OnTime 360 Blog

Blog Home

OnTime 360 News and information

Using OnTime as a Grocery Delivery Platform

Grocery delivery software platform with OnTime

The online grocery market has seen rapid growth in the last few years. In fact, the industry market value doubled from 2016 to 2018. This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future (especially given the events of the past few months). Within the last week, a single grocery delivery business reached a valuation of nearly $14 billion.

It’s becoming clear that online grocery delivery is no longer just a trend—customer behaviors are changing, and it’s now expected that grocery stores offer delivery. For that reason, most grocers, whether established or newcomers to the industry, are looking to expand their delivery services to meet the new demand. In addition, newer grocery delivery services are finding ways to compete (often on a local level) with the larger companies, such as Instacart and Shipt.

Of course, all this growth comes with increased competition. Everyone is looking for the right strategy and software for their situation. Undoubtedly, all the major players in the industry—Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, etc.—are employing unique strategies to find success within their niche.

This raises a few questions: What are the keys to profitable grocery delivery? And, how can you adapt the OnTime software for your situation?

Profitable Grocery Delivery

Although the market segment as a whole is indeed growing, individual grocers are more concerned about the question: Can my grocery delivery service be profitable?

A profitable online offer is achievable, but to drive long-term profitability, grocery delivery services need to pay close attention to a few key factors.

Logistics is at the core of any effective grocery delivery strategy. A service needs to have efficient and accurate picking of in-stock products, and low cost, on-time delivery. Retailers who focus on optimizing their delivery process are benefiting from the lowest-cost operations, enabling them to serve customers more cheaply than their competitors can. It’s necessary to take into account driver management, route optimization, tracking, and more.

Implementation of software is also an essential factor (more on that later). To provide a top-of-the-line customer experience requires purpose-built technology, both customer-facing and in delivery. Poor implementations can cost time and money. Worse still, choosing technology that doesn’t fit the business model in the first place can set back an entire operation.

Continue reading to see how OnTime can improve the delivery process, whether it be an independent grocery chain, or a courier business looking to create its own version of Instacart or FreshDirect.

API Integration

Use the OnTime API to connect OnTime with other platforms, such as websites or mobile apps. For example, it’s very common for grocery delivery services to have a mobile ordering app for customers. With the API, it’s possible to connect an app to an OnTime account and transmit order information from the app into OnTime.

This feature saves dispatchers from the time-consuming task of entering this information into a delivery system manually. Our API helps to extend the efficiency of a delivery service right through to the customer’s doorstep.

Delivery Management

As a grocery delivery service continues to grow and increase in order volume, delivery management becomes more and more important. Here are a few of the most valuable OnTime features for delivery management:

Set up signature capture for high-value items, create zone-based pricing, and add additional items to the order, such as instructions for delivery drivers.

Use our location management feature to organize all addresses that a company has either picked up from or delivered to. This list of addresses may be organized to better view a company's reach.

In our real-time tracking feature, view the status of any order in the system. Reassign orders to different drivers, while OnTime logistics software takes care of all the necessary notifications.

To learn more about what OnTime has to offer, make sure to check out our features page.

Driver Options

As we touched on in the last section, a delivery process becomes more complex as order volume increases. This means dealing with multiple drivers—and that comes with a new set of challenges, such as vehicle maintenance, tracking, and route optimization. OnTime provides the tools needed to manage these different elements successfully.

For example, OnTime Mobile allows dispatch mangers to stay in tight communication with drivers through email, text messages, or internal messaging. And OnTime’s GPS connectivity can transmit a driver's position to the dispatch manager throughout the day. Maintenance reminders, such as insurance and license dates can be kept up-to-date under the driver information section.

It’s likely that you have more specific questions about features and support. After all, each grocery service will have it’s own unique needs. Over the years, we've helped many food delivery companies successfully adapt OnTime. (For example, you've just seen a small sample of what the API can do.) Contact us if you'd like to learn how we can build a solution for your business.

