18 July 2019
EPOD supports ‘big-ticket’ last mile delivery
Not so long ago,
buying a new sofa or dining suite would’ve meant a trip to a furniture shop,
browsing and making a purchase in-store, then either loading your new piece
into the car or waiting several days or weeks for the retailer to deliver it.
There hasn’t been much
variation to this purchasing process until the last few years, when the popularity
of online shopping finally started to infiltrate the furniture market.
online furniture sales are expected to grow at an average annual rate of
11.9% between 2018 and 2022 thanks to dropping shipping costs and the convenience and prevalence of
More and more
consumers are browsing furniture in-store before shopping around and ordering
online, so much so that even solely online retailers like Loaf are opening
showrooms to enable customers to see, touch and try furniture before ordering.
trend towards ‘big-ticket’ online sales means a specific challenge for delivery
companies; to provide last mile delivery that safeguards large, high-value
items and offers more hands-on customer service.
So, how can Electronic Proof
of Delivery (EPOD) support this?
Presenting a professional
When customers order a
big-ticket item online, such as a new bed, they expect a standard of delivery
in-keeping with the investment they’ve made. For many consumers, furniture is
an occasional, very considered high-value purchase and, even subconsciously,
they expect a certain level of professionalism throughout the buying experience.
These days, receiving any
kind of order from a courier still using paper-based POD is unlikely to make a
good impression, let alone when receiving a big-ticket item.
are far more likely to take delivery of big-ticket purchases in person, face-to-face
interaction with delivery drivers becomes even more important.
Alongside a neat
appearance and a polite and friendly manner, logging delivery on an EPOD-enabled mobile device creates the efficient and polished service
consumers expect from big-ticket delivery.
Delivering when you say you will
As we’ve already
stated, consumers tend to make arrangements to receive big-ticket items in
person. Too big and too valuable to be left on a doorstep or with a neighbour,
this type of item requires verifiable delivery to the person on the manifest –
and we all know there’s few things more frustrating than staying in to receive
a delivery that doesn’t arrive on time. This means being able to provide
customers with accurate delivery timeslots and making every effort to stick to
With an EPOD system, route
and job planning is automated and optimised, generating the most precise
predicted timeframes for each drop on a driver’s shift. What’s more, EPOD’s
mapping and tracking software and live communication link between drivers and
HQ means those back at base can spot problems on the road and update routes in
real-time, enabling drivers to avoid delays and stay on schedule. When hold ups
are unavoidable, the team at HQ can monitor the situation and keep customers
Protecting big-ticket deliveries
New furniture should
arrive in a pristine condition, so battered boxes and poor packaging are a
no-no. Too many knocks and bumps can easily rip cardboard or plastic packaging,
damaging wooden furniture or marking upholstery. It’s important that big ticket
items are loaded in a delivery van securely and handled carefully. EPOD can
play a part here too, automatically alerting a driver if a van is under or
overloaded, helping to ensure a neat load without cramming the cargo area.
Finally, big ticket
delivery is often more than just ‘delivery’. Customers often expect help
getting large, heavy items inside and/or upstairs and, when it comes to
furniture, help putting it together. There’s opportunity for delivery companies
to provide extra services here, such as furniture assembly, boosting revenue
and customer satisfaction.
Deliver more for big-ticket customers
The more the nature of
delivery diversifies, the greater the need for efficient digital management
solutions will become. The logistics companies that can excel at a range of
different types of delivery, including big-ticket last mile delivery, will be
the ones that gain a competitive edge, and EPOD is key to supporting them. Find
out more about Touchstar’s EPOD systems by getting in touch with us today.