From Virtual Carts to Your Doorstep: The Rise of Grocery Delivery Software


From Virtual Carts to Your Doorstep: The Rise of Grocery Delivery Software

On-demand delivery platforms have seen increased acceptance, and why not. With a few clicks, customers can easily select and have their products of choice delivered. In this sector, with rising consumer expectations and the need for convenience, grocery delivery software has seen a massive rise in demand. The global grocery delivery software market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.39% and reach USD 9.4 billion by 2027. However, this rapid growth comes with its own share of difficulties.

When orchestrating deliveries, online grocery businesses frequently encounter multiple problems, such as poor efficiency, higher logistics costs,  inconsistent delivery service, low visibility, etc. This adversely impacts the business as well as degrades the overall CX, ultimately amounting to a huge business loss.

This is where grocery delivery software comes into the picture. Intelligent software for grocery delivery ensures on-time deliveries, improves customer experience, and reduces overall operational costs by automating crucial delivery processes like task allocation.

Here, we discuss the various challenges in online grocery delivery and how grocery delivery software can overcome them. We also discuss the various benefits of using this software and how businesses can leverage them to their use cases.

What is Grocery Delivery Software? 

Grocery delivery software automates order capture, allocation, rider selection, and overall delivery operations for online grocery shopping. The software can be integrated with existing systems such as OMS and WMS and leverages smart AI algorithms to optimize the delivery processes. 

This serves as a platform for brands to seamlessly plan, track and obtain information on a real-time basis about the delivery time, order status, and purchase history of all deliveries. The information provides insights into the productivity of grocery delivery operations and potential pain points. 

Types of Grocery Delivery 

Delivery time has recently risen in importance for online shoppers and presented a significant opportunity for grocery retailers. The rise of instant delivery platforms has been fueled by the changing preferences of consumers, increased reliance on online shopping, and their need for convenience. The popular segments of grocery delivery are:

Instant or Quick Delivery

With the development of higher customer demands, instant or quick delivery has become a faster and better form of eCommerce fulfillment. The products of instant retailers are fulfilled from urban dark stores or micro fulfillment facilities and are available for immediate delivery. Unlike same-day delivery, wherein the products are delivered within 24 hours, instant or quick delivery usually happens within two hours or can be as fast as just 15 minutes from the consumer’s time of order placement. 

Scheduled or Planned Delivery

In scheduled or planned delivery, customers can choose the day and time they want their order to be delivered. The delivery time is generally the next day or within two days. Customers usually select the time of day for their delivery (morning, afternoon, or evening) based on their convenience. Businesses are increasingly using grocery delivery software, allowing customers to choose exact delivery times, typically from a range of one or two hours. This ensures customer satisfaction as well as efficient resource utilization.

The Significance of Grocery Delivery Software 

Grocery delivery software enables online ordering and delivery of groceries to customers’ doorsteps. It consists of a customer-facing app or website for placing orders, a store management system for managing inventory and fulfilling orders, and a delivery driver app for efficient delivery management.

It enables grocery delivery companies to reduce operational costs, optimize delivery routes, and improve customer satisfaction through real-time tracking and delivery updates. Additionally, the software’s real-time order tracking assists in obtaining accurate ETAs. 

It increases transparency, which helps build customer loyalty and also reduces customer query calls. Advanced software for online grocery delivery comes with smart routing and order allocation engines that ensure optimal resource utilization and cut down the miles traveled effectively to make the operations sustainable.

Next, we explore the major challenges in the grocery delivery ecosystem.

7 Grocery Delivery Challenges That Grocery Delivery Software Can Overcome 

The grocery delivery segment is expected to show a revenue growth of 20.6% in 2024. This market has diversified considerably in the last few years due to the pandemic, and the market trends suggest that it is only going to increase in the coming years. 

However, orchestrating deliveries across diverse delivery demands without hurting the bottom line comes with multiple challenges, some of which are explored below.

#1 – Manual Allocation of Orders

Manual order allocation is confusing, inefficient, and has a chance of unintentional mistakes with respect to order items, delivery addresses, route allocation, and more. It becomes a bottleneck while managing multiple orders simultaneously, as an ordering mismatch will create potential difficulties.

