03 Nov On-Demand vs. Scheduled vs. Subscription Delivery—What’s the Difference?
Whether you’re looking to start a delivery business, in the midst of one, or looking to pivot; it’s a good thing to know the difference between on-demand, scheduled, and subscription deliveries. Each method of delivery has its own pros and cons, especially as they apply to specific industries. Providing software to a wide range of delivery companies gives us particularly useful insight into what works and doesn’t work.
Let’s break it down.
On-demand delivery satisfies a customer’s need to get an item delivered now (not to be confused, necessarily with when they need it).
Pros: There is growing demand for customers to get things when they want them, where they want them. More and more, we’re also living in a convenience economy.
Cons: Can be expensive from a resource standpoint.
Unlike on-demand, which focuses on a customer’s need to receive items as quickly as possible when it’s desired, scheduled delivery operates, both on the customer-facing side and delivery business side, in a more planned manner. Deliveries are arranged by time and location in a manner that is more convenient for one or more of the parties involved.
Pros: Deliveries can be scheduled for a customer such that they are made at a time when it’s convenient for them. Scheduling allows resources to be deployed more reliably and efficiently.
Cons: Not able to capitalize on the demand generated from immediate needs.
Much like scheduled delivery, subscription-based delivery is planned. Unlike scheduled delivery though, subscription-based delivery is recurring. Deliveries made through subscriptions may or may not be delivered in a way that is convenient for the end-customer.
Pros: Deliveries can be made much more effectively and efficiently. Subscriptions allow for reoccurring revenue, potentially increasing the lifetime value of each customer.
Cons: May not be delivered at a time and place that’s convenient for end-customers.
Depending on the type of business you’re in or thinking of getting into, a method of delivery may already be preferred—delivery of food from restaurants (on-demand), for instance. Putting a spin on the model can help change expectations that customers may have—delivery of food that you can cook at home (scheduled or subscription-based).
Understand what your customers want in relation to what you’re trying to achieve and utilize and delivery model that works best.