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Hey! How One Text Message Can Improve Your Customer’s Day

Why SMS Alerts are key to any delivery experience

-Pegeen Stone

Some delivery businesses we work with at GetSwift have their doubts about SMS Alerts. One common worry is: “If I send SMS alerts, will I bother my customers?”

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In a word: No. Predictable delivery is not just a convenient, nice thing to have anymore—it’s expected. Your customer is building how they spend their day, night, or, in the case of large delivery like a couch or a refrigerator, their week around this delivery. Text messages are a great way for customers to manage their time, interact with your brand, and even get prompted to contact your team if they need to change the delivery time.

Text alerts have also become common courtesy. Remember the days of sitting on your couch wondering when your Chinese takeout will arrive and having no idea if you can take a shower or walk the dog—or not? Those days are long gone.

The best part? Automated SMS alerts can be set up in minutes on GetSwift. You can learn how easy that is on our support page.

As you set up SMS alerts, here are some awesome things you do to add a flourish to your messages:

First, you can automatically personalize each SMS Alert just by adding a field for the customer’s name and the driver’s name when you set up your alerts. You can also choose to add links to a Live Tracking Map, Live ETA, or a feedback form.

Second, you can add your own branding. Write the message in your tone of voice and choose the name of the sender that pops up on your customer’s phone.

Third, you can choose which events will trigger an SMS alert. Here are the events that could trigger an alert: New Job Started, Task Accepted by Handler, Delivery En Route, Delivery Completed, and Delivery Cancelled. Choose all 5 or just one.

In sum, giving customers an accurate prediction of when their delivery will arrive is a must-have for delivery businesses, and SMS alerts a great way to do it. With GetSwift, you can customize those messages to your needs so that your customers are kept informed, at ease, and, most importantly, excited about your products and their delivery.

For a guide to setting up SMS alerts, head to our support page. To learn how GetSwift can help you conquer the chaos of delivery, get in touch.


The Dispatcher: Issue 6

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How Location Intelligence Enhances The Customer Experience

Location intelligence, when combined with the vast amounts of operational and customer data owned by most retailers, delivers greater efficiencies and levels of customer experience that were previously unattainable.

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Amazon Is Now Texting Arrival Times For Package Deliveries — Here's How It Works

Amazon has started texting customers to let them know what time their packages will arrive.

The text notifications are still in testing phase, so they aren't available to all customers, an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.

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Chains Start Charging More For Delivery Orders

Restaurants raise prices for delivery as providers ease requirements and say they've had little pushback from customers. 

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4/20 Broke Marijuana Delivery Websites Everywhere

April 20 - or 4/20 as it's commonly referred to - is undoubtedly the marijuana industry's biggest day. So it's no surprise that a lot of weed was bought, sold and smoked last Saturday. But even though licensed retailers and couriers knew there would be a huge spike in cannabis purchases last weekend, many couldn't supply enough weed to meet consumer demand. 

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Domino's Leaning On Fortressing To Improve Delivery, Not Third-Party Aggregators

"What happens when you have a service failure?" he said. "Who is to blame?"

With 62% of diners blaming both restaurants and delivery companies for bad business, it makes sense that third-party delivery is just a risk Domino's isn't willing to take. 

In An Industry Still Modernizing, HERB Makes Cannabis Delivery As Consumer-Friendly As Pizza

How HERB built a brand on fast delivery, with a little help from GetSwift

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Over a half decade ago, before recreational marijuana was even legal in California, Bobby and his business partner at Los Angeles-based HERB started thinking about delivery.

Nearly everyone receiving delivery of that beloved green herb had an experience that left something to be desired: quickly opening the doors of an unfamiliar car, no clue who the delivery person is, no real explanation of the product. And also potentially unsafe.

When Bobby founded HERB, which has since become a delivery service known for its customer service and ultra-quick delivery times (just look at reviews on Leafly or Google for proof), with routine 30-minute deliveries in the notoriously congested city, he wanted to radically change the notion of user experience when purchasing cannabis products.