On the other hand, grocery delivery solutions have an AI-based auto-allocation system that aids in managing high order volumes during peak hours, and can solve this problem. Instead of manually assigning tasks to delivery agents, profiles are input into the system, where the software automatically schedules and distributes tasks based on factors like experience and local knowledge. This aids in efficient last-mile delivery and delivery TAT. 

#2 – Inability to Track Orders in Real-time

Lack of real-time tracking of grocery orders can lead to poor visibility and delayed delivery of orders to consumers. Further, the customer is often left wondering about the whereabouts of the orders, which also increases the number of query calls. 

Logistics managers can keep an eye on on-the-ground delivery operations with the aid of real-time tracking tools and act swiftly in the event of a schedule deviation. This facilitates quicker deliveries and raises delivery executives’ productivity. Customers can simultaneously track their orders’ status and determine when to expect order delivery. They can stay engaged with the delivery platform, which can also be leveraged by businesses to upsell or cross-sell. 

#3 – Planning and Optimizing Delivery Routes

Poor/static routing and manual route planning lead to the overconsumption of delivery assets and resources and might result in drivers making multiple trips to the same area for different orders. This degrades operational efficiency and incurs more empty miles.

Further, in densely populated areas with intricate alleys and multiple lanes, it is easy for the driver to make mistakes while locating a particular delivery location. Accurate geocoding and intelligent route optimization are helping businesses overcome this problem by using machine learning to decode addresses accurately. 

Advanced solutions like Shipsy’s on-demand delivery management platform use vehicle-based geofencing to optimize fuel consumption. Its AI-based route planning and optimization engine can help plan delivery routes for multiple locations, suggesting the shortest and most optimal route to avoid traffic with dynamic and multi-stop route planning.   

#4 – Delayed Deliveries

13% of consumers would never order again from a brand if the delivery was late. With reduced delivery windows and the rise in delivery volumes, companies are engaging multiple logistics providers for timely delivery fulfillment. 

This presents a problem as it is difficult to synchronize drivers carrying various shipments, frequently leading to delayed deliveries. Any real-time route problems, like traffic, accidents, package loss and inability to monitor and manage the driver nuances, lead to delays and deterioration of CX.

Grocery delivery software can easily handle this problem by automating tasks and monitoring the road as well as driver data in real-time. In case of traffic congestion or accidents blocking the road, the system re-routes the delivery to the next-optimal route and minimizes the delay.

Also, the rider behavior is closely monitored, and in case a rider marks a fake delivery attempt, fraudulent deliveries, or deviates from the system-suggested route, the business gets an alert.

#5 – Poor Visibility

As many as 22% of supply chain professionals cite “poor visibility” as their top organizational challenge. Tracking orders in transit is extremely challenging due to a lack of visibility over moving assets, which leads to delivery delays, poor control over field operations, and higher expenses.

Intelligent software for grocery delivery can integrate with existing OMS, WMS, TMS, ERPs, and 3PL systems to improve end-to-end delivery process visibility. These solutions also come with in-built data analytics and reporting platforms and help businesses gain crucial insights into a service provider’s KPIs and ensure data-driven decision-making.

#6 – Lack of Communication Among Stakeholders

Manual management of multiple delivery service providers, riders, and orders without any proper collaboration platform inhibits effective delivery management. As businesses have no way to collaborate and communicate with multiple parties and share information in a centralized manner, task distribution, timely order deliveries, employee management, and customer management, all become challenging tasks. 

On the other hand, grocery delivery management software with an integrated dashboard facilitates unified customer communication and centralized collaboration with multiple parties. It ensures that every person and every party is on the same page, and has access to all sorts of relevant information, such as transaction details, order details, delivery status, order status, etc.

#7 – Inability to Measure KPIs

Operating a grocery store is extremely challenging as businesses have to ensure a rich inventory, offer variety and ensure good quality as well. These multiple products are distributed according to various customer demands and delivery SLAs. 

This is particularly difficult for startups as they must set up and operationalize multiple processes to execute successful deliveries. This poses difficulties in effective measurements of key performance indicators (KPIs) used to assess their logistics operations’ effectiveness. 

An advanced grocery delivery platform uses Digital Control Towers (DCT) to enable grocery chains to access various delivery KPIs of the delivery fleet belonging to various service providers. Coupled with a data-driven dashboard, delivery managers can accurately track driver’s performance, route efficiencies, and gain other useful insights to automate payout settlements and incentivization.

How to Choose The Best Grocery Delivery Software?

