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Contactless Delivery Needs: A Small Business Guide to a New Landscape

Contactless Delivery Needs: A Small Business Guide to a New Landscape

Since the lockdown, contactless delivery has become a new norm in business since shoppers are ordering commodities online to follow social distancing guidelines. Before the pandemic, companies were still selling online and delivering to their clients normally. However, COVID-19 has accelerated the mass shift to contactless delivery across all industries. Therefore, businesses need to learn how to go contactless without affecting their productivity.

Contactless delivery entails delivering goods without signing for the consignment or exchanging goods between the client and the delivery driver. The approach requires orders to be dropped at the predetermined destination after an email, text, or call notification to the client. Customers may choose where the parcel is left, especially by the mailbox, front desk, or the front doorsteps.

The following are ways in which businesses may enhance their contactless delivery.

Prior and Immediate Notification of Delivery

Customers like to be notified of the delivery before and also immediately after delivery. Due to the increase in package theft, businesses who notify customers before delivery and call the item owner during delivery have a service edge over their competitors. Notifications to customers should be sent through emails and texts and should contain the date and time of delivery.

During the delivery, the delivery person should call to ensure clients pick up the item(s) bought. Businesses should also take advantage of technological advancement by using an eCommerce Order Tracking System (like a proof of delivery app) to enable clients to track their item(s) through the internet. Aside from having a round-the-clock awareness of your orders’ delivery status, these applications also have loss prevention benefits as well.

Ramping-up Safety during Contactless Delivery

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, it is currently wise for delivery persons to be in safety equipment such as gloves and face masks. Delivery personnel should carry sanitizers and apply them regularly during the delivery process. Delivery companies, especially Third-Party Logistics (3PLs), should take their delivery persons’ temperature checks before starting their shifts, since delivery personnel could potentially transmit the virus to vulnerable parties.

Paperless Documentation

Delivery agencies and businesses should prioritize paperless documentation. They should offer digital receipts instead of paper receipts. Unlike in the past, where customers sign the delivery note, contactless delivery requires delivery personnel only to attach a photo to the digital delivery note. The best process is to attach a picture with their item(s) at the delivery location.

Adoption of E-Wallet and E-Banking Payment Options

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, payment for most goods was physical after delivery. If you are taking your business towards a contactless approach, you should consider cashless transactions as there are numerous digital payment methods available. Payment for the goods could also be done through some of the many available mobile wireless money transfers, e-Wallets, or e-Banking platforms.

With the widespread use of cryptocurrencies, businesses should consider accepting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Therefore, delivery personnel should not be collecting cash notes from the customers. Delivery agencies should also consider creating multiple ways in which customers may electronically pay for the delivery.

Train Staff on Effective Contactless Deliveries.

Businesses and delivery agencies should consider training their employees to transition to contactless deliveries effectively. The training will equip them with knowledge for implementing digital solutions and safe delivery methods during the delivery process. Offer accountability measures both internally and externally, so that customers feel that they have a voice, and you can use their feedback to improve your own processes. Safety is very important to consumers right now, so mastery of safe delivery practices will reinforce your business relationship with the customer.

Create Trust Through Instant Refunds and Easy Returns

Contactless delivery can only become effective if businesses can create trust among customers by offering an instant item refund or replacement if they are defective. When shipping your item, having materials inside (like pre-printed return labels) will make returning defective or damaged products easier for your customers. This way, their mail carriers can pick up returns in a contactless way without your clients having to leave their home. Convenient problem resolutions build loyalty, and are worth investing in.

The future of contactless delivery lies in the hands of technology. Some businesses have already started adopting contact-free technology, especially food delivery services. For example, CVS and UPS collaborated to create ways of delivering prescriptions through drones. Neolix Technologies has also set aside $28.7 million to develop self-driving vehicles to offer driverless goods deliveries. As the business world exploits e-commerce platforms, expect more inventions in contactless delivery. Being ahead of the curve will keep your business from falling behind, especially in changing times like these.

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by Reggie Moore // Reggie Moore is a freelance writer and proto-entrepreneur. When not trying to tinker with a new process or idea, Reggie can usually be found saying the words "Well, actually" to an unsuspecting bystander.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.