Entrepreneur advice: How businesses can keep up with delivery demand



Advice | Entrepreneur | Growing | Small Business

By Loren Webb

Byline: Guy Mckenzie and Adam Gilmore, co-founders of Tonic

With the demand for delivery rapidly increasing, businesses across all industries, from food to health and retail, are feeling the pressure to provide fast and reliable delivery options.

In recent years, there has been a rise globally in the use of delivery services. It is estimated 84.7 million people in the United States will use restaurant-to-consumer delivery options by 2023 and Roy Morgan research revealed in just three months, nearly two million Australians aged 14 and above used a service like Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Menulog to have food delivered.

As co-founders of Tonic, Australia’s first pharmacy delivery app, we noticed a gap in the market where consumers were unable to have the medication they needed delivered to their door.

Using industry knowledge gained from our first business, PharmaData, a software program which provides real-time tracking of medicine and sales data for pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies, we shifted our focus to designing the app.

We wanted to ensure customers were getting what they wanted, but at no cost to the pharmacy industry. We consider Tonic to be an extension of the wonderful work pharmacists do in our community every day, with added convenience.

We’ve seen how the delivery service has resonated with users across Brisbane and we’re now expanding to regional areas around Queensland ahead of interstate launches.

Below are a few of our tips on how businesses can keep up with delivery demand.

Offer a convenient customer experience

As consumer expectations rise, offering a convenient customer experience has never been more important. Research by delivery platform Zoom2u found one in three Australians has chosen not to re-order products from a company because of an experience with poor delivery.

Most users of delivery services are time-poor and searching for a convenient solution to getting what they need. The Tonic app, for example, has been particularly popular among young mums, who can order prescription and other over-the-counter pharmacy products for themselves and their families to be delivered to their home or workplace. Our highest user base is those aged 20 to 38, many of whom are working full time and can’t find the time to get to a pharmacy when they’re sick.

Delivery reliability, along with value for money and product availability, are important drivers of customer retention. Businesses need to offer a convenient customer experience to attract new customers and keep their existing. They must make sure they can deliver on what they promise.

Partner with other businesses

Rather than trying to grow your business alone, look at partnering with organisations which have similar goals and can help you reach a wider audience.

Tonic has recently partnered with home doctor service House Call Doctor where doctors who make after-hours house calls are able to write prescriptions directly in the app for patients wanting to use the delivery service.

During a trial in Brisbane, 100 per cent of House Call Doctor patients who needed a script chose to have their medication delivered via Tonic.

Another example of a successful business partnership is between Spotify and Uber. Both businesses were looking for ways to get more users and collaborated so Uber riders could select a Spotify playlist to listen to during their trip. Through their collaboration, Spotify and Uber were able to give their customers a better experience.

The future of delivery                        

Australia Post predicts by 2020, 1 in 10 items will be purchased online in Australia, creating huge growth for online businesses. Although this may be influenced by Amazon entering the local market, small businesses can expect a share in the growth.

The biggest trend in the future of delivery is expected to be speed delivery, as same-day delivery options become increasingly popular. The cost of delivery to consumers is also expected to be driven down due to customer demand – two thirds of Australians say they would shop online more if shipping was free.

Businesses will need to ensure they have the resources available, including employees and delivery vehicles, to meet the rising expectations of consumers who more than ever, are expecting to get the products they need delivered to them in a fast, reliable and secure way.


Author bio:

Guy Mckenzie and Adam Gilmore are co-founders of Tonic, Australia’s first pharmacy delivery app. Guy and Adam also founded PharmaData in 2010, a software program which provides real-time tracking of medicine and sales data for pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. In 2015, PharmaData was recognised as one of Queensland’s fastest-growing tech companies at the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.

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