There’s no way to talk about parcel delivery services without addressing the continuous evolution needed to keep up with demand. Recent years have seen e-commerce businesses spend billions of dollars in an attempt to corner the market for near-instant delivery. And in 2020, e-commerce has become more than just a convenient way to shop. Due to the global pandemic, e-commerce has acted as a lifeline to connect customers to businesses when many stores were closed or partially open for curbside pickup for an indefinite period.
Record-breaking online sales have meant businesses are dealing with more volume than ever before. To add to the challenge, customers still expect orders to show up as fast as possible – with the ideal delivery date being yesterday.
Not every company has the ability to develop an entirely new system to facilitate faster delivery – but partnering with the right parcel delivery service provider is a viable solution to help grow your business and keep your company on par with the competition.
As important as it is, the right delivery service provider shouldn’t just be focused on getting your packages from A to B. Looking forward, innovative concepts are only going to make the process faster and more expansive. Your parcel delivery service provider should help you tackle increasing consumer expectations head-on, with solutions of many kinds to help optimize your business and enhance your customer’s experience.
Here are some ways that partnering with the right parcel delivery service provider can help grow your business, enhance operations, and add value to your company.
Improve speed to market
E-commerce is an industry based on convenience, and companies looking to compete (or co-exist) in this space need to prioritize a short timeframe to keep up with consumer demand. When looking at delivery providers, note how they can help you maintain an agile “ready-for-sale” timeframe. That is, getting your product from its finished state, ready for shipment, and then out for delivery. The demand for your products can spike at any time with the rise of e-commerce and your delivery provider should be prepared to manage volume swings seamlessly.
Quick transportation should be possible beyond the close proximity of your local distribution centres. Where possible, look for a provider that has a wide range of delivery options that span to a national scale. It’s always beneficial to your business (and to your customers) to use a delivery service provider that doesn’t require third-party services. This will help to improve your last mile of delivery and get your deliveries to the final destination promptly. Where there are delivery handoffs to other providers, you run the risk of a less direct route, resulting in a longer delivery timeframe. Long delivery times mean unhappy customers who might look for other providers to get them their products quicker.
Also, look for a provider that offers speedy and high-quality delivery services across all channels and use supply chain solutions that streamline the order-to-delivery process. This allows you to fulfil deliveries from the nearest location to the end destination. For example, the closest item may be in-stock in a store warehouse, but out-of-stock in the distribution warehouse. The right delivery provider with visibility into this information can transport from store to destination, rather than wait for the distribution warehouse to be restocked.
Help you to stand out from the crowd
Next day, same day and even faster delivery services are becoming more and more prevalent, but there is a way to go before this speed becomes the standard among e-commerce providers. Keep your company ahead of the curve and primed for business growth by using a parcel delivery service provider that can offer these expedited delivery options. And the benefits don’t stop there – your margins can increase from the customers who are willing to pay a premium amount for expedited delivery. Also, there is a convenience that can’t be imitated by longer timeframes. For example, if someone needed to buy a last-minute gift or outfit, your business can provide them with an option instead of losing business to a brick-and-mortar store.
Beyond expediting delivery services, look for access to technology solutions that allow you to dive deeper into your business and supply chain performance. Delivery providers can offer you insights and visibility through tailored analysis, audits, and reporting solutions. These functions can assist your business with fundamental decision making and managing specific processes.
Increase your warehouse stock capacity
Having a flexible amount of storage capacity is important in many e-commerce scenarios. Maybe you’re looking for a scalable solution in the short-term, for an influx of sales over the holiday period, or your business has expanded reach and is outgrowing your own space.
A delivery provider can often offer you more physical storage space, such as additional warehouse facilities to increase your distribution range – allowing for a more efficient last mile. Alternatively, they can simply offer you a larger warehouse space closer to production, so you can increase your overall stock levels. This allows you to stockpile products closer to your customers and stored closer to your customers, ready for purchase.
Provide supply chain management and support
With the right delivery service provider, you should have total confidence in your supply chain management and processes. The right provider can help you create an effective and scalable supply chain that’s customized to your products, business, and needs.
With strategically placed warehouses, your business should also have the opportunity to grow out of your own space, into a delivery provider’s multi-client warehouse space. The services go beyond storage where needed – inbound deliveries to the warehouses are scanned, stocked, and packaged up with your branding labels and inserts.
Supply chain automation and additional perks can also be provided by a delivery provider. For example, orders can be received in real-time, with information held on barcodes which contain details about the order and its destination. This information is also important for inventory counts, which then can also be available in real-time. Furthermore, before a product is shipped from a delivery warehouse, a good delivery provider will inspect the packages to ensure they are correctly packaged for transit, and their destination is in line with the journey.
Boost your customer satisfaction
In brick and mortar stores, employees are the face of the brand. But, in e-commerce, the delivery drivers are often the only face a customer will associate with your business. In both scenarios, a pleasant outcome is expected from whoever hands over the purchase. In 2020, it’s never been more important to work with a reliable delivery partner to also deliver a top-notch brand experience to help maintain your brand reputation. Due to the global pandemic, businesses and customers alike have relied on e-commerce in unprecedented volume. Some businesses have had next to no physical contact with customers for months and must lean on delivery partners to replicate their customer service.
A huge priority is ensuring that your parcel delivery service provider will live up to the expectations of what your business stands for. If a customer receives their package late, or it’s undelivered due to no one being home, chances are they will call your customer service to complain about it – not the delivery provider. The right delivery provider can offer tools to keep your customer in the loop throughout the journey of their delivery. They are available to keep customers notified about the location and status of each shipment. Some services even have the ability to go further than just tracking, such as providing custom solutions for each individual. Customers can give additional details such as a safe drop off location and even sign for packages digitally, freeing up the need to be home for the delivery.
The right delivery provider will take the time to fully understand your business, your core competencies, and your relative metrics. They should be keen to learn about your customer types and their needs to work as an extension of your brand.