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Next Gen Delivery Solutions for E-commerce

While giants like Amazon test self-driving trucks, drones and droids to streamline goods delivery, small and medium-sized e-commerce and food delivery businesses struggle with inefficient route planning and the last mile issue. Discover how to reduce operating costs and boost customer satisfaction with e-commerce delivery systems!

How to improve delivery service: tips for e-commerce companies

Suppose you run a small restaurant chain and have seven locations across a million city. Besides serving customers at the restaurants, you offer food delivery services. 

What e-commerce delivery options do you (and most of your competitors!) offer?

You probably employ several call center specialists who answer the phone and process orders placed via your website and dedicated mobile app. Once an operator receives a new order, he analyzes each restaurant’s workload by accessing CRM and restaurant management software data, determines which location will take the order, contacts a courier and notifies the customer of the order status and estimated delivery time.

Though partially automated, the order management process revolves around human workers and is, therefore, subject to human errors.

A customer support specialist only scratches the surface of the delivery and schedule management operations as he doesn’t have time to consider such factors as traffic, weather conditions and kitchen workload – neither at the moment of order placement nor nearer the estimated delivery time.

In fact, it is the last mile that causes most trouble (fuel wastage, delays in delivery) and accounts for 30-40% of the total delivery cost. A customer might live a couple of blocks away from one of your restaurants downtown, but sometimes it makes sense to ship the order from a remote location. Provided you partner with the right software developers and integrate a delivery module into your restaurant management system, you will be able to significantly improve delivery services and customer satisfaction. 

In a world where 90% of consumers need some time to get over a late food delivery before placing a new order, you can’t be too serious about meeting customer expectations.

Next Gen Delivery Solutions for E-commerce

What are custom e-commerce delivery software systems & why do you need one?

Delivery management solutions for e-commerce, retail and Horeca businesses are computer programs which connect your employees (including call center operators, restaurant staff and couriers), thus increasing the overall efficiency of your business.

R-Style Lab has designed several e-commerce delivery modules for small and medium-sized companies from all over the world.

Judging from our experience, we’ve determined the optimum requirements and feature set for a high-performance delivery module:

  • A e-commerce delivery module should have a public REST API providing flexible integration options (so that it could be integrated with your website, mobile app, restaurant and customer relationship management software);
  • Depending on your current IT infrastructure, you can opt for an isolated module (C++) running on on-premises servers or Cloud-based service (PHP, MySQL);
  • A delivery module should be able to extract and analyze data from multiple resources including Google Traffic, Weather, CRM, queue management and restaurant ordering system and rate each factor on a 10-point scale;
  • Based on the overall rating and data on previous customer shopping activity, the program assigns an order to a particular restaurant, selects the fastest route, considers transportation options (during the rush hour it might be best to take the subway) and estimates the delivery time.

Thus, a delivery module is an analytics solution which facilitates order processing, optimizes route planning and increases the overall efficiency of a delivery system.

The data produced by delivery management software can also be used for “anticipatory shipping” (that is, shipping a product to a warehouse before an order is actually placed). More sophisticated offerings might also incorporate IoT sensors and machine learning algorithms; however, we strongly recommend that you test the waters with a configurable module supporting your existing infrastructure and proceed with innovative software development as your business grows.

Next Gen Delivery Solutions for E-commerce

The cost of a custom on-prem or Cloud-based delivery management module is estimated at $ 50-70 thousand. Is the game actually worth the candle?

  • By 2024, the global logistics market is expected to reach $ 15.52 billion (up from $ 8.18 billion in 2015). Its growth is primarily driven by the increasing adoption of tech solutions including drones and warehouse robotics, self-driving vehicles, Augmented Reality headsets streamlining picking operations and predictive analytics software. Unless you invest in Information Technology today, tomorrow you may be driven out of business;
  • 45% of customers give up on an online purchase due to inflexible delivery policies. On the contrary, 87% of consumers will shop with an e-commerce company again following a positive delivery experience;
  • By 2020, the orders placed via a mobile app will amount for 10% of all quick-service restaurant sales.

Customer expectations do evolve over time – and so should delivery services. While the success of your e-commerce business might not entirely depend on emerging tech, the use of analytics software will certainly help you reduce shipping and operating costs and…boost revenue.

We don’t peddle trends. We streamline business.