The rapid rise of the on-demand delivery industry has spurred many automation solutions for managing operations, assets, riders, and more. However, the majority of these solutions are developed with a standard approach, which makes it hard for businesses to scale them or to get specific solutions for unique business use cases.

It is also difficult to find a solution for basic delivery management owing to the plethora of options available. Hence, we share some of the key considerations to keep in mind while choosing grocery delivery software.

#1 – Intuitive and Responsive Interface

The grocery delivery software solution must have a mobile-friendly design to support iOS and Android users to facilitate easier onboarding and platform independence. An easy-to-use interface allows customers to search for and place their orders conveniently, and it also ensures that riders can focus on more important work rather than struggling with the learning curve involved.

If the software is hard to adapt to or comes with a clunky interface, the overall user experience degrades, which affects overall productivity.

#2 – Scheduling and Tracking Online Delivery

The software must give customers real-time updates on delivery riders’ locations and dynamic ETAs. This makes it simple for users to follow an order’s progress, right from the order placing to delivery at their doorsteps.

Auto-scheduling order pickup and delivery help optimize the entire fulfillment process. For the riders, the system needs to provide real-time notifications whenever orders are scheduled for pickup or delivery. The software should be configurable such that the users can ensure multiple validation, confirmation, and authentication checks for multiple stages of delivery and for multiple parties.

#3 – Route Planning and Optimization

Digitized route planning features allow for the selection of efficient delivery routes. This is done after factoring in multiple variables like traffic congestion, weather, load allocation, vehicle type, etc. Modern grocery delivery software allows dynamic route planning and optimization to be completed with minimal human intervention.

Also, it is important that the software offers en route order clubbing, dynamic optimization, and parameter-based delivery optimization, where users are allowed to set specific conditions for trip optimization.

#4 – Secure Payment Option

The grocery software must have various payment options; it must accept payments from consumers using credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, UPI, etc. Ensuring that online payment methods are extremely safe, encrypted, and secure is crucial to increase user loyalty and trust in the app.

Further, it is important that the software offers easy and effortless integrations with multiple payment processors and ensures safe and secure cash settlements for COD orders. Advanced solutions also allow customers to pay online for COD orders once the delivery is complete and settle the cash against the COD amount to avoid empty runs to the store.

#5 – Multi-Store Check-Out

The multi-store online grocery delivery system enables customers to place orders for various items from various stores via a single platform. By eliminating the need to purchase items from other locations, grocery shopping becomes hassle-free and results in a seamless customer experience.

Now, in such scenarios, the right route planning and optimization and proper trip management is crucial for timely order deliveries without compromising the business bottom line. Intelligent solutions for grocery delivery can be configured easily without any hassle to accommodate such events and adapt to changed customer requirements.

#6 – Customer Feedback Capture

Understanding the user’s pain points and resolving them at the earliest allow the company to create a distinct brand image and loyalty. It is important to check whether the software offers easy and effective modules for capturing and recording customer feedback. 

Further, it is also important that the software enables the users to reward as well as penalize drivers/carriers for the level of services they offer based on customer reviews.

#7 – Real-Time Communication 

Grocery delivery software must enable features like push notifications, emails, SMS, etc., that provide customers and riders with timely access to relevant information. 

This provides enterprises with a direct means to communicate with the riders to understand any potential causes of delays. At the same time, it allows them to update the customer about the status of delivery.

Unlock Operational Efficiency and Seamless Deliveries – Choose Shipsy

Shipy’s comprehensive quick commerce and grocery delivery management platform offers intelligent order allocation, seamless integrations, centralized dashboards, and driver management. This helps facilitate effective, scalable, and customer-centric operations.

Be it startups or enterprises, the intelligent SaaS-based software optimizes on-demand and hyperlocal deliveries via dynamic route planning and optimization. By allowing customers access to smart functionalities like real-time tracking, and multi-channel communications, grocery companies can now provide a better customer experience.

With its cutting-edge services and unmatched expertise, Shipsy is altering the dynamics of grocery deliveries by helping businesses to achieve the following:

  • 95% delivery mark-up in real-time
  • 45% reduction in order allocation time 
  • 24% increase in on-time deliveries
  • 14% increase in deliveries per driver
  • 77% reduction in steps for the delivery process

Please schedule a customized demo with our experts to ensure that all grocery deliveries reach the right customer’s doorstep at the right time!


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