Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s my last mile delivery!
What do consumers want? Their groceries delivered to their door! When do they want it? Now!
With the speed at which consumers expect their deliveries getting faster and faster, last mile delivery is having it’s staring moment. From skincare to toilet roll, when buying online they are looking for and expecting rapid delivery. And the demand is no different when it comes to groceries. With the pandemic making the everyday act of popping to the shops unappealing or even impossible, consumers are turning to alternative ways to receive their groceries.
Pairing the difficulties of shopping in-store with the increasingly fast-paced life of consumers, the perfect opportunity has arrived for those offering an on-demand grocery delivery service.
Cue, the rise of last mile delivery start-ups.
What are last-mile delivery start-ups?
The aim of last-mile delivery start-ups is to get consumers their groceries at lightning speed. And we are no longer talking next day delivery, we are talking 15-minute delivery.
Usually, the delivery process works something like this. The consumer will choose and select the goods they want via an app. The order is then picked and packed from the start-up’s local ‘store’, this tends to be a warehouse, dark store or fulfilment centre. The groceries are then delivered to the consumer in a matter of minutes, with many start-ups utilising bikes and employing their own fleet of riders.
Instant grocery start-ups can deliver orders considerably faster than the last mile offerings from retailers, for example, Tesco’s ‘Whoosh’ rapid delivery service. Having their own local warehouses quickens order picking and packing speed due to smaller ranges and smaller physical space to manoeuvre around, unlike the vast warehouses with hundreds of shelves that retailers pick from.
Therefore, last-mile delivery start-ups perfectly accommodate the ‘I need milk, and I need milk now’ occasion, which is appealing for many consumers wanting their groceries to neatly fit into their fast-paced lives.
Who are the main players?
Gorillas is a German-based on-demand delivery service who launched in the UK in March 2021. Already available in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Reading, Southampton and Cambridge they claim 10-minute delivery from their dark stores or warehouses and charge their customers a £1.80 delivery fee. Their latest venture has been a partnership with Tesco in October this year, making Tesco products available to Gorillas’ customers.
Weezy is a London-based delivery start-up which launched in July 2020 and is available in London, Brighton, Hove, Bristol and Manchester. Charging £2.95 for delivery in 15-minutes, Weezy buy their products from larger suppliers but also local suppliers such as butchers, bakers, and grocers with a focus on fresh groceries.
Gopuff is the latest to enter the UK scene, launching at the start of this month. The US based business acquired two of the UK’s instant delivery players, Dija and Fancy and plan to re-brand both under the Gopuff name. Available in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield Gopuff’s delivery fee is £1.95. But their delivery time is a bit slower than some with average delivery taking 30-minutes.
These are just three of the main players, other names include Jiffy, Getir, Beelivery and more.
The future is instant
With the last mile delivery sector estimated to have grown by 5-years in the past 9-months (ONS, 2021) it is clear that demand is high. And whilst consumers have the need for speed its looking likely that demand will only continue to rise.
Technology will continue to improve and develop, making deliveries even quicker and more convenient for the consumer. Already pilots are being conducted which are trialling the use of drones and expanding the number of pick-up points.
Supplying last-mile delivery services is a perfect way for FMCG brands to gain instant access into the homes of their consumers. As more and more instant delivery services start to appear across the country it is vital that brands utilise this up-and-coming channel. Furthermore, with quick commerce set to stay, brands should take some inspiration from these rapid delivery start-ups when it comes to their own online offering.
When it comes to speedy delivery, it pays to be quick off the mark.
If you are a FMCG brand who wants to explore last-mile delivery services, or who wants to improve your own eCommerce offering we would love to help. Get in touch today. [email protected].