The Many Same-Day Delivery Challenges and Their Solutions

The Many Same-Day Delivery Challenges and Their Solutions
Featured image credit: simonkr/

New Normal: Deliveries the Same Day

The eCommerce landscape is changing rapidly. The high-speed internet, instant downloads, and live-streaming music are conditioning customers for instant gratification. The same holds true for physical goods. According to a recent survey, 56% of customers aged 18 to 34 expect retailers to give them same-day shipping options. Also, as per a report by Business Insider, a quarter of customers abandon their online shopping cart if the retailer does not offer same-day delivery options. Same-day deliveries are in such demand that 88% of customers are willing to pay extra for it, according to another report.

To keep up with this demand, even small retailers have started taking notice and adapting to the new digital eCommerce landscape. And, they are doing so reasonably quickly. As per a report, only 16% of eCommerce companies offered same-day delivery options in 2017, while 51% did so in 2018. This spike is no coincidence. This means that small retailers also recognize that their customers want their orders to be delivered as fast as possible.

While large retailers like Amazon and Target have big enough budgets to offer super-fast deliveries, doing the same will be an uphill task for small businesses. For them, providing a same-day shipping choice comes with a price tag and a host of other delivery challenges. We discuss these challenges and their solutions below.

The Challenges of Same-Day Delivery

The customers’ rising expectations for same-day deliveries and their desire for lightning-fast delivery services for free has eCommerce companies on the ropes because the high cost of same-day delivery is eroding their profits. If mishandled, same-day delivery can backfire and become a logistical nightmare. So, if you’re looking to offer this service to your customers, be prepared to handle the following same-day delivery challenges.

High Cost

Same-day delivery is costly and, if planned incorrectly, could eat into your profits. This is why it is essential to maximize efficiency when processing and delivering orders. For instance, you can devise a “minimum order” strategy to counterbalance same-day delivery costs and make the trips “worth it.”


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Lack of Order Forecasting

The lack of order oversight is probably one of the biggest challenges of same-day deliveries as there’s no plan or process for anticipating the customers’ orders. With other types of deliveries, you get days to send out an order, while, with same-day delivery, you have to get things out within hours (sometimes minutes). This can be quite overwhelming. Also, instant order fulfillment can be difficult for small businesses if they have limited staff.

Monitoring Delivery Drivers

For same-day delivery to work, you must have reliable drivers who are committed and trained to meet your business goals. This often requires paying higher salaries and offering employee benefits to maintain driver morale and satisfaction. For smaller businesses, these additional costs are unsustainable. So, to justify the higher salaries, businesses feel the need to monitor the drivers’ on-road activities to ensure their productivity.

Timely Deliveries

The customers’ expectation of timely deliveries is fundamental to offering this instant-gratification service. If the delivery is delayed, the customer might never use your services again. So, your business needs reliable tools to make sure all the shipments are made on time, especially for same-day deliveries.

Proven Solutions to Same-Day Delivery Challenges

Burdened by the costs and other logistical challenges associated with same-day delivery, businesses are seeking solutions. Below are some solutions that many businesses are considering and implementing.

Use an Order Management System

Businesses looking to offer same-day delivery service can use a centralized order management system to oversee the entire process. When customers purchase from various channels, the order management system will provide a bird’s eye view of your orders, inventory, and shipment status.

Use Fulfillment Centers Closer to the Customers

Businesses can adopt a hub-and-spoke delivery model by building smaller fulfillment centers located closer to customers. This model can be used to achieve same-day delivery in high-density, metropolitan areas where the population density supports it.

Use Route Optimization Software

This is one of the most effective and feasible solutions. A route planner instantly plans the shortest or fastest routes, while considering the customers’ specific delivery time windows. And, same day deliveries route planner will plan routes with greater accuracy within minutes, regardless of the number of stops. This saves significant time in route planning and order delivery.

Using an advanced route planner app, you can even re-optimize routes within seconds, with the changes being reflected on your drivers’ mobile apps. In this way, you won’t have to distract them with phone calls.

Also, the GPS tracking feature which is integrated in some route planners (not available in most free route mapping software) will allow you to monitor your drivers’ on-road habits in real-time. This prevents your drivers from indulging in non-productive or unsafe activities during work hours, such as taking long breaks and then speeding to compensate for the lost time.

If you’re still wondering why route planning is important and whether a multi-stop route planner is a requirement for your business, read these nine benefits of investing in dynamic routing technology.

Consider Crowdsourcing

Due to the high costs of same-day delivery, businesses are turning to the crowdsourcing model to keep the costs low by connecting with non-professional couriers to get the orders delivered instantly. Using crowdsourced drivers can help you deliver an outstanding customer experience, without incurring the expense of hiring additional delivery drivers.


Overcoming same-day delivery challenges is a huge undertaking. However, the effort will be worth it if your customers use your services again. But, before offering it, ask yourself why same-day delivery? Do you need it to stand out from the crowd? If yes, then accept the financial, logistical, and HR challenges that come with offering this service.


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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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.