With the majority of customers now expecting Amazon-like convenience, offering your own local delivery service is a great way to shore up their loyalty. A whopping 49% of customers would be more likely to shop with a retailer if they were offered same-day delivery.
A reliable route planner app for your drivers is one crucial tool that can contribute to the success of your delivery service.
Google Maps is a powerful tool and a go-to solution for many drivers, but it wasn’t designed with deliveries in mind. Your business may quickly come up against its limit of 10 stops per route, especially during busy seasons. What’s more, it can be difficult to program internal considerations, such as customers’ preferred delivery windows, into a route.
A dedicated route planner app for delivery drivers should help you deliver with speed and efficiency, allowing you to delight customers with same-day delivery. In this article, we’ll explore four key features that every small business owner should look for when choosing a route planner app.
1. Real-time tracking and updates
One of the most critical features to consider in a route planner app is real-time tracking and updates. This feature allows you to monitor your delivery drivers’ progress in real-time, ensuring that you have full visibility into the status of each delivery.
Real-time tracking not only helps you keep customers informed about the estimated delivery time but also allows you to respond quickly to any unexpected challenges, such as traffic or road closures.
Ideally, go a step further and look for a route planner app that automatically keeps customers in the loop. Customers love frequent, accurate updates on their orders. In fact, a recent study revealed that 90% actively track their packages. Notifications provide transparency and reliability, helping you win over your customers’ trust.
As an added benefit for you, it reduces the risk of missed deliveries by making sure customers are prepared to accept them.
2. Optimization algorithms for efficient routing
Efficient routing is a key factor in reducing delivery times, fuel costs, and overall operational expenses. A good route planner app should come equipped with advanced optimization algorithms that can calculate the most time and cost-effective routes for your drivers.
This feature ensures that your drivers take the most efficient path, avoiding unnecessary delays and optimizing fuel consumption.
When evaluating route planner apps, consider how well they can adapt to real-world variables such as traffic conditions, road closures, and delivery windows.
Of course, it should also be easy for your dispatchers to intervene and manually adjust routes where necessary.
3. A driver-friendly interface
The success of a route planner app also depends on its usability and compatibility with your existing systems. Opt for an app with a user-friendly interface that is easy for your drivers to navigate.
A straightforward design reduces the learning curve and ensures that your drivers can use the app efficiently from day one.
A clean and visually intuitive map interface is essential. Make sure the map is uncluttered, with easily distinguishable icons and labels for different locations and waypoints. Clear and high-contrast colors can help drivers quickly identify key information on the map.
A responsive zoom and pan functionality allows drivers to easily focus on specific areas of the map. This feature is extra useful when drivers need to zoom in for detailed navigation in urban areas, or zoom out for a broader view on highways.
4. Easy integrations
Your delivery route planner app should be in tune with your existing order management, inventory, and customer relationship (CRM) systems.
Your deliveries will become faster and easier to coordinate when you have a smooth flow of information between different aspects of your business.
For example, if your order management system and local delivery solution are in sync, route information will automatically adjust whenever an order is placed, modified, or cancelled. No need for a dispatcher to manually copy information between platforms.
Once a delivery is marked as complete, that information will automatically flow back to your operational systems, streamlining record-keeping. Any customer feedback should also be logged in your CRM for analysis.
An additional advantage of integrations is that you can allow customers to request specific delivery windows at checkout. This level of personalized service can be tricky to manage manually, but with an integrated route planning app, you can trust that customer preferences will be automatically built into the route.
Navigate your way to success
Selecting the right route planner app is a crucial step in optimizing your small business delivery service.
By prioritizing features such as real-time tracking, optimization algorithms, user-friendliness, and robust integrations, you can enhance the efficiency of your delivery operations. In turn, you can provide a seamless experience for both your drivers and customers.
Investing in a reliable route planner app will not only save you time and resources but will also contribute to the overall success and growth of your local delivery service.
Not sure where to start? CanFleet offers all of the benefits covered in this article. Give it a try for free!