A focus on the last mile of delivery — the final leg of shipping your product to the buyer’s door — has been a growing trend for businesses for several years, but there are challenges. It’s expensive and there are lots of inefficiencies to overcome. In fact, some estimates say last mile delivery comprises 53% of the total cost of shipping.
We’re going to explore why last-mile delivery is so challenging, and what business owners can do to overcome those challenges. Smart planning, a focus on customer satisfaction, and on-demand and flexible delivery software are just a few of the things we’ll discuss. Read on to learn about three of the main challenges in last-mile delivery and how GetSwift’s platform addresses each one.
A Few Last-Mile Delivery Challenges
Let’s start with three thorny challenges.
1. Multiple Stops
Rather than traveling to and from one warehouse or office, with last-mile delivery, drivers need to make several individual stops to make their deliveries. Each stop along a driver’s route takes time. There’s the time involved with driving to the area and finding the exact home or place of business. They may have to stop for several traffic lights or stop signs. Once they arrive, there’s the time involved with walking up to the building, possibly interacting with a customer, and then walking back to their vehicle only to have to do it all over again many times throughout the day.
2. Dense Neighborhoods
Think of how quickly you can get 40,000 pounds of goods to a destination when you’re using a semi on a national highway to get to one or two warehouse locations. Then, think of how long it would take a driver in a small van to get the same amount of goods to homes and businesses scattered throughout a congested urban area — it takes significantly more time. One reason why is the multiple stops we discussed above, but it’s also because of the reduced travel speed.
Last-mile drivers are often traveling in areas with lower posted speed limits — like small rural cities, busy downtowns, and residential areas. In densely populated areas they also have to deal with pedestrians and public transportation as well as traffic congestion. All of these things mean that to deliver directly to someone’s door, it’s going to take more time.
3. Failed and Missed Deliveries
A common problem with direct-to-consumer deliveries is a failure to complete the transaction. This can be because of any number of reasons including an incorrect address, the customer not at home, or the customer unaware of when the delivery was going to arrive. A failed delivery is not only bad business in the eyes of your customers, but it also creates additional problems in the form of redelivery cost, or even worse, lost business and negative customer reviews.
Three Solutions In Last-Mile Delivery
Let’s look at solutions to these three major problems, one by one.
1. Real-Time Routing
When you and your driver have GetSwift’s cloud-based platform, it’s all real-time routing, so if there’s a traffic jam or an added stop, that data automatically updates the driver’s route to provide the most efficient route along with the order or stops that now makes the most sense. Saving your time and keeping customers happier. Learn more about how our AI team improves your routing.
2. Routing + Scheduling Analytics
While there’s no complete solution to having to move at lower speeds, you have lots of options to make your routes much more efficient. If your business takes advance scheduled orders, you can use our software to see how long a route will take at certain times and try to schedule your deliveries for faster times (such as delivering at night). You can also see which zip codes are too expensive to deliver to, and either decline customers who order from there or, for instance, automatically require them to make an order of a certain size.
You have many more options to save time on routes. If your delivering on demand, you can look at the analytics section of GetSwift’s platform, like our client Flowers A Bunch did, to track all your trip times in a week to analyze what routes were the least efficient, and look into why: was it one driver who you need to talk to, for instance, about strategies for getting more efficient, or is it always one route that causes problems. The opposite may be true as well: one route or neighborhood may be particularly efficient for your drivers, and you can look to increase your marketing from your store near that route to focus even more on those customers.
3. Reliable Network + Live Driver Tracking
Let’s turn this one around. The source of a failed delivery is varied: one course could unfortunately be a driver having the wrong address. That’s why it’s important to make sure your delivery management system is robustly built with the most accurate locational data and a reliable network. If your drivers are out delivering and all of a sudden the network is down, you’d not only have to scramble to get them the right addresses but it can lead to missed deliveries, and it’s hard to afford a day like that. Your drivers want to be out in the field with the confidence that they’re on the most reliable network, and that if they were to encounter a problem, they have a customer support team ready to help solve it, fast.
Another way to turn around missed deliveries are real-time alerts, tracking links, and ETAs, along with open two-way communication between the driver and customer, so that a customer knows exactly when the driver will arrive. To minimize the likelihood of any mix-up, customers can also request that the driver record proof of delivery, including taking a photo of the package.
Fix Your Last Mile With GetSwift
Three problems and three solutions. Talk to us about what challenges you’re having, and hear from us about how our tech, onboarding, and customer support will solve them.
