More than half of North American customers think the epidemic has impacted the way they’ll shop in the future, according to consumer trends research.
Increased support for small and local businesses is one of the most notable trends, with more than half of consumers searching out locally owned firms. During the first three months of the pandemic, nearly a third of purchasers said they bought something online and had it delivered locally. Local delivery is an excellent opportunity to interact with local customers, increase sales, and give an excellent customer experience.
You may be unsure how to set up local delivery or whether it is appropriate for your company. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of starting your own local delivery service in the sections below.
Table of Contents
- What is Local Delivery?
- How does Local Delivery Benefit your Shopify Business?
- Plan out your Local Delivery Logistics Strategy
- EasyRoutes Local Delivery on Shopify can Help You Increase your Sales
What is Local Delivery?
Customers can buy your products online and have them delivered right to their home with local delivery. Local delivery is a viable option to carrier shipping, in-store shopping, and in-store pickup.
In a world where shipping companies are suffering growing delays and in-store purchasing is still risky, it has had a particularly significant impact on businesses and customers alike.
How does Local Delivery Benefit your Shopify Business?
Businesses may provide meaningful shopping experiences for their local clients and assist drive sales and money with local delivery. Here are some of the ways that using Shopify to deliver locally can help businesses engage with local clients and carve out a niche in their town.
Establish a relationship with the local community
Making it easy for customers to shop locally is a terrific way to stand out from the competition, acquire new customers, and increase sales. It’s also a great approach to keep in touch with your current, loyal local customers. Furthermore, offering a local delivery service can help you attract new clients in your area.
It’s been known for a long time that the best approach to support long-term success is to cultivate a loyal consumer base. And we’re living in a period when people are feeling the effects of physical isolation caused by the pandemic and are yearning for community more than ever.
Make the customer experience better
Shipping delays are unavoidable, especially in the event of a pandemic. Shipping charges are also very high, and many customers abandon their shopping carts as a result.
It is possible to avoid delays and shipping costs by delivering orders directly to local clients. Merchants may better oversee the process by distributing the product directly rather than depending on shipping carriers, which is especially important given the pandemic’s influence on delivery timeframes. While there are still costs to consider, merchants can control them rather than being reliant on carriers, who frequently have high fees during the Christmas season.
Boost your sales
When independent merchants offer convenient purchasing alternatives like local pickup and local delivery, online shoppers spend 23 percent more and have a 25 percent larger cart size. Furthermore, consumers who selected local pickup or local delivery during checkout had a 13 percent and 19 percent higher conversion rate than those who opted shipping. You can also charge for your local delivery service to raise your average order value.
Customers are actively looking to support their local companies to help sustain their communities and economies on a local level. They’re also interested in local shipping because it has certain appealing benefits.
First, the pandemic’s terrible reality for online shops is shipment delays, which buyers want to avoid. When compared to shipping, local delivery can save money and time.
Second, local delivery allows for the creation of a unique brand experience. Customers that purchase locally want a personal experience, which you can’t give them in-store. Local delivery is a method to give them that. This can be used to connect with current consumers and attract new ones. For example, you can thank them for their purchase with a personalized packaging insert or a personalized remark in the delivery notification.
Make your company future-proof
While COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of local delivery, the repercussions on consumer behaviour will persist much beyond the pandemic. Consumers will continue to seek quick, efficient, and low-cost ways to acquire their online purchases, and the trend of supporting local businesses will continue. Consumer behaviour has always changed and will continue to change in the future. Merchants who step up to the plate, anticipate client requirements, and create unique shopping experiences will position themselves for future success.
Plan out your Local Delivery Logistics Strategy
While enabling an option for local delivery at checkout is straightforward, we’ve compiled a list of logistical factors to assist you in determining the best course of action for your company.
Where are you going to deliver from?
Some online business owners also run brick-and-mortar stores, while others don’t have a physical location and rely only on the internet. You’ll need to decide which of your stores will offer local delivery, as well as whether you’ll have enough employees to deliver from numerous locations.
Merchants may offer local delivery from a single place in some situations, especially if you’re doing it yourself. However, if you have more staff members on hand, you might be able to deliver to consumers who reside closer to other places.
What is the maximum distance you will travel to deliver orders?
It’s time to find out where you’re delivering from now that you know where you’re delivering from. You can be quite specific about which locations you distribute to and which places you do not. Create various delivery zones and a zip/postal code list to define how far you’ll travel to deliver items. Set a radius around each site to define your delivery zones, but keep in mind that you’ll have less control over specific areas and neighbourhoods if you do this.
Customers that live within a certain radius are more likely to be qualified for local delivery. This could result in more sales, but it also means you’ll require extra delivery assistance. Setting up a broader delivery area may be great if you only have a few employees who can deliver. If you’re handling your own deliveries, you may want to set up a smaller space. Start small and adapt as needed in either case.
How much does local delivery cost?
Amazon Prime was the first to make free delivery a standard, and now 21% of small to medium-sized online businesses in the United States always offer it. Consumers have come to expect free shipping as a result of this, and these expectations often apply to local delivery services as well.
However, offering free delivery isn’t always possible because you may need to cover additional expenditures such as gas or extra delivery employees. Your shipping price and your minimum cart value are the two most important aspects to consider.
You can choose to only offer local delivery for orders over a particular amount, which will improve the average order value directly (AOV). This method works best if you provide free or low-cost local delivery.
