We have decided to interrupt our ‘nuts and bolts’ blog post series because there is something more important to talk about. Shopify has just introduced a new on-demand delivery component to its platform that can be used by any retailers whose geographical locations qualify.
Technically, on-demand delivery has already arrived at Shopify. We stated in the title of this post that it’s coming because it is somewhat limited for the time being. But if it catches on – and it should in light of the intense competition from companies like Amazon and Walmart – on-demand delivery could eventually be available across North America. Everything you need to know about the service is explained below.
On-demand delivery through Shopify is still in its infant stages. As such, the platform only works with two delivery services: Postmates and UberRUSH. That means you and your customer both have to be located in one of the cities serviced by them.
If you’re thinking of using UberRUSH, it’s pretty simple. They only service Chicago right now. As for Postmates, they currently operate in nearly four dozen cities including:
- Dallas/Fort Worth
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- New York
The suburbs of some of the cities are not eligible depending on the general proximity to the couriers’ offices. You can always use the Shopify website or the on-demand delivery option in your admin panel to check your eligibility by zip code.
How It Works
Assuming that you and your customer are eligible for on-demand delivery, the process is pretty simple. You activate on-demand delivery in your Shopify Admin by navigating to Admin> Settings> Shipping. Then click on ‘Activate’ in the ‘Local delivery’ section. From there you just need to choose the service(s) you want to use.
On-demand delivery will automatically show up as an option when a local customer purchases a product. In such a case, you would receive immediate notification of the purchase so that you can start filling the order. In the meantime, you contact your provider to arrange for courier pick up. At the designated time the order will be picked up from your retail location or other pickup address and delivered to the customer. And yes, your customer will be able to track the status of the delivery.
Why Use On-Demand Shipping?
You may be wondering why you should bother with on-demand shipping given that it could end up demanding quite a bit of your attention. The reason is simple: mass retailers like Amazon and Walmart are already doing it. If you want to be able to compete with the big boys, you must be on the same playing field.
On-demand shipping means happy customers more likely to return to your store. And as an added bonus, you can use it for promotional purposes. It is an excellent way to draw new customers to your store by giving them something they want.