On the dot: Same day timed deliveries at next day prices

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At the Metapack Delivery Conference I had some time to speak to Patrick Gallagher from On the dot about their service and why a consumer would want to make use of it.

Lego are one of their customers and, if an order is over a certain amount, it automatically triggers the checkout assistant to ask the customer if they’d like their purchases delivered at home in a chosen time slot. That’s the essence of the On The Dot service, a delivery timed to the customer’s convenience. Lego use it to add service to their retail shop and by all accounts customers love it – Rather than toting massive amounts of Lego around, it leaves them free to continue their day and, at least in the customers eyes, Lego are providing a fantastic service. Behind the scenes though it’s On The Dot providing the fulfilment.

As well as convenience whilst shopping in retail stores, it will almost become mandatory for online retailers to offer same day delivery. Next day is an essential, but sometimes next day still isn’t quick enough and while there’s a cost involved, same day delivery is where ecommerce is heading for essential emergency purchases. Amazon are at it, Argos are at it, at some point in the near future a consumer in your locality will be searching for a product and if you can’t delivery today they’ll go to someone that can.

On the dot cater to those who aren’t necessarily time poor, but simply can’t be bothered with shopping. Without wanting to sound too sexist, the vast majority of men fit into this category. Many men hate shopping and if they could click online and have a delivery a few hours later they’d do it regardless of price. Just check out the shops on Christmas Eve to find the men out in force, having delayed the inevitable they at last decide to do their Christmas shopping and I bet they’d rather it have been delivered at home.

New markets will open up for On the dot, for instance we all know that consumer value returns, but they’re a pain. Too often retailers will offer a free returns label but for a specific carrier. That means the consumer has to either wait in for a courier collection or more often make a trip to the Post Office, a myHermes or CollectPlus store or a courier depot. If the consumer wants to use a provided return label they have to go to the specific carrier chosen by the retailer but On the dot could easily collect the parcel in a convenient hourly time slot and drop it off at the collection point on behalf of the customer.

Patrick tells me that he firmly believes that the market is coming to On the dot. They’re breaking the ground with their service for which no retailer is too small – you can order a single delivery if that’s all you ever need. For instance a small shop (or even an independent online retailer) may have a telephone enquiry to check stock and simply by asking if the customer would like a timed same day delivery win the order then and there.

Should you offer a same day service?

If you’re not offering a same day service locally to your warehouse or shop ask yourself why not? Yes you may get very few local customers but wouldn’t you like to be able to offer them a same day timed delivery to help close a sale? All you’d have to do is make a booking on the On the dot website. There are no contracts, no minimum orders, you can book just a single one off delivery.

Currently On the dot offer service in England (with the notable exception of the Isle of Wight), Wales and about half of Scotland. Delivery radius is approximately 5 miles and a single delivery costs £6.95 for a same day 1 hour delivery window that you (or rather your customer) gets to choose.

Put simply On the dot offer a local same day 1 hour delivery slot service at a price comparable to a next day courier charge.


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