Meeting your customers’ expectations plays a critical role in achieving customer satisfaction. While you have control over your marketing content and the quality of your products, external factors, like delivery, can impact public perception of your brand. In fact, a survey of 500 consumers revealed that over two-thirds of consumers are much less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if an item they purchased isn’t delivered in two days. Perhaps more concerningly, 14% will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether if they receive a late delivery just one time. The ability to build consumer trust, and the customer loyalty that follows, depends on meeting customer expectations on all fronts, including delivery. Non-stop delivery can help you gain control over the delivery process and better meet your customers’ expectations with extended options and accelerated deliveries.
From driver shortages to soaring fuel costs, most consumers are aware of the multitude of issues that can affect delivery time. Still, your ability to overcome these disruptions can affect how customers view your company. Delivery Network from Elite EXTRA is one powerful solution for addressing the issues that affect delivery times. By enabling businesses to connect with numerous third-party fleets, the service provides access to millions of drivers with a range of delivery services and the ability to compare costs and delivery timelines in real time.
Understanding Delivery Network
Delivery Network is a third-party delivery platform that offers drivers from some of the top fleets in the country to businesses to help them complete their deliveries. You get the value of connecting with third-party providers (including crowdsourced fleets like DoorDash and Uber) without the hassle of individual contracts. Furthermore, real-time insight into delivery costs and duration of the presented fleet options enables you to make choices that align with your budget and customer expectations. You can even integrate the solution to compare Delivery Network drivers with your internal fleet and send orders to either at the point of dispatch.
Since Delivery Network integrates directly into your eCommerce platform, it works as an on-demand delivery system that automatically sends orders to the fleet that best aligns with the demands of each order. The delivery cost can be added to the customer’s bill at checkout and you and your customers are kept informed throughout the delivery process.
The Versatility of Non-Stop Deliveries
While most businesses don’t need (or want) to literally make deliveries non-stop, modern consumers expect deliveries to be dependable and fast. In fact, 65% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster and more reliable deliveries. The ability to provide non-stop deliveries gives you the flexibility to meet these demands and provide deliveries when they might otherwise slow down your business.
In recent years, businesses have had a crash course in the ways characteristics like flexibility, versatility, and agility affect successful business operations. To survive, and even thrive, in unexpected situations, companies have discovered the value of integrating multiple solutions to address potential issues. Non-stop delivery is a multi-service solution that addresses many of the pain points in last-mile delivery logistics to allow businesses to better serve customers in a variety of situations, such as:
After-Hours and Late-Night Deliveries
During the height of pandemic restrictions, deliveries became a lifeline for both businesses and customers. During that time, online and remote orders increased substantially. As business operations returned to normal, many consumers still crave the convenience provided by delivery on demand. The average delivery service customer spends $407 a month in 2023, a significant jump from $157 a month in 2021.
Although not every product or service demands the convenience of after-hours delivery, many could be considered vital. For instance, consumers seeking a food/grocery delivery or waiting for medication are likely to look elsewhere if they can’t receive a delivery within the requested time frame. In some situations, the ability to provide after-hours delivery might be the only way you can meet the shipping time promised when your customer places the order.
In many cases, the need for after-hours delivery isn’t related to the product at all. Instead, it’s better aligned with the customer’s schedule. By offering scheduling options to ensure delivery when someone is home, you can avoid the costs related to potential theft or weather damage that can occur when packages are left unattended. This also eliminates the need for multiple delivery attempts, saving delivery costs in the long run.
Peak Season with High Demand
Peak season brings increased demand and improved sales rates. It also ushers in challenges you don’t typically experience throughout the year. Increased customer demand can lead to inventory management issues, clogged shipping channels, and heightened customer expectations.
For many businesses, peak season begins in October and extends through December. Even if you run a largely seasonal business with an off-season peak, you can expect to be impacted by the shipping needs of other businesses during this time. When faced with peak order volumes, last-mile delivery companies often fall short of customer expectations. In 2021, 73% of consumers experienced delivery problems between October and December. The top three issues were related to delivery times, including late deliveries, products not arriving when promised, and time windows that were too long and inconvenient.
Addressing last-mile logistics during peak season requires preparation well before products are loaded onto the truck. With access to millions of delivery drivers through Delivery Network, and real-time insight into delivery costs and times, you can deftly step into the requirements of the busy season without changing a thing. No matter the status of your internal fleet and overworked international and regional courier fleets, you’ll have access to delivery methods that meet your customer expectations.
An explosive demand for shipping, stressful work conditions, and an aging workforce have led to a massive shortage of truck drivers that is projected to worsen in the foreseeable future. A recent study shows that more than 80,000 drivers are needed to make up the current shortage and by 2030 the number is expected to soar to 160,000. As the shortage continues, the recruitment market for truckers gets more competitive. As larger companies raise compensation packages and entice drivers with sign-on bonuses, it becomes increasingly difficult for growing businesses to recruit drivers, or even retain the ones they have.