The demand for delivery of goods and services has been steadily rising over many years, long before the tumultuous times of 2020. But there has also been a steady shift in customer expectations of the quality of their delivery experience. Luckily, for years we’ve been steadily fine-tuning our delivery software to meet these needs. And we want to share some of these features with you—in case you may not know what delivery software can do. Keep reading to learn about some of the unique features of our software.
Flexible Driver Dispatching
GetSwift’s last-mile logistics software allows you to streamline your logistics tasks and reduce the amount of time it takes to assign and communicate with drivers by allowing you to set up parameters for automatic dispatching. There are a number of ways to dispatch your jobs, but one of the most useful is “smart notifications,” which takes into account three pieces of data before dispatching: proximity to pickup location, vehicle capacity, and driver rating. Or, you also choose manual dispatch to choose the driver yourself. But did you know that you can also quickly transfer jobs among drivers if a last-minute change is needed? This makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly and communicate those changes with drivers through the convenient GetSwift mobile app.
Automatically Send Customer Alerts
As the logistics world changes to meet the expectations of today’s consumers, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that businesses will have to be ready to offer more than just simple delivery. According to SupplyChain Magazine, “value-added services like delivery notifications and package tracking are no longer the reserve of urgent or important deliveries but a minimum requirement in both the consumer and business world.”
An increasingly connected population has come to expect communication from businesses throughout the entire shopping journey. GetSwift enables you to send automated alerts to your customer so they are always informed on where their order is via texts or email. You also have the option to include a tracking link that lets customers monitor the location of their order with live GPS tracking.
Give Customers a Way To Provide Instant Feedback
With GetSwift, you have multiple options that allow you to communicate with customers whenever and wherever you’d like. For instance you can create an automated alert that is triggered as soon as your customer receives their delivery. This alert can contain the order summary as well as a feedback form, making it easy for customers to provide ratings and comments.
Maintain Your Branding Throughout The Communication Process
Build trust and make sure your customers keep your business top of mind by creating consistent, white-labeled branding throughout the buying process. With GetSwift’s last-mile logistics software, you can upload your logo and use it for various important pieces of communication, including a unique, live tracking map, order summaries, and the customer feedback form.
Business Reporting and Analytics
Our last-mile logistics software isn’t just designed to improve the customer experience, it also gives you access to the reporting and analytics tools you need to measure and grow your operation. You’ll have all of the most important metrics, front and center, on the stats section of your dashboard. You can track key performance indicators like your total number of deliveries made in full and on time, and the number of canceled and late orders. You can also see hot zones where your deliveries are most popular, and what times, and much more. View it all in the app or download it to dig deeper.
Deliver More, Work Less
The world of delivery is rapidly changing, especially in 2020, but luckily we’re here to help — not only with these five features, but dozens more. We’d love to hear about your business and offer suggestions on how we can help. Here’s where you can contact a member of our team.
Effective customer communication is at the heart of any successful business, but it’s especially important for those in the delivery business. Last-mile delivery has been expanding over the past few years, and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, even more people are turning to delivery as a safe way to get their goods while staying safely at home. Businesses that weren’t delivering their goods before have now made it a priority.
But when you get a new customer, the key is keeping them for the long-term. Clear and real-time communication with your customers–always keeping them in the loop–is a really important way to develop customer loyalty and increase your chances that a customer will have a good experience, rate the order, and return. Here are four of our favorite features to help youreach that level of communication.
1. Automated Customer Alerts
Easily send automated alerts to your customers so they are always informed about the status of their order. You can choose which event will trigger the alert and identify the communication channel that will be used. For instance, you can set it up so that when a driver confirms they are on the way to the destination, an email will automatically be generated and sent to the destination contact.
2. Live Tracking Map
With one simple click of a button, you have the option of sending a link to a live tracking map that the customer will see upon opening their message. The tracking map will show the precise location of where the driver is, in real-time. This increased level of transparency will help you stand out from the hundreds of others who just provide an ETA — or worse yet — just an order confirmation with no estimated time at all.
3. Personalized Emails & SMS Alerts
Our last-mile delivery software not only makes communication easier through automated messaging, but it also allows you to provide an extra level of personalization. For instance, as you’re composing a message, you have the option of clicking on a tag that will insert custom information such as the person’s name or a tracking link for their order. Although they may seem like minor details, it strengthens the customer/business relationship.
4. Instant Customer Feedback
Gathering customer feedback is important for resolving problems quickly, preventing future mistakes, and even building trust by showing that you care about your customer’s experience. With GetSwift, you can choose to send your customer a customized message after they’ve received their order, linking to a customer feedback form that includes your branding and a detailed summary of their order. You can use that data immediately, or view it later when analyzing your customer ratings and evaluating specific drivers.
