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Delivery Is More Important Now Than Ever. And We Have the Stats to Prove It.

6 min read

Navigating the shifting tides of business in a world that has been upended by coronavirus is challenging, to say the least. Many companies, both small and large, have had to throw their long-term plans and projections out the window, favoring weekly plans that are more reactionary than forward-thinking. But as the dust settles, hard data and customer insights can help us see the path forward.

We’ve collected statistics from OptimoRoute users across the restaurant and retail industries to give you a better understanding of current consumer trends and help us all prepare for the future.

The statistics:

  • Food delivery orders placed monthly with businesses using OptimoRoute rose 19% from February to March and as much as 151% in April.
  • Food delivery businesses are growing by 14% WoW in April compared to March.
  • In just 10 days in April, food delivery drivers using OptimoRoute have covered as many miles as in all of February (155,673.8 miles).
  • Individual drivers saw an average 34% decrease in orders per single driver for the month of March but a 43% increase in miles traveled, suggesting businesses are now covering a larger metropolitan area.
  • On average, a single driver had 12% more orders in April compared to March and increased total distance traveled by 171%.
  • OptimoRoute clients’ monthly retail orders rose by 9% in March compared to February and has continued to grow by as much as 65% throughout April.
  • Text notifications sent to customers through OptimoRoute tripled from February to May. Ten times as many text notifications were sent in April compared to February.
  • Businesses using OptimoRoute have reduced the number of hours required to plan by as much as 90% while increasing planning capacity by 200%.

Breaking Down the Data: How Are Industries Being Impacted Globally?

Government officials throughout the world have imposed dine-in restrictions in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the demand for delivery within the food industry has skyrocketed. Monthly food delivery orders from businesses using OptimoRoute rose 19% in March compared to February and as much as 151% in April compared to the previous month. In fact, food delivery businesses are seeing as much as 14% growth week to week in April compared to the previous month.

Consumers like Katrina Caringi are having groceries delivered for the first time in an effort to help flatten the curve, even if it’s costing them more money. Caringi, who resides in a rural part of upstate New York, told us she was disappointed that the grocery store she typically shops at doesn’t offer delivery. As a result, she is spending roughly 2x as much on groceries even before the delivery fee.

With limited delivery options available, especially in rural areas, individual drivers are traveling to customers across a greater geographical area, resulting in a 34% decrease in orders per single driver from February to March even though mileage has gone up by 43% suggesting a growth in new customers further across cities. This illustrates a clear need for more local food stores to offer delivery. On average, a single driver had 12% more orders in April compared to March and increased total distance traveled by 171%.

Retail industry

Monthly retail orders placed with businesses using OptimoRoute climbed 9% in March compared to February and have continued to climb by as much as 65% in April compared to the previous month despite global COVID-19 shutdowns and severe economic restrictions being implemented by several countries. For countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, MoM in-store retail sales plummeted in conjunction with the onset of the associated country’s coronavirus shutdowns.

According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, United States eCommerce sales grew by 25% from March 13 to 15 (compared to March 1 to 11). With retailers being forced to close their doors to foot traffic, more business is moving online, and delivery is becoming the new normal.

How to Compete in a Socially Distant Economy

Businesses that have been able to scale up home delivery and maintenance services quickly, while honing in on customer experience, are weathering the storm. OptimoRoute is helping businesses all across the world adapt in these unprecedented times. If you are thinking of starting or scaling your own delivery, here’s how OptimoRoute can help:

Scale quickly

If you’re trying to scale your delivery or field operations quickly, time is truly of the essence. OptimoRoute cuts down on route and delivery planning time, giving managers more time to focus on strategy and high-level planning.

Emil Prigge of Oco Meals switched from manual route planning to using OptimoRoute, and the payoff was huge. Prigge shared that, “It was probably taking me four or five hours of just sitting down and doing manual planning. Now we’re doing more than 3x as many orders and it takes me about half an hour.” OptimoRoute is able to assign orders based on individual vehicle cargo capacity, so space and routes are optimized.

Route optimization software reduces training time for delivery teams, which means new drivers can get out in the field faster. According to Prigge, “OptimoRoute enables me to bring on drivers and it really is intuitive. Drivers don’t have to know exactly where they’re going because I can have a system programmed which lays it out for them, so they just need to know how to use the app.”

Optimize capacity and workloads

In a time when drivers and service providers are covering more distance, it’s imperative that everyone in the field is taking the most efficient routes. OptimoRoute enables drivers to maximize order capacity while minimizing miles traveled and fuel expenses and helping managers cut down on overtime.

Workload balancing allows fleet managers to make strategic decisions when it comes to order assignments. Delivery routes can be prioritized for lowest cost, evenly distributed workloads, or a balance of the two depending on what is best for your company.

Provide an elite customer experience

Text notifications and real-time tracking are helping businesses bridge the physical gap caused by social distancing. OptimoRoute customer notifications can be customized and let patrons know precisely when their order will arrive without employees needing to manually check in at every stage.

Route optimization software has also been shown to increase the number of on-time deliveries for businesses of many types. Hardie’s Fresh Foods, a produce and fresh food distribution company in Texas, has seen an increase in their on-time delivery rate from 89% to 94% using OptimoRoute, and that number is growing at a rate of 1.5% MoM.

Decoding Post-Pandemic Consumer Trends

While Caringi hadn’t used grocery delivery services prior to COVID-19, she is enjoying the time-saving benefits. “I think it’s super convenient, everything start to finish. You know what you have already ordered, so if you want to order it again, it’s a click of a button.”

The data clearly shows that delivery has taken off as a result of coronavirus and shelter-in-place orders, and businesses that use this shift in customer behavior to provide a great customer experience may see a long-term increase in revenue.

We asked Caringi if she sees herself continuing to order grocery delivery even after the risks involved with going to the store have passed. Her response? “Yes, I would do it again. I will continue [using grocery delivery] after COVID.”

This article originally appeared on optimoroute.com.

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