The ongoing pandemic has greatly increased our dependency on eCommerce or to be precise on home deliveries. The phenomenon of enjoying shopping, buying groceries and ordering food at the convenience of sitting at home have been growing in popularity even before the pandemic struck. The Amazons and Walmarts of the world have been pioneers in making such purchases convenient and delightful and now customers want the same experience from all retailers and eCommerce businesses. Things like fast deliveries, same day delivery, free deliveries and returns are becoming basic expectations. Then the pandemic hit. Soon, online buying stopped being just a matter of convenience and became a necessity.
People won't go out to buy groceries. They prefer eating indoors. Going to shopping malls to buy new clothes became daunting. Result? Skyrocketing demand for home deliveries. Some businesses are still struggling to cope up with this demand. They are trying out innovative ways to scale deliveries, transform last-mile operations and comply with regulations that curb the spread of COVID-19. In other words the delivery logistics industry does not look the same.
Here are 10 things you should know about delivery logistics post COVID-19.
To stay safe from COVID-19, customers today want contactless deliveries. An advanced delivery logistics platform empowers businesses to deliver orders by complying with social distancing norms. It allows delivery executives to instantly send a picture of the order being placed outside a customer’s door to intimate that the delivery is done. There is also a safety aspect of contactless deliveries.
Real time dynamic routing has gained immense significance during these unprecedented times. Savvy enterprises are leveraging this capability to optimize and maximize staff-vehicle utilization capacity. It helps businesses shrink fuel consumption and optimize delivery costs by planning highly productive and efficient multi-drop delivery routes.
No cash deliveries have become a norm. Cash on delivery means two people making a monetary transaction by coming in close contact. That’s flouting social distancing rules hence not desirable. Paying through cards is not safe either for the same reasons. Businesses need to leverage a modern delivery logistics platform that comes integrated with digital wallets or payment gateways so as to ensure secure financial transactions.
To track COVID-19 cases and provide critical information on containment zones, proximity to risky exposures etc. governments across the world are building applications that help curb the spread of the virus. Businesses must integrate these information or protocols into their delivery platforms to ensure safety of delivery executives.
Picking up an order or parcel from a warehouse is the first step of delivery execution. Hence now, it’s even important to make pickups contactless. Hence things like curbside pickups, dark stores, retail outlets are becoming the new forms of fulfilment centers. This also means digitalizing label generation, task allocation, work-flow planning etc. to minimize human-to-human interaction.
The significance of building a Crisis Team has never been this important, given the crisis the world is going through. In unprecedented situations like a pandemic, businesses need people who are well versed in the ground reality. These people can quickly take action based on experience to make logistics operations highly reactive and flexible. It also ensures that senior management is not overwhelmed with pending last minute decisions and can stay focused on chalking out business continuity strategies.
Since these are unprecedented situations, there is a lot of anxiety, panic and fear gripping the minds of customers. In order to give them a bit of a relief, a lot of retailers are providing customers with the ability to track the health parameters of the delivery executive so that they can be sure of not being exposed to any sort of vulnerability or a health risk. They need to be assured that the delivery is safe and secure. This is especially true in the case of food and grocery deliveries.
QSR deliveries are slowly opening up in different parts of the world. After months of lockdown and no clear visibility into the means and the modes that can put anyone under massive risk, this level of visibility can help in alleviating some of the fears which are in the minds of customers which are only natural given the unique nature of circumstances.
Surging demands amid localised lockdowns and travel restrictions have made inventory management extremely difficult. One-way retailers are dealing with this challenge is by opening ‘dark stores’ to bring fulfilment centers closer to customers. This justifies the importance of these words. Dark stores look like supermarkets but are closed to the customers. These stores are treated as mini-warehouses that are closer to customer locations. This ensures that pickup orders are executed faster and automating pickups within these stores will make inventory even more efficient.
We all know that during these unprecedented times people are not willing to step out unless absolutely necessary. Hence, the world experienced a never before seen spike in demand for home deliveries. Lot of businesses are still struggling to respond to this skyrocketing demand. To address this challenge, savvy businesses are implementing delivery crowdsourcing tools to scale operations. Such tools allow businesses to onboard temporary drivers based on costs,productivity, delivery urgency and more so that they can quickly respond to demand shocks.
Customer convenience is of utmost importance now, especially owing to the ongoing health crisis. Retailers and eCommerce brands must build capabilities that allow customers to change delivery location and time on the fly and the same changes must be reflected immediately in delivery work-flows.
To know how your business can implement these capabilities during this ongoing pandemic, we request you to get in touch with us here.