What is white glove delivery? Why it matters to your customers

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By FarEye | October 13, 2022

What is white glove delivery service?

White glove delivery service is a premium delivery service offered to consumers. The term ‘white glove’ means ‘providing or involving meticulous care, attention, or service.’ Retailers and carriers aim to provide elevated consumer experiences through white glove delivery.

White glove deliveries aren’t just about delivering the product to the consumer’s doorstep like standard package or parcel deliveries. In white glove deliveries, shippers and carriers take the responsibility of uncrating and unpacking the product. It may also involve the installation of the product at the delivery destination.

White glove deliveries focus on delivering high-value products with additional services that help consumers in using them. White glove delivery takes into consideration factors like speed of delivery, convenience, personalization and seeks to provide emotional fulfillment as well.

What is a white glove service attitude?

More than anything else, white glove service is an attitude. An attitude that makes delivery operations highly dependable. Imagine a butler serving you lunch. It's that kind of an experience where consumers feel the finesse, sophistication, and care that's been generated while executing a white glove delivery.

Why do we need a white glove delivery service?

An increase in e-commerce deliveries has led to consumers expanding the list of products they purchase online. It’s not just about buying grocery items or food from restaurants anymore. Today’s consumer is willing to buy big and bulky products online. From large screen television sets to sofas and large appliances - everything is available for online purchase.

The standard model of shipping is not enough to deliver these high-value, luxury items. These goods demand special care and thus the need for a reliable delivery service. This service is also a way for businesses to provide great consumer experiences. The ability to make white glove deliveries gives enterprises a huge competitive advantage.

The Benefits of White Glove Delivery Service

Enhanced Consumer Experience

Any white glove service aims to provide an outstanding delivery experience. Delighting the consumer is at the heart of such services. Through white glove delivery services, enterprises can create a ‘wow’ experience for their consumers. Flawless delivery service results in a positive impact on consumer satisfaction and increased brand loyalty.

Reducing the Risk of Damage

Once a product is marked for white glove delivery, enterprises take extra measures to ensure that the purchased goods arrive safely at the consumers' doorstep. Logistics providers take special steps to make sure the packaging is sturdy. A ‘Handle with Care’ or a ‘Fragile Item’ sticker may be pasted on the front to alert the package handlers and delivery agents.

Logistics companies may also provide temperature-controlled containers for delivery of certain furniture and fittings or other high-value items. There may be specially trained personnel allocated specifically to manage white glove deliveries.

Product Differentiation and New Revenue Stream

White glove delivery service can be a strategic component in the marketing plans of logistics providers. It can be offered to select consumers at a premium price and efficiently monetized. White glove services can give enterprises an edge over LSPs who can afford only standard modes of delivery.

Reliable Delivery Service

The greatest advantage of white glove delivery is that it provides peace of mind for consumers. Once ordered, consumers can be fully assured of reliable delivery. And with white glove deliveries, it doesn’t just end with the delivery. The product is unpacked, assembled, or installed, and if needed, a demonstration is given. Consumers can ask product-related questions and communicate any feedback they have on the delivered product.

What does white glove delivery service include?

Product Inspection

White glove delivery service begins with ensuring that the product delivered is free of any damages like broken or malfunctioning parts, scrapes or scratches on the body, or dents. Often, companies source special packaging material to wrap the product in to ensure its safety.

Perfect Packaging

Different products require different methods of packaging. Fragile shipments need to be bubble-wrapped first, then placed in a box and marked as ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care.' Some products with different parts need to be packed in separate cartons before they are unpacked and assembled at the customer’s place. Art, antiques, and sometimes pieces of furniture may need climate-control storage when they are shipped.

Meticulous Planning for Transportation

Exceptional care is taken when delivering the package. The transportation of the package is meticulously planned. Extra caution is taken to maintain cleanliness in the vehicle that the package is being carried. Checks are done to ensure that the vehicle and the container in which the product will be placed in are fit and secure for carrying out the delivery. The services of most dependable drivers and delivery agents are called upon to execute White Glove delivery.

Maintaining Cleanliness

Sections in the warehouse are earmarked beforehand in case the package needs to be stored for some time. Steps are taken to ensure that the storage facility is neat and clean. Dispatch managers are informed about the white glove delivery and are expected to handle the package with special care. The company offering white glove delivery service is also duty-bound to dispose of all the packaging material so that the consumer's place of delivery is not littered with garbage.

Complete Installation

White glove delivery service includes full installation of the product at the consumer's home, office, or place of choice. Trained delivery agents do everything from moving the package to the specific area of the house in which the consumer wants to assemble the product and make it ready for use. If an old product is being exchanged, it's the responsibility of the delivery agent to disassemble and repackage it.

Standard vs. Threshold vs. White Glove Delivery

Standard delivery does not involve any kind of personalization. Consumers seeking standard shipping will be given an estimated date for delivery but not necessarily the exact time. The package itself is given no special attention or treatment while it's shipped to the consumer.