“We wanted cannabis users to achieve the same level of convenience that they were achieving in all other aspects of their lives,” Bobby said. “You can order coffee to your office or your home, you can get food delivered any time you want. Why not cannabis?” he asked.

The Early Days

From the start, HERB decided to build its business on two pillars: being digital first and giving world-class customer service (both, of course, include delivery). Simply creating a website helped them stand apart. Five years ago, most cannabis retailers didn’t even have a website, so the fact that HERB built one that looked nice with a wide product selection and in-depth product descriptions was groundbreaking.

In terms of customer service, Bobby knew that creating the right experience for users meant giving them knowledge and attention. He said consumers had been misled about cannabis for a long time and it was HERB’s role to come in and help educate them.

In the early days, “Our customer service line was lit up all day long, where we would literally just talk to people—15-, 30-, 45-minute conversations—about what they wanted to achieve through cannabis use and how they might be able to get there,” Bobby said.

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Scaling Up & Transforming Delivery

Customer service, of course, is also about speed and convenience, especially since the competition is fierce. If you’re not consistently fast, customers have the option to just walk to a dispensary to purchase flowers.

The company has since been able to promise that speed to customers, offering “Free, Fast Delivery” that will “arrive anywhere from 15-45 minutes” right on their website. (That’s in contrast to the normal delivery time promised by competitors, which is typically over an hour, Bobby said).

As the company has scaled up, the way to achieve that speedy delivery has changed, though.

In their first year, Bobby and his team were dispatching and communicating to their handlers via text message, something that at a small scale, worked just fine. But soon after, they started using the GetSwift platform to keep track of hundreds of deliveries and dozens of routes at once.

“As we began to scale, dispatching and routing became a really complex thing to do,” Bobby said. “Keeping all the information straight, keeping the routes straight, and ensuring that everything is going as planned, is really a feat in itself.”

“Without using a logistics platform like GetSwift at the scale that we’re at, it would be very difficult to execute on the promises that we make our customers,” he added.

GetSwift Gives Flexibility, HERB Nails The Execution

For Bobby, the beauty of GetSwift’s platform is its adaptability.

“The platform is built in a way that it’s easily customizable, so if you need to add or delete fields, if you want to go automatic dispatch as opposed to manual dispatch, you can do all of those things...It’s very open source,” Bobby said. And the fact that he can call GetSwift’s team if a problem arises and quickly get an answer has been a big help, too, he said.

However, the software is just the foundation. It’s the execution that makes HERB stand out from competitors, Bobby said.

“How you use (GetSwift) and how well-trained your employees are and how much they’re hustling is truly what makes the difference at the end of the day,” he said.

The Many Facets Of Delivery Experience

When you take a look at reviews of HERB on Leafly, you quickly learn what customers like about the HERB platform, and they are all things that a last-mile logistics platform can help businesses achieve.

On Leafly, customers raved about the fast sign-up:

“The delivery service is amazing, quick verification and easy ordering.”

And the Live Order Tracking and SMS Alerts:

“Herb is the best service. I’ve used them for over two years now. They allow credit cards upon delivery and they use a convenient app to track your order!”

And the flexible payment options:

“Herb is great! Wide selection, arrives in a timely manner, friendly delivery people, and arrives in a cute box. You can use a card or cash and the checkout is easy. I use Herb exclusively!”

Finally, it looks like you can’t beat their speed:

“They always arrive in like 30 minutes or less! Fastest of all the deliveries! They are super professional and each delivery comes in a cute little package with info on your product.”

The reviews go on and on (in the hundreds). But if you think HERB is going to rest on its laurels (or its flowers), you just wait. This is just the start of Bobby’s big ambitions.

“Our primary goal is maintaining our status as the best delivery platform in the state and hopefully we’ll be able to expand nationally and worldwide at some point,” Bobby said.


To learn more about how GetSwift’s smart delivery platform can elevate your business, Get in touch with us. 

