Amidst the challenges that last year brought, new services such as store pickup and local delivery allowed Shopify merchants to remain open.
Local delivery made a huge an impact in businesses across all industries and business sizes. Lots of merchants unearthed an opportunity to reach new potential customers and boost their profits.
So, no matter if you’re wondering if local delivery is still a service you want to keep or if it’s a service you want to add on to your business, here are five actionable steps and insights to succeed at local delivery.
1 . Making the Leap to Adding Local Delivery
Depending on your logistics and strategy, you can deliver your products in a speedy and affordable way. This can be based on a certain maximum radius, or to certain geographical areas from your brick-and-mortar store.
Deciding when it’s time to add local delivery to your Shopify store can be based on several factors. It can be based on needing to reach more customers, expanding your reach in a new area or maybe your customers are asking for a delivery service.
Another factor to decide when it’s time to add local delivery, is if you feel you can provide an upgrade in your customer service. By adding this service, you can improve the experience by removing shipping costs, adding a personal touch to deliveries and making connections with your community.
How you’re going to deliver, is another item to include when deciding to make the leap.
- Will you need to integrate with third parties?
- Will you need a route optimization partner?
- Who will be making deliveries?
- What is the maximum or minimum delivery radius?
By answering these questions, you can begin to form your local delivery plan and decide if adding it to your business operations will be a game changer for your customers.
For example, the Cupcake Room is an award-winning cupcake shop in Sydney, Australia. Through local, same-day delivery, they have been able to make their cupcakes accessible to customers beyond their neighborhood cupcake shop.
Since setting up local delivery their revenue has gone up almost 500%. It’s no surprise that with fast delivery being a priority within ecommerce, it’s important businesses continue to give quality customer service through communications and telling the customer what to expect with their local delivery order.
2. Plan Your Logistics
Plan your delivery logistics and strategy to ensure you are offering a seamless service for your customers. Missing steps or a gap in your local delivery strategy is a bad experience for customers. Focus on expanding the steps that you answered when deciding whether to take the leap into adding this service.
The strategy plan should focus on tools that you will need, such as an app for your Shopify store that can handle tagging orders, inventory management and notifications for your customers to know when their orders will be delivered. In the background, these tools should work to create workflows and systems for your team to create orders and push out deliveries. No matter the size of business, working out every step will have you feeling confident in offering local delivery.
For example, Brick Brewery, is a craft brewery in London who initially began offering local delivery to stay open during the pandemic. Through their small team, they began offering delivery and relied on tools that helped with postal codes and minimum spends. Now as the pandemic eases in their neighborhood, Brick Brewery has kept local delivery as part of their new services for beer lovers. Going a step further, local delivery is an incentive for upsell and an increase in cart sizes.
3. Plan your Packaging
Branding is an important step to marketing your business and standing out above competitors. Part of the branding is packaging. How a customer receives a package from your business, is equally part of the entire customer’s journey. It doesn’t end after they click purchase. “52% of online shoppers receiving order’s in a custom package, are most likely to return to the same company.”
Packaging is important, especially when a Shopify merchant decides to deliver locally to their community. Add branding to your packaging, delivery boxes or kits, it will excite your customers to see the packages on their doorstep. Ensure your packaging is designed for your weather conditions, any bumps in the road and that makes sense for your industry and product.
Dough Dealers are a pizza shop in London that offers local delivery to its customers. Packaging is just as important as their pizza, meaning everything is branded with their logo. Dough Dealers add their branding to their merchandise, pizza boxes and delivery bags. This gives customers instant recognition and satisfaction when they see their delivered item on their doorstep.
4. Focus on Your Customer’s Experience
The customer is what prompted you to add local delivery, so always keep them in mind when it comes to making a process easier or when rethinking your strategy. Customers who find the local delivery experience confusing or difficult to order, will most likely lead to abandoned shopping carts. Lack of transparency or lack of inventory can impact the overall experience as well.
There are various factors that go a long way in providing a great shopping experience, from letting customers know specific delivery blackout dates, delivery from specific locations or product preparation time. All customizable points in your local delivery plan.
Ensuring team members on your business operations are fully trained on local delivery and understand the logistics behind it, is a great way to provide a five-star customer experience. This will create a process that can make sure the delivery runs smoothly from fulfillment to a customer’s doorstep. A notification system that ensures customers’ orders are tagged and notified when their order is out for delivery, is part of the journey to providing a great service.
Foe example, Grazy, is a woman-owned grazing box company focused on partnering with local farmers based out of Boston, USA. The small business has a shipping warehouse and a kitchen they use for local delivery. Through specific Shopify tools, they can manage inventory at both locations with organized products.
5. Advertise your Local Delivery
You’ve made the leap and added local delivery, planned your logistics and even branded your packaging, all while never losing focus of the real goal, to provide your customers with a great shopping experience. The final step is to of course, shout from the roof of your brick-and-mortar store, that you now offer local delivery.
Various Shopify merchants utilize different marketing strategies to make sure their local delivery service is a success. Part of those strategies are offering exclusive discounts and deals when opting in for local delivery. Another is through using email newsletters, website popups and of course through social media channels. Video content, Instagram Stories and photos are a great way to get your customers and local community to know about your business.
El Irish, a brewery in Colombia, uses high quality images and video content to advertise their local delivery service through Instagram and Facebook. This allows their community to learn how their delivery process works and become familiar with those delivering the beer. It’s also a perfect way to engage your customers on social media, ensure you are on top of mind and stand out above competitors not using video to educate their customers.
Another example comes from Stanley Park Brewing is a brewery based in Vancouver, Canada that offers a wide rand of beers for their customers. They offer free local delivery on certain days of the week to their surrounding local area. Through emails and social media content, Stanley Park Brewing is able to let their customers know about local delivery and exactly where they offer free local delivery.
Add Local Delivery to Your Business Today
Ecommerce grew in ways no one predicted in 2020, with new trends emerging such as local delivery. Through this new service, businesses can plan to succeed and reach new customers. Whether you are just introducing local delivery into your business operations, or planning to permanently keep it as a service, the potential to grow with local delivery is limitless.
Jonathan Roque is the Digital Marketing and Content Strategist for Zapiet. Jonathan is passionate about the ecommerce space and helping small and medium sized businesses grow and maximize their potential. You can follow him over at @zapiet.uk on Instagram and @zapiet on Twitter.