Contactless delivery is not just another buzzword conjuring up images of robots and drones working on getting you your package. With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, contactless delivery has moved from being a fancy eye-catcher term to a must-have option for the retail industry.
Various forms of quarantines and lockdowns, both forced and voluntary, are being witnessed across the globe. The spread of the COVID-19 has shown no signs of abating, with a vaccine still under development. As a result, going contactless has been manifested in various ways – work from home (WFH), online schooling, reduction of personnel in factories, takeaways & deliveries instead of in-house dining, etc. These have become the norm instead of being outliers.
The pandemic has been pushing the global retail industry to its limit. So, how has the retail industry bounced back? Primarily through moving towards a contactless delivery ecosystem, keeping the health concerns of all participants at the fore.
To adapt for the best future, you need to deliberately seek it out. The need of the hour is social distancing between people, as that is the only way to contain the spread of the virus. In simple terms, contactless delivery ensures that there is no contact between employees, delivery partners and customers. The normal process involves the customer browsing through the website or app, placing their order, making an online payment, and awaiting delivery.
Some of the major highlights of the fulfilment of orders using contactless delivery are:
With the delivery of daily basics like groceries, medicines, toiletries, and food items becoming essential, customers are beginning to trust and engage with online retailers. With storefronts closed and customers avoiding physical visits to shops, their trust in getting their orders delivered correctly and on-time has increased by leaps and bounds. Businesses need to take advantage of this positive shift of attitude to ensure that they don't let this trust down and lose customers.
Businesses need to keep the safety and hygiene of all the products that they deliver, a top priority. While they may incur additional expenses for sanitization, physical distancing, and wastages, implementing these best practices, in the long run, is expected to become de-facto. Companies that exhibit strict adherence to safety and hygiene protocols across their logistics ecosystem will excel way beyond the pandemic.
Digital ordering using contactless payments was already commonplace before the virus. However, the mass adoption of these payment methods has been due to the pandemic. We can now see the less tech-savvy people too coming into the digital payments realm. Anyone who has a mobile phone can now order online, opening the market to a large number of previously untapped customers.
Delivery agents are being considered as heroes by many, as they have put their health on the line to make deliveries in the worst of the pandemic. Customers' inflated expectations have soared further, with even a 1-hour delivery now being considered standard. Businesses should invest in a robust logistics platform to help meet and exceed these increased customer expectations.
The pandemic has altered the retail industry's online and offline operation ratios. Brands that can build trust, provide last-mile delivery safely and in-time, and offer a comprehensive buy-to-deliver digital experience, will win the bigger piece of the pie. Apart from the initial struggles in retail brought about by the Coronavirus, upon reflection, the answer to better customer satisfaction might just be the pandemic.
FarEye is empowering retailers, food chains and eCommerce businesses across the world to execute seamless contactless deliveries. To know how, signup for a quick demo here.