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The US Grocery sector – Overcoming delivery challenges

In Loqate’s recent report Fixing Failed Deliveries, we surveyed over 3,000 global consumers and 300 retail executives to understand the causes and impacts of failed deliveries across multiple sectors, including groceries, food and drink. What we uncovered certainly provides food for thought.

The magnitude of failed deliveries in the grocery sector was one of the key findings we unearthed. In fact, 87% of consumers experienced a late grocery delivery in the past year, and 39% said that this was due to the carrier not being able to find the address. This detrimental effect of delivery failure is beginning to be acknowledged across the sector, with The Grocer reporting: “If online is to grow successfully, avoiding the unnecessary costs of a failed delivery are crucial. Because the cost of making home deliveries is high and margins are thin, if they exist at all."

It’s clear that failed deliveries impact revenue - but there is also potential damage to brand reputation, customer satisfaction and retention. In fact, if their order is late, 12% of shoppers would leave the retailer a negative review, with 16% complaining publicly on social media.

Engage customers by providing a fast and seamless grocery checkout experience that eliminates the potential for failed deliveries—72% of consumers would shop for groceries online more if they had more confidence in the delivery.

For established and budding online grocery businesses, address accuracy is the holy grail and key to staying competitive in the new digital age.

The challenges facing grocery deliveries

When it comes to grocery deliveries, the reasons things go awry can come from a number of different scenarios.

Verify the address

When customers enter their address details, they are likely to be doing so hastily. The final steps of ordering goods can be pure admin for many consumers and rarely a user experience highlight. In efforts to get through the process more quickly, users may omit detail, mistype postcodes and abbreviate address lines, especially when entering address details on a small mobile screen. When it comes to the point of delivery these details can make all the difference to delivery success.

The importance of address validation on successful deliveries cannot be understated. Our recent report found that just 33% of businesses in the grocery sector use third-party address verification software, with 28% depending on the courier to check the details.

Loqate’s real-time address verification software enables customers to quickly undertake an address search within the checkout, reducing the amount of data they need to enter, improving data quality and speeding up the checkout process. All in all, it’s a sure-fire way to help shoppers get through the checkout efficiently whilst ensuring your products arrive at their door.

Address accuracy

Delivery drivers, armed with state-of-the-art sat nav devices are still often left hunting for their intended destination. Delays in updating addresses into software and the complexities of addresses in urban areas are two potential obstacles faced by delivery drivers.

Finding creative solutions to the dilemma of sat nav accuracy, grocery retailers have started to turn to more sophisticated geolocation data to provide their delivery drivers with greater accuracy.

In a recent article we discuss how Loqate supported Sainsbury’s with enhanced location data to improve their delivery processes. Chris Grice, Engineering Manager at Sainsbury’s explains “While postcodes are great for routing mail, they cover a wider geographic area than might be expected. The data we were using provides the centre point, or centroid, of this postcode area”. Loqate supplies Royal Mail PAF data to Sainsbury's, as well as  geocode data that provides 1-meter accuracy,  enabling the Sainsbury's team to ‘scale-up and meet demand’ to help ensure deliveries could be made within the hour timeslot.

What3words is another prime example - it is a simple way to identify and name anywhere in the world by dividing the world into 3m x 3m squares. It then converts GPS coordinates into unique three-word addresses, so that people can refer to any precise location in just three words. This means retailer could deliver picnic ingredients direct to the blanket of their customer in the park.

Is there anybody there? Deliveries fail when customers are not home

During the pandemic, the weekly food order became one of the highlights for many customers, but as the world returns to 'near-normal', customers may fall back into the habit of forgetting their slot. Add to that the real-world demands of the school run, popping round to friends or traffic delays coming home from work – you start to form a picture of the challenge for grocery retailers.

Innovative solutions to these hurdles are changing the future of online grocery delivery Grocery giant Waitrose has been carrying out trials with smart locks which enable them to access customers’ homes and bring their groceries right to their kitchens.

New entrants in the grocery sector have turned their attention to the growing consumer need for on-demand or dynamic delivery. This involves quicker more flexible delivery options, delivering shortly after ordering to a unique location. It’s something that is on the agenda for many retailers.  

Address verification to support mobile checkout

With 63% of consumers citing that they have shopped for groceries online in the last 3 months, 87% of which opting to use their mobile phone, grocery retailers are all keen to make sure that their delivery success is just as watertight for their m-commerce customers.

Mobile checkouts can bring frustration, our report revealed that 26% of consumers would abandon their checkout after having trouble entering payment details and 17% would leave the checkout after being unable to find their address.

Again, address validation software can be the hero for m-commerce retailers. Address verification software from Loqate is built with the knowledge that your customers are multi-device users. Our real-time address verification service is built to work on any internet-enabled device, from computers and tablets to any size of smartphone.

Delivery success first time, every time

With our recent survey estimating that, 61% of US consumers would be reluctant to use the retailer again if their grocery order arrived late, it’s no wonder that the opportunity to fix failed deliveries sits high on the wish list of retailers in the grocery sector. It’s also clear that whilst challenges continue to emerge, retailers can overcome these hurdles with the right technology implemented in a user-friendly way. Address verification, postcode validation and straightforward address look-up hold many of the keys to their continued growth.

Connect with a product expert to learn how Loqate’s Address Verification solutions can help you optimize your online checkout, reduce cart abandonment and fix failed deliveries for good.

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Infographic: Make faulty fulfilment a thing of the past
Infographic: Make faulty fulfilment a thing of the past

With eCommerce orders at an all-time high, the retail industry is facing yet another challenge in an already difficult year: failed deliveries. We take a look at the steps retailers can take to improve customer address data and ensure parcels arrive on time and to the right location. 

Ecommerce   |