The 2022 South African Digital Customer Experience Report, released in August of this year, revealed that a brand’s delivery experience was among key reasons why consumers would shop from them again. According to 66% of the survey’s sample, delivery value was critical to their repeat purchase while 81% of those surveyed said they shop online for convenient home deliveries.
These insights are invaluable to any brand that has an ecommerce arm – which, thanks to Covid, most now do. Delivery is as much an importance to the buyer as the customer journey of the site is, the price and quality of the item and the after-sales support.
There is delivery and there is delivery
The delivery landscape has changed dramatically, and courier companies are scrambling to improve their services that aim to meet the demands of the market and their customers. Standard delivery is a thing of the past; if companies are not offering cutting edge delivery services, through own or third party suppliers, they will get left behind.
Widely reported, the rise of a Quick Commerce service has changed the playing field, and many retailers are rushing to catch up by offering an on-demand delivery service that meets their customers’ needs, fast.
Amazon’s entrance into the local market in early 2023 is another reason why all brands – not just grocery retailers – need to up their delivery ante, as the etail behemoth is globally known for its super-fast delivery that is often free.
“The local ecommerce delivery marketplace is set for a giant shake-up once Amazon opens its doors on our shores. Customers very quickly get used to one brand’s service, and immediately expect it from another. Same-day and instant delivery are now the norm. This puts local retailers in a tight spot if they are to retain their customer base, they need a solid fast go to market strategy and make delivery affordable to the customer,” says Antonio Bruni, CEO of Picup, a subsidiary of Karooooo.
“Where they make their service available is also important as they need a provider with a national presence,” he adds.
Innovative, last-mile DaaS solutions in demand
With so many customers now ordering online – 87% of all those surveyed in the 2022 South African Digital Customer Experience Report said they shop online, while 55% have done so in the past 3 months – brands need to find new and innovative ways to meet their last-mile needs. And they need it to be affordable, reliable and quick. Solutions like Picup are the answer, and the service has grown astronomically since it launched seven years ago: today it delivers over 500 000 parcels per month.
Outsourcing logistics and fleet management
Offering delivery as a service (DaasS) has been the core focus for Picup since its inception. It pairs state of the art technology with a scalable driver fleet.
“We knew this was the way forward, so we built our own DaaS platform that offers clients including Pick n Pay asap!, Dischem, Absolute Pets, Waltons and many others access to a branded delivery fleet of vans and motorbikes, without having to build their own from scratch – at a hefty cost. Instead, they tap into Picup’s network of over 5 000 riders (called legends) who are located around the country, and who within hours, can pick up a delivery and drop it off at the customer’s address,” says Bruni.
With such a vast network of drivers located country wide Picup can service brands like Waltons which recently launched the DaaS service in Klerksdorp and Nelspruit and are looking to expand quicky into all other major parts of the county. This as local customers also want their purchases bought from the well-established 75-year-old company, delivered to their door within a few hours from placing the order.
“Logistics are part of many companies, but own fleets come at huge costs. Now, by using technology and DaaS, they can outsource their delivery needs, cut down on delivery costs and ensure that their products arrive on-time in a professional manner,” explains Bruni.
He says that the ability to move fast is also key. “Gone are the days of implementing a delivery strategy that takes months to get off the ground – by the time it launches the environment has changed and companies are on the back foot again.
When using a DaaS service, Bruni goes onto say that companies need to consider:
- Delivery pricing
- API integration for fast implementation
- Strong operations and focus on customer service
- Ability to deal with issues and resolve them quickly
“The above are what companies need to adopt to get started and iterate as they go. Conversely small companies must focus on their target areas while bigger companies with a wider presence can look at national strategies,” concludes Bruni.