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How to Choose A Delivery Management App (+Tips for Building Your Own)

The ultimate guide to choosing the right delivery management app for retail. Should you go for an off-the-shelf delivery app or build your own from scratch?

Sebastián, Marketing / July 2022
How to Choose A Delivery Management App (+Tips for Building Your Own)

Since the start of the pandemic, customer expectations regarding delivery services have been growing at a breakneck pace. People want their orders delivered fast, with real-time notifications and amazing service to boot.

Most delivery businesses have risen to the challenge, meeting those expectations with meaningful innovation and great customer support. But all of that places a much greater burden upon newcomers to the space, because they now have to stay constantly on their toes to stay competitive in this cutthroat market.

Software automation is the answer. It leads to better outcomes and happy customers, while also making the job easier for operations teams handling product dispatch.

In this article, we want to give you the tools and insight you need to pick the right delivery management software for your business. Should you go for an off-the-shelf product, or build your own delivery software from scratch? Keep reading if you want to know more.

Do You Need A Delivery Management App?

If you’re dealing in physical goods and operating in an industry where you need to get objects from point A to point B, the answer’s a resounding yes.

Delivery management apps are software tools that enable you to better administrate your delivery process, with features like driver tracking, route planning, ecommerce integration, and much more.

As with any software, delivery management apps help automate mundane tasks and offer better data visibility to empower ops teams to make smarter decisions regarding customer experience. They help you optimize your entire workflow for greater efficiency whether you’re in food delivery or ecommerce retail.

Here's a breakdown of some practical things you can do with a delivery app at your disposal:

  • Keep track of incoming orders.
  • Assign drivers to deliver products.
  • Conduct better route optimization.
  • Automate day-to-day delivery functions.
  • Issue notifications and ETAs.

Now that we know how crucial a delivery app is to your retail workflow, let’s talk about how you can choose the right delivery management system.

What to Look for in Delivery Management Apps?

There’s a host of delivery apps available in the market. Some of them specialize in serving specific industries, such as on-demand food delivery or long-haul ecommerce shipping. Others are more general-purpose and don’t specialize in a specific feature set.

A few features to look out for include real-time delivery tracking, finding optimized routes, driver location tracking, product barcode scanning, and supply chain management. While exact recommendations will vary from business to business, here are some functionalities to prioritize when searching for a delivery management app:

  • Real-time Tracking: Most delivery management apps have some kind of tracking system for providing order status updates to dispatchers and customers. Real-time tracking allows apps to use geolocation data from delivery drivers to provide moment-to-moment updates on delivery orders.
  • Delivery Notes: Ever wished you could leave a note for your delivery partner so they’re aware of any special delivery requests? With the delivery notes feature, you can leave comments to make the delivery process even smoother. For example, if the delivery is to your work address, you could leave a note for the delivery person to come during working hours.
  • Time Windows: Apart from delivery notes, some delivery apps also give customers the option to choose a preferred window for the delivery based on available slots. These can be very useful for order prioritization as well as for improving the delivery experience.
  • Paid Prioritization: Some customers are willing to pay more to have their orders delivered urgently. Instead of seeing this as a hindrance, you can monetize it if you have the right delivery infrastructure. Apps often include options for customers to pay for paid prioritization of orders directly within the delivery management solution.
  • Delivery Proof: Collecting proof of delivery becomes especially important when you’re dealing with a large number of delivery partners each day. You could use barcode scanning or collect customer e-signatures to confirm that the order has reached the intended recipient.
  • Push Notifications: Many delivery apps will issue regular push notifications for customers and administrators when a delivery has reached a specific milestone. However, it’s important to keep an eye on this feature so that customers don’t suffer from unnecessary notification fatigue.
  • Accessibility Features: A delivery app isn’t just meant for delivery operations. A wide range of customers will be using this platform to track their orders and ask for support. That’s why it’s important for delivery apps to be built with accessibility in mind so that people who are visually impaired or suffer from reduced mobility don’t have trouble accessing the platform.

Delivery Management Apps: Custom vs Off-the-Shelf

If you’re thinking about getting a delivery management app for the first time, you’re probably considering off-the-shelf products like Shipday or Onfleet. However, choosing a pre-built delivery management solution has its downsides. The platform is much more restrictive and you’re essentially signing off access to your customer data to a third party.

Custom solutions, on the other hand, are very tough to create. You’ll either have to spend thousands of dollars hiring an agency to build the app for you or acquire significant coding knowledge to build it yourself.

Glide offers a third choice. Instead of learning to code or hiring other developers to build your delivery management app, you can use our platform to build it yourself in a matter of minutes, no coding required! We have an extensive collection of on-demand delivery templates to help you get started, which you can customize depending on your business needs with our drag-and-drop app editor.

But the template is just a starting point. The best thing about building your delivery app with Glide is that you get a host of community resources and third-party integrations to choose from. You can build your own custom workflows by integrating third-party APIs with Zapier.

Glide lets you build awesome apps for web and mobile while retaining full ownership of all data, so you never have to worry about your customers’ information ending up in the wrong hands. Your app also stays in sync with any performance updates and design changes to stay at the top of its game.

So, what are you waiting for? Streamline your delivery management workflows with a custom web or mobile app without spending hours learning how to code. Glide is the best all-in-one platform for building no-code apps for work.

Sign up for a free Glide account to get started today. We can’t wait to see what you build.

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