How Technology Improves Large and Bulky Goods Delivery Process: Everything You Need to Know 

The landscape of big and bulky goods deliveries is transforming rapidly, and the number of international bulk ship deliveries is increasing yearly. Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not halt the momentum of the growing number of operational ships worldwide. 

Here is a quick look at the ongoing trend in bulk ship deliveries worldwide.

Bulk ship deliveries from 2016 to 2022
Source: Statista

But why has there been an increase in the number of big and bulky goods deliveries in the past few years? Rapidly growing eCommerce is one of the reasons behind it. Moreover, large and bulky goods businesses are actively embracing technology to streamline their business operations, improve logistics and showcase their offerings to a global audience using eCommerce platforms. 

In a nutshell, the delivery of large and bulky goods is driven by customer experience and operational excellence. However, the bigger ticket size of these products comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities, which the intelligent sellers of both small and larger items are striving to resolve and leverage, respectively. 

The infrastructure needed to deliver bulky goods like furniture and electronics is available, but it is largely fragmented, with little to no technological implementation by most players in the market. The traditional method of delivering large products is often slow, and the buyers and sellers have a hard time tracking the movement of their packages in real-time. 

However, businesses that have incorporated technology like a delivery management system are a step closer to gaining a competitive edge and enjoying better profit margins on every order delivered. Here are a few features that a delivery management system streamlines for a bulky goods delivery business. 

  • Faster deliveries with AI-powered route optimization
  • Economic logistics management with automated task generation and allocation
  • Flexible shipping arrangements for both pickup and delivery of goods
  • Gaining a competitive advantage by overseeing their delivery fleets in real time
  • Establishing a clear line of communication between the stakeholders involved in a delivery

But how can a delivery management system solve the problems in the supply chain of bulky goods? Let’s try to answer this question with a small example. 

A furniture company first establishes a robust online presence with a well-designed website and can showcase its offerings with high-quality pictures and detailed descriptions of the materials used. 

It allows its customers to explore multiple options from the comfort of their homes and place an order for their favorite design without worrying about carriage and installation. This allows the business to organize the delivery of products and installation using two-person crews who will stay informed about each other’s movements in real time. 

Once the furniture arrives at the destination, the installation partner can reach the location quickly. This is the primary reason for an increase in two-person crews for the delivery and installation of large items like furniture, and nearly 35% of global furniture sales are expected to be made online by 2025.

The Approaching Paradigm Shift

There is no denying that large and bulky goods businesses will have to establish an eCommerce platform to survive today’s hyper-competitive environment. Technology is disrupting age-old processes and positively impacting companies at the forefront of embracing innovations. 

Yes, the disruption will create new challenges and give them opportunities to exploit. Therefore, preparing for what comes next is always a good idea. In the following lines, we will look at the most prominent challenges businesses involved in delivering large and bulky products will encounter. 

Long Delivery Windows: Traditionally, the time taken to deliver large goods is greater than that of smaller items; the delivery windows for the same range from days to weeks in length. However, some of the prominent customer’s concerns that a delivery management system can resolve when dealing with the delivery of large and bulky goods include:

  • Eliminating unclear deliver-by dates and providing accurate ETAs for each order
  • Freeing the customer from being available for the entire day to accept delivery
  • Establishing a clear line of communication between the business and customers
  • Tracking the orders in transit every step of the way 

But how will that help, right? If you are a bulky goods delivery company owner, you might want to look at some of the statistics in the following lines. Why? Because numbers don’t lie. 

  •  93% of customers wish to stay informed about the status of their order
  • Brand loyalty can only be built with a positive experience with the brand
  • Transparent communication with the seller builds more trust between the buyer and seller
  •   47% of customers will not order from a business again on the back of a single bad experience

Delivery Charges: This is one of the most crucial parts of a transaction for any customer, especially when the delivery pricing system is not transparent. When delivery fees for a product are not revealed when a customer adds the product to their cart, it significantly increases the chances of cart abandonment. 

