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The Hidden Opportunity in Digital Ordering, Delivery and In-Store Pickup

The Magic of Santa's Sleigh

Seemingly overnight, eCommerce and service trackers have taken over the world by improving online ordering. It started simply with ride sharing services that let us watch our ride on its way in real-time, but the concept has since invaded and influenced every other purchase we make – from order to fulfillment. We can watch our pizza as it bakes. We can track our service technician on their way to our home. We can see exactly when those birthday flowers for Mom arrive on her desk at her office. We can even allow grocery stores and retailers to see us as we head to the store to pick up our weekly order or new flatscreen TV – ensuring they have things ready to load the moment we arrive.

Most companies engaged in digital ordering and delivery already have order or appointment trackers (or are planning to) to begin improving online ordering. The good ones power the experience with real-time location insights – as in live tracking of a delivery person, technician or package on a map via a simple web link or dedicated app. The best give consumers who engage with these experiences flexible options to refine the experience as it unfolds – click to chat, rescheduling options, an employee’s photo, etc.

This experience is part of “last mile delivery”. See what it means for your customers here.

But there’s one thing only leading digital engagement innovators have figured out – and they’re using it to grow revenue through new models of engagement. Yet it’s an opportunity for every single company out there that’s enabling digital order, delivery and pickup.

Learn how others in the industry are focusing on their delivery process. Get the State of Last Mile industry report here.

Think about your own experience for a moment. When you receive a notification like “Takeout is on its way!” you naturally click the link prompting you to watch its progress. But what do you do next?

It’s not very exciting at all, actually. You stare. You wonder. You hem and haw. You start asking questions like “What the heck is taking so long?” And then you get bored and start scrolling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter feeds, checking emails, texting with friends. You move on.

My own personal favorite example of this behavior is obvious if you take a moment to observe travelers waiting for their ride service at the airport pickup zone. Everyone is just leaning on their luggage handles, staring at their screens.

That critical moment before a consumer navigates away from your digital order tracking experience can be a game changer for your business. The companies that are truly disrupting the eCommerce tracker space know that they have their customer’s undivided attention for a few precious moments – and they use those seconds to offer them additional value. Seems like a big, nebulous concept. But here’s a few questions you can ask to figure out how to add value for your customers and improve online ordering in that extremely short moment in which you have their undivided attention..

  • How can I offer my customer a complimentary product or service that a service representative who’s already en route can deliver on the same trip?
  • What sort of on-demand offerings can I make available all the time as order add-ons or upgrades? For example, soft drinks.
  • How can I engage with my customer while I have their attention to make repeat ordering even simpler, so the next time I’m available to them at the push of a button?
  • Can I inform or educate my customers about tools already available to them to make doing business with me easier? For example, can I surface MyAccount features directly within a digital ordering or delivery experience?
  • Where else (what other physical locations) can I bring food, products or services to my customer that they may not have thought of. For example, why should their home be the only place I deliver, and does there even need to be a human present for even high-value or time-sensitive orders?
  • If my customer is willing to share their location with me for a grab-and-go pickup, what can I do to convince them to come inside my establishment and stay longer without eliminating the convenience factor? For example, would they be interested in an order-ahead-to-eat-in experience, where they simply place their order digitally, walk right in, find their table and a server arrives with their meal and drinks?
  • What other brands can I partner with to drive referrals and surprise my customers with something new?

Don’t limit your thinking. With omni-channel digital engagement and the sophisticated location sharing and services available today, you can begin improving online ordering and build an experience that’s authentic, adds value for customers and expands your business in new ways.