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On-Demand, Scheduled, and Subscription Delivery - What's The Difference?
2 min read

Whether you’re looking to start a delivery business, in the midst of one, or looking to pivot; it’s a good thing to know the difference between on-demand, scheduled, and subscription deliveries. Each method of delivery has its own pros and cons, especially as they apply to specific industries. Providing software to a wide range of delivery companies gives us particularly useful insight into what works and doesn’t work.

Let’s break it down.

On-Demand Deliveries

On-demand delivery satisfies a customer’s need to get an item delivered now (not to be confused, necessarily with when they need it).

Pros: There is growing demand for customers to get things when they want them, where they want them. More and more, we’re also living in a convenience economy.

Cons: Can be expensive from a resource standpoint.

Scheduled Deliveries

Unlike on-demand, which focuses on a customer’s need to receive items as quickly as possible when it’s desired, scheduled delivery operates, both on the customer-facing side and delivery business side, in a more planned manner. Deliveries are arranged by time and location in a manner that is more convenient for one or more of the parties involved.

Pros: Deliveries can be scheduled for a customer such that they are made at a time when it’s convenient for them. Scheduling allows resources to be deployed more reliably and efficiently.

Cons: Not able to capitalize on the demand generated from immediate needs.

Subscription-Based Deliveries

Much like scheduled delivery, subscription-based delivery is planned. Unlike scheduled delivery though, subscription-based delivery is recurring. Deliveries made through subscriptions may or may not be delivered in a way that is convenient for the end-customer.

Pros: Deliveries can be made much more effectively and efficiently. Subscriptions allow for reoccurring revenue, potentially increasing the lifetime value of each customer.

Cons: May not be delivered at a time and place that’s convenient for end-customers.

Depending on the type of business you’re in or thinking of getting into, a method of delivery may already be preferred — delivery of food from restaurants (on-demand), for instance. Putting a spin on the model can help change expectations that customers may have — delivery of food that you can cook at home (scheduled or subscription-based).

Understand what your customers want in relation to what you’re trying to achieve and utilize and delivery model that works best.

What delivery and businesses have you seen that work particularly well?