chapter 3

Increase Sales by Offering Same-Demand Delivery

Not to be overlooked is the fact that just having on-demand delivery as an option presents opportunities for you to stand out and reach customers in new ways.

In a recent survey, 49% of shoppers said that same day shipping would make them more inclined to shop online; however, only 15% of global retailers offer same-day delivery. Identifying opportunities to cater to local customers helps you differentiate your brand, attract new local customers, and convert sales based on the fact that you provide an immensely important service that 85% of your competition can’t offer.


The Upshot: On-demand delivery is your window into growing current and future local customer conversions and relationships.


Run Local Campaigns

You know your community better than any large big-box retailer and you need to take advantage of that. Keep your finger on the pulse of the local events scene and experiment with timely social ad campaigns or even physical marketing assets (like flyers or billboard space) during events. For example, if there’s an influx of tourists coming to town for a music festival, appeal to their musical tastes and give them something to remember their short visit. Same-day delivery means you can deliver directly to your customer’s hotel before they leave town.

Segmented Email Marketing

You may also think about launching email campaigns targeting current customers notifying them of your new speedy service or guaranteeing free same-day delivery to blow out excess inventory. Mailchimp reports that segmented email campaigns achieve much higher open rates than those that aren’t sliced and diced, so don’t forget to be selective for the best results. One effective way to segment is to look at customers who very recently purchased something from you. Offer complementary goods that can be added right now or a must-have item that goes with their recent order. Learn about segmentation strategy in Shopify’s guide to email marketing.

Actively Advertise Same-Day Shipping

Once you imagine how your products might be used in a local context or why your customers should have them the same day, identifying the keywords people search when they need something right away can help you get your products front and centre.

Search advertisements present a massive opportunity to use on-demand delivery to make your ads stand out and to capitalize on the immediate needs of the local population.

Don’t forget, Shopify offers new merchants a $100 of AdWords budget after you spend your first $25, so make sure to take advantage.

Think about searches conducted with urgency, for example, “last minute gift ideas” or “easy halloween costumes.” People using these terms value ease. A geo-targeted search ad triggered by keywords might look something like this:

Leverage Facebook Ads

Don’t forget about leveraging Facebook carousel ads too to display multiple messages. Take this Frank & Oak mobile ad for example. In one swipe, the user can view Frank & Oak their products, get them delivered in 2 hours, and download the new app as well.

To learn more about Facebook advertising, check out Shopify’s blog post: An Introduction to Facebook Ads for Ecommerce. While you’re there, you may want to learn about Instagram Advertising too.

Flash Sales

Flash sales can create a lot of buzz, and while it seems that everyone’s doing it these days, pairing immediate delivery can differentiate your offering. Besides generating revenue, brand awareness, and social buzz, the objectives associated with holding flash sales generally are to:

  • Up-sell
  • Cross-sell
  • Foster customer loyalty

The Upshot: The urgency generated by a flash sale, combined with the immediate gratification of same-day shipping can generate a unique, memorable experience for your customer.


Undoubtedly, it has becoming increasingly difficult to reach these goals as inboxes are bombarded with blow-out sale offers, ultimately creating flash sale fatigue. With on-demand delivery, you have an advantage.

Urgency is in the DNA of both flash sales and same-day delivery -- so why not offer flash sales on the delivery itself? For example if your sales dip on Tuesdays, experiment with offering 50% off, or free, on-demand delivery between 2pm - 4pm. Remember you’re in full control of how much of the delivery cost you absorb. Try incorporating your flexible delivery options into exciting flash sales and see what happens. Here’s a few more ideas: “Buy X before noon and it’ll be on your doorstep when you get home” or “Get everything hand delivered today when you spend over $100.”

On-Demand Delivery for In-Store Purchases

A successful shopping outing results in a lot of bags to carry. That struggle however can be alleviated for your in-store customers with on-demand delivery as well. Shopify’s point-of-sale (POS) system integrates Postmates and UberRUSH so in-store purchases can be picked up and delivered by courier instead of carried out by the customer.

The key here is to ensure customers are aware of the service so they don’t limit their shopping to what they can carry. Small signs placed throughout your retail space should do the trick.

Consider Absorbing Shipping Costs

Free shipping is the number one driver of online shopping conversions according to a 2016 survey. In addition to that, the same survey showed that 49% of customers would be more likely to shop online if they could get their products same-day.

The average cost of shipping with on-demand delivery providers is roughly $12. Within a 1-mile radius; however, UberRUSH can be as cheap as $6 (based on location, additional mileage can cost as low as $1.80/mile). The average time to get to customers is between 30 minutes and 60 minutes.

The average cost of ground shipping is ~$7 and the average time to get to customers is 3 - 5 business days.


The Upshot: While on-demand delivery can sometimes cost you, the merchant, more money, the benefit to the customer far outweighs the increase in cost.


Offering steep discounts or even free shipping for standard ground over a certain cart-size threshold has become a staple for many businesses to increase conversion online. In fact, free shipping was recently the biggest driver of customer’s likeliness to shop online -- your customers are 88% more likely to make a purchase if shipping is free. Imagine the impact that has when that package is also received within a few hours.

Absorbing some of the cost to match regular ground shipping along with delivering the goods immediately is now a powerful tool at your disposal; small change that can make a big impact.

Step by step, here some screenshots to walk you through how to reduce shipping costs to your customers:

Make sure you’re in the “Shipping” tab and click “edit” in your Shipping zones settings.

Once you’re on the edit page, scroll down until you see your opted-in on-demand delivery carriers.

Enter the fee reduction you’d like to provide to your customers and it will be automatically applied at checkout.

Try experimenting with setting basket size constraints as well in your on-demand delivery settings, for example you can choose to only offer Postmates delivery for orders greater than $20.

Next chapter

4. On-Demand Delivery Success Stories

1 min

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