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March 7, 2022

Unpacking the Concept of Delivery as a Service (DaaS)

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This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

Delivery as a Service (DaaS) is service-oriented delivery paired with business processes to meet the on-demand nature of the economy. To meet the expectations of consumers, delivery as a service has been crucial in maintaining speedy delivery for businesses large and small. It can be an important component in the last-mile delivery that gets your product into the hands of the customer.

From a logistics standpoint, DaaS allows businesses to access on-demand delivery drivers without having to purchase their own vehicles, hire drivers, and maintain a fleet of resources.

Instead, DaaS providers can offer affordable rates by having the latest technology and transportation optimization. Delivery experiences are customer-oriented, helping businesses match the expectations of their customers by offering fast shipping options, including same-day and next-day service, or even weekend delivery.

How Does ‘Delivery as a Service’ Work?

Delivery as a service isn’t new, but it is evolving. DaaS providers are unique as they enable buyers to employ a personal shopper to retrieve their items from the store and deliver it to their home, sometimes within hours. Many will partner with big brands like Target, Costco, or CVS to offer local delivery to customers in a matter of hours. This is a convenience that shoppers pay for, but for many, the convenience is worth the cost. 

For retailers, DaaS providers can allow businesses access to their network of delivery vehicles and personnel. Often done virtually, a company would input their need for service and the DaaS provider would match the need with a local delivery provider. This could be a professional delivery service with trucks or vans available for delivery. They may have their own fleet of drivers and vehicles to accommodate the needs of businesses. 

Third-party logistics companies (3PLs) also offer delivery as a part of their fulfillment services. 3PLs can help with the entire fulfillment process from the first mile to the last.

A 3PL that offers delivery to the customer has access to competitive rates with traditional providers because of the quantity of stock they ship. Warehouse operations are also optimized to ensure a smooth and speedy fulfillment process, which allows items to be shipped out quickly. You can learn more about choosing a 3PL that works for your business here

Why Is DaaS Necessary?

1. Convenience Is King

On-Demand Delivery has never been more important for retailers. When it comes to customer expectations, the lightning-fast shipping speeds of Amazon have conditioned buyers to want their products delivered within a few days.

While many buyers used to consider 2-day shipping to be “fast,” now same-day shipping is considered fast, while 2-day shipping is the norm. Convenience is powerful in a busy world where many shoppers would prefer to order from their device with the knowledge that their purchase will arrive quickly, instead of heading out to shop in a brick-and-mortar store. Being able to capitalize on this need for convenience is a key for retailers large and small.

Today, consumers have everything readily available and can have it delivered to their door. Almost anything a consumer wants can be delivered through an on-demand delivery service. From Door Dash to Carvana, today’s buyers can have anything and everything delivered to their doorstep (including a car). On-demand delivery isn’t just a pandemic-era convenience, it’s now a way of life for modern shoppers.

2. Businesses Must Stay Competitive

For small businesses, offering expedited shipping can be too costly to their bottom line. In addition, with many retailers offering free shipping, buyers can be thrown off by having to pay for speedy delivery. Without being able to negotiate more affordable pricing, small businesses lose out on sales to other companies that can afford the faster shipping rates. 

For eCommerce retailers, this becomes complex when trying to compete with large marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart that can offer same-day and next-day delivery. Buyers also expect the same delivery capabilities from small businesses in the online sector. Unfortunately, if your brand can’t offer a fast enough fulfillment, the buyer will quickly scope out another company that can. That’s why a partnership goes a long way in creating a network of reliable and affordable delivery options for your business.

How Can DaaS Partnerships Benefit Your Business?

Partnering with a DaaS provider allows access to more affordable delivery options. This helps you to stand out from the competition when you can offer same-day, next-day, and 2-day shipping. Being able to offer local delivery without the overhead costs of maintaining a fleet of vehicles or employing drivers is a perk of partnering with a delivery service. 

For eCommerce retailers, the 3PL fulfillment option that integrates delivery is a way to streamline the entire process. By entrusting warehouse operations and shipping to professionals, you can eliminate the headaches associated with fast delivery. 

Flexport offers optimized warehouse technology that ensures items are picked, packed, and shipped efficiently. With consumers wanting products readily shipped within a few days, partnering with a third-party can allow you to guarantee delivery times. Through a network of warehouses and an optimized inventory management system, Flexport can help your business add fast shipping guarantees to your products to accommodate your buyers.

Delivery services can help your business overcome shipping obstacles to bring products to the customer on time, according to their specific needs. On-demand delivery means you can give your buyers a choice on when and where their package will be delivered. Whether your customer requires same-day service or weekend delivery, outsourcing your delivery needs reduces the time you spend worrying about shipping hurdles. When products arrive on time, customers are happy, resulting in positive reviews, repeat buyers, and increased income. 

Closing Thoughts

Finding ways to stay competitive is crucial in eCommerce. Whether you’re selling impeccable products, offering unbeatable deals, or providing exceptional customer service, your goal is to meet the needs of today’s consumers. With delivery speeds becoming increasingly important for customer satisfaction, it makes sense for your brand to evaluate your ability to ship quickly.

If you're a small business, can you make better use of your resources by partnering with a delivery service provider? Explore ways to make same-day and next-day delivery a reality for your brand so you can continue to provide the customer with the positive experience they've come to expect from shopping online. 

The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.

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