Delivery Service

What is the Future of Same Day Delivery?

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When it comes to same-day delivery, the expectations of consumers have dramatically changed within the last few years. As a result, those in the customized logistics and delivery industry have had to embrace some big changes. Retailers, too, have had to find ways to adapt. Demand is expected to increase significantly given the compelling value proposition of same-day delivery for consumers.

Consumers clearly attach a value to same-day delivery.
Strong fundamental drivers support the growth of same-day delivery. The market for same-day delivery is fueled by underlying macro-trends, including increasing GDP per capita, rapid e-commerce adoption, urbanization, and changing consumer expectations.

Same-day delivery requires a critical mass of consumers with sufficient financial resources to pay for such a premium service. Rising GDP per capita becomes even more critical when it applies to large metropolitan areas. Accordingly, the relevant economic units are metropolitan areas rather than nations. Yet the existence of densely populated areas with extensive buying power is not enough. A high level of e-commerce adoption is a prerequisite for same-day delivery to actually take off.

Rise of Same-Day Delivery Consumers.
Apart from cost, today’s consumers also care deeply about another factor that affects eCommerce sales – delivery time. The rise in competition among retailers in the same space has caused the genesis of the same-day-delivery promise. According to Business Insider research, the value of the same-day-delivery market at the end of the last year was estimated to be between $3 and $4 billion. These sales represent a massive segment of audience members who are willing to pay extra for quicker deliveries.
Some segments of the audience, in this case, millennials, can create and fuel an entire eCommerce trend. Millennials want their orders delivered fast; primarily ordering for instant gratification. Products such as food and luxury goods (mobile devices and other electronics) are popularly being sold for same-day-delivery. On the supplier’s side, Amazon, Google, Uber, and other such giants are working hard to provide same-day-delivery while trying to make it cost effective.

 Digital Technology and Automatin for Ease.
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g to Stanford’s 100-year study of artificial intelligence, Ai technologies will disrupt and take over logistics, transforming what we are familiar with today. We’re already seeing small signs of AI boosting the performance of emails in eCommerce. eCommerce giants are also using big data and AI to collect customer preferences and suggest items accordingly. This technology is also being used to optimize post-sales activity by setting up post-sales feedback loops.

AI and automation are also making an appearance in exchanges between various points of contact in the supply chain. From dispatch to delivery, and the returns process, there are several places where tracking and recording of data must happen in an eCommerce delivery chain. AI and automation make these processes more accurate, quick, and effortless.

Chatbots are also beginning to appear everywhere in the eCommerce experience. As time passes, bots become more intelligent, managing conversations more efficiently than humans could. eCommerce platforms are using data collected by these chatbots to understand user preferences and serve them better and faster.

Automation is also making an appearance to make checking-out easy. With pre-filled forms and securely saved data, logistics become more frictionless. AI is also being used for routing optimization, based on the data of delivery addresses and distances to be covered by delivery drivers. Mobile logistics solutions are using technologies such as geofencing and AI to make the delivery and returns experience seamless and cost-effective, for customers and retailers.

Pioneers in the transport industry such as Mercedes Benz are working on and testing driverless freights to cut costs, improve accuracy and safety, while also improving customer experience.

Augmented reality may also come into existence to improve customer browsing and the shopping experience. What was once promised by Google glass may become a reality, fulfilling the desires of executives in the eCommerce industry. Ikea and Amazon are already working in the AR space to make product browsing and testing a better experience for customers. A better browsing experience could tremendously influence logistics. Products tried well are less likely to be returned.

Finally, mobile wallets such as Google Pay are making it easy for customers to make purchases through mobile devices. In 2020, most checkouts could happen exclusively through mobile devices.
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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Developing a Customer Focused Logistics Strategy

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E-Commerce has made it easier and faster to purchase goods. Online shopping has drastically changed consumers’ behaviour and their expectations.  The expectation is not only on Point A to Point B transportation, but what happens at Point B!  Successful last mile delivery providers must instead put the focus on the customer.  This includes infinite emphasis on brand protection and innovation. Timely, convenient and cost efficient shipping is a priority for the e-commerce consumer and by focusing on the customer, it strengthens the retailers’ brand. With supply chains under even more pressure to fulfill orders, due to decreases in visits to brick and mortar retailers, home delivery providers must be expected to ensure an exceptional customer experience on your E-Commerce / Last Mile Home Deliveries.

In order to avoid inconveniencing your customer base, it’s important to find and select a dedicated last-mile specialist that will not only deliver your brand, but has a vested interest in protecting its equity.

