How Automated Notifications Can Improve Your Deliveries

December 7, 2020
Home Delivery Automated Notifications

Did you know that 77% of consumers have a positive perception of businesses who text them important order information? Delivery emails and SMS updates get the attention of customers because they want to know when their order will arrive and how they can best plan to receive it. They can organize a time to be home, give authority to leave the delivery without a signature, or organize redelivery.

Many of our customers use automated delivery notifications to let their customers know when to expect their home deliveries. The notifications are sent out via the Routific platform, and communicate an expected delivery time window followed by more notifications as the delivery time approaches and once a delivery is complete.

Notifications serve a number of purposes for small businesses. Here are some of the biggest reasons why our customers use this feature:

Customer notifications allow for a safe, clean, and contactless home delivery experience

The team behind Mass Food Delivery has worked tirelessly to ensure that their products are delivered cleanly and safely to their customers. 

The business aggregates products from farms and producers throughout Massachusetts and delivers to more than 4,000 homes in the region. Producers pick, bake, and make everything to order before delivering the products straight to the Mass Food delivery hub where only a handful of staff – wearing gloves and masks – pack and prepare the orders for delivery.

A Mass Food-employed delivery driver then delivers the farm fresh produce straight to the customer's doorstep.

“We are trying to do everything completely contactless so we rely heavily on automated email messages letting customers know when to expect their delivery,” said Jill Lively, office manager at Mass Food Delivery, 

“Our customers don’t have to come out and greet the drivers. Everything is done over the phone or the computers, and our customers have given us the feedback that they love how hands free and easy the entire process has been for them.”

Jill said she hopes their home delivery service can bring some happiness to people’s lives during these challenging times. 

“There are lots of people who cannot get to the market and do their own shopping,” she said. “It’s our hope that our service will fill a void and bring some good food and good vibes right into people’s homes.”

Real-time notifications are a customer expectation when it comes to home deliveries

Giants like Amazon have now set the standard for home delivery, with automated shipping and delivery notifications that come in over email or on your phone as a push notification. 

A system that offers a similar standard of communication was essential for On the Move Organics, a business that has delivered high quality local and organic food to communities across southwestern Ontario for more than a decade.

On the Move - Automated Notifications

When the first wave of COVID hit, On the Move Organics saw their deliveries increase five-fold in just three weeks. When demand sky-rocketed, it put a strain on the team’s resources when it came to guaranteeing timely deliveries and communicating those ETAs to their customers.

The business adopted Routific’s customer notifications – a scalable and affordable way to give customers the home delivery experience they had come to expect. “There is an expectation now that deliveries are immediate, that shipping is cheap or free, and that the communication of where that product is is available at virtually all times,” said Jeff Pastorius, founder of On the Move Organics.

“It’s now an industry standard driven by the juggernaut and the standard is no different for little operators like us.”

Customer notifications allow for the smooth and timely delivery of perishables like groceries

4P Foods was largely a B2B wholesaler distributing local food from farms, but when COVID hit, the team quickly pivoted to B2C home delivery. 4P Foods’ home delivery business has grown 3X since, with deliveries made to about 3,500 homes across Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland every week.

4PFoods - Automated Notifications

It’s now become priority to make the home delivery service as efficient and as smooth as possible for customers – especially when you’re in the business of delivering fresh farm produce.

Currently, 4P Foods uses Routific to send two automated SMS messages to their customers.

  1. Notifications are automatically sent to customers as soon as a 4P Foods delivery driver is on the way.
  2. A second confirmation message is automatically sent via Routific’s platform letting customers know the delivery has been completed.

“When you’re transporting something as perishable as groceries, it really helps to let customers know when they can expect it,” said 4P Foods Operations Manager Justin White.

“Real time updates are central to our future strategy of offering our customers delivery windows. We’ve been piloting the text messaging with a group of our customers, and the feedback has been very positive. We expect to roll this feature out to our entire customer base soon and expect it to have a big impact on the customer experience.”

Notifications create more opportunities for dialogue between small businesses and their customers

Sending automated delivery notifications is just another way for David Nowacoski, cofounder of online grocery store Delivered Fresh, to stay in touch with his growing customer base.

Delivered Fresh aggregates and delivers more than 500 products ranging from milk, bread, eggs, meats, vegetables, and health products like soap, sanitizer, and masks, from 57 local farmers in Pennsylvania.

Delivered Fresh - Automated Notifications

“We had significant growth as soon as the pandemic began. We were up 500% literally overnight. We are closing in on a million dollars of revenue for local farms that might have otherwise been spent in big box grocery stores,” David said.

“Our customers needed a safe and convenient way to receive their groceries, and they wanted to invest in our local food system. It was incredibly motivating to help small farms distribute their products.”

When David uses Routific to plan and optimize his delivery routes, he also uses the platform to send out automated emails to his customers letting them know when to expect their deliveries.

“I can’t tell you how many respond to that email… I get a 30-40% response rate with messages like: “‘Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try the bread this week.’ It’s just been a fantastic way to start conversations with our customers and gather more feedback.”

Are you interested in learning more about how you can offer your customers automated delivery notifications? 

Learn more here.

Suzanne Ma

Written by Suzanne Ma

Suzanne Ma is co-founder at Routific, a delivery management and route optimization solution that helps local food businesses scale up home delivery operations.

Recent posts

Small Business Operations
Three Pandemic Trends That Are Here To Stay
Small Business Operations
How Can Retailers Work Toward Zero-Waste Delivery?
Small Business Operations
What Makes A Great Delivery Experience?