How To Turn Your Worst Day Leading a Delivery Business Into Much Easier Days Ahead

By Joel MacDonald, GetSwift co-founder

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When I led Liquorun, a delivery startup I co-founded in Melbourne in 2013, my team and I started out every day with a series of questions: “What was the weather going to be like? Any sporting events? How many drivers do we have? What did business look like on this day last year?” Using this data, we planned our day. 

But it didn’t always work out as planned—a common problem in this line of business. Some days we got slammed by unexpected problems, causing all of us who would normally work the phones to hit the road ourselves in cars, bikes, and scooters. Here’s the story of one of those days, how we got through it, why we added another question to our daily repertoire, and the steps we took to make our delivery operation much more efficient and effective—steps that you and your team can take too. 

Here’s what happened…

One day, most of our drivers called in sick. It was bizarre, we had no idea why it was happening, and we were scrambling. Only later did we figure that India was playing in a big cricket match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and many of our drivers at the time were of Indian descent. Not only did we have to deal with the traffic that comes with a major sports event, but we didn’t have enough handlers to work a busy day of deliveries (some of which were probably fans ordering a beer to watch the match). 

It was chaos. I was on the road and our staff that normally handles calls was too. It was painful. 

The first lesson: include more data in your model 

The cricket match taught us lots of lessons. First, we had been excluding some small yet critical data: sporting events. We started entering that into our models we used to determine how large of a fleet we’d need that day, and when and where to deploy drivers. 

Second, we developed a crucial strategy: let’s keep a contingency fleet—a group of drivers who would get a bonus if they were ever called up—at the ready. These days, we see this model in the form of the more sophisticated surge pricing from companies like Uber and other urban logistics platforms. 

How’d we determine if the backup fleet was needed? We took a look at the historical data, asking how often orders were placed in our different delivery zones (this was very manual still). If the demand was much higher than the supply of drivers, we knew we needed to have the reinforcements in that zone. That evolved into a program running in the background that would advise drivers to stay in a certain area because deliveries would be coming and dramatically helped planning the roster each shift (a program that, with others, would eventually evolve into Version 1 of GetSwift).

The next step: make a list of your challenges 

A shortage of drivers is just one issue your delivery operation may face. Your next step is to break them all down, one by one. Some examples could be:

  • driver supply

  • long trip times

  • long trip distances

  • traffic 

  • high peaks and low troughs of demand

  • unreliable drivers

  • dispatching decision-making

  • customers not knowing where their delivery is

Let’s take a look at the average time of the trip. If you export all your trip times into an excel sheet with some other basic information like destination, starting zone, time of day, distance, the number of drivers in your fleet, you can start to learn a few things. Look for outliers—any trips that took a really long time—and eliminate them. See how much it affects the average. If the result is a much lower average delivery time, you might consider doing what we did at Liquorun, consolidate your delivery zones. 

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Although eliminating one or two zones means losing some potential customers, you will likely gain something much more important, the customers who are delighted regulars and buy more, which outweighs the cost of a lost customer that you might have originally wanted to service. A similar analysis could remove one low-performance driver from your data. If that significantly improves your delivery time, maybe it’s time to have a hard conversation with that driver. 

In sum, think of your operation as an organism and look at it from a macro standpoint. Every single data point impacts every other data point within the organism. To keep the organism healthy, sometimes you need to pull out or add a couple of data points. And folks, this optimization never ever ends! You have to keep testing and refining to keep getting better.

Test, test, test. Then test. 

Finally, real-world testing, aka trial-and-error, is the key to improvement. That’s the only way you can learn if your theory, based on data, helps your business. You can test literally anything—from what might happen if you eliminated two delivery zones to what if you doubled your fleet size.

Your tests can go beyond driver management into marketing and e-commerce. For Liquorun, it was as simple as changing the button color on the home landing page from green to blue. Once we did, we were surprised at the outcome. We started getting 30% more visitor entries to our menu page. Be curious. What else can you improve? It’s really fun and you can find profound results. Test against your bias and let the data tell you the story.

