The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the growth of online delivery services. The stay-at-home orders and health concerns push retail leaders to go on an eye-popping hiring spree to meet the increased demand for grocery deliveries.
Amazon recently announced that it would hire some additional 175,000 new employees, while Instacart is looking to employ some 300,000 shoppers. Walmart's home grocery delivery was not to be left behind as the company also said that it would add 50,000 new hires.
This surge in Amazon or Walmart grocery delivery services can pave the way for entrepreneurs to start their cities' delivery businesses. This business venture isn't capital intensive as licensing of apps and hiring independent contractors isn't excessively expensive. Plus, of course, the demand keeps increasing these days.
However, entrepreneurs must prepare and strategize carefully before opening and operating their delivery businesses. After all, several things can go wrong in this line of work. Here are three tips to help upstarts as they go head-to-head with the retail giants.
Meeting the High Expectations of Customers
Many believe that having a 95 percent delivery success rate is good enough to win in the grocery delivery business. However, this isn't true as customers expect a convenient and fast order fulfillment process.
Consider what the retail giants are offering. Amazon, for one, is capable of shipping over 10 million packages within 24 hours to its Prime customers. Not to be outdone, Walmart's online order procedure and delivery became even faster recently after the company launched its two-hour delivery service, Express delivery, intended to compete with Amazon Prime.
Entrepreneurs must realize that delivery services go beyond just dropping off orders. These days, businesses engaged in online deliveries should provide reliable, convenient, and on-demand services. In short, consumers want an overall great shopping experience that can fulfill their orders fast, and more recently, on the same day.
Optimizing Small Businesses for Last Mile Deliveries
Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, is known for aspiring to perfection in logistics. This drive for flawlessness has made Amazon's logistics more optimized than most companies and has raised shoppers' expectations.
Businesses will do well to remember that the optimizing operations are the only way they can compete with the giants. Thus, a delivery operator should optimize its last-mile logistics, especially when delivering ready-to-eat or perishable items. For example, food meant to be served warm can become cold when it reaches the customer. The driver can be directed to the wrong address by the app. Or the customer won't be notified when the package arrives. A business may do almost all the things right but end up with problems on the last mile of the order fulfillment process. The delivery drivers must find the fastest routes and pinpoint the exact delivery location, all while communicating with the customer to ensure the timely receipt of goods.
Following Pandemic Safety Controls
Wearing personal protective equipment and social distancing are health protocols to which every gig shopper should adhere. Plus, entrepreneurs should also incorporate other safety practices in their shopping delivery business, such as contactless payments, delivery confirmations, and barcode scanning.
The pandemic is not going away soon, which is why online shopping and delivery businesses are booming. An entrepreneur can capitalize on the high demand for online delivery services and succeed if he or she ensures efficient operation by performing excellent service in all aspects of the fulfillment process.