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What is white-label delivery?

With online shopping continuing to grow in popularity, many businesses are using third-party delivery platforms to connect with new customers and tap into a network of delivery people who can assist with order fulfillment.

At the same time, many businesses are choosing to meet the moment by investing in their own website or app, building an online ordering experience that serves their most loyal customers.

For businesses using their own channels, it’s not enough to simply offer online ordering. Customers also expect efficient delivery—whether the order is a hot meal, a bag of groceries, or a new phone charger. This is where white-label delivery can play an important role.

When businesses pair their own online ordering experience with a white-label delivery solution, they can offer an end-to-end experience—from item selection to delivery—that feels more native to their brand, without incurring the costs that can come with hiring and managing their own delivery staff.

Is white-label delivery for you? We’re here to help you understand whether this solution is the best option to support you in meeting your goals. In this post, we’ll cover:

  • What is white-label delivery?
  • What’s the difference between a white-label delivery solution and a third-party delivery platform?
  • How does white-label delivery work?
  • Possible benefits of white-label delivery for businesses
  • Common uses for white-label delivery solutions

What is white-label delivery?

White-label delivery is an option to offer delivery using a third party while hosting the ordering experience for customers on your own channels.

This process typically requires a third-party integration with a business's existing order management system. Through this integration, customers can place orders directly on a business's website or mobile app. The business can then review that order and request delivery fulfillment through a third party. As far as the customer is concerned, their entire experience will be associated with the business’s brand and platforms.

Today, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution to delivery. Many third-party delivery platforms are expanding the solutions they provide beyond their marketplaces to accommodate different business needs. If your business is interested in keeping your ordering experience native to your channels while expanding the delivery choices you offer your customers, white-label delivery solutions could be a good option to explore to align with these goals.

What’s the difference between a white-label delivery solution and a third-party delivery platform?

White-label delivery is a form of third-party delivery. In fact, many third-party delivery platforms, like Uber Eats, offer white-label delivery solutions. One of the key differences comes down to the ordering experience for customers. To make these nuances more clear, consider this side-by-side comparison of 2 services available to businesses working with Uber Eats:

Uber Direct: White-label delivery solution

  • Order experience: Customers place orders on your business’s own sales channels, such as a website or app
  • Branding: Customers see and interact with your business only
  • Order fulfillment: Your business fulfills orders using delivery people in the third-party delivery platform’s network
  • Pricing: The third-party platform charges your business a tailored fee (a dollar amount) for each order it fulfills

Uber Eats app: Third-party marketplace

  • Order experience: Customers place orders on a third-party marketplace, such as the Uber Eats app
  • Branding: Customers can browse and order from multiple businesses
  • Order fulfillment: Your business can choose to fulfill orders with delivery people in the third-party delivery platform’s network, with your own delivery staff, or by customer pickup
  • Pricing: The third-party platform charges your business a commission (a percentage) on orders placed through its marketplace

With white-label delivery solutions and third-party marketplaces, your business can offer customers on-demand delivery by tapping into a network of third-party delivery people. The experience of white-label delivery, however, originates on your business’s own channels, making it a useful tool to promote brand loyalty among your existing customer base. If you’re interested in increasing your brand visibility among a new customer base, you might consider listing your business on a third-party’s marketplace. Some businesses even find that combining the 2 offerings can help serve multiple growth goals at once.

How does white-label delivery work?

Let’s break down the basics of white-label delivery. This process may vary slightly depending on the solution provider and the integration process, but generally the process unfolds in the following steps:

Step 1: Business onboards

Your business will onboard and choose how you’d like to send order fulfillment requests to the third party. Generally, you’ll be able to choose among an online portal or dashboard, integration with your POS system or shipping platform, or a more technical API integration with your existing order management system.

Step 2: Customer orders

A customer will place their order directly on your existing sales channels, such as your website or app, where you have control over your delivery options and customer-facing delivery fees.

Step 3: Business prepares order

After a customer places their order, your business will send a delivery fulfillment request to the third party. Depending on your onboarding process, your business may choose to send the fulfillment request manually for each order you receive or set up automated requests.

Step 4: Delivery person picks up order

Once the request has been processed, the third party will send a delivery person from within its network to your store or the location where you prepare orders. The delivery person will then handle transit to the customer.

Step 5: Customer receives order

The delivery person will hand off the order to the customer. Along the way, your business can send the customer live delivery updates.

Possible benefits of white-label delivery for businesses

Interested in learning more about how white-label delivery solutions can affect your business? Here are some of the primary benefits you might be able to expect.

Improve your bottom line

White-label delivery solutions allow you to power same-day delivery from your own channels, which can contribute to higher conversion rates and larger orders. Data published in 2020 by Shopify shows that online shoppers spend 23% more and have a 25% larger order when independent retailers offer local pickup and delivery.