You can also set a flat local delivery pricing for all orders inside your delivery zone if you don’t want to implement a cart value minimum. You can, for example, charge a reduced fee for deliveries within a short distance and a larger fee for deliveries over a greater distance. Local delivery services should be priced lower than shipping through a carrier to make this delivery option appealing to your clients. This cost should be determined by a mix of how long it takes you to fulfill orders and how far you have to go. You may wish to charge more for local delivery if your delivery area is larger.
When will orders be delivered?
Customers can receive their products more quickly, which is one of the advantages of local delivery. However, this is dependent on how frequently you intend to go out on delivery.
Define particular delivery days or hours if you’re delivering locally and can’t do it every day or as orders come in. Make sure your customers are aware of this before, during, and after their transaction.
Same-day delivery, next-day delivery, and two-to-three-day delivery are all alternatives to consider. For the local delivery shopper, anything longer may not make sense. You can charge more for this service if you can get things into your clients’ hands faster. If you serve a big geographic area, you might want to consider establishing a delivery schedule based on neighbourhood.
How will you deliver your orders?
Orders can be delivered in a variety of methods, depending on your location and delivery zone. While driving a car may come to mind first, you can also complete local delivery orders by bike or on foot, which may be faster in some regions depending on traffic.
You might use applications like Postmates if you’re short on staff or want to use third-party services. These can be useful if you’re dealing with a big volume of consumers or want to reach out to new ones. This also relieves you of the actual delivery process, making it easy to carry out. It does, however, come with (sometimes significant) additional costs.
Who will be in charge of delivering your orders?
Again, you have the option of delivering the orders yourself, using current or freshly acquired workers, or using third-party local delivery services—or a combination of the three. It’s crucial to remember that the delivery driver, whatever he or she is, is a part of the client experience. Even though they don’t work for you, they are a part of your brand.
It’s crucial to communicate. Customers want to know when their items will be delivered. To that aim, delivery personnel should notify the buyer (by text or email) when they’re on their way and, if possible, provide an approximate delivery time. Sending consumers a delivery confirmation with a snapshot of the merchandise at the delivery place is also crucial. It’s easier to control these interactions when using in-house team members to deliver orders. As a result, many of the applications include tracking features, allowing customers to see where their orders are at any time.
You should also think about what would happen if the consumer isn’t available at the time of delivery. Leaving the package outside the front door or in the mailbox will sometimes suffice. Sometimes this isn’t doable. Make sure to obtain the customer’s phone number and keep it on hand so that the driver can call the customer in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to inquire about delivery instructions from the consumer during the checkout process. They’ll be able to tell you if it’s okay to leave the order at the door this way.
There will be mishaps no matter how hard you try. When the consumer opens the box, it could be the wrong goods or it could be damaged. To protect yourself and confirm delivery, you can take a picture of the package at the customer’s door, although this isn’t infallible. Prepare a backup plan and be ready to provide replacement products. In these circumstances, be generous with your return policy and, if possible, provide free shipping or returns pickup, as well as free delivery for any replacement items.
Hopefully, errors are few, but keep track of them. If you see a pattern—for example, a lot of theft in one location, faulty products delivered by a third-party carrier, etc.—you should look into it more.
How will you advertise local delivery to people in your area?
First and foremost, you should include information about local delivery on your website. To share information with your customers at launch, you may utilize a pop-up, banner, or marquee. It’s a good idea to include it in your shipping policy and checkout pages as well. To increase awareness and conversions, run free shipping ads or flash discounts that incorporate the local delivery messaging.
There are a few other things you can do on your website to promote your local delivery options:
- Social Media. Post about local delivery on your organic channels, and supplement with sponsored advertisements that target the area where you’re providing the service.
- Email Marketing. Segment your client list and inform local customers about the new choice. Consider offering a promo code for their first local delivery order as an incentive.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Customers in your neighbourhood are probably looking for “local delivery near me.” To appear in Google search results, optimize for local SEO.
- Ad Retargeting. Send emails to previous and present customers, as well as site visitors. Inform them that local delivery is now available and that they can take advantage of it right away.
Traditional strategies may not always necessitate the use of digital marketing. Merchants can become active and market to the local client base by using their knowledge of the local community and events. Distribute flyers in high-traffic areas and explore partnering with other local businesses.
How does local delivery fit in with the rest of your shipping plans?
While local delivery is convenient for clients in your immediate vicinity, you don’t want to alienate those who live outside of your delivery zone. Carrier shipping services might help you supplement and perhaps take care of some of your local delivery demands.
Local clients, in particular, may benefit from options such as curbside pickup. If consumers outside of your local delivery radius need their online items quickly and expedited shipping isn’t available or too expensive, you can offer curbside pickup as an alternative.
Even if you don’t have a physical shop, curbside pickup can be useful. Convert your warehouse into a pickup point, start a pop-up local pickup location, or collaborate with another local business to use their space. Local delivery doesn’t have to compete with other shipping methods; it can really complement them.
EasyRoutes Local Delivery on Shopify can Help You Increase your Sales
Giving clients the option of how and when they want their goods delivered lowers barriers to completion, which enhances your bottom line. It also allows you to become a part of a community, which increases client loyalty. When it comes to introducing local delivery as a service to your online store, you must figure out the logistics in a way that both supports your current business goals and is long-term viable.
EasyRoutes is here to help. Our app ( 🏆 2x Shopify Staff Pick) is a full-fledged local delivery management suite that can help you from pick-and-pack, to route optimization, to customer tacking, to proof of delivery.