provider, which tenders those packages to carriers the following day. 

With Roadie Direct™, the retailer controls the same-day delivery experience by setting their own cut-off times and following the same process of picking, packing and consolidating orders. Then, instead of loading those onto a truck, retailers move consolidated orders to a small, dedicated staging area. A single retailer employee using the Roadie SmartSort® app on a scanner or other mobile device can sort roughly 500 orders into bins or by routes within 1-2 hours. When each Roadie driver arrives, retail employees use Roadie SmartSort® again to match the driver to their delivery orders.

This approach allows customers to place orders later in the day and still receive ultrafast delivery. The retailer decides cut-off times, not a 3PL. Plus, Roadie’s platform lets customers see their order every step of the way, so they don’t need to call a customer support desk for information. 

Lower cart abandonment

Capacity constraints, reduced service levels and unsupported locations are other potential pitfalls of using a 3PL. All these conditions are beyond the retailer’s control, but they nevertheless impact the customer experience. Roadie Direct™ gives retailers access to the nation’s largest local, same-day footprint. With more options for same-day and local next-day delivery, retailers can reduce cart abandonment and retain customers who are looking for the fastest available option. 

Combining Roadie’s proprietary consolidation and routing algorithm, streamlined pre-sorting capabilities of Roadie SmartSort® and access to the Roadie driver network makes ultra-fast delivery easier and less expensive than hiring a full-fledged 3PL provider or making extensive technology investments.

No new hardware or staffing required

Investing in expensive new technology and labor is one of the biggest drawbacks to BODFS. With Roadie Direct™, retailers can integrate the platform into their existing systems and install Roadie SmartSort® on scanning or mobile devices already in use in warehouses. 

By integrating Roadie’s API with ecommerce software, retailers can designate specific SKUs and locations eligible for Roadie Direct™. Starting small and scaling over time with demand ensures a seamless, efficient experience. It pays to experiment with different cut-off times to ensure the process works for both the retail warehouse and customers. 

And when it comes to staffing, Roadie Direct™ warehouse delivery requires only two tasks from the warehouse staff: sorting orders into delivery bins and ensuring the right bin goes to the right driver. Retailers can scale staff numbers based on order volume, scaling up or down according to demand. 

Drive warehouse efficiencies 

Optimizing warehouse operations is one of the most important steps in ensuring ultra-fast delivery. Any small mistake in order fulfillment can lead to costly delays and unhappy customers. Roadie Direct™ helps retailers streamline fulfillment, make the most of their current space and optimize routes for the fastest possible delivery. Here’s how: 

  • Space: Set aside a small warehouse area to sort same-day delivery items into bins for each route. If space is at a premium, consider a racking system or picking and staging in waves. 
  • Sortation: The Roadie SmartSort® app automatically groups orders into routed pickups, delivering data right to the retailer’s scanning devices, so warehouse employees can simply scan the barcode on each item and determine in which bin it belongs.
  • Routing: Advanced routing and clustering algorithms in Roadie’s platform enable the grouping of a set of orders in the most efficient way. Each driver receives up to 30 orders, based on the characteristics of the items.
  • Deploying: The same software helps warehouse staff hand off the orders to drivers, setting aside dedicated parking spaces and providing clear directions for drivers on where and how to pick up their deliveries.

Roadie Direct™ puts retailers in the driver’s seat when it comes to last-mile delivery. With Roadie, retailers of any size can deliver faster, grow their business and delight customers along the way.