How to Handle Retail Deliveries and Meet Customer Demands?

The delivery service industry is recording heavy traffic as more customers are fulfilling their shopping needs online. Customers in the United States have been reported to spend USD 14149.03 Billion in the 3rd quarter of 2022, which has increased from USD 14099.46 Billion. 

The rising expectation for real-time tracking and same-day delivery has left retailers feeling challenged. As a result of increasing orders, they struggle to meet these demands. To provide an incredible delivery service experience and boost their market share, retailers only have one choice – adapt to the changing demands by making use of advanced technology.

If you have been wondering how to handle retail deliveries and uplevel your business, this blog will give you detailed insights.

What are the Components of Retail Delivery Services?

There are various processes that need to occur in retail delivery before, during, and after a customer places an order. Here are the components that are included within the cycle of a retail delivery:

Inventory management 

It involves consistent maintenance of stocks in a retail store and identifying a shortage so it can be refilled. Managing inventory helps ensure ample availability so retailers can meet timely consumer demand.

Storage and warehousing

Storage and warehousing

Storage warehouses are often established at locations where there are more customers buying from the retailer. To avoid confusion and easily locate products, the storage and warehouse must be properly organized so there are no gaps in order fulfillment. 

Order preferences and priority 

There are various order preferences that a customer may fill in as per the product description. For instance, a customer ordering clothes may add the color, size, type, brand, and delivery priority based on their requirement. The priority is decided based on whether the customer prefers one-day delivery or can wait.

Packaging

Packaging

Product packaging is an important part of the retail delivery process as it can make customers happy or angry, especially if the item is high-prized. Some products may be delicate and need more sturdy packaging to reach a customer in the required condition.

Shipping

Shipping products on time and making sure of the address’s accuracy is essential for any retail delivery service. With the help of an advanced delivery logistics platform and technical team, retailers can manage shipping operations in the most beneficial manner.

Returns

Returns

If a customer is unhappy with the product received, they can return the product for a refund. Retailers can have return policies and offer replacements or issue refunds when there are valid reasons.

Types of Retail Delivery Fulfillment Models

Here are a few fulfillment models that retailers can add to their services and meet customer expectations:

1. Click and collect

Click and collect service lets customers buy a product online and collect it in the store. Offering this type of service gives customers an opportunity to pick up orders at their convenient time. Retail stores that offer ‘click and collect’ must remain honest about the timeline during the checkout stage. This way customers can reach the store at the time when their package is ready to be collected. 

2. Curbside pickup

Curbside pickup

In this model, the customers can order an item online and wait near the store entrance by parking their vehicle. A representative will bring the package to them so they don’t have to get into the store. 

This type of service wasn’t mainstream until recently. As per a report, curbside pickup surged to 208% during the pandemic as customers have started enjoying the process due to convenience and safety.

3. Ship from the store 

As the name suggests, this service involves retailers shipping items directly from the store. However, they need to have an advanced logistics system for keeping track of inventory in every retail store they have. Integrating this data will help manage pickup timelines for drivers and mention accurate delivery options for customers during checkout.

4. Last mile delivery

The final step of the delivery process in which a driver leaves the distribution or fulfillment center, store, or warehouse, and reaches the customer’s address is called last mile delivery. Being the most crucial and intricate part of any delivery process, it needs extreme attention to detail and support from a logistics service provider.

5. Scheduled delivery

A certain delivery timeline is assigned to purchases in advance, 2-7 business days, for instance. The website is updated with a time frame for the product in advance. People often go for scheduled delivery as it is a cheaper option compared to on-demand or click and collect delivery. 

Moreover, businesses can plan and schedule optimized routes in advance, which helps them increase delivery speed, save fuel, time and resources.

6. On demand delivery

Unlike scheduled delivery, this delivery process fulfills orders within a time frame of hours. Businesses have started offering an on-demand delivery option to get a competitive edge over others. 

To deliver an exceptional experience and increase profitability, retailers need to streamline their operations. Being a time-bound model, it needs retailers to have more resources to deliver multiple orders at a time. 

7. White glove service 

The white glove delivery option is given by some retail delivery businesses as part of a service and comes with special care and attention. These services often include inspection, assembly and installation, dismantling the old product in case of replacement, and more. 

White glove delivery service is a great way for business owners to enrich their customers’ experience and increase loyalty towards them.

How to Handle Retail Deliveries Efficiently?

Fulfilling orders for retail products online is a complex process and involves a series of operations. Right from finding and hiring delivery drivers to finishing the delivery process, there are many things that you need to ensure a better customer experience. 