  1. Offer flexible delivery options and locations that suit the needs of your targeted customers. Flexible last mile service providers will engage consumers on when and where they can receive an order. You will encounter less “not-at-home” cancelations and frustrated customers.
  1. Location, location, location. Futurists have forecasted that the demand for small urban warehouses will rise as proximity to the customer plays an increasingly important role in the last mile delivery process. Warehouses located closer to customers are rapidly growing as they provide a way to facilitate the demand for convenience and faster delivery times.
  1. Multiple deliveries to one consignee can be done cost effectively in a single delivery at the time the customers need it. To do this requires a logistics platform and collaboration of stakeholders including consumers, logistics service providers, and retailers/ manufacturers all of whom are engaged to manage their deliveries.
  1. Keep abreast of technology – utilize the latest technology to your advantage. Customers are attached to their mobile devices 24/7 and expect to be updated anywhere, any time on the status of their purchases. To remain competitive, last mile service providers need to stay abreast with the latest technology.  Real time tracking is essential to accurately trace exactly where a specific order is at any given time. Customers are not just used to these technologies but expect them as part of every delivery experience.
  1. Finally providing customers with good communication, not just simply providing fast delivery, is key to success. Empathy goes a long way.

Although failures are painful, they can be very helpful for finding opportunities to offer unique solutions that will make you stand apart from your competition.  There are solutions available however.  The last-mile challenge can be messy, but by customizing how you handle delivery to your target market, you can provide a higher level of customer satisfaction, and grow your business.

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Delivery Service

Trends in Final Mile Delivery

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The following trends are all about efficiency and lowering costs while trying to improve customer experience.

Faster Fulfillment and Delivery Speeds

With major on-line retailers guaranteeing 2-day delivery, and others following suit, faster fulfillment is required. Customers are now accustomed to 2-day delivery and expect it. This increase in demand has caused tremendous pressure in regards to last mile logistics.

City Warehouses

The location of warehousing has a direct impact on the speed of fulfillment. As demand for same day delivery has increased in major cities, warehouses have started to pop up among them.

Use of the Gig-economy

The explosion of the gig-economy has allowed retailers to outsource some of their last mile delivery services to independent contractors. These contractors complete local deliveries one package at a time on bikes or in their own cars.

Order Tracking

Being able to track a package is extremely important to a customer. It is important for them to be able to know when a package is supposed to arrive or even if it gets lost.

A tracking number is guaranteed with  large carriers like UPS but regional and local last-mile delivery services sometimes aren’t able to offer the same.

Thanks to smartphone apps and the use of GPS, customers can see more specifically where the driver is and the moment the package is delivered. Giving customers’ peace of mind helps to improve customer satisfaction.

Lockers and Pick Up Sites

Some carriers now offer locker pick up as an alternative to delivering packages to their customers. Customers can choose instead go to a secured, self-service locker to pick up their package.

If a customer chooses to have a package delivered to a locker, they are sent a unique passcode which is used to open the locker. Lockers help to mitigate lost and stolen packages. It is a more secure option as opposed to leaving a package at a customer’s front door. This also saves companies money and time as many packages can be “delivered” at once and all at one location.

Upsales at the Time of Delivery

Retailers are tracking our spending habits and, with the use of Big Data, can predict what other items we are likely to buy.

When shopping online, companies use this data to suggest other products that you may be interested in. This same concept will be used during deliveries.

Delivery people will bring additional inventory based on past purchases with the goal of making additional sales in person.

Smart Technology

Big Data is being used in other areas of last mile delivery services as well.

Data analytics are used to discover the best delivery routes and work in real time with traffic data and weather conditions. Routes are automatically adjusted to avoid traffic jams, road construction, etc.

Fulfillment centers also use weather data to determine how to pack certain items during different seasons.

This is especially important for temperature sensitive items like food or pharmaceuticals. Carriers can now monitor temperature with high tech devices which notifies the delivery person if the package is at an unsafe temperature.

Delivery by Self-Driving Cars, Drones, and Robots

Autonomous delivery is not far off in the future. It is estimated that self-driving trucks will be around in five to 10 years.

There are companies working on self-driving technology, like GM and Ford.

Once implemented, cars, vans, and trucks will be making plenty of stops. Its estimated that by 2025, 80% of items will be delivered by an autonomous vehicle. Pilot programs are in effect to work out the kinks of using drones and robots for deliveries.

Of all the trends, autonomous delivery is set to save companies the most money in the last mile of delivery.

The final mile of delivery gets a lot of attention and rightfully so.With all the changes in the shipping industry, it is important to have a courier you can rely to make sure your packages get to their destination on time. United Delivery Service Chicago’s leading regional small parcel carrier. Contact us at http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com or 630-930-5201.

