What to Look for in Delivery Software for Small Businesses

10 Apr 2024

You put a lot of work into starting a small business, including developing your product, building your brand, and managing marketing efforts. It takes a great deal of time and effort to close that first deal. Make sure you are ready by selecting the appropriate local delivery software for when that initial transaction does occur.

Small company delivery software takes care of all the delivery logistics, including handling orders, dispatching drivers, and more, so you can concentrate on expanding your enterprise. Many businesses are turning to delivery software to get their meals into the hands—and stomachs—of customers due to the swift advancement of technology and the growing demand for delivery services. The culinary scene has changed as a result of small enterprises including delivery-only meal prep services, restaurants, and ghost kitchens. In actuality, the market for food delivery was predicted to rise at a pace of 13.5% per year even before the epidemic.

Make sure you locate delivery software that has all the features you want to succeed if you want to take advantage of this expansion. When you start your small business delivery software research and selection process, keep an eye out for these seven elements that will enhance your whole experience from order generation to the final delivery.

7 Things to Look for in Delivery Software

Selecting the appropriate delivery software for your small business is essential to the success of your brand and the happiness of your customers. The finest delivery software will offer your drivers the information they need to finish the delivery, notify customers when their products will arrive, and provide you with all the information you need to actively manage your orders.

1. Simple, Easy-to-Use Dashboard

Since you'll be controlling your deliveries from the dashboard most of the time, software should prioritise having an intuitive user interface. You should be able to finish all of your delivery-related tasks in one place. This implies that bouncing between various websites or apps will no longer be a waste of time. Indeed, in today's technologically mobile world, this dashboard needs to be responsive—that is, have a companion mobile app—so that you may get the data you require on a phone or tablet at any time, from any location.

You should be able to track the delivery process from start to finish on this one dashboard. You should have access to all of the following: making deliveries, locating available drivers, creating routes, getting in touch with the client, getting delivery confirmation, and even compiling statistics on orders you've finished. You will be able to easily track, adjust, and enhance the experience for you, your drivers, and your clients when you have this information at your fingertips.

2. Real-Time Driver Location Tracking

It is simple for everyone to know the precise location of the delivery and when it will arrive at its destination when live tracking is enabled on Google Maps or any other popular map service. This is crucial for your drivers and clients as well as for you.

  • Why it matters to you: You must be able to track the order as it travels to the consumer after dispatching deliveries to drivers via the dashboard. You should be able to examine all of your current drivers at the same time as well as the scheduled route of deliveries using your programme.
  • Why it matters to your drivers: With the help of real-time position monitoring, drivers may arrange their route well in advance of the delivery. By doing this, they may transport their goods more quickly and steer clear of congested locations. It will also optimise transactions in the order they were made, which will result in a more efficient method of scheduling delivery.
  • Why it matters to your customers: Customers want to know precisely when they can expect their purchases to be delivered. Customers may get the most recent delivery estimates thanks to software that tracks their whereabouts in real-time. Customers are more satisfied as a consequence of not having to wonder when they will receive their item.

3. The Ability to Manage On-Demand and Scheduled Orders

You understand the need for flexibility as a small business. Things change all the time, so you have to be flexible. Whether those orders were generated five minutes ago or yesterday, and they still need to be delivered ASAP, the delivery software you use should help you remain agile.

You have to have alternatives for monitoring, modifying, and tracking every one of your scheduled and on-demand orders within the dashboard of the delivery programme. You will require certain administration functions from your programme, some of which are as follows:

  • Update delivery address and instructions
  • Update customer contact information
  • Reschedule a delivery
  • Assign a driver

You will be able to make rapid choices and adjustments that can improve the experience for you, your drivers, and your customers by having all of your orders managed in one location.

4. Automated or Manual Order Input

Since managing delivery software for small businesses can take many forms, your delivery software must be flexible enough to handle your orders in any format. The software you pick should be able to identify your delivery needs and organise your data effectively for you, regardless of whether your business has a dedicated e-commerce site that produces orders, accepts payments through a more manual arrangement, or combines the two.

Whether you choose to enter your order information automatically or manually, the process should be straightforward and up to you.

  • Automated entry: The majority of small businesses that use e-commerce platforms will find it simple to integrate or use an API to transmit their delivery orders automatically. Without requiring additional work from you, this automated process sends the necessary delivery information to your software and gets it ready for dispatch to drivers. Ensure that your delivery software is compatible with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce as well as online ordering services like ChowNow and GrubHub.
  • Manual entry: The software you use should provide a manual input option for small firms with fewer orders or a system that does not support automatic entry. You have two options for doing this: either upload an Excel spreadsheet that will automatically fill in and start shipping, or enter order details one at a time. Additionally, manual inputs must be compatible with automatic entries; this is especially important for hurriedly dispatching unique or last-minute supplies.

5. Mobile App for Drivers    

Your drivers will have all the information they need to complete deliveries quickly and easily with the help of a mobile app for delivery management. It should be simple to make modifications on the go, within the app, if something changes or they need to reroute.

When looking for software, choose a package that comes with an application that lets drivers see:

  • Their delivery queue: In order to plan their route and shift, drivers should be able to peruse all of their forthcoming orders.
  • Pickup and delivery addresses: Ensure that your drivers are aware of the precise destination and expectations.
  • Order information: Drivers will make the right deliveries if they can view all the information they need regarding the transaction.
  • Maps and navigation: Delivery drivers must be able to plan their route and then adjust it based on factors like traffic, delivery queues, etc.
  • Contact numbers and delivery instructions: Customer satisfaction will increase if there is a way to connect with clients regarding their delivery and if the delivery can be completed as desired.
  • Space to provide proof of delivery: The programme ought to feature a section for drivers to attach a photo or signature attesting to the successful delivery.

6. Mobile App for Businesses

Sometimes it feels like you have to be in a dozen places at once as someone who assists in running a small business. Carrying a laptop or managing a mobile browser page isn't always feasible when you need to quickly assign a driver to a dispatch task or modify the delivery instructions for an urgent order. For this reason, you should have a mobile business app for your delivery software.

All of the dispatch control panel features included in the desktop version of your delivery software should be present in the mobile business app but in a far more convenient smartphone or tablet configuration. A few easy clicks should be able to do anything from adding drivers to tracking the whereabouts of orders that are on their way to delivery in real-time. The app will make delivery management software quick and simple and enable you to stay on top of your business while on the road.

7. Delivery Tracking for Customers

Customers, particularly those who have made a time-sensitive purchase such as one from a ghost kitchen, restaurant delivery service, or meal prep firm, nearly always want to know exactly when their order is due to arrive. Provide real-time order monitoring and the most recent ETAs to your clients to keep them informed. This real-time tracking data should be accessible through your delivery software, along with other features that allow your customers to check driver bios and get in touch with them if there are any questions or if something has changed with their order. Since they participated actively in the delivery process, they will therefore be more satisfied with the finished product when it is delivered to them.

Your delivery software needs to notify your consumer by email and SMS text message upon delivery. Customers should then be prompted to assess their delivery experience with a few easy taps after receiving that confirmation. The input you get may be put to use to enhance the whole client experience.

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