Handle retail deliveries

Here are the ways in which you can properly execute and handle retail deliveries so your delivery team is working efficiently and your customers are satisfied:

1. Staging orders

This is the logistics part in which orders are prepared to be loaded on the vehicle for shipment. Retailers can automate the process to speed up staging by letting the store or warehouse team to stage orders as per the driver’s arrival timelines or sequence of stops in the delivery route.

2. Dispatching

To improve efficiency, dispatch managers can sort drivers, vehicles, and fleets by delivery location or type. Advanced retail delivery software helps them save time and resources to organize deliveries.

3. Pooling drivers 

Retailers can use the same delivery drivers or teams to cover local fulfillment centers or multiple areas in one region. This process of pooling drivers speeds up and optimizes deliveries.

4. Live tracking

Retailers can use technology solutions to send tracking numbers, driver’s contact, and automated notifications to customers. This way customers can ensure that they are present to collect their order to avoid failure. These technologies can also help retailers monitor weather conditions and plan delivery routes accordingly.

5. Route optimization

Route optimization software can help update delivery drivers about road conditions and plan the best route for the fastest deliveries. Such an efficient route planner can help avoid re-routing, save fuel and costs, and enhance the order fulfillment process. 

6. Reverse logistics 

This reverses the usual fulfillment flow. In this process, customers are offered a return of products at a drop off point or the store or ships it using a return label to the retailer. Reverse logistics make things easy on the side of retailers due to reduced hassle of return pick-up.

Perform Faster Retail Deliveries with Upper Route Planner

The delivery services industry is taking a huge plunge as customers are attracted to online and contactless delivery. Gone are the days of manual route planning. When you have an incredible route optimization software, you can leave the hassle of paperwork and focus more on delivering quality customer experience. 

Here’s how Upper Route Planner can help perform unlimited deliveries:

1. Save fuel and delivery costs

You or your retail delivery manager can specify things like delivery service time, curbside delivery, time windows, and customer contact details. Upper also lets you set priority levels for urgent delivery requirements of a customer on a particular stop. The advanced option to add delivery constraints like driving preferences and service time helps accommodate additional stops. This way, drivers can make faster deliveries, thereby reducing fuel usage and costs.

2. Schedule routes in advance instantly

Managing multiple driver schedules for services like food delivery, cleaning services, furniture delivery or eCommerce? With Upper route planner, you can create and schedule optimized routes for weeks or months in advance. This way you can save hours and focus on your business.

3. Delight customers with ETA notifications

With Upper’s automated ETA feature, your customers will receive notifications about their order. Knowing when their product is going to be delivered will keep them informed. This helps both small and big businesses to keep customers happy and build trust.

4. Proof of delivery

Proof of delivery

The number of frauds can take a toll on your business and you wouldn’t want that. Proof of delivery is an amazing feature that allows delivery drivers to take e-signatures, click photos of the delivered package or during task completion, and add notes when necessary. 

Know how to use Upper and start reducing route planning time by signing up for a 7-day free trial today!

Optimize Your Delivery Process with Upper Route Planner

Shift from the era of manual work and enter the updated method of advanced route planning. Upper Route Planner lets you schedule multiple retail deliveries, stay ahead of time, and helps make 3x more deliveries!

FAQs

Retail delivery services face many challenges like:

  • Delays
  • High cost of delivery operations
  • Inefficient route planning
  • Unpredictability
  • Unavailability of drivers
  • Same day delivery issue

The routing algorithm of Upper Route Planner provides time and distance-based routes. It determines the order of all your delivery stops by estimating the travel time and distance for various road networks. This way it helps schedule multiple stops in a matter of seconds!

Hiring a third party service can be suitable depending on your requirement. A company with a wider reach can be helpful for delivering parcels to locations that are out of your reach. For the local deliveries, you’ll need to check the cost of hiring them as opposed to using your own delivery drivers.

Conclusion

Retailers offering delivery services are facing more competition as more players are coming into the market. They need to work with logistics providers to ensure cost-effective, efficient, and hassle-free delivery that gives an incredible customer experience. While you need to focus more on your business plans and strategies to boost growth, you may not have the time to deal with route planning and paperwork. 

Leave the extra hassle to an intelligent retail delivery software. Along with being a cost-efficient investment, Upper aids businesses to manage delivery tasks in a simplified manner. It also boosts productivity and cuts down hours of route planning with the excel import feature. Get Upper Route Planner as your business companion and make your customers happy with finesse. Take your business to the next level and start delivering packages effortlessly by taking a 7-day FREE trial.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

https://www.google.com/

https://www.upperinc.com/blog/how-to-handle-retail-deliveries/

www.google.com