What’s the common challenge faced by large eCommerce companies and small restaurants? Having their products quickly delivered to the customers’ doorsteps. While Sri Lanka has an industry of courier companies, on average you’ll find they’ll take anywhere from a few days to a week to a month to deliver a package. Unfortunately, customers are rarely ever that patient. Hence, many businesses opt to build their own last-mile delivery infrastructure. But this is a costly endeavour with its own challenges.
For many businesses, this was a luxury. But the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 changed everything. Overnight deliveries became the only way they could reach customers. It was at this time, PickMe stepped in and offered a much-needed lifeline. The company’s efforts back then have now morphed into the Market Place where you can order everything from a USB cable to laundry detergent. Similarly, businesses are also utilizing the company’s on-demand delivery service PickMe Flash, which recently hit the milestone of 100,000 deliveries to reach customers as well.
By leveraging technology and its agile fleet, PickMe likely saved many businesses from going under. Yet, the company hasn’t been idle. Rather, it’s been hard at work to upgrade its platform to assist businesses with last-mile deliveries. Now, with the launch of its Last-Mile Delivery portal, PickMe is offering a dedicated solution that allows businesses to have their products reach customers in hours rather than days. Here’s everything we know about it.
How the PickMe Last-Mile Portal works
“With the launch of the last-mile delivery service, we’re offering express delivery, which is something that’s currently lacking in the Sri Lankan market. This will enable businesses to deliver their products to customers in a short time. Typically, under 2 hours instead of leaving their customers waiting for 2 – 3 days,” states Head of PickMe MarketPlace, Marc Perera describing the company’s vision with this new initiative.
For an eCommerce business, it would take the form of a button on their website. When clicked, their customers can have PickMe deliver the products they ordered to their doorstep. For the business, the entire process happens without any manual intervention from their side. Behind the scenes, the business will only have to integrate PickMe’s API to its website.
But what of businesses without websites? Product owner (Finance and External integration) at PickMe, M.Mubarak explained that for such businesses, the company would offer an online portal. With this portal, they can manually enter the details of the order. Once confirmed they can select the type of vehicle, the nearest rider is hailed, and the products delivered to the customer. Following confirmation, as a customer, you will receive a notification on the PickMe app that’ll allow you to track the delivery in real-time.
Empowering Sri Lankan eCommerce with express delivery
Currently, the PickMe Last-Mile Portal is utilized by a variety of businesses. These include pharmaceutical chains, supermarkets, and restaurants to name a few. The introduction of the last-mile delivery service by PickMe has offered them several benefits. The most obvious being customers now have the option of cash on delivery when businesses deliver using PickMe. Behind the scenes, there are other notable benefits for businesses.
Notably, the Last-Mile delivery service eliminates the need for a delivery fleet. “In most cases, when businesses have to manage their own fleet, the efficiency is questionable. The exception would be if you’re a large eCommerce player that’s invested in operating smoothly. If not, managing a fleet is an expensive affair. With PickMe’s last-mile delivery service, businesses gain access to a vast network of delivery agents without having to invest in building a fleet,” explains Marc.
Through the service, businesses can tap into PickMe’s vast fleet of vehicles. Whether it be a motorcycle, trishaw, or a truck, they can choose the right vehicle for their products. As such, beyond heavy cost-savings, the service also offers scalability to businesses. Taking the example of a small restaurant, Marc continued, “On a weekend your restaurant may get 100’s of orders. But on the weekdays this may not be the case. So your logistics needs will fluctuate, which isn’t easy to manage. But with PickMe’s last-mile delivery service it’s possible.”
Moving forward, Marc reiterated the company’s vision towards enabling seamless mobility. “We’re in the business of movement, be it people or products. The Last-Mile Delivery Portal is the latest in our line of offerings towards this vision by enabling express delivery for eCommerce companies and empowering them as their preferred delivery partners.”