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