Shopify, an ecommerce platform geared towards establishing an online market for small businesses, has stepped up their game as a reaction to the 2020 pandemic. They’ve launched an app called Shopify Local Delivery where businesses can create optimized delivery routes and streamline the customer delivery process. Shopify has honed in on their brick-and-mortar clients in particular. Many of these users lost a significant amount of business during COVID storefront shutdowns and are looking to make up for these losses by expanding their online sales presence.
How Does Shopify Local Delivery Benefit Local Businesses?
Shopify launched Local Delivery to answer one big question for local businesses: “If I only deliver to customers within a 20-mile radius, why should I have to use UPS or Fedex to ship orders?”
Local Delivery helps customers deliver their goods directly, cutting out delivery companies and saving them money. It accomplishes this goal by compiling addresses and orders for the business owner so they can send their own delivery person in place of a third party delivery service.
The greatest benefit of the Local Delivery app is the optimized routing software, a technology that Straightaway champions. Route optimization software is especially useful for businesses that are newcomers to the delivery process. If a Shopify business were to only have 10 employees, and one of them is suddenly given the responsibility of delivery driver, they’ll likely know nothing about planning an efficient route. Rather than analyzing the route of deliveries themselves, apps like Local Delivery or Straightaway automatically map out a driver’s destinations in an optimized fashion.
While we commend Shopify for getting with the times and providing their users with alternate delivery options, every optimized delivery app has its strengths and weaknesses. So in this guide, we will be comparing how Shopify Local Delivery measures up to Straightaway in terms of delivery capacity, app accessibility, and the intelligence of the optimization software.
Delivery capacity is the amount of orders your business can fill using the app, and there’s a big difference between Shopify Local Delivery and Straightaway. Shopify Local Delivery maxes out it’s delivery capacity at 100 stops. If you have a one-store business that gets a few dozen orders a day, you’re probably okay with these limitations. But maybe you shouldn’t be. Think about times when orders are exceptionally abundant: pre-Christmas sales, Cyber Monday, Black Friday. If you’re limited to 100 deliveries a day, you may face delayed deliveries and unhappy customers during peak seasons.
If you’re looking to maximize the amount of deliveries you can make in a day, Straightaway is the way to go. With the pro version of the app, you can input up to 250 deliveries in a single trip and automatically download up to 500 addresses by taking a picture. This gives you the flexibility to take on a larger volume of orders and get shipments to your customers more effectively.
If your business expands and you receive hundreds of orders per day, you can bet your bottom dollar that Shopify Local Delivery won’t cut it. Straightaway is the perfect solution for a growing business with growing demand for deliveries.
Accessibility refers to how easily someone can pick up the app and start using it, and Straightaway has a clear accessibility advantage. Straightaway is designed for anybody who wants to make multiple stops with ease. Users could be delivery drivers, real estate agents, or pest control experts who need to stop at multiple addresses per day in order to be successful.
While Shopify is an exceptional platform for running an ecommerce store, Local Delivery is limited to Shopify ecommerce. You can only utilize the app if you already use Shopify to manage your online orders. If you use any other ecommerce platform, or none at all, you’re unable to use this app without a significant platform migration.
Straightaway works differently. We provide our services to individual drivers, couriers, and retail businesses alike. Similar to Shopify Local Delivery, we are great at providing routes for small online businesses to fulfill orders to local customers. However, Straightaway doesn’t stop there. You don’t have to deliver physical goods in order to benefit from Straightaways services. Our app is for anyone who needs to find the best route, making it accessible to Fedex drivers, cable providers, and house-call doctors alike.
Route Optimization Intelligence
When it comes to route optimization apps, one factor outweighs the rest: Getting where you need to go as efficiently as possible. Let’s take a look at the optimization intelligence differences between Straightaway and Shopify Local Delivery.
Straightaway’s navigational algorithms sort through thousands of combinations to find the optimal route, taking into account traffic patterns, road conditions, distance between stops, weather, and over 100 other data sources. Straightaway uses this data to adjust your routes in real time. If traffic patterns change throughout the day, the app will automatically re-optimize and give you the option to reorder stops on-the-fly. This means the app will factor in an unexpected flash flood or traffic jam to provide you with an alternate route right away.
Shopify Local Delivery uses Google Maps to plan their routes. Though this takes into account time of day, average traffic patterns, and number of stops, Google Maps is not known for being the saviest of navigators. Shopify Local Delivery recommends you plan your route before starting a delivery and reassess as road conditions change because it does not support live updates. If you were to have a number of deliveries by a shopping center with a spontaneous traffic build up, you’d be forced to pull over between stops and plan new routes.
If you deliver somewhere with sudden roadblocks, weather changes, and traffic build ups, Shopify Local Delivery may not be optimized enough to handle your ever changing delivery needs.
Best Overall: Straightaway vs. Shopify Local Delivery
From our observations, Shopify Local Delivery is designed to be extremely convenient for businesses that already use their online platform. Unlike Straightaway, they don’t have to input a manifest or list of addresses to start planning their route. If they’ve established “Local Delivery'' as an option on their ecommerce site, the delivery addresses transfer to the app automatically.
Luckily, the extra step of populating orders on Straightaway takes no time at all. By simply taking a picture, you can transfer up to 500 addresses onto the Straightaway pro app. The app will then plan an optimized route that takes into consideration hundreds of factors, including traffic, road, and weather patterns, adjusting to changing conditions in real time. This means drivers won’t have to worry about getting lost or stuck in a jam. All they have to do is focus on safe driving.
When it comes to customization, flexibility, and options for couriers of any kind, Straightaway takes the cake. Unlike Shopify Local Delivery, we don’t just specialize in ecommerce businesses. We strive to provide optimized routes for a broad spectrum of professionals. Straightaway’s state-of-the-art optimization algorithm has spared over 162 thousand hours of driving, saved over $950,000 of gas, and generated over 25 million stops for drivers throughout the English-speaking world.