by Bill Pirkle – December 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, how we work together, and how our economy grows. Numerous states are still in lockdown. More people are being asked to work from home. Video conferencing has replaced in-person connections.
With countless individuals spending most of their time at home, it’s been a particularly difficult time for many companies to maintain relationships with their customers. However, there’s one business that is booming amidst the COVID-19 emergency—the delivery business. More businesses and customers than ever are turning to delivery services to get the products they need. Small businesses in particular have struggled to adapt to an e-commerce and local delivery model. This inability to shift has left many of these businesses on the verge of going under.
According to a recent CNBC article: small businesses are finding it hard to build out the required infrastructure and “don’t have credit lines. [They]can’t keep up. They’re the empty storefronts of the country.” So the large companies are getting bigger and the small and medium business backbone of the country is failing at a rapid pace.
In regards to deliveries, there are a ton of moving parts; business owners have to keep track of orders, collect payments, allocate orders to delivery drivers, and make sure that each delivery is making it to their clients rapidly, proficiently, and including everything they requested and paid for. Without a reasonable framework set up for dealing with delivery orders, things can rapidly devolve into chaos.
What is certain about the Global Pandemic of 2020 is that there has been a fundamental shift of the buyer and seller dynamics. According to Nicole Collida of the North American Consumer Intelligence group at Nielsen, “New use cases are emerging, new brand loyalties and disloyalties are forming, and for some categories, an entirely new relationship is forming between consumer and product. In order to survive and thrive, retailers and brands must recalibrate their understanding of consumer habits and realign with a segmentation that is representative of the current landscape.”
One startup in Indianapolis is helping small businesses adapt and keep this vital pipeline to customers open. DeliverEnd, has built a scalable B2B and B2C model to enable critical Last Mile delivery services. In most cases, small brick and mortar businesses are not equipped to get their products into the hands of their customers without expending a lot of capital in drivers, vehicles, insurance, and maintenance. Having an on-demand local delivery service solves many of these problems.
The small businesses that DeliverEnd has already onboarded in Indiana have found many benefits to solve their unique Last Mile challenges, including:
- A fast and robust delivery order system
- Ability to schedule future deliveries
- Delivery tracking via an app
- Support for all quantities and sizes of products
- 24/7 availability
- Reduction or elimination of costly vehicle and liability insurance
- Reduction or elimination of monthly costs associated to delivery and logistics of a dedicated fleet
Bill Pirkle, the Director of Marketing at DeliverEnd, has been tracking these changes in buyer patterns over the last few months. “We are seeing the effects of this pandemic and its impacts on the businesses every time we walk down the street next to our HQ in Indianapolis. There are more and more shops boarded up every day. And, the impact is disproportionately affecting the smaller stores and decimating those owners’ families.”
As restrictions and lock-downs decrease in 2021, the market ecosystem of the past will be replaced with a new “normal”. Small and Medium businesses that continue to operate in an exclusive in-person shopper model will continue to struggle. Customers who found a routine of shopping online and getting quick local deliveries at home, will be much more apt to continue that model in the future.