“We reach your customers wherever they may be”. That is what the UPS website claims. But, if your business involves delivering products to certain high-density urban markets, you may realize that motto is not entirely accurate.
In neighborhoods where leaving a package is considered risky, consumers can find themselves on a very unpopular list — categorized as “undeliverable.” Sometimes delivery to your customer’s door is simply not an option. Even giants such as Amazon have certain sections of cities where they will not deliver.
And these delivery voids hidden in the last mile — the last leg of the delivery journey — can greatly impact your business.
Perhaps you have conceded that you simply can’t do business in certain delivery areas. But there is a high cost that comes from accepting the voids.
- High-density markets represent an abundance of untapped potential customers. Consumers in these markets struggle to get products delivered — something most of your customers probably take for granted. How much would your sales grow if you were able to access these consumers and give them access to your product? How many more long-term customers could you gain?
- When you answer a customer’s need, especially when your competitors won’t, you earn respect and loyalty. What would it mean in terms of your customer service and branding if your company was the one to blaze the trail and make access to your products convenient?
- If you don’t fill the void, someone else eventually will. Most businesses face tough competition when it comes to expanded delivery capabilities and increased customer convenience. According to an article in Industry Week, your competitors will eventually find ways to leverage untapped markets — to meet consumers’ growing expectations for superior product availability, flexible return policies, and delivery options that fit their needs.
The solution: Product convenience centers
As omni-channel distribution becomes more popular with consumers, many organizations turn to 3PLs, which are valuable for businesses trying to remain competitive. Even large businesses struggle to maintain efficient last-mile solutions in a cost-effective and profitable manner. But when an entire demographic area is labeled “undeliverable,” the challenge increases exponentially.
Face it: It's not always in the customer’s best interest to receive a package at home. In some high-traffic neighborhoods, it would likely be stolen. Having a center where a customer can pick up deliveries offers a secure, convenient solution.
Multi-level marketing companies and direct sales businesses have begun opening product convenience centers, which fill the void in the last-mile delivery for many consumers. These brick-and-mortar centers vastly expand sales by reaching into these otherwise “unreachable” markets.
Here’s how convenience centers can work for your business:
- Partner with a full-service company that can both develop and manage your convenience centers. This encompasses everything from site selection to employee recruitment, from human resources to inventory and cash flow management. Your partner can find the real estate, build, operate, and manage each customer's center(s), or they can create a consortium.
- Select the markets where you want to set up a brick-and-mortar presence.
- Tailor the business model to your particular needs — whether a “members-only,” fee-based center or quick package pickup station best suits your business.
- Appeal to your distributors. If your business is an MLM, your distributors can pick up product as they run out, rather than waiting for online orders to ship, so they won’t miss a sale when product is moving quickly. Convenience centers also give them the option to pay cash and avoid credit card fees, which they can’t do by ordering online.
- Put your company’s name on the building. This serves as advertising and credibility in a nutshell. For many, a building adorned with a company's name and logo evokes stability and trust in the company.
With a trusted outsource partner managing your product convenience center, you can focus on the core business. This solution allows you to connect to previously undeliverable consumers, increasing sales, growing your brand, and providing the best-in-class experience for your customers.
- Beyond the Locker: How to Meet Customer Expectations of Convenient Delivery and Great Customer Service
- Getting Inventory to the Point of Demand: An Alternative for E-Commerce Businesses
- What Filling Last-Mile Voids Means to Your Business