Alternative Delivery and its Place in eCommerce

Updated on:
10 min

Alternative delivery has become a trend in Europe, and in the US, it is becoming one of the new trends in delivery. However, with the effectiveness of this approach to delivery, the situation is not as simple as it seems. The success of a certain type of delivery is influenced by various factors, therefore, in order to analyze the alternative delivery path, it is necessary to analyze the situation in which it is now and what potential it has. But what is the role of alternative delivery in eCommerce, and what lies in its future?

In this article, we will have a detailed look at alternative delivery, its components, efficiency, and what customers think of it.

Reduced cost and environmental impact, but delivery coverage may be limited

In order to understand what opportunities alternative delivery actually provides, it is necessary to understand what state it is in now and what customer needs it satisfies. Since one of the requirements of customers regarding delivery is an easily accessible location, this must also be taken into account. In the process of alternative delivery, customers sometimes need to travel a certain distance and spend time getting to the delivery point.

Key Features of Alternative Delivery

Many people favor alternative delivery because it can reduce costs, but in order to understand how effective it actually is, we need facts and customer reviews. At a time when the industry of transportation is facing many challenges, this aspect is important as shipping costs can create significant financial risks. 

Some people have begun to prefer alternative delivery as a way of social distancing as it includes a small number of social contacts. It is suitable for different purposes and has a number of advantages for both businesses and customers. The main trend is that alternative delivery is preferred by younger people and those who have higher incomes. This means that companies will need to expand their audience so that alternative delivery becomes more popular and they can earn money from other people as well.

The very concept of alternative delivery comes down to the fact that the delivery company leaves several parcels in one place. Then, the customer picks up his orders there. Alternative delivery locations (ADLs) are really suitable for social distancing in the environment affected by the pandemic, but is this a good approach in the long run?

ADL’s Role in eCommerce

With the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, more customers have started ordering online. The rise of eCommerce is beneficial to many businesses and fields as it provides them with various possibilities. eCommerce is now one of the most popular and rapidly expanding areas, so the success of alternative delivery depends on the way it can adapt to the changing realities of eCommerce. 

Understanding how effective the delivery itself is, how successfully it can fit into the general business environment and how easily it can find its customer will help better predict its future and financial success. If eCommerce shoppers do not favor alternative delivery, it will not be able to take an important place in today's business reality. 

At the same time, in Europe, alternative delivery is quite popular. In the US, this trend does not yet have such an impact. Certain researches that have studied how customers feel about this type of delivery are important in this matter as they allow us to better understand how efficient it really is and what lies in its future – whether eCommerce business customers will like it and whether they will support this approach. 

So far, the picture is that people prefer a comfortable and convenient delivery directly to the house to a trip to some remote place. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the needs of those customers who are not very mobile.

Main Benefits of Alternative Delivery

One of the most important advantages of alternative delivery is that it can reduce costs. It is an important factor in a business environment affected by the pandemic. Reducing costs is an underestimated factor for the financial performance of businesses. It also allows you to reduce fuel usage and generally has a beneficial effect on the environment. The fact that delivery has a positive impact on the environment is a significant plus in terms of reputation. For eCommerce companies, alternative delivery also has important advantages.

Use Hive for your app
Use Hive for your app

Summing up, we can say that the main advantages of the delivery alternative are that it:

  • allows you to reduce costs;
  • helps reduce fuel consumption;
  • lessens congestion;
  • is generally a promising delivery method.

By properly addressing these benefits, and tweaking delivery's strengths and weaknesses, as well as educating people about the benefits of this approach, companies can greatly improve the situation by finding new, more creative approaches to alternative delivery. If you clearly outline the benefits that the client will receive, show his benefits, and adapt to requests, you can get much more.

The Status of Alternative Delivery Today

The current situation with alternative delivery depends both on the place occupied by this alternative and on quite real restrictions. Many experts believe that among the population of various American cities, it is necessary to popularize alternative delivery and more and more devote people to its benefits. So it will be possible to find exactly that part of the audience that is interested in this type of delivery. 

At the same time, the fact that younger people choose such delivery is more of a positive factor for this service than a negative one since this is the audience that is much easier to attract. People with higher incomes are also promising customers for alternative delivery.

Only in My Neighborhood

Not in all areas allow the equally effective organization of alternative delivery. At the same time, the delivery location affects the experience that the client receives during this process. Companies should consider this aspect to improve the quality of their services and enhance customer satisfaction. The status of alternative delivery is largely determined by its popularity among early segments of the population. 

Portrait of an Alternative Delivery Client

Statistics on the use of alternative delivery indicate that it is unlikely to be popular in the future. Research examining the information involved in alternative delivery shows that older generations use these services much less often and only when it is available closer to the customer's own location. 

It is also less likely to be chosen by those customers whose regular parcel flow is more extensive. Therefore, alternative delivery providers cannot count on this part of the audience either. Studies examining various factors have shown such a picture for alternative delivery. The most important factors were age and occupation.

Another important aspect is that representatives of different generations and people of different ages perceive alternative delivery differently. Given this fact, companies will have to look for a special approach to different buyers. This makes it nearly impossible to find a one-size-fits-all solution. 

However, if delivery providers find different approaches to buyers from different generations, then it will become possible to attract new buyers. Various approaches to cover the needs of different audiences will help retain customers and at least slightly expand the spheres of influence of alternative delivery.

ADL's Inconvenience

The factor of convenience in using alternative delivery is influenced by the location factor of ADL. It is important for customers that the delivery is in a convenient location. Therefore, the need to go to another place when it is possible to order delivery directly to your home creates a rather negative impression about the delivery and does not stimulate customers to order it.

A lot say that the methods involved in alternative delivery show themselves insufficiently effective in practice. By itself, the principle by which you pick up the package far from home, and spend extra time on it, does not make much sense. However, if delivery providers manage to make it more efficient and convenient, it may find its customers, as cost savings benefit companies and consumers alike.

Location availability is an important factor for alternative delivery. If this delivery method is already chosen by many buyers, then by working on the availability of delivery points, delivery providers can attract even more people. At the same time, people who regularly receive a large number of parcels may also opt for alternative delivery, as it will be convenient for them to pick them up.


​​Modern realities force us to look for new ways and technological solutions for delivery. Various customer requests and the growing tension in the transportation industry due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are forcing companies to try new opportunities. Alternative delivery is one of the areas where you can use various tools, and then delivery will become better. Indicators from other countries show us that this method can work but the conditions should be different.

Alternative delivery is a modern solution that has its place in the market. It even has certain benefits for co-entrants. However, many factors that affect the delivery process itself make their own adjustments to the efficiency of the process and negatively affect the customer experience. And customer satisfaction is known to affect many of a company's success. However, if the shortcomings that are present in the delivery algorithm are improved, it can become more efficient and in demand among Americans.

It is also necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the situation with delivery in the United States, which is significantly different from Europe, where such delivery is already popular. Ease of transportation, location of ADLs, and age of buyers also matter. The volume of orders depends on this, and, accordingly, the popularity of delivery.

What do you think?
Alternative delivery is a modern solution thar has its place in the market. However, many factors that affect the delivery process itself make their own adjustments to the efficiency of the process and negatively affect the customer experience. What can you say about it?
How do you rate this article?
Voted: 3
We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. You can find out more in our policy.