Improve your delivery service with

Marc Kranendonk
Marc Kranendonk
Content Manager
April 26, 2022

When it comes to the quality of your delivery service, location data is vital and there is always room to improve it. Standard tracking (using a mobile's native GPS) can be inaccurate and drains the phone battery out before you can finish reading one of our blogs. Often, couriers also need to perform manual tasks, like updating when the food is picked up and delivered. We could go into greater detail but to keep it short, poor location data is inefficient, time-consuming, and creates a higher degree of human error.

In this blog, we’re going to showcase how Roam’s location SDK and APIs can help improve the quality of your delivery service in the long run.

Location SDK

So how can a location SDK improve your delivery service quality?

Let's start with accuracy. For tracking deliveries, high-quality location data, in particular data that is accurate and consistent, is vital to improving the user experience. Firstly, customers should be able to track their couriers accurately. They no longer want to just wait for their order, they want to be updated and be able to track its progress, making it paramount to include real-time tracking in your delivery app.

With that established, customers tracking their order will have experienced problems that are directly related to inaccurate location data. A common example is the courier's real-time location being inconsistent, and often delayed, resulting in utter confusion as to where they are and more importantly, where their order is.

Our SDK can solve that together with our pub/sub infrastructure to smooth out the tracking of the courier for the user, enabling them to track their location accurately in real-time. This allows for a smoother handover of orders and a more precise ETA time.

Real-time tracking is also important for managers because it’s a good way to track their couriers. It gives managers the opportunity to monitor their couriers, rewarding those who are performing well and coaching those who are underperforming. Even when off-trip, managers can see a map of where all the couriers are in real-time, in case they want to message some of them to go hit certain locations. Tracking real-time location off-trip is also very important when thinking about using a Nearby API to assign deliveries, which will be discussed later.

Relating to an employee's performance is another feature of the Roam SDK: recording the speed of the courier, and even the average speed throughout the trip. Some companies have been looking for ways to maximize the safety of their employees, and more specifically the safety of others, to ensure their couriers do not cause accidents as they race to their drop-off location. Our SDK can therefore be used to monitor the speed of the courier, to either fine those that go over the speed limits, or reward the ones that do not.

For couriers, a high-quality location SDK can help optimize routes for the shortest delivery time possible and minimize the risk of delays and lost orders. This also applies to the use of geofences. A courier could be dead-center of a geofence but the GPS drift doesn’t detect their entry and exit. The consequence of this is the customer not being updated on the status of their order.

Finally, our SDK was built to understand user behavior and user movement. An interesting application of this is the SDK’s ability to understand which mode of transportation the courier is using, in order to influence fees and payments. For example, apps could reward their couriers that perform deliveries on bicycles as opposed to scooters, rewarding them for both the exercise they do, and the sustainability of their mode of transportation. To be more specific, Roam’s SDK can differentiate between the following modes of transportation: walking, biking, and “vehicle”, which implies a motorized vehicle like a car or a scooter.

Okay, let’s just give a quick summary before we move on. For delivery, our location SDK improves location accuracy and makes it consistent in multiple ways. It helps make smoother handovers, allows for precise ETA times, helps monitor delivery personnel performance and their speed, optimizes routes, minimizes issues related to geofencing, and it can differentiate between different modes of transportation. We’re pumping our own tires here but keep in mind that this is all possible while being battery efficient too. Delivery personnel can extend the length of their shifts and not worry about battery drainage and so too your customers when they’re tracking and using your app.

Roam Trips v2 & Geofences

Trips v2 is the newly updated version of our Trips API that allows you to manage and plan trips with its Quick Trips and Planned Trips features. For delivery, Planned Trips is particularly intriguing.

The name gives it away but Planned Trips lets you plan trips ahead of time where you can visit a single location or stop at multiple locations as a part of the journey from point A to B to C and all the way to Z. These locations are then called “stop locations”, an example of which can be the pickup location, and the dropoff location. Additionally, stop locations act as geofences, where you can trigger actions or notifications when a courier enters and exits. For delivery, this means you can create seamless trips where couriers don’t need to perform any manual tasks along the way. When a delivery person enters and exits a stop location, the user will receive an update about their order on their device automatically. A planned trip will also have its own trip ID that can be sent to the customer so they can live track the trip. For internal analytics, a summary of the trip is available at the end with all the relevant data that you’ll need like distance, duration of the trip, time between stops, etc.

Overall, Planned Trips improves the delivery experience for the courier and customer. The courier can plan their route and multiple orders, and not have to worry about updating their customers manually (decreasing the chance of human error). The customer will be updated timely on the status of their order so they have a better idea of the ETA, and with live tracking, they can see for themselves where the courier is on their journey.

A visual example of how the planned trips feature works

Nearby API

Lastly, our Nearby API allows your users to perform a nearby search on other users or areas with geofences assigned to them. What does this mean for a delivery app? It gives an opportunity for their users to connect with couriers in their area. Around the pickup location of the restaurant, the API can be called upon to see which courier is closest. This allows you to automatically assign deliveries based on the straight shot distance to the location. For users, assigned geofences help show them which restaurants are available for delivery nearby. Developers can customize their geofence around a restaurant to a specific radius so that the delivery time is within “x” amount of minutes and then activate the Nearby API when a user inputs their delivery address to see if they can deliver from that location. This will be especially useful to Q-commerce apps delivery on the 10-minute delivery promise for example.

Want to know more?

Have you got questions on how our Location SDK and APIs work or other features? Contact us today.

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Marc Kranendonk
Marc Kranendonk
Content Manager
April 26, 2022