This article was featured in the Scottish Grocer as an advertorial.

Click + Collect has become a leading omnichannel solution for many retailers thanks to its low cost and convenience (particularly on the retailer side). But then 2020 happened and supercharged consumer demand for more direct delivery options.

At Gophr, we experienced this demand spike firsthand, as every shape and size of retailer – from multi-site networks Boots and Co-op through to independent butchers and bakers – looked to up their delivery offering.

Because same-day, local delivery is a great way to maximise the direct ‘reach’ of local stores. But general misconceptions are that it’s difficult to set up and expensive to operate.

In reality, if retailers already have basic Click + Collect infrastructure in place then ‘adding’ a local, same-day delivery option is fairly simple. And by using a courier system like ours which offers ‘multi-drop’ capability – essentially batching deliveries and then using a single driver to deliver multiple parcels along an optimised route – you can make same-day delivery surprisingly cost-effective.

So when Co-op approached us in Q4 2020 to partner on the rapid roll-out of its ‘local’ online offering, we knew it was doable because all the right Click + Collect pieces were already in place. Together, we managed to roll-out local delivery to 59 stores across the UK over 3 months, and maintain an on-time delivery rate of 97%.

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And this same-day programme has had a significant impact on the stores involved; as Matt Arrigonie, Co-op’s online operations manager explained: “While Click + Collect provides safe, easy and quick shopping options, home delivery can extend the reach and widen the demographic of a local store, and help the high street benefit from any increase in online transactions.”

Every successful rollout starts with a great pilot. Co-op might be one of the UK’s leading retailers and ecom pioneers. But here are four pilot lessons for any business looking to go local.

  • Operational foundations; make sure the core processes are in place; including customer order absorption, how and where you’ll do your picking and packing, defined collection and delivery windows and to a plan to communicate the new offering for a local audience.
  • Measure and Modify; Performance data needs to be captured, qualified and acted upon to drive continuous improvement.
  • Stakeholder selection; There should be input from different roles, from central logistics and ecom teams right through to the local store delivery teams – retail store staff and couriers.
  • ‘What if’ contingencies; there will always be unforeseen issues and foreseen teething problems. But it’s how you plan for them, react to them, track and learn from them that’s key to ensuring they don’t keep happening.

Setting up a new same-day service can seem like a daunting prospect, but the demand is there, the benefits are clear, and if you work with the right last-mile logistics partner it can make all the difference.

So if you want to talk about a particular project, or would just like some friendly expert advice on your delivery options, then drop us an email (steve@gophr.com).

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