Build brand loyalty

Customers have more purchasing options than ever before at their fingertips, making it increasingly important for businesses to find ways to stand out. Using a white-label delivery solution, you have an opportunity to make a lasting impression at checkout. And 87% of consumers surveyed in a 2020 ShipStation report said that the shipping and delivery experience directly affects their decision to shop with a merchant again.

Manage your customer experience

Your customers are the backbone of your business, and with a white-label delivery solution you can maintain control over their experience—from the type of communication they receive from you to the delivery fees they encounter during the purchasing process. And because customers are interacting with you on your own sales channels (versus a third party’s), you can see more granular data points and insights that can inform future email and re-marketing campaigns.

Streamline operations

Many white-label delivery solutions are designed to plug in to and elevate your existing workflows. With a white-label API integration, you can manage delivery requests from an order management system that your team is already familiar with. And because the third-party delivery platform handles fulfillment, you can count on them to provide customer support if delivery issues arise, giving you more time to focus on the rest of your to-do list.

Control your costs

When you’re evaluating which white-label delivery solution to use, it’s important to consider their cost structure. For example, with white-label delivery through Uber Eats, you can expect to see tailored, commission-free rates based on distance, speed of delivery, and your market or region. This pricing structure means no deduction from the dollar you make on the orders you receive. You can also view estimated delivery times and quotes before you send a fulfillment request, giving you the final say over what you’re charged. All of this adds up to less guesswork and more predictable accounting for your business.

Common uses for white-label delivery solutions

White-label delivery solutions can cater to businesses of varying sizes across industries, and the level of integration complexity can be scaled up or back depending on your technology infrastructure. Below, explore some of the common use cases for white-label delivery to see how it might serve your business.

Food delivery

Demand for delivery is continuing to grow, but how customers are choosing to interact with restaurants during this process is changing. For example, a Sense360 survey conducted in 2020 found that 63% of people prefer to order meal delivery directly from restaurants. White-label delivery solutions can help you meet this demand while catering to emerging ordering behaviors. And many white-label delivery solutions can operate directly from the existing POS systems or delivery aggregator apps that you use to manage incoming orders. This means that you can add a new capability without disrupting your existing front- and back-of-house processes.

Local retail delivery

According to a 2018 NPR/Marist poll, 44% of online shoppers say Amazon is the first place they go when buying a product online. White-label delivery solutions can help retailers of all sizes keep up with these larger organizations by offering same-day delivery options from their own channels, all while maintaining control over operational costs. Plus, many white-label delivery solutions can integrate with well-known e-commerce platforms, which means your business can offer a new benefit to customers from a channel where you’re already driving sales.

Grocery and convenience delivery

Over the past 2 years, delivery for anything from toiletries to pantry staples has become the new normal, and demand is only expected to rise. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2022, grocery executives expect e-commerce penetration to more than double for their company in the next 3 to 5 years. Using a white-label delivery solution, grocery and convenience stores of all sizes can compete in this space while keeping your own branding at the forefront.

Prescription delivery

A 2022 report from Future Market Insights predicts that the global prescription delivery services market will experience a compound annual growth rate of 17.8% from 2022 to 2030. This signals that more customers want care delivered to their doorstep, which is particularly critical in the case of injury or illness. And when it comes to prescriptions, customers may prefer to interact directly with pharmacies they know and trust. White-label delivery solutions can allow pharmacies to deepen relationships with your customers by powering same-day, local delivery directly from your website or app.

Flower delivery

The delivery of flowers has been popular for decades, and it’s one product for which timing is of the essence, to preserve the product’s freshness. With white-label delivery solutions, florists can provide online customers with the option for same-day local delivery of their arrangement at checkout. Position your business as a thoughtful and efficient solution when the need for a last-minute gift or surprise arises.

Delight customers and build brand loyalty with Uber Direct

If you decide that white-label delivery will benefit your customers, you can add this capability to your business’s channels with Uber Direct. This plug-and-play option is designed to help you take advantage of all the operational benefits of using third-party delivery while keeping your branding front and center. When you choose Uber Direct, you can expect:

Fast delivery options

Get your customers what they need, at the tap of a button. Offer express, same-day, or scheduled delivery, all delivered locally in minutes.

Easy integration

Place delivery fulfillment requests through the Uber Direct dashboard, one of our channel partners, or the Uber Direct API.

Control over customer experience and data

Add on-demand delivery directly to your website or app so that you can manage your customer data and brand experience.

No commissions or hidden charges

Manage local delivery without the cost of your own delivery fleet, or supplement your own delivery fleet when order volume surges.

Ready to explore white-label delivery further? Read more about the Uber Direct onboarding process, case studies, and frequently asked questions.

You can also take this self-guided lesson for tips on how to manage handovers with delivery people efficiently, for a smooth and positive delivery experience.

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