Build Your Own Multi-Restaurant Food Delivery System With OnTime

Multi-Restaurant Food Delivery Software built using OnTime.

Food delivery and take-out services are two of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry. According to Forbes, the online food delivery business will soon be a 200 Billion dollar industry.

Food delivery services are in high demand—they give restaurants access to a whole new set of customer orders. Of course, each multi-restaurant chain will have its own unique needs to take into account, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all software solution. Instead, look for a flexible software platform that can grow and change with the demands of your market. Here are some tips on how to find the right solution for your business.

Benefits of an In-house Solution

Are you part of a multiple-location restaurant chain looking to branch out into delivery? If so, you might wonder about the viability of a third-party delivery option. There are a few reasons why third-party delivery can be a poor long-term option for multiple-location restaurants: These services, such as Grubhub and Uber Eats, take a large cut of the sales you're making from delivery, and they control your menu and pricing.

If you can make the investment, and if it's right for your business, hiring drivers and bringing your delivery service in-house is the best option. The upfront cost will be higher, but the returns, later on, will also be higher.

Although many businesses want to bring their delivery in-house, they may not have the time or resources to create a software solution from scratch. OnTime 360 is an ideal solution for these multi-restaurant chains, as it gives them more control without the added complexities of a custom solution. Using OnTime as a platform, you can create your own version of Grubhub, DoorDash, or Uber Eats.

Without further ado, let’s consider: What are the most important features for a multi-restaurant delivery software? And how can you adapt OnTime for your food delivery service?

1. Software Integration

It’s vital that you have a delivery software platform that can integrate with other software. The OnTime API is a versatile tool built to connect the OnTime software with other platforms, such as websites or mobile apps.

The API can be a great solution for food delivery services using an in-house or third-party food ordering software that want to submit delivery info directly into OnTime when an order is completed.

With the OnTime API, you can connect with a wide range of industry-specific software and point-of-sale (POS) systems. For example, many food delivery services already have their own mobile app for customers. With the API, it’s possible to connect an app to your OnTime account and transmit order information from the app to create orders in OnTime. With our API, there are countless possibilities to create custom solutions for your specific needs.

2. Dispatching and Order Entry

Restaurants often have a lot of information to include in their orders. Fortunately, OnTime has a high level of flexibility when it comes to order entry. In OnTime 360, several data fields are available for use, such as collection location and cost of delivery. On top of that, you can use our User Defined Fields feature to add additional items to the order, such as instructions for the kitchen staff.

Our software is ideal for food delivery services working out of multiple locations. The option to set pickup location makes it easy for services with several locations, as everyone is connected with the same delivery system.

You likely deliver to a variety of different areas both near and far. With zone-based pricing, it’s possible to generate prices by simply filling in a postal code. Or use full addresses to calculate pricing based on exact distances.

Does your food delivery service have a high-volume of orders and requests? OnTime allows for different departments and contacts to place orders whenever needed, making it much easier to oversee.

3. Driver Management

One of the unique challenges that multiple-location restaurants face is driver management. There is so much to manage! You'll have to monitor vehicle maintenance, route optimization, and tracking, just to name a few.

The OnTime 360 Mobile App for delivery drivers comes with GPS tracking, barcode scanning, and options for collecting signatures. You can also track driver fees, tips, amounts owed for orders, and delivery times.

Route optimization is one of those details that can significantly improve the efficiency of a delivery service. With OnTime's route optimization, you can optimize hundreds of stops within a few seconds. There's no extra software needed, and it's always up-to-date.

If you’re considering OnTime as an option for your restaurant, then it’s likely that you have a lot of questions about features and support. Over the years, we've helped many food delivery companies successfully adapt OnTime. (In this post, we've barely scratched the surface of all the OnTime features available). Contact us if you'd like to learn how we can adapt our software to your business.