 

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Business Tips

How to Increase Sales by Focusing on Customer Service

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In a world where the customer is in control, happy customers are the secret to growth.

That’s why your customer service team has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your sales team. Forward-thinking sales organizations align their sales and customer service teams to improve customer experience, and to increase cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

Here are 8 customer service skills that lead to a customer-centric culture and increased sales.

1. Respond Quickly

Customers are busy and need a solution quickly.

A fast response from customer service is critical, whether on social media, email, live chat, phone, or other service platform.

Your customer service reps should have a definitive process for responding to each channel, as well as guidelines to handle common situations. This helps ensure a smooth customer experience and swift resolution.

2. Choose Enthusiasm

Customers are human, and humans appreciate a smile, empathy, and enthusiasm.

Teach your customer support representatives to start all customer interactions with a positive attitude. This is especially important for reps responding to complaints, who may receive the brunt of customer anger.

It’s critical that these reps have the right mindset and the service skills training to stay empathetic and positive in the face of frustration.

3. Listen

Sometimes, all a customer needs is to know that they’ve been heard. Other times, their issue may require action.

In either case, customer service representatives who listen carefully to the issue will be in a better position to assist. Teach reps not to jump straight to problem-solving mode, but to take the time to fully understand the customer’s concern and to let them know they’re listening.

4. Ask Good Questions

Good listening includes good questioning. Teach customer service reps to ask probing questions to get to the core of the issue, and to uncover unmet needs that may represent sales opportunities.

This consultative approach strengthens customer relationships and the answers to these questions can be used to identify and package an appropriate solution.

5. Adapt the Communication Style

Everyone has a preferred communication style.

Customer service reps can learn to quickly identify the style preferred by each customer–and adapt their approach to match.

When customers receive information in the format and style they prefer, it’s easier for them to understand and respond to it, and they feel happier and more trusting.

6. Develop a Problem-Solving Attitude

Both sales professionals and customer service reps perform best when they maintain a problem-solving attitude.

Sometimes, customer service teams can get caught up in trying to placate the customer or avoid taking blame, when what the customer really needs is to have their problem solved.

A positive, proactive problem-solving attitude can also help the customer service rep to identify opportunities to offer the customer additional products and services.

7. Clarify and Confirm

Once the customer has been understood and a solution has been agreed to, make sure reps know to clarify the solution and confirm it with the customer. This creates clarity in the mind of the customer and reduces the risk of miscommunication.

If the solution includes a conversation with other employees in the company, such as referral to a sales team member, make sure the customer understands how that referral will take place. And then ensure that it is followed up on.

8. Say Thank You

It’s hard to overestimate the psychological value of a simple “thank you.” Customers like to know that their business is appreciated.

Teach reps to say “thank you” at the end of every customer interaction, and to follow up with expressions of gratitude via email and in other formats when appropriate. It can also be useful to build customer gratitude programs that include perks such as coupons, referral bonuses, and other benefits.

Conclusion

Happy customers will stay with you longer, turn into repeat business, and refer their friends and colleagues.

That’s why it’s critical that you build a customer-centric culture in your organization. The question to ask yourself is, “Are our customer service reps simply meeting expectations, or are they aligning with our sales team to uncover and tap into new revenue opportunities?”

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Delivery Service

Delivering High Expectations in the Last Mile

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Final mile delivery developed when people began to ship more than gold and money. As retail companies grew their catalog businesses, couriers expanded their delivery networks.

Last mile delivery is defined as ‘the movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination’ – typically a personal residence – and is becoming more important than ever due to the surge of online ordering. The focus of last mile logistics is to deliver items to the end user when they expect it – which is as fast as possible. Last mile logistics has become an important area of interest for retailers, and manufacturers breaking into the e-commerce world.

So what do companies need to think about when creating a successful last mile delivery model?

1. Think beyond geography. Hyperlocal doesn’t only mean coverage of one specific region. The most successful hyperlocal strategies have the capability to scale. A strategy that focuses on a single “locality” will be difficult to scale in other areas. Being able to identify a widespread but local need and having a model that adapts to each new market will be crucial.

2. Think about using a variety of carriers, and don’t discount the smaller ones. Together, local, regional and national carriers create a perfect mix of delivery options and capabilities. In fact, smaller local carriers account for almost 60% of the U.S. trucking industry and can typically transport shipments from 80-100 miles within a specified zone. They are great for parcel last mile delivery as they are able to provide personalized, caring service for clients. Regional carriers are great for shippers with multiple distribution centers and a high concentration of customers within a geographical market. They also typically have wider time schedules for pick-up and delivery and often provide next-day deliveries.

