3 Fulfillment Strategies to Help Retailers Optimize Delivery
E-commerce continues to grow — an exciting proposition for both enterprise and mid-market retailers. The consumer expectation of ultrafast fulfillment, however, pressures retail leaders to streamline their last-mile delivery solutions.
In the fulfillment game where innovative pickup and delivery services are becoming the norm, how do you differentiate your delivery solutions from your competitors to not only meet but also exceed customer expectations? Here are three ways to help your business remain agile and competitive in this space.
Optimize your last-mile delivery routes
Once shoppers complete orders and it’s time to deliver, how do you ensure they take the best driving routes? One way is to choose a last-mile delivery platform with cutting-edge technology to streamline deliveries.
Here are some of the ways a fulfillment platform can maximize efficiency while minimizing delivery time:
- Data science features map out the quickest routes — from store location to a customer’s doorstep — for shoppers to make a delivery. This not only increases customer satisfaction, but it also enables shoppers to maximize their earnings, making them more likely to remain engaged.
- Customer orders get paired with the right shopper — one who is near the delivery area.
- A last-mile delivery platform can group together orders traveling to the same general location, so one shopper can deliver multiple orders in the same trip within the sequence customers placed them.
It’s also important not to load shoppers down with too many orders, as doing so can decrease timely fulfillment of groceries or other items. As you refine your last-mile delivery strategies, you can strike the right balance between efficiency and timeliness.
Improve checkout and post-checkout communications
Providing solid, post-checkout communication between the shopper and the buyer will not only increase customer satisfaction but will ensure a speedier last-mile delivery and, in the process, give your customer a sense of control over the entire experience.
An e-commerce fulfillment platform gives you the tools to put consumers in the driver’s seat, so to speak, allowing them to view the status and location of their order as well as answer any last-mile delivery questions.
Additionally, retailers can better manage the last-mile experience via an operations dashboard, which shows everything from customer bag counts to a live delivery map. This detailed overview gives retailers better insight into the pickup and delivery process and can eliminate some customer support calls, also freeing up employee time for increased productivity.
Here are some additional things to look for when choosing an e-commerce fulfillment platform to smooth out fulfillment delivery communications:
- Can customers choose how they want their fulfillment, whether it’s at-home delivery or curbside pickup?
- Can customers and shoppers communicate directly?
- Is there a status page that shows an order’s most up-to-date information, including estimated pickup and delivery times?
Access a flexible workforce for last-mile deliveries
You may have your hourly employees covering slower mornings, but what happens when you’re in a busy season with unforeseen spikes in demand or you have a temporary employee shortage? Flexible labor solutions can help alleviate picking, packing, and delivery woes to address last-mile delivery.
Twenty-two percent of customers abandon their cart if the estimated delivery time is too slow. So to increase consumer retention during moments of increased demand, consider a comprehensive fulfillment platform with full-service shoppers. With Instacart, you can minimize demand loss with a highly efficient, flexible workforce.
To further enhance last-mile delivery solutions, your business can use API infrastructure, such as with Instacart Platform’s Carrot Connect, to support pickup integration, enabling two- and five-hour deliveries and same-day pickup on your retail website. In fact, 85% of last-mile deliveries using Instacart Connect’s API solution were early or on time, minimizing lost sales conversions in the process.
Last-mile delivery solutions for the win
Instacart not only partners with local and national e-commerce retailers for optimal last-mile delivery solutions, but we also provide the tools and technology to help you make the difference between a sale and an abandoned shopping cart. Read more about how Instacart can help you master your order fulfillment strategies to stay on the cutting edge of last-mile deliveries.
Most Recent in Instacart Retail
4 Online Grocery Technology Methods to Future-Proof Your Operations
Fast, scalable grocery fulfillment has become the norm, exponentially accelerated over the past few years by the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers’ increasing need for convenience. Whether in-store shopping or grocery ordering, seamless experiences are the…...Nov 8, 2022
3 Ways to Use Retail Media Advertising to Boost Your Bottom Line
You may remember receiving weekly ad circulars in the mail that listed discounts at local grocery stores for popular products and brands. Before retail media advertising, these print ads, along with TV commercials, billboards, and…...Nov 4, 2022
Serve Catering Customers How and When They Want to Shop by Using Grocery Catering Software
As the fall months approach, many grocery retailers are starting to think about their holiday catering offering. Holiday peak periods are lucrative opportunities for catering and prepared foods, allowing retailers to grow business outside their…...Sep 30, 2022