Alongside concerns about the inability to recruit in-house drivers, businesses need to be prepared to maintain control of their supply chain when unexpected situations arise. Although recent concerns about a potential UPS strike have abated, an agreement was reached only a week before drivers were set to go on strike. The effects of such a strike would be devastating to businesses without a secondary delivery solution in place.
Companies with a non-stop delivery solution have options to address events outside their control. This allows businesses to maintain operations and avoid depleting their budget due to economic changes.
Unexpected Spike in Delivery Requests
The old adage “expect the unexpected” has taken on new meaning for businesses. Today, it feels more like the only thing we can expect is the unexpected. The speed and severity of pandemic restrictions in spring 2020 took many businesses by surprise. Although we can point to similar situations throughout history, the event was unprecedented for modern businesses and had a major impact on the logistics industry. Brick-and-mortar businesses with limited or non-existent shipping options were forced to immediately pivot and find delivery options during the chaos. Even those with established shipping practices were affected by the spike in delivery requests.
There’s little doubt that such a massive event could occur again in the future. Yet, it can take far less than global restrictions to create a delivery spike that affects a single business. Major sale events like Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday send shoppers flocking online to take advantage of sharply reduced prices. As these products flood delivery services, shipping channels become congested, leading to delivery delays that could result in customer churn. However, companies with options in place are more likely to have the resources to handle unexpected delivery spikes with ease.
Impact of Non-stop Deliveries on Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is derived from a variety of factors that make up the customer experience. Consumers want to feel good about the brands they interact with, but they also want a seamless transaction that meets their expectations from start to finish. Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are the most important parts of a positive customer experience.
Non-stop deliveries can help you meet these essential criteria for modern customer satisfaction.
- Speed: Access to millions of delivery drivers empowers you to confidently offer expedited shipping options for customers.
- Personalization: Modern customers want services that align with their specific wants and needs. Providing a variety of shipping options can help you achieve personalization throughout the customer journey. For instance, after-hours delivery aligns with customer scheduling and varied options allow customers to delay shipping for sustainability or have items expedited if needed.
- Transparency: Friendly service promotes transparent communication, which is often limited during the delivery process. The right delivery service can provide customers with accurate notifications throughout the entire delivery process to keep them in the loop.
- Meeting Expectations: Modern consumers have busy lifestyles with a variety of factors that drive their delivery needs. Whether a customer pays extra for same-day shipping or prefers to receive eco-friendly bulk shipments, providing the agreed-upon delivery services is essential to creating a satisfactory experience.
The Value of Leveraging a Network of Drivers
The ability to leverage a network of drivers allows you to set up a fully integrated last-mile ecosystem with a variety of choices suited to your workflows and your customers’ needs. A delivery network gives you access to a large group of third-party delivery providers without the need for individual contracts. These different options work together to provide you with continual delivery options that offer the fastest response times. You simply compare the costs and delivery timeframes of providers and choose the option that will best meet your needs.
When you integrate the delivery network with Elite EXTRA Routing & Dispatch, you can further streamline your logistics operations for efficient route planning. With advanced route optimization and full operational visibility, you can make informed decisions that impress your customers with faster fulfillment.
Technology and Automation
The ability to integrate technology into your services helps you improve efficiency and reduce the manual tasks associated with successful delivery. These technological innovations improve customer satisfaction and eliminate manual tasks required for successful delivery.
- Automation: With Delivery Network, you can automate the delivery process by setting business rules and preferred providers. When customer orders enter the system, your pre-set fleet will pick them up at your location and deliver them with no added requirements from your staff.
- Delivery Scheduling: When you have the option of working with numerous third-party fleets, you can allow customers to choose a specific delivery date and time, improving their satisfaction.
- Delivery Tracking: Delivery status updates from delivery providers allow the sender and recipient to see where the order is in real time. This can allow businesses to further optimize routes to prevent delays and customers to feel secure about when the package will be delivered.
- Order Management: Instead of working independently with several third-party providers, you can handle payments and delivery management in one central location through the Delivery Network.
Streamline Your Deliveries
In the modern business world, consumers expect experiences that work with the speed and convenience of technology. Timely and efficient delivery is a critical part of meeting these expectations. Elite EXTRA’s Delivery Network is a powerful tool that can help you meet the challenges of modern last-mile delivery logistics. With access to millions of drivers, real-time comparisons, and seamless integration, you can achieve non-stop delivery to meet the needs of your customers. Request a demo to learn more about how we can make your last-mile delivery challenges a thing of the past.
https://www.usatoday.com /story/money/personalfinance /2023/09/28/americans-spending-big-amazon-doordash-delivery/70985566007/
https://www.parcelandpostal technologyinternational.com /opinion/how-to-address-the-critical-challenges-in-peak-season-delivery.html
https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services /consulting /library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html