We want our things, and we want them now

More than ever, consumers expect faster and more affordable delivery from their favorite retailers. The maturation of e-commerce has given way to personalization at scale, and customers know the capabilities of retailers to create one-of-a-kind experiences. That means giving customers the ability to choose how and when they get their products, no matter if they purchase in-store or online.

Their desire for convenient, flexible shipping sits at the center with nearly 25 percent of consumers reporting that they would choose same-day or instant delivery if it were available at a low price. Retailers are now rushing to meet that demand by aggressively exploring innovative fulfillment methods and pursuing alternative delivery models.

The success of Amazon Prime is driving demand for faster and faster delivery speed

The rollout of Amazon Prime catalyzed the same-day delivery landscape, where customers can enjoy the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of purchasing in-store. The customer rationale is simple —  having items delivered to your doorstep same-day or next-day is a better deal than fighting traffic or waiting multiple business days for delivery.

Amazon’s investment in shipping is paying off in dividends. In 2017, the retail giant spent $21.7B in shipping but grew sales 25 percent to a jaw-dropping $114B, dominating online retail and becoming the third largest retailer in the US based on yearly sales. Most retailers are still trying to catch up, especially when it comes to e-commerce growth and omnichannel fulfillment.

While store closures announcements have risen at an unprecedented rate, brick-and-mortar retailers have the opportunity to transform their existing infrastructure into a dominating distribution network. The multichannel strategy could enable them to win back online shoppers and scale same-day delivery in urban and rural markets nationwide.

There’s no doubt that creating an omnichannel retail experience takes a tremendous amount of coordination and preparation across the entire supply chain. But a flexible, same-day delivery program gives customers a better end-to-end experience and builds brand loyalty in an age where people are flocking to the most convenient option.

Retailers are struggling to find the right model for next-day and same-day delivery

Retailers are already in a difficult spot with already-thin profit margins, record retail store closures and bankruptcies on the rise. They can’t afford conventional delivery options, but they also can’t afford not to offer free or low-cost delivery. Creating their own delivery infrastructure, which comes with high fixed labor and overhead costs, isn’t an option either.

The emergence of alternative delivery solutions has given retailers an opportunity to meet customer expectations without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, many retailers are finding that the landscape is largely made up of on-demand couriers – essentially “Uber-for-packages” – services with strict geographic and size limitations, limited flexibility and poor unit economics. A crowdsourced or collaborative delivery model enables companies to leverage existing resources already on the road to power same-day, last-mile delivery. The result is a sustainable, scalable and variable-cost delivery force that has the same reliability as a fixed cost delivery service.

  • Fixed asset cost

    For a large and fluctuating fleet, retailers would need to spend millions on infrastructure and headcount.

    Maintenance

    Retailers would continually need to pour money and resources into adding and maintaining delivery vehicles

    Operational complexity

    Retailers already have enough assets to maintain between stores, warehouses, and fulfillment centers. Scaling same-day delivery in-house means tremendous operational effort across the supply chain

  • High fixed costs

    Paying for vans, trucks, and delivery drivers get expensive when there’s not enough product to ship. Retailers should find a shipping option that flexes to meet volume at a predictable cost.

    Poor unit economics

    Hub-and-spoke models struggle with urgently and cost-effectively sending one-off items from one place to the next. The result would be a half-empty LTL truck, and nobody likes paying to ship air.

    No flexing delivery capacity

    Traditional delivery services utilize an inefficient “daily sweep” model, which lacks the flexibility and scalability to meet spikes and lulls in delivery demand.

  • Lost sales

    Without giving customers flexible delivery options, retailers run the risk of losing shoppers to companies that offer more convenience.

    Customer dissatisfaction

    Customer demand for next- and same-day delivery is at an all-time high. For retailers, that means getting items to shoppers faster and more efficiently will be mission critical.

    Loss of competitiveness

    Amazon has catalyzed the delivery landscape, combining the immediacy of in-store product availability with the convenience of online shopping. To stay competitive, retailers are aggressively exploring last-mile delivery options to make same-day shipping a reality.

Leveraging existing resources creates a scalable, flexible & low-cost delivery service

Every day, over 250 million vehicles hit the road with more than 4 billion cubic feet of excess capacity. What if we put a fraction of that to good use? Roadie puts unused capacity in passenger vehicles to work by connecting people and businesses that have items to send with drivers already heading in the right direction. Leveraging existing resources already on the road fuels an on-the-way, or Collaborative Delivery, model that provides a faster, more cost-effective, and more scalable solution for same-day and last-mile deliveries.

Collaborative Delivery empowers companies of all sizes to solve delivery with a dynamic and efficient solution that flexes capacity based on variable demand.  By tapping into an engaged fleet of vehicles — employees, customers, and local drivers already within close proximity to stores — it creates a completely new type of delivery model that utilizes a flexible and efficient workforce that already exists.

At Roadie, we’re building a powerful, new point-to-point delivery model that lives at the intersection of technology, sustainability, and logistics. We can utilize machine learning and data science to create dynamic delivery routes, then consolidate or adjust these routes on the fly to match our customers’ real-time delivery needs with our the optimal driver at the right time.  This unique approach enables us to get things delivered faster and more efficiently than any other method, and helps our community of drivers earn more per mile that they drive.

Delta Air Lines reaches new heights with Roadie’s Collaborative Delivery model

Delayed bags are a rare occurrence for ­­­­Delta customers, but that hasn’t stopped the global carrier from investing in innovative ways to more quickly and conveniently reunite owners with bags that don’t quite make it to their destination.

Through its partnership with Roadie, Delta customers are receiving delayed bags faster than ever before. Since launching the partnership, Delta has increased delivery speed by an average of 65 percent across more than 51 airports nationwide.

Thanks to Roadie’s unique Collaborative Delivery model, everyone from pilots, passengers and flight attendants to people working at Hertz and Burger King can make money delivering bags on their way home from the airport.

Ready to ramp up flexible, scalable same-day delivery nationwide?