Where to go from here

Being a delivery operator is a day-to-day grind. But there are concrete steps you can take—even beyond calling platforms like GetSwift and  Delivery BIZ Pro, a platform we recently acquired—to solve a lot of your pain. Starting today, you can dig into the data and test it out on the road. In doing so, you’ll not only be making immediate improvements but also laying the roadmap for your future success, so you can conquer the chaos of delivery and start loving your last mile. 

Interested in conquering the chaos? GetSwift can help you start improving your delivery operation in hours. Get in touch

GetSwift allows this Meals-on-Wheels provider to put real-time tracking in Seniors hands.

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GetSwift allows this Meals-on-Wheels provider to put real-time tracking in seniors hands. Real-time tracking of deliveries is the new norm, and it’s working even for folks we sometimes assume aren’t so hip with technology: the elderly.

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A new partnership between GetSwift and Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) in Massachusetts is allowing older people who rely on free hot meals to accomplish all sorts of new, important tasks: track their meals in real time, receive text message notifications, cancel orders, and more.

The older generation is getting it done right from a simple SMS message to their smartphones—being able to track the location of their hot and cold meals, snacks, and frozen foods in real-time. SCES alone served more than 240,000 meals last year, part of the over 2.5 million Meals-on-Wheels delivered across the country.

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Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) utilizes GetSwift to send text notifications when a delivery is scheduled and when the meal is on its way, which is crucial because we all know there’s nothing more important than a fresh, healthy meal.

For SCES, the GetSwift platform allows them to improve their customer service, become more efficient, and reduce food waste. Their customers no longer have to call them to check on a driver’s ETA—instead seniors can see the driver’s route in real-time, along with an ETA, right on their smartphones.

S.C.E.S implemented GetSwift with its client base last fall and both their drivers and customers are benefitting from the upgrade in technology.

GetSwift is a global leader in delivery management automation and is proud to be in a supporting role behind SCES, a nonprofit elder services agency that’s dedicated to helping people maintain independence and well-being at home, by providing services, supports, and information.

For more information about how GetSwift can transform your Customer Experience, contact info@getswift.co

The Dispatcher: Issue 5

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Wary of Third-Party Delivery, Some Restaurateurs Say, 'It's a Parasitic Relationship.' 

Unlike an increasing number of casual restaurant owners in Pittsburgh, Sonja Finn is fending off food-delivery companies because they undercut the very reason she opened Dinette.

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Tips to Crafting a Winning Delivery Strategy


L.E.K Consulting recently released a report predicting delivery sales would grow at more than three times the rate of on-premises revenue through 2023.

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The Last Mile


In the world of e-commerce, customers want two things: faster shipping times and cheaper prices. As companies compete along these two metrics, squeezed margins force new innovations in efficiency. 

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Autonomous Food Deliveries (And Robots) Put To The Test

The last mile can be vexing for firms aiming to get their products in the hands of consumers. For food companies, the logistics of the last 10 feet can prove a challenge as well.

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Swift Tip: Add Custom Proof of Delivery Fields

Do you need additional information from your customers or drivers as the order is being completed?

 We can help you add these custom fields, such as "# of Boxes" or "POD Name".  

The Dispatcher: Issue 3

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 2018 Holiday Logistics Guide 

 The nightmare of 2013, and the roughly two million packages that were delivered late, still looms large in the minds of retailers, carriers, and customers. So let’s check in to see how some of the largest logistics providers and retailers are preparing for this 

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Three Future Delivery Trends We are Likely to See in E-commerce

 Of course, many brands are already offering next day delivery, but same day delivery is likely to become very much the norm in the years to come. Research shows that consumers are willing to pay more if it means getting faster delivery. 

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The Scooter Stampede of 2018 is Great News for Urban Transportation

The beauty of the e-scooters that companies like Skip, Bird, and Lime can whisk you across towns and parks for a couple dollars. Pick one up where you find it and drop it off where you like, as long as it’s not obstructing traffic.

