Aussie small and medium businesses have met consumers online – many in response to the urgent need to go digital following COVID-19. As restrictions forced physical stores to close, websites were quickly developed or were upgraded to include eCommerce functionality for ordering online. But the online shopping journey doesn’t end when your customers click ‘place my order’. Delivery is a vital consideration and arguably the most memorable part of an online purchase. In this round-up, we look at delivery and pick-up options that businesses are using to meet customer expectations.
Self-managed drop-off services
Many businesses have opted to absorb delivery runs and do them in house, some offering the service for free if customers are in their local radius. Research by Lewers found that Australian consumers are doing what they can to keep local businesses afloat by trying to buy less imports. Letting people know you are a local business that’s offering free drop-off delivery to the neighbourhood could help to attract new or repeat customers.
Antipodes, an independent bookshop and gallery on the Mornington Peninsula, has adapted its delivery offering during COVID-19 by delivering to Sorrento and neighbouring suburbs for free. Adopting a similar approach in your business could encourage locals to spend with your business and help make up for sales you might usually attribute to foot traffic.
Third-party delivery services
Outsourced or automated shipping can be a great solution for your business, especially if you are looking to scale up or if your business is already growing. If your online orders have increased during COVID-19, subscribing to a third-party shipping provider for your delivery needs may help to take some weight off your shoulders.
Australian fashion label Kloke uses shipping provider Shippit for its domestic orders. The brand was trading online long before the pandemic, but its shipping needs increased as physical retail stores were forced to close in Victoria. Many third-party delivery services offer discounted rates and parcel protection – so, if like Kloke, you are shipping a high volume of orders, or expect to in the future, this option might be a good fit for your business.
Click and collect
Click and collect services allow your customers to order online and pick up their purchase at a time or day that suits them, instead of waiting for their delivery to arrive. It’s a popular choice for made-to-order items, such as specialty food.
Iggy’s Bread in Sydney attracts lines around the block on most weekends. By offering a pre-order option, customers can avoid the crowd and ensure they won’t miss out on their pastry preferences – and it helps the bakery effectively manage its supply chain.
If you have moved to selling online it’s a good idea to start thinking whether your current drop-off delivery or pick-up option is the best choice for your business – you might even be able to incorporate more than one. Delivery is an important part of the online shopping experience and if you can get it right, customers could be more inclined to shop with you again.