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How Your Business Can Deliver: Third-Party vs. Internal Delivery

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Whether business owners like it or not, third-party delivery services have arrived and thrived this past decade.  

The conversation is no longer about whether or not a business will utilize third-party delivery, but which platform to use—and whether or not it’s worth offering internal delivery at all.  

It’s a fair question to ask, especially considering the nearly 45 million people already utilizing delivery applications like Postmates, GrubhubUberEats, and others for their delivery. And with certain platforms branching into product delivery, even storefronts without food need to consider whether or not they should consider third-party delivery. 

However, that doesn’t mean internal delivery has no place in the current market. Internal delivery offers a fee-free method of getting your products into the hands of your customers, and many businesses are removing themselves from third-party ties and going into the delivery market themselves to various levels of success. 

From third-party delivery integration to POS delivery systems and everything in between, here’s how your business can deliver: 


How Third-Party Services Work For You

 

Most merchants have the routine down now when it comes to third-party delivery services. When a customer orders your products from a third-party, the service either contacts you to place the order or sends a representative in to order the products personally. From there, it heads straight to the customer.
 

On paper, it’s a perfect symbiotic relationship. 

The merchant makes their profit from the sale of the product and the third-party outsources delivery services to broaden your customer reach and profits from their delivery fees. A win-win, theoretically. 

However, this workflow doesn’t exactly work for everyone. 

The main issue here is the issue of branding. As a vendor on a third-party platform, you’ll be culpable for many issues that may be the fault of the platform, not you 

For instance, if the platform sells your customer a product you don’t currently have in stock, that customer is going to put the onus on you—not the third-party. Likewise, if third-party delivery services list items or products on their platforms that don’t transport well, you’ll be sure to receive a fair share of complaints when things arrive not as intended or damaged in transit. 

In some cases, these applications will place your menu on their services without your consent or input. This often results in extra fees and problems placed onto your customers who will often place the blame on you. 

And speaking of fees, delivery through a third-party is costly—and not just to the consumer. It’s easy to assume the customer takes the brunt of the cost of the delivery service, and on the surface, that’s true. However, the same fees that you could be charging by internally handling delivery are lost by your representation on a third-party platform.  

Likewise, your customers may hold you culpable for exorbitant fees.  

There is a strong argument to be made in favor of third-party partnerships—that your presence on the third-party platform exposes you to customers that may have taken their business elsewhere. However, there are no guarantees. And what remains clear is that the convenience and ease of use that comes from a third-party platform come at a price.  

It’s up to you if you want to pay it. 


Third-Party Integration 

 

Third-party delivery platforms have recognized the issues inherent in their business model. Many now offer integration with POS systems to streamline the workflow and further sweeten the deal for vendors.  

If, for instance, your POS delivery system integrates with Postmates, any orders through the Postmates platform will reconcile with your internal inventory count and communicate the order immediately to the appropriate location.  

Integration affords your business the ability to embrace third-party delivery services and ensure maximum satisfaction to your customers through that paradigm.  

Still, third-party delivery continues to bring about the same issues to vendors that may otherwise be solved by internal delivery.  

  

Internal Delivery 

 

That brings us to internal delivery. 

As the tried-and-true method of bringing your products to customers, internal delivery gives you the ability to set the rules of engagement. All tips and delivery fees go directly to you, and you’re able to reap all of the rewards, as well as bear all of the responsibility, for ensuring your products arrive in perfect condition. 

You can also make sure your online menu is designed with delivery in mind—removing items that don’t transport well and ensuring every product delivered is in perfect condition.  

With the right point-of-sale system, you’ll also be able to seamlessly integrate your delivery service with your in-store sales. And when you use a system like Franpos, your eCommerce, delivery services, and in-store sales are all fully connected at all times. You’ll never sell products you don’t have and never have to worry about ensuring proper communications between the different channels in which you sell.

Every part of your business talks connects seamlessly. 

However, the clear issue with internal delivery lies in labor. Someone will be responsible for taking your product to the right location, and you’ll likewise be responsible for paying that person and ensuring you’re well-staffed to handle any influxes in traffic, both in-store and on the roads 

  

Have Your Cake—And Deliver It Too! 

 

Depending upon your needs as a business, a fully internal delivery model may make just as much sense as a third-party delivery model. However, many businesses don’t have to choose between one or the other. 

Having a decentralized delivery system means your customers interact with your brand how they choose—whether that be through your own delivery platform or someone else’s. And when you utilize a POS delivery system like Franpos, integration with Postmates enables you to have your cake and deliver it too. 

You’ll have to analyze your business to see which workflow works for you. Businesses with an established customer base and multiple locations may benefit from focusing exclusively on internal delivery. Other companies may be short-staffed or otherwise be unable to set up the infrastructure necessary to handle deliveries internally, and would enjoy the simplicity of a third-party service.  

You’ll need to think about how your customers would best interact with your brand to see which method works best for you. And given the current trends, you may find that more and more of your sales will come in through the web—not over the counter.  

And if you’re interested in learning more about how Franpos delivery systems generate you more revenue, feel free to reach out! 

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Michael Ruiz
Michael is a Content Strategist at Franpos. Based in Atlanta, he loves helping business owners understand how to build strong customer relationships through smart data.
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