Should You Add White Glove Delivery to Your Carrier Mix?

In an extremely competitive e-tail landscape, retailers are faced with pressure to differentiate themselves and win customers over. While Amazon has trained online shoppers to heighten their expectations to “fast and free” shipping, 75% of shoppers still say that a superior delivery experience is the key in choosing between Amazon and any other retailer.

With all stakes riding on customer experience during the final mile, CX leaders can lean on other factors, such as transportation and premium carrier services, to help them maintain control over the experience. As online shoppers become more accustomed to buying large, bulky items sight unseen, white glove delivery services will become a household term.

What is White Glove Delivery?

While a standard freight service will offer curbside delivery, White Glove services are premium carrier services for large, bulky items that may need to be moved, installed, or set up. Examples of these items include couches and dishwashers, which may be difficult for a person to move on their own. When premium services are offered, the delivery team will “put on their white gloves,” go the extra mile, and provide additional care to the extent that the customer selected upon purchase. 

We surveyed the top 100 retail sites with active home delivery programs to identify the “standard” for delivery options and pricing.

White Glove Delivery Services may include:

  • Threshold: A step-up from the curbside drop-off, Threshold delivery commonly consists of extra care and precision from the drop-off team, but only to the extent at which they cross the threshold of the interior of the residence. Inside the front door, package down, and they’re out.
  • Room-of-Choice: This may also be referred as “white glove” delivery. Great at putting things together, but not as good at lifting heavy packages? Room-of-Choice is likely your best bet. The movers will deliver the shipment to your desired room within the residence, including up or down stairs. Upon arrival to said room, the packaged will be placed and they depart.
  • Deluxe: Desired room? Check. Complete setup of the item you purchased? Check. Departing with all of the clutter and packaging materials that came with the package? Check. This service combines convenience and ease to make it the unparalleled and top-of-the-line delivery experience, provided your customer is willing to pay for it.

Choosing the right delivery services for your customers:

Choosing the team that will interact with your customer during that final moment is a tough choice, and the stakes are high as well — 70% of consumers will not return to brand after a poor delivery experience. From the beginning of a contract negotiation with your carrier, it is imperative to ensure they can provide the services your customers may need. Here are few questions to ask your team ahead of your conversation with your carrier:

  • What do your customers want? In the Age of Amazon, the customer experience factor isn’t going to go away any time soon, so it’s imperative to keep them at the top of mind. Ask your customer service teams what top complaints are around delivery appointments and white glove delivery, and prioritize those items in your conversation with your carrier.
  • Do any of your products have unique shipping requirements? Is there any item that you know will need special handling in the final mile? Examples of these items would be anything that should be handled with care or installed, such as a glass table, a dish washer, or a crib.
  • What does your delivery network look like, and how do you define your accessorials? Can your customers expect similar services no matter where they are in the country? Make sure that your carriers’ definitions and service offerings match your needs.
  • Do you have baseline metrics or expectations for your current carrier performance? Share these with your carrier to understand how your deliveries can improve.

Still researching which services to offer to your customers during specific moments? Learn more about how to plan for success with your freight RFP, find your delivery sweet spot here, or check out tips to make your home delivery appointments even better.