While January is typically a slow month for retailers following the holiday rush, Valentine’s Day can be a quick turning point for retail profitability. All of the gifts, cards and celebrations may seem effortless on the surface, but comprehensive logistics begin months in advance behind the scenes.
The Logistics of Love
The logistics of getting gift purchases out the door and into the right hands on-time are extensive. Among the hurdles businesses are likely to face are:
- Consumers are placing orders later and later. The Society of American Florists reported 38% of 2017 Valentine’s Day orders came in the day-of, while only 13% did in 2016. Planning delivery routes becomes far more complex with the rise in last-minute orders.
- Gauging the number of drivers needed for the busy holiday is tough, especially with so many last minute orders. The process of hiring surplus staff needs to begin weeks before Valentine’s Day. Not to mention the fact that the need for extra drivers is only temporary.
- Managing an even larger delivery vehicle fleet than usual can present a whole new set of challenges.
- Technology solutions are almost essential to keep things moving efficiently and handle unexpected complications in real-time. But these are expensive, require time and resources to develop, and are often outside the realm of a flower shop or bakery’s expertise.
- Last mile delivery, or the final transit of a product to its destination, can be the most expensive and poses numerous challenges for businesses. Often, the well-known parcel delivery companies aren’t able to offer the level of flexibility that most businesses need, and that customers require.
Tackling the Last Mile on Valentine’s Day
So how can businesses better prepare for the flood of orders on Valentine’s Day? Teaming up with a third-party logistics partner that specializes in last mile delivery provides access to a large pool of drivers and vehicles without the extra costs, liabilities and headaches of doing it on your own.
The best logistics companies leverage technology that dispatches deliveries the most efficient way possible and can even adjust routes based on real-time traffic and weather conditions.
For businesses with an e-commerce site, working with a delivery partner that offers an API that connects to your site or warehouse management software is key. It allows customers to seamlessly request same-day delivery via your website, and both parties can see live-map tracking and email confirmations.
Dropoff works with businesses across many industries, including retail, floral and food and grocery, to provide reliable and professional same-day delivery services. Not only is real-time tracking available for every order via our proprietary technology, but enterprise clients can simultaneously track all their deliveries across multiple stores, cities, regions and nationally via the Dropoff Tracker tool.
Offload Last-Mile Costs without Sacrificing Customer Service
Let’s face it: last-mile costs aren’t going to fall in the near future. However, there are ways to offset them by partnering with a professional and reliable delivery partner. Taking advantage of a fleet of drivers and vehicles, backed by cutting-edge technology, can help your business meet expectations for same-day delivery without breaking the bank. The right partner can become an extension of your business and will represent your brand as you would yourself.
Read more about overcoming last mile delivery challenges around Valentine’s Day in RetailMinded.