But if the sellers mention the delivery charges at the outset of their interaction with the brand and ensure the customer that they will receive their order in mint condition, they are likely to win the trust of first-time buyers. However, the failure to do so will result in: 

  • High shipping charges for large and bulky items
  • Lack of space in their preferred truck or vehicle
  • Need for a two-person crew for installation after the delivery

Delivery Experience: 96% of customers claim that delivery experience plays a significant role in ensuring brand loyalty. We have already discussed that most customers will not reorder from a brand on the back of a single negative experience, and it stands true today as they are spoilt for choices due to heavy competition. 

Here are some challenges delivery personnel have to face during the delivery of large and bulky goods, but they also serve as opportunities to deliver a better customer experience:

  • Delivering products up several flights of stairs adds to the customer’s happiness.
  • Delivering orders efficiently with minimum time spent on site makes the transaction more convenient for the customer.
  • Making multiple deliveries on their daily delivery runs with AI-powered route planning software increases efficiency and ensures timely deliveries.
  • Wearing appropriate attire at the time of delivery builds a higher level of trust in the mind of customers.

Reverse Logistics: It is one of the evilest things in the delivery business but a necessary evil nonetheless. Nearly 30% of the orders placed online are returned, compared to a 9% return rate for in-store purchases. The biggest challenges that sellers face during reverse logistics include:

  • Costly reverse shipping for larger goods
  • Permanent loss of a customer in case a return is not orchestrated properly
  • Lack of flexible and cost-efficient shipping methods for shipping goods back

However, if companies selling products like furniture and electronics want to stay in business for the foreseeable future, they will have to find a way to combat this challenge. Leading online platforms like Amazon have proven that easy returns and smooth reverse logistics can skyrocket a brand into the stratosphere.

Using Technology to Solve the Problems

46% of furniture industry executives believe that delivery technology needs to evolve fast so that fledgling eCommerce businesses can have a sustainable future. The top things that eCommerce sellers of large and bulky goods want from a delivery management solution include:

  • Automated scheduling capabilities
  • Dynamic route optimization and geofencing
  • Optimal fleet utilization
  • Flexible shipping options
  • Analytics to assist with demand forecasting
  • Ability to connect with gig-fleets
  • Transparent order tracking for all stakeholders involved
  • Easy rescheduling of orders

NetworkON enables the users to access all of the metrics mentioned above and more. In addition, all of the crucial operational areas can be tracked by our delivery management platform, which is highly customizable to meet the needs of your delivery management company.

Using our platform, you can create a workflow that meets your delivery and customer experience requirements while keeping the cost per delivery low. In addition, complete visibility of the entire journey of the delivery is available to all the stakeholders involved in the process. 

Here are some of the most crucial NetworkON features a large and bulky goods delivery business can leverage to gain a strong foothold in the marketplace:

  • Notifications to customers about the estimated time of delivery.
  • A mandatory checklist for drivers to review and confirm ensures they have the right tools and equipment to finish the delivery and setup.
  • A mandatory checklist for the drivers to confirm at the warehouse ensures all items in the order are picked. If anything is missing, a notification is sent to the delivery manager.
  • A checklist for drivers to follow and confirm at the customer location to ensure the steps to prepare the site have been appropriately followed. 
  • Customer surveys and ratings 

In addition, you can ensure that the operations are being managed most efficiently using the following NetworkON capabilities:

  • Track orders
  • Optimize routes
  • Combine orders 
  • Track revenue for each driver
  • Generate digital proof of delivery
  • Enable white-glove delivery
  • Create pickup from the warehouse and delivery to the customer as a single task
  • Create an end-to-end digital journey of the order from pickup to delivery management and then invoicing.
  • Integrate seamlessly with other systems to avoid manual interventions, thus reducing errors and cost per delivery

Create and manage your digital landscape when you start or want to scale your company using NetworkON. Get in touch with our experts today and schedule a free demo of how this robust delivery management system can transform the way your logistical operations function. 

Check out the other cool features NetworkON has to offer today. To know more about our platform and schedule a demo, email us at info@networkon.io or visit our website. 

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