How Retail Delivery Boosts Local Business

Learn how delivery is helping to boost business for local retail stores all around the globe — and how you can use these trends to grow your own business.

9 min read
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Retail delivery is faster than ever these days. Today, when customers purchase products, they want them delivered what seems like nearly instantly — if possible.

Not meeting your customers’ expectations around quick shipping and same-day retail delivery can impact your bottom line. In fact, citing the The 2022 X Delivery State of Shipping Report, RetailDive reports that, “Failure to expedite shipping is eating into retailers’ revenues, with a full 56% of abandoned carts blamed on concerns relating to deliveries.” It’s not just about having the most unique collection of retail items for sale or the best prices — for your customers, it’s also about how quickly they can get those items delivered.

Having a strong retail delivery program can help you win business in your neighborhood and beyond. In this article, we’ll share some of the top ways that delivery is helping to boost business for local retail stores all around the globe — and how you can use these trends to your advantage.

Retail delivery is expected

First, it’s important to understand exactly how your customers feel about retail delivery. For many customers, local retail stores offering delivery is the new standard — and something they expect their favorite shops to offer.

Although the pandemic may have put a pause on global supply chain shipping, it actually accelerated last-mile delivery. With social distancing practices on the rise, many customers have gotten used to the benefits of delivery — a trend that shows no signs of slowing.

While deliveries from online-only retailers have grown, deliveries from local retail stores have grown unexpectedly as well. According to Statista data, the amount of consumers choosing retail same-day delivery when ordering online from a physical retailer jumped from 14% in 2020 to 26% in 2021.

Not offering local retail delivery can mean not meeting your customers’ expectations — and missing out on sales in the process.

Local retail delivery offers an alternative to waiting through shipping delays

When it comes to supply chain issues, shortages of everyday products have become the new normal; according to McKinsey, everything from “pickup trucks to poultry” are hard to get your hands on.

As “out of stock” becomes another new normal for online retailers, being able to offer local same-day delivery for products you have on the shelf can be a major competitive advantage. Connect with customers in your area looking for products that you can deliver today — instead of having to wait through shipping delays with uncertain timelines.

Same-day delivery is convenient for your customers

Getting retail items delivered same-day helps your customers save time, offering the ultimate convenience.This is incredibly valuable — and can be a powerful motivating factor for your customers when they’re making a purchase.

What will your customers do with the time they’ve saved by getting your products delivered? Instead of taking time out of a busy day to purchase an item in person, your customer can focus on other important things, whether that’s family, work, or something else. Instead of ordering an item online with potential shipping delays, your customer can receive and use the purchased item today.

Local delivery connects you to new local customers

More than just offering convenience, offering delivery can be a great way to make a connection with customers you don’t see in person. Platforms like the DoorDash Marketplace help local customers discover your store by making recommendations based on location and search terms. Customers can easily learn about your brand, browse your products, and make purchases — all without ever having stepped foot inside your store, or even having heard of it before.

Want to drive more sales? Businesses can also use Promotions to attract new and repeat customers, or engage Sponsored Listings to boost visibility on the DoorDash app.

It’s important to note that online customers aren’t necessarily separate from in-store customers. Many DoorDash merchants have reported online customers ultimately stopping by their local retail stores to check out their products in person and make additional purchases — and vice versa. Additionally, retail delivery can also help connect your business to folks who are less mobile in your neighborhood — whether that’s due to age, disability, or other access issues. With delivery, you can bring your business to them.

For delivery orders, consider investing in eye-catching packaging that reminds your customers of your brand and what makes your business unique. Around the holidays or for big orders, consider adding on free items to make your customers feel extra special. 

Teona Miller, owner of Hair & Beauty Maze, in Dayton, Ohio, shared how she likes to surprise her delivery customers with a little something extra in their orders: “I really love to give back. That was my thing when I first started my business — I would always give my customers a free something, even if it was a simple thing like a comb. Because of that, I was able to drive in more customers.”

These little extras can go a long way in connecting with customers in your neighborhood — no face-to-face contact required.

Retail delivery helps small businesses stand out

There have been multiple studies showing that many customers prefer to shop small and support local business when possible. In a recent survey, ActiveCampaign reports that 56% of consumers are prioritizing making purchases from small businesses — despite inflation trends.

Being a small business that offers retail delivery can give you a competitive advantage over bigger retailers, making it easy for a customer to choose to purchase from you when all other factors are equal.

That same survey from ActiveCampaign also found that 64% of consumers want to interact with small businesses in-person, which means 36% prefer to interact online and points to the importance of having a strong online and in-person presence.

Retail delivery is easy and convenient for business owners too

Retail delivery isn’t just convenient for customers — it can be convenient for business owners as well. With a retail delivery partner like DoorDash, businesses can easily start offering local, retail same-day delivery with little change to their day-to-day operations.

Here’s how a DoorDash retail order works: a business receives an order through a tablet where they can review and accept it, then they simply package up the order and hand it off to a Dasher for final delivery. Once an order has been picked up, businesses can track its progress and contact the customer if any issues arise.

The process is designed to be simple, so merchants can focus on the day-to-day of their business first. As Lakesha Lymon-Ellerbee, owner of Georgia-based Kesha Beauty Supply explains: “DoorDash is so easy. I get the order, I fulfill it, they come and pick it up and deliver it.”

Learn more about how a DoorDash retail delivery order works, and sign up for DoorDash retail delivery today. 


Ali Cottong
Ali Cottong


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