3. Don’t just focus on what your competitors are doing, unless you can do it better. It may be easy to replicate a competitor’s strategy, but it’s not always a model that will work for you as well. Each company and each company’s customer base is different. Find a distinguishing angle of your own, because people love niche. Focus on doing what you’re able to do, and do it well.

4. Learn how to say ‘no’. It’s easy to think that you can do this, and this and this too, but you will never be able to please everyone all at once, even with a last mile delivery plan that you think is perfect. Stick to your strategy and tweak it only when necessary.

The opportunities lying ahead are huge. Logistics providers need to position themselves for the upcoming changes and readjust their existing networks accordingly. The differentiator in this field will be technology. It will be the leading driver as to what companies can do for their customers. Updated technology will manage workflows, direct the customer experience and provides visibility to all parties. The end consumer will see the difference in the form of a package on their front step, days, even hours, after ordering. You’ll see the difference in the form of increased speed, efficiency and revenue.

 

 

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Have an open mind for business success!

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The smartest and most successful people welcome new ideas and diverse perspectives, allowing them to see more opportunities ahead of them and better solutions to problems. Open-minded entrepreneurs are able to strategize better because they can listen to varying viewpoints and look at a problem through multiple lenses. They’re able to see past ideologies and ego in order to conceive more effective plans.   

1. Open-minded entrepreneurs are open to change.

When you’re too set on doing things a certain way, you’re not open to better plans. As long as you keep your eyes on your end goal, having an open mind allows you to pivot quickly and take advantage of opportunities that weren’t part of your original plan. If you tether yourself to ideas about how you’re going to achieve your goal, better opportunities don’t come up on your radar. Successful entrepreneurs are open-minded enough to see all the possible moves before they make one.

2. Successful people learn from everyone.

When you’re open-minded enough to glean lessons from everyone, everywhere, then you never stop learning. Joshua Cooper Ramo, the best-selling author of “The Age of the Unthinkable,” says we should pay attention to the way the world’s most resilient innovators adapt to change and handle crises in order to learn new ways to solve problems. You don’t need to agree with someone or share their ideologies in order to learn from them. If you can apply their way of thinking to achieve the outcomes you want, then having an open mind has served you.

 

3. Successful entrepreneurs can see mistakes in a different light.

Open-minded entrepreneurs see their mistakes from multiple angles. While it’s hard not to feel like you failed, part of picking yourself up and continuing to pursue success is to see your failure as a lesson. This makes it a gain instead of a loss. Ask yourself: how can the knowledge I gained from this experience help me succeed in the future? When you focus on this perspective, your failure hasn’t gone to waste. Successful entrepreneurs are well-experienced because all their “failures” have added up and strengthened them, rather than caused them to give up. However, it’s difficult to grow from your experiences if you don’t have an open mind about them.

4. Challenging limiting beliefs is the key to growth.

In the ever-changing world of business, success requires continual personal growth. In order to rise above where you currently stand, you need to challenge the limiting beliefs that are holding you there. Your success begins with your mindset, and having an open mind allows you to expose yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. The most successful people know they don’t know everything. They’re able to put what they think they know aside and pursue knowledge without prejudice.

5. Being open to others allows you to get the most out of having a team.

One of the best parts of having employees or partners in a business venture is taking advantage of multiple brains plugging in to meet the same end goals. Everyone has a different perspective and can bring different ideas to the table. Being open to hearing others out gives you more ideas than you would have on your own, which ultimately serves your business. Even if you’re a “solopreneur,” you can join a mastermind group and get ideas from others about your business, and the more open you are to people’s outside perspectives, the more you can glean from them.

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Delivery Service, tradeshows

UDS TO Exhibit at Home Delivery World 2019.

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Home Delivery World is the most comprehensive event in the country for last mile, supply chain and eCommerce. The show will bring together 2,500 attendees from retailers, grocers, distributors, carriers, supply chain professionals and solutions providers to discuss innovations in retail logistics.

Attendees will get the opportunity to hear from 300+ speakers from Walgreens, Etsy, Nutrisystem, Aldo, Nordstrom, eBay and more. Attendees will also have access to a show floor that showcases 150+ exhibitors such as Bringg, SEKO Logistics, Boeing, Workhorse Group and more.

This is the only event to bring together retailers to learn about innovations across home delivery. Home Delivery World Conference 2019 will be held at the Philadelphia Convention Center April 4th-5th 2019.

The team at United Delivery Service will be attending the show please stop by BOOTH #220 and learn more about how UDS provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through proprietary software technology.

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