Build Customer Loyalty With GetSwift’s Communication Tools
Does your business need help to stand out from the crowd? Providing a higher level of personalized communication to each and every one of your customers is a sure way to earn their trust — resulting in repeat business, increased sales, and more referrals. It’s almost impossible to maintain this level of communication without a tool like the last mile delivery software from GetSwift. We can help you do more and improve the customer experience, without requiring more of your time. Contact a member of our team today to learn how we can help.
Over the past few years, many restaurants have started offering delivery as a way to boost sales and to meet the demand for more convenient food options. However, there are still many restaurant operators who have held off and stayed firm to their dine-in culture. But once the pandemic hit, and social distancing has become a key part of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s forced their hand. If your restaurant, bar, or cafe has had to start delivering, we’re here to help. Here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Reduce The Size of Your Menu
The first step toward staying competitive is to improve efficiency and reduce costs. You can do this by reducing the size of your menu. Maintaining a full menu during this challenging time will only increase your food cost at a time when you need to save. Charlie Jeffers of Ordermark suggested asking yourself: What are the items that are easy to produce and get out the door quickly?
“What they need to do is trim down their menu, look at the items that are easy to procure and produce, so they can make a menu and put it up online and make easy items they can get out that are going to travel well,” Jeffers told the Spoon.
As you work on reducing your menu offerings, try to keep in mind which items travel well. Pizza, for example, travels well. Items like steaks and seafood will be more of a challenge. That doesn’t mean you’re in trouble if you own a steak and seafood restaurant, it just means that you’ll want to put your focus on fewer items so you can deliver the best experience.
Include New Offerings Where It Makes Sense
Although we just discussed reducing the number of items on your menu, you may want to consider adding a few items that tailor specifically to people that are bound to their homes. Because home quarantine includes entire families, it makes sense to offer complete meal options and larger family-style servings for those who have several mouths to feed.
A lack of dine-in customers also means a lack of alcohol sales which can put a big dent in your profits. Consider offering beer and wine options for those who still want to enjoy a drink or two with their meal but don’t want to (or can’t) make a trip to the liquor store.
Offer Meal Kits
During a time when families are looking for ways to stay occupied in their homes, offering meal kits can be a win-win for both your restaurant and your customers. You can choose a few of your most popular dishes, making sure to include one or two that are “kid-friendly”. For each meal kit that is ordered, provide all of the ingredients needed to make that dish and a list of simple instructions to go along with it. Not only will your customers be getting a delicious meal, it will provide a fun activity that the whole family can share in. For more information on this, and other ideas like it, check out this article from QSR magazine.
Do It Faster and Better
For restaurants and many other businesses, delivery is a must right now. This means you are now competing with many others who may have more experience with delivery, but you can still come out on top by doing it better and faster. Our delivery software allows you to automatically turn orders into delivery jobs, dispatch to drivers, and optimize routes. Not only will it help you conquer delivery, but it can also help you improve customer service and actually grow your business with options like real-time delivery tracking and the ability to communicate with your customers throughout each step of the process.
The world is changing, especially for those in the restaurant business — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still come out on top. Contact a member of our team to learn how GetSwift can help.
It was on February 11 that the World Health Organization announced the official name for the disease responsible for the current worldwide pandemic and they called it Covid-19. A little over a month later, just about every business is feeling the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak as more and more places are being closed to prevent its spread. So, what are business owners to do if they are subject to mandatory shutdowns or are experiencing a decline in foot traffic because the majority of the population is staying home to weather the storm? In today’s post, we’d like to explore some ways that you can help your business despite the current state of affairs. Here are a few things that you can do to make it through this challenging time in history.
Offer Home Delivery If You Don’t Already
One of the fundamentals of business is to be where your customers are, and since so many people are currently staying home, it only makes sense that you find a way to come to them if they can’t (or won’t) come to you. Many restaurants already take advantage of home delivery services like GrubHub or UberEats— but what if you’re not in the restaurant business?
Over the past decade, we’ve seen a major change in e-commerce with Amazon leading the way. Over time, home delivery has expanded to other sectors such as grocery stores, meal delivery, and even liquor stores. Although this sector has been growing, not everyone has been able to make the leap — but now is the time. If your business doesn’t currently offer home delivery, there’s no better time to start than the present.
Offer Curbside Delivery If Possible
Most people have heard about restaurants offering curbside delivery, but why can’t other stores offer this service as well? Even if your shop is closed to walk-ins, you could still offer curbside pickup for orders that are called in or placed online. The point is that you’re still able to get your goods to the consumers who want them, while still taking good safety measures.
