5 Routing And Delivery Trends To Watch Out For In 2017

5 Routing And Delivery Trends To Watch Out For In 2017
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It’s 2017. The new year brings new challenges, new innovations, and new opportunities.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to make more money, then you’re going to need to adapt to all these changes. New delivery techniques and technologies are always being developed, and it’s the businesses that take advantage of these developments that earn the most profit.

Keeping up with the latest routing and delivery trends will allow you to achieve more of your business goals. You’ll be able to plan routes more efficiently, convert more prospects into customers, and increase your return on investment.

Who has the time to sift through a bunch of boring industry news to find kernels of useful information, though? Well, we do. We keep up with the trends, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Here are the five biggest routing and delivery trends you can expect to see in 2017:

# 1 Customers Want Speedy Service

Customers want more than they used to. It’s not just about getting a good deal anymore: customers expect to be appreciated. They expect businesses to go above and beyond for them. One false move on your part, and they’ll leave you for one of your competitors.

In the delivery industry, expectations are particularly high.

64% of consumers said that delivery speed is important to them. 17% of consumers said they would abandon a retailer completely if they received a late delivery one time, and 55% would do so after receiving a late delivery just two or three times.

If you want to keep the customers you have, you better show up on time. Always.

Planning routes manually is a recipe for disaster. If weather and traffic and construction didn’t exist, then sure, maybe you’d be able to figure out how to quickly get to all your customers. But those factors do exist, and they’ll make it just about impossible for you to consistently deliver accurate ETAs. The unexpected – like a traffic jam or a road being closed due to flooding- happens sometimes, and the unexpected has a way of forcing your drivers off schedule and infuriate your customers.

Software is simply better than humans at dealing with the unexpected. Take that hypothetical traffic jam, for example. Route optimization software is continually updated with the latest traffic information, so if there’s a pileup on the interstate just before you sit down to figure out your routes, it’ll automatically plan your routes around that delay.

You don’t have the time to watch the news all day, so every now and then a major accident or some other delay-causing event will happen and you won’t be aware of it for a while. You won’t know about it until it’s too late when you’ve already directed your drivers straight toward an obstacle.

Routing optimization software never misses such delays. You’ll always be able to avoid them.

Also, Route4Me adjusts your ETAs in real-time. If something slows down your driver, your customer will know about it immediately. Any kind of delay isn’t great for your reputation, but the sooner you let your customers know about delays, the better. They appreciate the notice.

And Route4Me’s dynamic routing software comes with a GPS tracking feature that allows you to see where your drivers are and how fast they’re travelling at all times. With this feature, you’ll be able to change your strategy to compensate for anything unanticipated, such as vehicle breakdowns or elephant crossings. 

Read the following article to learn more about GPS tracking and its benefits:

Why Your Competitors Have No Lazy Employees (and How GPS Tracking Helps Them)

#2 Customers Have All The Power

Again, customers used to be fairly easy to manage. They didn’t expect much. If they ordered something and it arrived around the time you said it would, give or take a day or two, they were happy.

Now, customers are positively drunk with power. No matter what service you provide, the internet has given customers more options than ever before. That means you have more competitors than ever before. Your customers are aware of this, and it makes them more demanding.

In the the delivery industry, customers want to know where their order is. Always.

Route optimization software can help you with that. You can use Route4Me to notify your customers when a package is close to their doorstep.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

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Customers love knowing when their package is just about to arrive, and you’ll benefit from this feature, too. It gives your customers a little time to prepare for the delivery, which means your drivers can complete the stop and progress through their route at a much faster rate.

Route4Me’s last mile delivery optimization software offers three features that help your customers know where their package is:

  1. On-Approach Vehicle Tracking Map –shows your customer the delivery vehicle’s current location and estimated time of arrival
  2. Geofence-Triggered SMS – sends an SMS to the customer when the driver is close by
  3. Arrival SMS Notifications – sends an SMS to the customer when the driver has arrived

#3 Automated eCommerce Order Transfer

eCommerce platforms don’t offer vehicle route planning capabilities, so you have to transfer order details stored on your eCommerce platform to your map route planner one at a time.

This task takes a long time, and worse yet, it’s terribly boring. Just imagine all the much more worthwhile activities you could be doing instead of transferring over one piece of data over after another like some kind of mindless machine.

Well, you don’t have to imagine. That could be your life. We’ve developed a plugin for popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce that transfers all your information to Route4Me automatically, saving you hours.

In addition to taking a tedious task off your hands, it also reduces your risk of human error mucking up a route and delaying your deliveries. This year, you can expect to see more companies do what we did and start offering automation of the order transfer process to their customers.

You can still move orders manually if you want to for some reason, though. All you have to do is select the “No” option under “Auto Send Orders,” as shown below:

Read the following article to learn more about how our plugin benefits your eCommerce business:

Why You Should Use Route4Me’s New eCommerce Plugin for Route Planning

#4 Same-Day Deliveries

According to a PricewaterhouseCooper study, 61% of customers prefer same-day delivery. They like it so much, they’ll pay extra for it – another study found that 66% of US internet users are willing to put up with a fee if it gets them same-day delivery.

Also, according to a Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates’ survey, 64% of millennials are more likely to make a purchase if same-day delivery is an option.

All those stats show the same thing – your customers want same-day delivery. If you give it to them, they’ll make more purchases. And more purchases, of course, means more money in your pocket.

You don’t have to take our word for it – everybody’s doing it. AmazonTarget, everybody. Maybe your competitors have started offering same-day delivery themselves. Don’t let them hold a competitive advantage over you.

To offer same-day delivery, you first need to improve your order management and route planning process so that you’re always able to handle unexpected deliveries.

That’s why you need route optimization software. Route4Me comes with a dedicated eCommerce plugin, as mentioned above, which simplifies the route planning process and empowers you to make same-day deliveries.

Route optimization software also gives you the ability to reroute vehicles in real-time, which makes dealing with same-day deliveries much easier. You just need to change the customer addresses, and our route mapping software will automatically re-optimize the routes and update the drivers accordingly.

So You Can Compete With The Best

#5 Mobile App Adoption Is Set To Skyrocket

Most people use mobile apps on the job. Specifically, research shows that 60% of workers use mobile apps for work-related activities.

Here’s another stat for you: enterprise apps boost worker productivity by over 34%, and companies gain an extra 240 hours of work per year from employees due to the benefits of remote working.

In addition, 53% of mobile workers report that apps help them do their job better.

Running a successful business is much like managing a healthy personal relationship. It’s all about communication.

Mobile apps and smartphones provides your workforce with an unprecedented level of connectivity. You can communicate with your drivers, and they can communicate with you and each other, from anywhere and at any time, as long as they have an internet connection.

This is highly beneficial for sales reps, as they can share files, add notes, and close deals while on the move.

In fact, using mobile-enabled routing optimization software is better than using a GPS device. Physical devices are expensive, and usually you have to update them manually, so you might forget about an update one day and send your drivers out with inaccurate routes based on outdated maps. That something you never have to worry about with Route4Me – our updates are automatic.

Route optimization software can also be used to replace pricey signature collecting devices. Route4Me has an eSignature feature, so your customers can confirm they received their package by signing your driver’s smartphone screen.

This feature will save you from mountains of paperwork. It’s much easier to manage signatures when they’re stored electronically rather than printed on a million easy-to-lose slips of paper.

Read the following article to learn more about the eSignature capturing feature and how our route planner can help you:

6 Reasons Why You Should Go for Electronic Signature Capturing (and How Fleet Route Planning Software Can Help)

So, what do you think about the top routing and delivery trends of 2017? Let us know in the comments section below.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 14 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.