Same-Day Delivery as a Differentiator: Why B2B Retailers Need to Be Paying Attention
Same-day delivery no longer belongs to consumer retailers and grocers. Since the inception of Prime, the Amazon disruption has created an environment where both business buyers and individual customers expect to purchase and get items they need, when they need them, with as little friction as possible.
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Think beyond books and batteries — where an auto mechanic needs a spark plug today, a patient needs a new prescription by the afternoon, or a construction manager needs HVAC parts at the job site before the workers go home. The need for flexible delivery transcends consumer retailers. For businesses focusing on B2B operations, same-day delivery can be a differentiator in driving higher sales, increasing customer satisfaction, and accelerating job completion rates. Here are the B2B industries that stand to gain the most out of same-day delivery:
When a customer’s car is out of commission, timing is everything — especially if the time in the shop is extended because of out-of-stock parts that have to be ordered and delivered the next day. No longer are customers or repair shops willing to wait for a new part when omnichannel retail has trained them to expect right-now delivery. Local dealers and distributors have already started expediting shipping parts, but they have yet to find a solution that scales nationwide.
For parts companies, mechanics and auto manufacturers, that means delivery speed is mission critical in addressing out-of-stock parts and meeting repair deadlines. Same-day delivery – whether from warehouses to stores, between stores, or direct to customers – can enable automotive professionals to consistently ensure buyers get parts quickly, creating a more compelling competitive advantage and a way to avoid losing a sale to a competitor who can do the work faster.
Plumbing & Construction
From finishings and flooring to farm sinks, pro contractors need a supplier that can get tools and materials delivered as quickly as possible. For job site managers, getting supplies delivered today instead of tomorrow can be the difference in on-time job completion and a disgruntled customer.
More often than not, construction managers are sending their own team for pickup, losing time and money that could otherwise be dedicated to getting the job done. For example, the average hourly wage of a construction employee is nearly $30, whereas a delivery may be much lower across town. Not only would urgent delivery help project managers save time, but they also save dollars when outsourcing pickup rather than sending an employee offsite.
While home improvement retailers like The Home Depot, Ferguson, and Ace Hardware have invested in same-day delivery, little has been done to ramp up delivery for wholesalers and distributors on a national scale — creating a huge opportunity to better serve their pro customers.
Medical Supplies & Pharmaceuticals
Customer expectations for same-day and on-demand delivery have expanded beyond retail, where even healthcare has rapidly changed to give patients faster and more convenient access to the care they need. Visits to urgent care clinics increased by 119% between 2008 and 2015, while major retail and tech players like Amazon-owned PillPack, Capsule, and CVS Health have made it a priority to invest in home delivery. At the same time, Amazon has moved into medical device delivery to speed up the sourcing, purchasing, and receiving of medical supplies.
The emergence of online-first and same-day healthcare delivery threatens independent pharmacies and medical suppliers nationwide as business buyers now flock to the most convenient option. To compete, pharmacies and medical device distributors will need to look beyond their doors and traditional services to speed up their same-day delivery offering. Outside of convenience, same-day delivery allows doctors and pharmacists to give patients the care they need even faster— and provides service to people who may not be able to travel to a store themselves.
For consumer and business retailers alike, the race to win the last-mile isn’t just about speed and same-day delivery. It’s about having a full menu of delivery options to get items to customers, each and every time. No matter where a customer lives, what they buy, or when they need it. And with more customers flocking to the most convenient experience, that optionality matters now more than ever.
Article By Valerie Metzker, Head of Business Development at Roadie