Convenience, ‘Deliver-as-Advertised’ key to Successful Subscription Delivery Business

Subscription delivery business

India’s subscription delivery business has leapfrogged in its growth in the past decade, largely due to evolving consumer behaviors, sophistication in technology, and growing demand for sustainable consumer choices, to name a few. The nature of the business comes with a unique set of last-mile logistics challenges that must be overcome to achieve success.

Rentomojo has been one of the pioneers in this area and has been working closely with Locus since 2018 to bring delight to lakhs of customers. To decode the nuances behind the industry, Aman Jha, VP of Operations, and Rajarshi Chattopadhyay, VP: Product, Growth, Data & Tech at RentoMojo, got in conversation with Mehul Kapadia, Chief Growth Officer at Locus, in the third episode of Locus’ In focus webinar series.

In the episode ‘How to ace the last mile in India’s subscription delivery business space,’ the panelists spoke about the reasons behind the growing popularity of the subscription-based business model, the challenges to creating customer delight, and shared their views on what makes for success in the subscription industry.

The allure of convenience over ownership

Mehul began the discussion by discussing the fundamental consumer shift in India from owning goods to renting them. According to a consumer survey, 68% said they no longer believe ownership defined status. Another 70% believe that subscription unties them from the burden of ownership.

“We can see how delivering a great customer experience is probably fueling the shift further: How people are more willing to give off that burden of ownership for the joy of actually being able to consume without having any pressures and maintenance etc.,” said Mehul. He also spoke about how the expectations that subscription companies are expected to fulfill are different, perhaps steeper. “Customers need to have faith in what they have bought, and they need to have the ability also to return it if it’s not that great. There also needs to be a balance between service levels and customer expectations, because if the service levels are not great, it can impact loyalty.”

He also spoke about key on-ground challenges to meeting these expectations such as catering to a diverse demographic, road conditions, legacy systems, etc.

Quality product offerings and customer experience are key to success

Raj from RentoMojo spoke about how customer expectations within the subscription-based industry itself have changed in the past seven years since RentoMojo first began operations.

“The Internet has resulted into a better state of the economy, which in turn has resulted in customers becoming more financially aware, more climate-conscious, and leaning towards valuing service, peace of mind, and flexibility in pricing any day.”

Given that the business model is geared towards “100% returns”, creating an exceptional customer experience is essential to build brand loyalty. To that end, Raj shared five key principles: quality of the product, ease of vetting and onboarding the consumer, transparency in pricing, on-time fulfillment and service as advertised, “And the fifth is that we should allow a means to reach out to our officials to any channel, whenever the customer would like to share his concerns on say, the platform itself.”

Boosting operational efficiency with Locus for delightful consumer experiences

Aman from RentoMojo spoke about how cracking reverse logistics, enabling seamless communication between consumer and business, and the live tracking of shipments for customers is fundamental to enabling a great consumer experience for the business. Given that these deliveries were the first physical touchpoint with the consumer, RentoMojo wanted to ace and perfect these operations internally.

“And that is where I guess all the problems started. Without any systems or any playbook in place, it is very difficult to do what we are doing for the first time. But we tried for two to three years. And that’s when Locus came into the picture, and we realized that this can be a game changer for us.” 

He explained in detail how Locus’ Dispatch Management Platform was able to provide RentoMojo’s consumers with convenient slots for delivery and pickup, share routes optimized to real-world conditions, and facilitate seamless communication: both between internal teams for smooth operation, and between consumers and its Customer Experience teams. As a result, their on-ground teams now carry out nine to ten deliveries in a day, as opposed to five earlier.

Raj further elaborated that these solutions take away a large portion of the cognitive load for on-ground teams making deliveries, which frees them up to be trained to have more fulfilling interactions with consumers.

Role of last-mile excellence in reinforcing a brand’s promise

To sum up, Mehul spoke about how excellence in last-mile logistics was vital not only from a logistics cost perspective but also because it can uniquely create customer experiences.

“Whether it is a programmatic communication, driver-level visibility, or just the sheer reliability… All of that goes to reinforce the brand’s promise. This is why while working with clients like RentoMojo, we help make the platform more intuitive, which helps address all those points.”

He also spoke about how analytics helps discover inefficiencies, or find ways to grow operations better. He also mentioned how the Locus platform takes an algorithmic approach to optimization to make every delivery more efficient than the last one. This empowers the workforce to make more deliveries, leading to less fuel consumption and more sustainable growth.

Convenience and trust are pillars to success in the subscription model

Anand and Raj ended the discussion by talking about how to win in this subscription economy industry. For Anand, it is the level of convenience offered as he said, “The best part of subscription economy is that you’re only paying for usage and we’re also saving you from the burden of salvage value.”

For Raj, being transparent about order updates internally and with the customer is important for success. The other is offering a service as advertised. “The idea is to set expectations straight… it is something that can add to the experience which can win the hearts and minds and allow them to bring the next batch of customers in through their promotion, which is the ultimate marketing for any business.”

Talk to our experts to know more about how to create unparalleled customer experiences like RentoMojo!