What is On-Demand Delivery?

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
4 min read
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DHL delivery woman handing over a parcel to a man

It’s no secret that online customers love fast delivery. But they’re also looking for maximum convenience – choosing exactly when and where their goods are delivered. Welcome to the world of On-Demand Delivery. Here’s how this valuable service can boost your sales.

What is On-Demand Delivery?

On-Demand Delivery allows an e-commerce customer to choose exactly when and where their order is delivered. They can set their delivery preferences according to their specific needs. For example, they may choose to have their package left with a neighbor if they know they aren’t going to be in.

On-Demand Delivery is a fully flexible service that puts customer convenience at its center. It is driven by modern technology like automation and data analytics, meaning it can evolve to keep up with increasing customer demands. 

woman putting parcel in locker

What does the process of On-Demand Delivery look like?

Typically, an e-commerce customer will make an order online and select all their delivery preferences. This is then picked up by the retailer’s courier partner to fulfil.

The customer can choose from a range of options including delivery to a parcel locker, neighbor, or alternate address. In short, maximum flexibility and convenience for the customer.

Another benefit of On-Demand Delivery is that the customer can receive notifications about their shipment’s status, in real time, so they can track where it is.

hand holding a mobile phone

Benefits of On-Demand Delivery for businesses

Creates a competitive service

Your competitors are always just a click away from your customers, but your delivery offering can give you an edge. In fact, three in five consumers prefer to buy from retailers that offer a range of delivery options1. They want speed, convenience, flexibility and transparency – all of which On-Demand Delivery covers.  

Enhances customer trust

With On-Demand Delivery, customers can receive push notifications from the courier about their shipment’s status. This transparency will build their trust in your brand.

Reduces failed deliveries

Did you know that 8% of domestic first-time deliveries fail?2 This can become extremely expensive for retailers, who then must pay for re-delivery (not to mention storage costs in the meantime.) With On-Demand Delivery, customers can choose to have their goods left with a neighbor or delivered to a parcel locker, which will help you reduce your failed delivery rate.

Furthermore, delivering more goods on their first attempt means you will reduce the carbon emissions associated with your last-mile logistics – which is great news for your sustainability rating!

Leverages automation

Much of On-Demand Delivery is automated, which makes it highly flexible. As an example, DHL Express’ ODD service allows customers to divert their shipments to an alternate address than the one they originally nominated when checking out on a retailer’s website.  

Enables wider audience reach

DHL Express’ On-Demand Delivery service is available for international shipments. This means SMEs shipping to cross-border markets can offer their customers maximum flexibility, which in turn reduces the failed delivery rate, saving the business money and stress.

Offers better tracking

With On-Demand Delivery, businesses can track their shipments, 24/7, in real-time. This helps them know its exact ETA, and inform the customer if it is delayed.  

hand turning knob

Data analytics

On-Demand Delivery collates valuable consumer data which businesses can use to understand their customers’ behavior better. These insights help them predict demand patterns and ensure their inventory levels and fulfilment processes are prepared.  

Cost savings

As so much of On-Demand Delivery is automated – using data insights to optimize every step of logistics – businesses will save money. For example, by being able to forecast demand surges, inventory levels will be more accurately managed, leading to lower warehouse storage costs.

Benefits of On-Demand Delivery for customers

Convenience, convenience, convenience

E-commerce customers can’t always be at home to receive their deliveries, and with On-Demand Delivery, they don’t have to. They are given control of where and when their orders arrive, which means a stress-free, seamless experience for them. 

Full tracking

Customers love to track their deliveries – it gives them peace of mind and builds up the excitement for its arrival. With On-Demand Delivery, they can receive status notifications from the moment their shipment leaves the warehouse – including an estimated time of delivery, and even updates if the driver has been delayed.

Easy to manage

With the integration of mobile app technology, On-Demand Delivery customers can manage and track their shipments, in real-time, with the push of a button – it doesn’t get easier than that!

DHL delivery woman handing over a parcel to a man

How DHL can help

With DHL, you can offer your customers full delivery flexibility and convenience. In addition to its Express services, it also has the following On-Demand Delivery services:

  1. DHL Express Service Point: your customer can collect their parcel(s) at any DHL Express Service point located in the receiving country.
  2. Signature Release: the goods can be delivered without the need for the customer’s signature.
  3. Schedule A New Delivery Date: your customer can change their delivery date and time up to seven days from the original.
  4. Leave Package With A Neighbor: your customer can nominate a trusted neighbor to receive the delivery in the event they are not at home.
  5. Deliver To Another Address: your customer can request to change the delivery address at a later point.
  6. 30 Day Vacation Hold: customers on vacation can ask the courier to hold their delivery for 30 days, and put in a request for a new date and time.

Whichever option the customer chooses, they will also receive notifications of their shipment’s status, via email or text message. All of which means the best experience with your business – crucial if you want them to return.   

Ready to integrate On-Demand Delivery into your business? Apply for a DHL Express Business Account, here.