Digital commerce platforms offer on-demand fulfillment options

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Digital commerce platforms offer on-demand fulfillment options

By Dan Berthiaume - 06/25/2020

Mercatus and Square are both providing retailers managed services designed to ease the process of getting online orders to customers.

Mercatus, a digital retail platform for grocers, is introducing a new solution called Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment. Offered in partnership with fulfillment technology vendor ShopperKit and location-based communications provider Radius Networks, the solution leverages ShopperKit functionality to automatically sort orders into optimized preparation times, and wave and zone pick paths. 

As employees pick and pack orders, they can connect with customers in real-time for order substitutions and upsells. With real-time visibility into customer location from Radius Networks’ FlyBuy Pickup software, employees can accurately track customer estimated time of arrival for a seamless pickup experience.
 
Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment is designed to scale as the grocer’s business requires. Retailers can configure intelligent wave and zone pick based on fulfillment environment, including retail locations, dark stores, warehouses, and micro-fulfillment centers. 
 
Seamless digital communication between store associates and shoppers happens across the entire fulfillment cycle, from in-store pick to curbside pickup. Automatic tracking and communication of shopper location is designed to enable store associates to coordinate orders and deliver them straight to the trunk of a shopper’s car, within two minutes of arrival for pickup.

“Coming out of the pandemic and the unprecedented volume of online orders many grocery retailers have experienced, now is the time to ensure those newly acquired online shoppers have the best fulfillment experience possible,” said Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO, Mercatus. “Relying on third parties for fulfillment can be costly not only to the bottom line but also to the retailer’s brand. Grocer-managed ordering and pickup services increase share of profit for the grocer and cost less for customers. Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment gives regional grocers a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded digital grocery landscape by providing best-in-class fulfillment and customer communication technology integrated in one solution.”

In addition, mobile payment processor Square is now providing on-demand delivery for retailers using its Square Online Store e-commerce platform. Square Online Store sellers can dispatch a courier through delivery partners for orders placed directly on their website.

When an order is placed on the seller’s online store, a courier from the restaurant’s delivery partner is dispatched to the business location, picks up the order, and delivers it to the buyer. The buyer receives text updates with links to live maps to track delivery progress. Sellers pay a flat fee of $1.50 per order to Square, plus a fee to their delivery partner that is calculated in real-time based on distance and other factors. Sellers can pass this fee entirely to the buyer or offer custom delivery promotions. 

When customers place an order through Square Online Store, sellers receive their contact information in the Square customer directory and are able to maintain sales history for those customers. Postmates is currently providing on-demand delivery, with additional delivery partners coming soon.