HOW TO OVERCOME DELIVERY ROADBLOCKS
Dec 19, 2018
5 MINUTE READ
Dec 19, 2018
5 MINUTE READ
The need for adding the revenue stream of deliveries has been demonstrated in shops across the country, but implementing a delivery program introduces new management challenges to your operation.
Your store is no longer contained within the four walls that you administer, it now extends throughout your delivery zone, way beyond your eyes and ears. Setting systems for delivery is a great start, but it’s not realistic to expect delivery to always go smoothly. Like all protocols, delivery teams must prepare for things that may go wrong along the way in order to be ready if things don’t go as planned. If you don’t have the managerial capabilities to manage another department, you might consider utilizing the many options that are now available for facilitation of delivery, including third-party delivery apps and ecommerce partners like Drizly.
Find the Right Driver
If going with your own team, The first step to introducing delivery to your store is to hire delivery drivers. Hiring drivers creates a new department in, which requires new protocols, management and oversight.
First and foremost it’s important to look for drivers with a clean record, and previous experience. Next, make sure you hire someone who knows the area well. Even with GPS systems, drivers still have to rely on experience to find the best routes. Look for drivers will previous experience in home delivery, which has different challenges than chauffeuring or long-haul driving.
Choose drivers that can help out in the store during down times. Yes, drivers should focus on driving, but they shouldn’t feel as though they’re absolved from all other store duties. Their side work can be as simple as stickering bottles with price tags. Make a list of side work for drivers between deliveries or on unexpected slow nights.
Be Prepared for Sudden Rushes
Deliveries tend to come in during the same peak times as traditional retail rushes. Customers begin thinking about wine and spirits when they get home from their day jobs, are sitting down to eat dinner or before weekend gatherings. Because peak delivery and retail times tend to overlap, it’s important to have a dedicated delivery staff on hand, so that your on-site retail staff doesn’t get overwhelmed with the added burden of deliveries.
An unexpected spell of bad weather is the main reason that business would shift from in-store to delivery with little notice. There are some strategies that you can use to get out of the weeds when too many deliveries come in at inopportune times. You always want to avoid turning down orders, but you also must be realistic about what your team can accomplish. Shops with large delivery zones and only one driver, should consider what a reasonable delivery load would be. Give reasonable wait time estimates, and suspend delivery service if waits extend to several hours.
E-commerce platforms have made receiving orders simple, and they’re constantly developing better ways to help you manage your new flow of business. Drizly has taken this a step further by offering “Delivery Pausing” if your store ever falls behind in fulfilling orders. Using this system, a third-party service will break the bad news rather than your store, and customers can easily see when delivery is available once again.
Weighing In-store Inventory Quantities vs. Delivery Quantities
Because online interfaces display your products differently from your shelves, you might find that different products are popular with delivery customers. Taking note of which products are popular specifically for delivery can help you better prepare for stocking sufficient inventory, and can also shed light on how customers are browsing your inventory online.
Customers don’t usually put as much browsing time into delivery orders, so you might expect a lot of repeat orders. However, with all of the information available online about new beverages, customers may be encouraged to try some exotic products. If a customer reads a blog post about a type of wine that they weren’t familiar with, they now can follow their curiosity to your delivery platform. Everyday favorites are most popular with online customers, but increasingly, large orders are made taken through delivery platforms. This is especially true in urban areas where many don’t own cars.
Party orders suddenly take an unexpected toll on your inventory. It’s best to always have some spare cases of affordable, affable whites, reds and prosecco on hand for these orders. Retail shop owners might know to do this during the holidays, but you could really benefit by stocking party cases year-round. After all, every day is somebody’s birthday. These are the kinds of wines that sell well anyways, so there is little risk of “drowning in inventory.” The reward of an effortless multi-case delivery order is well-worth taking on some extra cases in your storage.