Let’s begin by understanding what exactly happened that led to the emergence of contactless deliveries.
Remember the times when we used to shake hands? That time when you gave a pat on your colleague’s shoulder to thank her for having your back in a meeting? Or that routine bear-hug that was reserved for your daughter after you came back home from work? Remember that casual fist-bump you had a habit of doing to thank the pizza delivery guy for delivering food in the wee hours of the morning? Well, those are memories now and we are not going to relive them anytime soon. Such is the power of the vicious COVID-19.
The Emergence of Contactless Deliveries
There are very few events in life that are powerful enough to completely alter the way you socialize that too at a very personal level. The human race is faced with an epiphany now. An epiphany that made us realize how fragile our habits are. How powerless established rules and regulations can be. The vulnerability of our lives has perhaps never been rubbed so close to our face. As the COVID-19 pandemic consumes more lives across the globe, survival has a new name--social distancing. Hence, to ensure that social distancing norms are strictly maintained nations across the globe locked themselves down. This made it extremely challenging for people to buy essentials like food, grocery, and medicines. Without a vaccine, lockdowns were the best governments could do to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Now it is up to the eCommerce industry to make the lives of people easier and safer. Demand for online deliveries of essential items skyrocketed. According to a study, in the US number of households ordering groceries online went up by 145.3% owing to the ongoing pandemic. The study also highlighted that 26% of the online grocery shoppers surveyed (or the equivalent of 10.3 million U.S. households) said they are using a specific online grocery service for the first time. This rate of new users jumps to 39% for shoppers 60 years and older. Therefore, demand shocks for the home delivery industry were inevitable. Now, as more and more people start moving online for buying essential items, it becomes imperative for businesses to ensure high levels of safety while executing deliveries.
This pandemic is now driving businesses, especially the home delivery industry, to introduce rapid innovations in the way they operate. Therefore, going contactless to connect with customers is emerging as the safest way to deliver.
Contactless Deliveries: Meaning and Definition
Contactless deliveries mean leaving a delivery at a customer’s doorstep without any physical means of intimation like ringing a bell or knocking. A delivery executive keeps an order at a customer’s doorstep, takes a picture of the same, and sends it to the customers to inform them that the delivery is done. Then the customer picks it up when she wants. Now the question rises how do customers pay? So, contactless deliveries also include contactless payments.
The words contactless payment might not be new, but it was never really associated with last-mile or home delivery. Now with ‘social distancing’ becoming the norm of the day, retailers are trying their best to provide customers with contactless or “tap-and-go” payment options to eliminate cash transactions by leveraging digital wallets. These payment options are OTP based highly secure transactions.
There is another important safety-aspect of contactless deliveries, and that is ensuring proper hygiene. Advanced home delivery platforms, that are specially tailored to empower businesses to operate during the ongoing pandemic, empower home delivery brands to execute routine temperature checks of store staff, kitchen staff, and delivery executives. Such a platform ensures that body-temperatures are measured at the beginning of each shift and the same information is made available to customers. This significantly improves the transparency of delivery operations as customers now have full visibility of a delivery executive’s health status.
Owing to the ongoing pandemic customers will quickly shift their loyalty towards brands that offer high levels of safety standards. Therefore, it might be the right time to ensure that your business is in the good books of customers.
Ever since the pandemic started, FarEye has been empowering businesses to ensure high levels of safety standards with regards to executing deliveries. To know more about how we are achieving this signup for a quick demo here.
5 Key Features of Contactless Deliveries
Contact deliveries can also be defined as an enhanced version of executing mundane delivery operations. Customers across the world have become extremely aware of their surroundings and the environment they live in, especially their homes. Therefore, when packages are delivered, they would like to assure that basic hygiene measures were taken before her order was delivered. This means that deliveries need to be customer-centric, contactless and safe. Here are some key features of contactless deliveries that help businesses achieve these three objectives.
1. No Contact Delivery
Ensuring zero-physical contact between a delivery executive and a customer is the most important aspect of contactless delivery. As mentioned earlier, a delivery executive places the order in front of the customer’s doorstep and informs her via pictures and notifications that the delivery is done.
2. Digital Signature
To ensure contactless delivery businesses must eliminate physical paperwork exchange with customers. Hence, leveraging a simple application or an electronic proof of delivery, a customer can sign on a delivery invoice using her smart device.
3. Contactless Payment
Contactless deliveries do not entertain cash on delivery or card-based transactions. To eliminate physical contact, customers pay through password protected and OTP based digital payments. Encouraging customers to pay online before delivery done also makes contactless deliveries safe. Coupons, cashback, discounts among other such incentives are a good way to drive online payments.
4. Temperature Checks
To win customer confidence regarding truly contactless services, savvy businesses ensure their delivery executive, store staff and kitchen staff are looped into a process that keeps a tab on their body temperature frequently. To boost customer centricity, the latest temperature of these executives are displayed on the delivery application used by customers. This way customers know that their delivery is being executed safely.
5. Safety of Delivery Executives
Delivery executives form the backbone of the online purchasing industry. By keeping them at a safe distance from customers, contactless deliveries models ensure their safety as well.
Leveraging Technology to Drive Contactless Deliveries
Be it optimizing regular delivery processes or ensuring seamless execution of contactless deliveries, the significance of technology is unputdownable. Modern software for driving contactless deliveries can empower businesses to generate remarkable customer experiences and ensure better margins. Let’s glance through some important features of contactless delivery software.
1. Temperature Tracking
Advanced contactless delivery solutions boost customer trust by displaying the latest health status or body temperature of a delivery executive, store staff and kitchen staff.
2. Electronic Proof of Delivery
Using an electronic proof of delivery (ePoD) a contactless delivery system allows customers to receive delivery receipts and sign invoices with their mobile devices. This eliminates physical contact.
3. Crowdsourcing Contactless Deliveries
The best contactless delivery software quickly scales delivery operations by leveraging the gig-economy and onboarding part-time delivery executives to match growing online delivery demands.
4. Flexible Delivery Workflows
Contactless delivery software incorporates changes in the customer’s delivery location and time on the fly. It quickly updates existing delivery workflows based on the latest consumer demands. It also allows customers to select delivery windows according to their preference to avoid crowding. In other words, it drives curbside pickups too.
5. Generating Accurate ETAs
Such software generates highly accurate ETAs to ensure customer availability in a said location. It considers multiple factors like weather, traffic, number of deliveries, route productivity among others while calculating delivery ETAs.
6. Route Optimization
To ensure faster fulfilment, an advanced contactless delivery platform generates the most efficient routes and then continues to optimize it based on external factors like road closures, traffic congestion, one-ways and more.
FarEye’s contactless delivery software is empowering retailers, restaurants, eCommerce providers, postal companies and grocery sellers to ensure seamless no contact deliveries. To know how you can quickly get in touch with one of our contactless delivery experts here.