In threshold delivery, the delivery agent places the package on the porch or garage, or any other area defined by the consumer. The delivery agents are not responsible for unpacking and assembling the product.

White glove delivery is more sophisticated than threshold and standard mode of delivery. Here the delivery agents unpack the product, set it up for use, and also ensure that any packaging material they've brought with them is removed from the end consumer's place.

What products need white glove delivery?

Mostly high-value products, fragile goods, and consumer durables need white glove delivery. Whenever consumers buy a sofa set, dining table, computer table, or any other furniture that is big and bulky or requires assembly - white glove delivery services are offered. Home appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, or washing machines that need to be installed and set up for the consumer to use also come under the category of products that need white glove delivery.

Expensive goods - ranging from costly jewelry to luxury cars involve white glove delivery. Electronic gadgets like high-end cameras, laptops, and mobile phones also need careful packaging and shipping to the consumer. Valuable machinery, hardware, premium art, antique pieces that are temperature or humidity-sensitive, or high-priced glassware that needs to be handled with care - white glove delivery service is offered for a wide range of products.

How much does white glove delivery cost?

The cost of white glove delivery service depends on a variety of factors:

Size and Weight

Pricing hinges on what type of item is being shipped. A product that is light but fragile will be shipped in a different way than something big and bulky. The shipping rates will also differ. The dimensions of the package shall also be taken into consideration before sending it out for delivery.

Type of packaging

The kind of packaging that the product needs is an important factor when deciding the cost of white glove delivery. Few products may require special packaging material to ensure they are safe and secure during transit. Rare items may need temperature-controlled containers for shipping which may lead to an increase in delivery cost.

Distance and Speed of Delivery

White glove delivery cost is highly dependent on the distance and speed of delivery. Faster deliveries may be charged a premium rate. The greater the distance for shipping the product, the higher the fuel cost and the price of white glove delivery. The drop location also influences the cost with deliveries to difficult-to-reach areas priced higher.

Number of Personnel Involved

The number of people involved in delivery also needs to be factored in while calculating the cost. Sometimes, when a product needs trained assistants for assembly and set up, the price of delivery shoots up due to extra resources being involved.

Who should use white glove delivery services?

White glove delivery services are used by individual consumers and businesses alike. Consumers who buy expensive electronic items like television or washing machines online expect white glove delivery for the purchased product. E-commerce websites usually mention if installation is provided for the purchased item and if any extra charges need to be paid over and above the cost of the product.

Businesses use white glove delivery services especially when they want expensive machinery shipped to their premises. The equipment needs to be transported and then carefully placed within the factory compound at a specific place. The assembly and final setup needs trained personnel.

What do consumers expect from white glove delivery services?

White glove delivery service is costly and when consumers pay for it, they expect nothing short of a flawless experience. With a white glove delivery service consumers expect:

Timely Delivery

It's almost a given that white glove delivery will be made without any delays. Consumers pay a premium for white glove delivery and therefore want their purchased product to be delivered to them on the specific day and time that they have opted for. The last thing that an enterprise wants when offering white glove delivery is the consumer calling up and asking 'where is my order?'

Hassle-free Experience

White glove deliveries are synonymous with convenience. Busy consumers are looking for a hassle-free and zero-stress experience. A positive delivery experience increases brand loyalty.

Premium Service

Enterprises involved in white glove services not only need to ship, assemble and set up the product safely and efficiently, but they also need to be there to answer any queries that the end users may have about the product. This includes receiving feedback and providing further support if needed by the consumer.

Technology and Its Impact on White Glove Delivery

Logistics companies need effective technology to manage white glove delivery services. Using today's technologies, companies can efficiently track the movement of high-value products and ensure safe delivery at the doorstep of the consumer.

  • Last-mile tracking can provide real-time updates on the movement of white glove deliveries and any change in ETAs can be communicated to the end consumer.

  • Data analytics can create a more personalized white glove delivery service for the end consumer. Advanced analytics help managers keep track of consumer trends.

  • Route optimization makes white glove deliveries faster and without burning extra fuel.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) applications can vastly improve time slot management and facilitate deliveries at the convenience of the end consumer. It helps enterprises manage deliveries as well.

  • Several tech platforms use the power of machine learning and AI to reduce human errors. Such software solutions are a boon for carriers companies that may have the personnel to implement white glove deliveries but do not have enough tech power to minimize the risk of damage and reduce costs.

Final Thoughts on White Glove Delivery

White glove delivery service is a worthy investment for any retailer or logistics company. It's a win-win situation, with white glove services for businesses that can build awesome, personalized delivery experiences and nurture a long-lasting relationship with the end consumer. White glove delivery services help deepen consumer trust and loyalty while minimizing costs and allowing enterprises to increase revenue. A perfect White glove delivery service helps enterprises tailor awesome consumer experiences that ultimately lead to increase in customer lifetime value and profits.

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