Here’s one for you: how about a service that delivers your products, whenever customers need them, at no extra cost to you? Because that’s precisely what Shopify is offering up with On-Demand Deliveries.
Shopify has teamed up with Postmates and UberRUSH to provide a new kind of delivery service. Basically, your customers choose when they want to receive their order – whether it be a couple of hours or a few days time – and the delivery firms take care of the rest.
It’s a really interesting idea and one that could set Shopify stores apart from their competitors by offering a more practical range of delivery options.
The rise of on-demand deliveries
On-demand deliveries are one of the hottest trends in digital commerce right now. The likes of Uber and Postmates are pioneering the way consumers receive goods and it’s not only a question of speed.
Sure, that’s the main selling point – the ability to receive your order in hours – but there’s a lot to be said for scheduling specific times. Or knowing you’ll get your order before an important deadline – like going on holiday.
Then you have the poor folk taking time off work, waiting all day for a courier service that promises nothing more than “at some point between 9am and 5pm, if you’re lucky”.
Let’s just say the traditional days of delivery leave a lot to be desired. And now Shopify store owners can kiss goodbye to that kind of service – thanks to on-demand deliveries.
How to set up Shopify on-demand deliveries
Shopify doesn’t handle any of the delivery process itself – that’s where Postmate and UberRUSH come into things. Instead, Shopify brings the whole system together so it’s as easy for you to provide on-demand deliveries (without really doing anything) as it is for your customers to book them.
This starts with a simple setup process, all of which you can do from withing the Shipping options of your account.
First of all, you activate either Postmate, UberRUSH or both from within the Shipping tab:
Then you simply fill out your details in the following screen and click save:
The great thing at this point is you can set your own availability times, choose the price ranges the service is available for and which products it applies to.
Those availability times are important because you need to confirm orders and prepare them for shipment. So you don’t want people placing an order while you’re out of office, only for them to be expecting it within the hour.
The price constraints and product selection options give you complete freedom over how much customers need to spend or what products the service applies to. Either way, it’s the customer who pays for the delivery fee – you pay nothing unless you specifically choose to cover some of the cost for them.
After that, it’s simply a case of filling out your details for pickups: address, contact details and any instructions you may have.
And that’s pretty much it. You’re set up with on-demand deliveries and the only other thing you need to do is confirm orders when they come in.
Shipping products through on-demand payments
When a new order comes in, you’ll get an email from Shopify asking you to confirm.
This gives you the chance to prepare your order for shipping and click to fulfill the order. Next, you get the chance to review the order details before you click to confirm everything. Now all you need to do is wait for your courier to arrive and your shipment will be on its way.
How does this service work for your customers?
As you can see, Shopify on-demand deliveries make it incredibly easy for store owners to provide this service. But this only really benefits you if it’s easy and desirable for customers to use the service – so let’s take a look at it from their perspective.
When a user reaches the shipping page of your checkout, they’ll get a list of available on-demand options, in addition to the regular services provided. They’ll also get an estimated delivery cost for each option.
Once a customer’s payment is processed, you get the confirmation email looked at earlier. And once you complete that, customers get their own confirmation email, where they can view the details of their order.
From here they can track the status of their delivery. This is pretty important for an on-demand service, as customers want to know they’re getting what they paid for. Luckily, this is where the likes of UberRUSH take over and your part is already done.
Aside from the initial convenience this kind of service offers, once customers see their deliveries travel and arrive on schedule, this will do wonders for the trust consumers place in brands. Which can only be good news for customer retention brand imaging overall.
As far as I’m aware, Shopify is the only eCommerce platform to integrate this kind of service into its checkout process. It’s not doing anything you couldn’t already do yourself, but it cuts out most of the setup process on your part. Instead of scheduling individual deliveries when they come in you can basically hit the confirm button and get your shipment ready. Everything else is taken care of for you.