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Seventy-two percent of customers say they’re unlikely to give repeat business to retailers that provide poor delivery. But what you think is poor delivery and what the customer thinks is poor delivery might not be the same. 

If your customer just spent thousands with your company but has to lug their expensive new couch or elliptical machine from the curb to their house, that’s a bad experience. 

Even worse, you could be facing a ton of negative reviews since customers who have a negative experience are “highly likely  to share that experience,” and it will take about 40 positive “experiences to undo the damage of one negative review.”

To prevent negative delivery experiences from affecting your business — and grow your business instead — offer inside delivery.

Topics covered in this article:

What Is Inside Delivery?

Inside delivery is when a delivery driver carries shipped items to the front door or over the front threshold of a home or business for an additional fee. It’s a freight shipping service many less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers provide. 

FedEx Freight offers inside delivery and inside pickup on LTL freight shipments for a minimum of $132 and a maximum of $1,326, depending on weight. But Old Dominion Freight Line provides inside delivery for a minimum of $75 and a maximum of $660.

(Source) FedEx Freight offers inside delivery on large and bulky items.

Shippers usually reserve this service for large or heavy merchandise — such as furniture or exercise equipment like treadmills. It varies slightly based on whether the delivery is to a business or a residence.

Business delivery

For businesses, inside delivery typically means that, for an added delivery charge, the driver will deliver a consignee’s pallet a few feet inside the main entrance of the building instead of on the loading dock.

If a business ordered office furniture from Office Chairs Unlimited, they’d get dock-to-dock delivery for free. But if they need additional services like a liftgate or want inside delivery, it costs extra. For $142, the driver will place furniture inside the main entrance of the delivery location, as long as it’s on the ground floor.

Residential delivery

When it comes to residential delivery, what constitutes inside delivery varies. In some cases, the driver will carry items across the front threshold of a home or apartment. Because of liability issues, some carriers won’t enter a residential address and will leave items inside a garage or on the front porch instead. For apartments, in-home delivery could mean the nearest indoor location, like the building’s lobby.

If you buy exercise equipment from NordicTrack, you can get inside delivery for $199. For this fee, drivers will deliver items to the front doorway of your home or the lobby of your apartment or condo. You could also select curbside delivery for $99, and drivers will leave the equipment at the end of the driveway or near the curb. If you’re looking for a full-service experience, they also offer white glove delivery.

How Is Inside Delivery Different From White Glove Delivery?

White glove delivery is a top-tier, stress-free delivery experience for customers. And it costs more. With white glove service, delivery drivers carry items to a customer’s room of choice, unbox or unwrap it, assemble it, and take the packaging with them when they go.

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(Source) Some carriers offer different tiers of service from inside delivery to full-service white glove delivery. 

With inside delivery, items are left at the front door or just inside the entryway in the box or wrapping. Customers can’t choose the room where it’s placed, and there is no assembly included.

With NordicTrack, white glove delivery costs $250, and you get assembled equipment placed in your preferred room. With their $199 threshold delivery service, equipment is placed in your doorway, and you have to assemble it yourself, which takes about 60-90 minutes.

How to Make Inside Delivery Service Easy With OptimoRoute

When it comes to adding inside delivery, businesses might hesitate because of the added time. Carrying a product from the truck to an entryway may only take a few extra minutes, but that time can add up across several stops. Increasing convenience for one customer but delaying delivery for the next won’t improve customer experience.

Fortunately, with OptimoRoute, you don’t have to worry about this added service slowing you down. Our route optimization software will increase your efficiency by automatically calculating the best routes for your team, helping them get to delivery destinations quicker.

Reduce your operational costs by 30%
Increase delivery capacity by 43%
Plan 7x faster

Start your free 30-day trial

Biomed Care Services, a UK-based specialist pharmacy, was able to cut costs and improve their delivery efficiency when they started using OptimoRoute. Before, their delivery drivers were frequently overlapping routes, but route optimization software allowed them to increase daily deliveries by about 25% with two fewer drivers.

OptimoRoute’s other features that help increase your business’ productivity include:

  • Realtime Order Tracking through SMS messages or emails to customers let them know when drivers are scheduled to arrive, which reduces the chance you’ll have to schedule a re-delivery because a consignee wasn’t there. 
  • Dynamic route replanning in real time ensures unexpected changes, like a sick driver, won’t be a problem because routes are automatically recalculated to reflect manual changes and uploaded to drivers mobile devices. 
  • Weekly planning allows you to plan deliveries up to five weeks in advance. 
  • Workload balancing distributes deliveries efficiently among drivers based on working hours or number of orders. 
  • Analytics automatically generates reports that show where adjustments might be needed. 
  • Breadcrumbs trails let you see where drivers have deviated from planned routes. 
OptimoRoute - Breadcrumbs trails let you see where drivers have deviated from planned routes

Why Companies Should Offer Inside Delivery

Companies should offer inside delivery because it creates a better customer experience, which leads to more money.

When making a purchase, 64% of customers say that the experience is more important than price. And research from PWC shows they’re willing to pay more for a better experience. Forty-three percent “of all consumers would pay more for greater convenience,” which is why offering inside delivery makes sense.

After customers have spent a lot of money buying office furniture, exercise equipment, or other large merchandise, they don’t want to search for it at the loading dock or haul it up from their driveway. By providing inside delivery, you’re giving customers the convenience they want and building customer loyalty in the process. As PWC also found, “customers say they are more likely to try additional services or products from brands that provide superior customer experience.” 

Increased customer loyalty means higher customer retention and the potential for more money. Research from Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company found, “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

In addition to growth through better retention rates, you’ll also increase revenue from inside delivery fees. If you took the NordicTrack example and charged $199 for inside delivery vs. $99 for curbside delivery, that would be an additional $100 per delivery. If one driver made 10 deliveries per day on all business days each month, that could lead to an extra $20,000 a month for carrying merchandise to the door instead of leaving it at the curb. That’s not bad for a few extra steps.

Grow Your Business With OptimoRoute and Inside Delivery

Since 84% of companies that improved customer experience reported increased revenue, it’s easy to see why you should offer inside delivery to your customers. By making deliveries more convenient, you’ll increase revenue through customer loyalty, and you’ll get more money from inside delivery fees. By using OptimoRoute’s route optimization software, you’ll improve your delivery efficiency, so you don’t need more manpower or time to offer this service. Try OptimoRoute for free to see how our software can streamline your operations and increase efficiency, freeing you up to offer value-added services that will help you take your business to the next level.