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This Self-Driving Car Uses a Fold-Out Robot Arm to Deliver Parcels

Based on a video of Lotte in action, the delivery vehicle can not only drive itself to a secure locker, but even place a package inside with a fold-out robotic arm — eliminating the need for any human intervention.

How to Make Most of Crowdsourcing in Last-Mile Delivery

As the holiday season gets underway, we’re seeing more and more delivery vehicles on the road. But not all of them are immediately recognizable. That’s because many shippers are turning to crowdsourced logistics to tackle last-mile delivery. As the trend gains speed, consider these strategies to make the most out of crowdsourcing.

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Swift Tip
: The Customer Feedback Link automatically checks the pulse of your business 

  • Utilize the White Labeled Customer Feedback link to get ratings and comments in real time

  • Customers can use the 5-Star rating scale as well as leave feedback

  • Proactively reach out to unsatisfied customers before they reach out to you...or worse post on the internet!

The Dispatcher: Issue 2

Mercedes’ AI research could mean faster package delivery

Using a combination of computer vision and AI, Mercedes believes it can help reduce the time needed to load packages onto vehicles and make sure these boxes are in the optimal spot for an AI-created delivery route. More importantly to delivery companies, the system is cost effective.

To reduce traffic, pollution, delivery services hop on the bike

“UPS is very focused on urban logistics, and our ‘cycle logistics’ solutions, which the cargo e-bike is part of, are all designed to address congestion and pollution,” UPS spokesperson Glenn Zaccara said in an email.  


How smart logistics can help a retailer win the same-day delivery game

Retailers can remain competitive if they can determine how to offer same-day shipping at low prices. Same-day delivery is no longer just a plus but an expectation

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The last mile: Logistics’ final frontier meets gig culture
The so-called "last mile" conundrum has stumped otherwise perfectly tuned systems, confronting them with routes and infrastructure that simply aren’t designed to handle the demands of frequent shipments.

The cost of a failed delivery continues to rise, survey shows

"Today, simply tracking a package isn't enough. Retailers and brands that want to thrive need to invest in people, processes and tools that positively impact last mile delivery and customer loyalty."

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Swift Tip
: Use Automated Alerts to prevent failed delivery  

  • Maintain, retain and build customer loyalty through proactive outreach

  • Let your customers know when to expect their delivery with a customized SMS or Email

  • Send a Tracking Link and customers can follow their delivery on our White Labeled Map...they will even see a live ETA!

  • Solicit feedback with an automatic survey to identify strengths and weaknesses of your business

Introducing The Dispatcher: Issue 1

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Looking Ahead: 11 Predictions On How Drone Deliveries Will Work

As commercial drones gain in popularity, businesses and consumers are speculating about the technology's future role in logistics. Will the systems allow for smarter deliveries at lower costs?

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The Quick and The Late: Testing Same-day Delivery

Same-day delivery offers the tantalizing convenience of online ordering with nearly the . same immediacy of store buying. But how well are stores pulling it off?

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E-Commerce Industry’s Last Mile Needs Create New Demand for Old Warehouse Space

CRE developers can use everything from old government facilities to brownfield sites to capitalize on the need for last mile warehouses.

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You Can Send a Scary Clown to Deliver Doughnuts (and Nightmares) to Your Friends

You don't really know how much you love doughnuts until you're faced with the decision of whether or not it's worth it to snatch one from the hands of a scary clown.

Cannabis Delivery Is the Next Big Trend in the $10 Billion Marijuana Industry

Staying ahead of the curve is how you make the most money in the stock market, which is why we're eyeing the explosive new cannabis delivery sector.

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Swift Tip: Use Your Data to Find Efficient Gaps

  • The heatmap shows where you are currently doing deliveries....but our Swift Experts suggest using what you don't see.  

  • Analyze the empty spots to target new or restrict low volume delivery areas!

  • Use your average delivery by hour or day of the week for smart driver roster planning