- The 15-minute Delivery Model…another New Normal! Our world is ever-changing, and ever-evolving, especially so in today’s tech-driven times where innovations are fast and furious!
Therefore, there is a “new way of doing things” in every aspect of our lives – and we’re getting used to the new way of doing things every few months, or years, or sometimes even weeks! Expressed differently, there appears to be a new normal every other month!
2. Express E-Commerce: We’re in a world that is connected 24/7. Your customers expect – no, demand! – maximum convenience at all times! Whether it is a sandwich at 1:00 am or a loaf of bread at 5:00 am, you’re expected to deliver. The customer is king, remember? Especially for GenZ and the Millennials, weaned that they are on such conveniences. If you can’t meet their expectations, well, your competitor will!
The advent of modern Ecommerce has changed everything. Running simple errands, using your car or the bus to do so…all that has changed. Now, you whip out your smartphone and tap a few colorful icons, select from a plethora of ‘daily deals’ available, and choose your most convenient payment method from a slew of options available.
Importantly, user expectations have changed, right from the supply-chain players, to the retailers, to the end-consumer.
3. The 15-min delivery juggernaut: Earlier, customers had to wait 2-3 weeks for delivery. Then, as logistics and tech solutions improved the delivery times started getting shorter. A week, sometimes a few days…such times started becoming normalized.
Enter: Amazon Prime with the next-day delivery model: Then, the 24-hour delivery model Things changed in a hurry, and with it, so did consumer expectations. But, like with all changes, these new customer expectations also gave rise to new business opportunities.
Today, superfast delivery is the norm, and companies that have built their delivery businesses on the foundations of speed and convenience are regularly achieving 15-minute deliveries.
4. The ultra-fast delivery model: getting the basics right Let’s look at some of the critical tenets for running a successful 15-minute delivery business.
- Location and neighbourhood: Firstly, you must carefully analyze where to start your delivery business. Typically, areas and locations that are densely populated, or are situated on the edge of such neighborhoods, are ideal. A 2-mile delivery radius is ideal since it would allow you to combine deliveries to multiple addresses within the given timeframe. Popular items are grocery, medicines, or convenience-store products.
- Use micro-fulfillment centres: Importantly, ensure that you use micro-fulfillment centers to serve these locations. Your micro-fulfillment center must function as a one-stop shop i.e. containing everything required for you to deliver your orders within 15-minutes. This would include inventory storage, packaging, labor, and transport tie-ups to name a few.
Optimizing your micro-fulfillment centres. The size of your warehouse must be just right for your business—not too big or too small. Often, your fleet drivers pick up parcels from the warehouse. Therefore, you need to plan your fulfillment-center layout in a manner that people can understand quickly and maneuver through easily.
Storing inventory per category, using efficient signage, using displays/maps for convenient navigation, and using convenient shelves/bins for storage are just some ways to ensure quick access
- Deploy the correct transportation method: Keeping in line with the “newness” of this business model, the modes of transportation are also those that can be described as alternative modes e.g. E-vehicles (bikes, scooters), and bicycles.
Not only do they enable quicker deliveries in crowded urban centers where parking is a huge issue, but they also help in maintaining much lower operating costs as compared to a car fleet. Fuel costs and insurance costs are all much lower. For ultra-short “neighborhood deliveries,” delivery teams can also walk distances, or use the good ole bicycle.
Importantly, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all type of solution when it comes to the best transport options. It depends on your product mix, areas of operation, price points, competitors, etc. Therefore, be sure to study these elements carefully.
- Using modern automation, digitization, and software: In addition to the basic requirements mentioned above, the omnipresent – and, defining element of success in the modern world – a requirement for running a successful ultra-fast delivery business is, well, technology!
To receive and deliver goods, process complex transactions, and build customer confidence, digital capabilities and technology infrastructure are non-negotiable requirements for success.
- Company App/ Website: It’s a no-brainer in today’s world – a company App or website! And, for the rapid-delivery business, it is the only way to really display your inventory and make it accessible to your customers at their convenience, 24*7.
Use an easy-to-navigate, strong e-commerce platform (e.g., WooCommerce, Shopify). Focus on functionality, communicating your differential advantage (e.g., ultra-fast delivery times), and displaying your product mix properly. Be sure to clearly inform your customers about the areas that you deliver to, the delivery times, charges (etc.)
- Offer varied modes of online payments: While COD (cash-on-demand) is always a good option to retain unless you offer various modes of online payments including digital wallets, credit-debit cards (etc.) you will certainly struggle in building and maintaining a strong customer base.
Importantly, it enhances customer experience and also quickens the delivery process since your delivery agents aren’t required to collect cash, furnish receipts (etc.)
- Use cutting-edge delivery management software: Quite naturally, managing the logistics of this business is critical to success! Routing your fleet vehicles, planning the number of stops, deciding the vehicles required, and the number of drivers required per day, both, during regular hours or for night shifts (etc.) is only some of the important considerations that you will need to balance every day to achieve a sustainable and profitable rapid delivery business.
Using modern delivery software allows you to do all this and consistently achieve the highest levels of operational efficiency while also maintaining minimal costs.
5. Benefits of ultra-fast delivery: The benefits for both sides are many – for both, the consumer as well as for the rapid-delivery businesses that get it right.
- Need for speed: Ecommerce delivery businesses satisfy a most critical requirement of the modern customer i.e. to receive what they want, the manner in which they want it, and…immediately!
- Convenience of doorstep delivery: Customers now receive all that they want right at the convenience of their doorstep without having to step out of their homes.
- Create brand loyalty: If retailers and delivery businesses get their act right – and, consistently so – they can create a memorable customer experience that results in brand loyalty.
Conclusion: As is evident, running a successful ultra-fast delivery model is heavily dependent on automated procedures and logistical efficiency; therefore, it should come as no surprise that using the latest last mile delivery software is a must-have tool to achieve this success.