Lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic are changing the way businesses operate, especially in the retail sector. Some sellers are finding that their delivery service is providing a much-needed lifeline for customers, while others are being forced to begin offering delivery options for the first time just to survive.
As much as this is a confusing time for businesses, customers are equally unsure of where they stand, what options are available to them, and what’s safe. This is an ideal time to communicate with your audience about your service. Reach out to your database of existing contacts to explain that you’re still in business and willing to deliver. Use social media to reach new customers: With a lack of shopping options, especially for essential items, a trusted name promising delivery is a message which will spread far and wide.
Recruit/ crowdsource drivers
Retailers are reporting that they are being overwhelmed with sales, leading to delays of several weeks or more in fulfilling orders. These are not ideal times for a recruitment drive, but the good news is that with many individuals seeking employment and work drying up for recruitment agencies, many companies are shifting their focus to placing delivery drivers within growing retailers. Your existing staff who are qualified and happy to drive are a great first option, but after that, you won’t have to look far for an agency with a rich supply of drivers for you to tap into.
Savvy retailers across the world are leveraging crowdsourcing tools to scale delivery operations. These tools empower businesses to quickly on board temporary or part-time delivery executives to execute jobs when internal resources are exhausted. Crowdsourcing technologies optimize staff capacity by on boarding executives from across disparate delivery provider ecosystems. Advanced crowdsourcing tools allow businesses to on board drivers by one-click and centrally manage all the driver operations from a single window.
Team up with other businesses
Scaling up can be a resource-intensive operation, which can be particularly stressful if your cash flow has been affected by the pandemic. One consideration is to share the costs by teaming up with other businesses. You can pool resources to put into place a shared delivery team with shared delivery routes, even a shared eCommerce storefront or order line. Your ideal partner could be a business in the same premises, business park, or market. Also consider other local businesses that offer goods that complement your offering, giving you a one-stop-shop appeal. A great example I am observing is courier/ parcel companies switching to grocery, essential deliveries. This is a great use of existing resources to fulfil urgent needs.
There is no need in 2020 to be calculating schedules and routes by hand when the technology which does this for you is not readily available but so far advanced. For example, we designed FarEye to help you seamlessly scale-up your delivery operation within days. It uses machine-learning to create the most efficient routes and its contactless payment operations enable you to trade entirely contactless, giving your drivers’ peace of mind. What’s more, our affordable service is available for free to retailers selling food, pharmaceuticals, and other necessary products during the coronavirus lockdown.