Do More With What You Have
Even businesses that already offer home delivery or curbside pickup are feeling the effects of a slower economy. Although you may be doing the best that you can, there’s always room for improvement. Now is the time to optimize your business and find creative ways to do more with less. Chances are, your deliveries will increase. How will you manage if you can’t hire more drivers or people to manage dispatching? The best way to handle a boost in your deliveries is to find a way to become more efficient. Complete each delivery in less time by organizing multiple orders and optimizing routes. You can also automate dispatching to keep up with demand, allowing members of your team to focus on other important tasks. Finding ways to get better and more efficient at what you do is something that will not only help you now, but it will make your business that much stronger in the future.
Increase Communication With Your Customers
As millions of consumers are spending the majority of their time in their homes or away from others, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re still communicating with them. People will be spending more time on social media to pass the time, get news updates, and stay connected with the outside world. This is your chance to stay connected and let people know that you still exist and can provide the goods or services they need.
Make Positive Changes
Keep in mind that you won’t be the only business reaching out to potential customers, so it will still be as important as ever to focus on providing the best experience possible. This means communicating order details, delivering faster than your competition, and following up to ensure you exceeded expectations.
In this difficult time, it’s easy to lose hope — especially when you see your sales plummet. However, you can take active steps that will make a difference for your business now, and in the future. At GetSwift, we can help you do more with less. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team about our delivery management software.
Over the past few years, the business of local delivery has been increasing steadily as companies continue to push to compete with corporations like Amazon and Walmart. Restaurants have been some of the biggest contributors, with grocery stores not far behind. However, no matter your industry, the recent coronavirus outbreak has made it more important than ever to be able to reach your customers outside of your place of business. We’re going to explore how this recent epidemic is changing the face of local delivery and what you can do if your business is struggling to keep up. Here are just a few ways that coronavirus is having a big impact on the local delivery business:
Demand for local delivery has understandably skyrocketed. Delivery volume on GetSwift’s platform increased by 130% after social distancing began in the US. While demand is on the rise in just about every sector, no other industry has seen a bigger impact so far than the grocery business. According to a recent article, grocery delivery is seeing the biggest boost. In fact, in the last month alone, downloads for Instacart increased by over 200%. Unlike restaurants, most grocery stores haven’t actually shut their doors. So, what is the reason for the sharp increase in online ordering?
There are likely several reasons why people are choosing to shop from their phones instead of going to the store. First, people are frustrated with experiencing empty shelves and long checkout lines. They are spending more time going from store to store trying to find what they need. And, some people don’t have the time to be able to go to the store when they have children home from school. So much emphasis has been put on “maintaining a distance” and “self-quarantine” for those who are at-risk, that many people have really started to heed the warnings. This means the grocery delivery business will continue to thrive until stores can keep up with stocking the shelves and people feel comfortable about leaving their homes again.
Rise of No-Contact Deliveries
Another way that the coronavirus has impacted deliveries of all kinds is the rise of “no-contact deliveries”. Because there is even a concern that delivery personnel could transmit the virus (or get it from those whom they are delivering to) many companies are choosing to offer options that allow the receiver to designate a place where their delivery can be left without having to actually make contact with the delivery person. DoorDash is one of the latest to alter their delivery practices to meet the growing concern over the transmission of the Coronavirus through delivery services. They recently changed their default delivery option to “no contact” — although customers still have the option to change it.
Similar in purpose to no-contact deliveries is the rise of curbside deliveries. This allows patrons to stay in their vehicle while their order is delivered to them. This is a popular and convenient option for people wishing for a meal from their favorite restaurant but not wanting to wait for a third-party delivery service to bring it to their home.
Not every business was prepared to meet the exploding demand for take-out and home delivery, but many are jumping in to do what they can as quickly as possible. With mandatory closures in place, businesses must have other outlets to make a dime otherwise they may risk having to close for good. Expect to see home delivery, takeout, and curbside delivery expand into other areas beyond food and beverage. In fact, if you have a favorite place of business that you’d like to purchase from, you might want to contact them ahead of time to see if they can fill your request even if their doors are closed to customers.
Get Help From GetSwift
Is your business having trouble keeping up with the demand for delivery? GetSwift can provide you with innovative technology that can help you automate dispatching, optimize driving routes, and keep in touch with your customers. There’s never been a better time to excel at delivery. Putting the right things in place now can help you get through this difficult time and set your business up for long-lasting success. Contact a member of our team today to learn how our delivery software can help you keep up with the pace of local delivery.