There are not too many items today that we cannot afford to have delivered at our doorstep, with everything from food to healthcare but a lazy click away in the shower. So, it comes as no surprise that automobile fuel is the next big one in the on-demand delivery market. And while the on-demand fuel delivery business may no longer be a true novelty in the US, the absence of one dominant player in this field means the concept still hasn’t struck a chord with the masses. Most top providers in the game still identify themselves as start-ups, notwithstanding having come into existence in the early 2000s (take Booster, one of the first companies in this market), showing that growth has been slow despite being immensely scalable.
With little competition and a fresh market, this may be the best time to set up an on-demand fuel delivery business, especially in a world emerging from the shadow of lockdowns and the automobile industry seeing a resurgence.
The Building Blocks
With the global gasoline/diesel requirements consistently outweighing the capacity of fuel stations over the years, on-demand fuel delivery is bound to be an imperative in the coming years. However, with that said, one must play their cards right at the very beginning, partnering with a reliable IT solutions provider, securing compliance from governmental authorities, and so on.
The next step must be to build your fleet, equipped with the resources for everything from transportation to maintenance and safety. Businesses must do it with a keen eye on the reasons for the very existence of this market and the audience the firm specifically caters to. For instance, companies must hire HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) drivers, who are elite drivers involved in the transport of flammable material. Digital Solutions that complement the fleet must also be in place simultaneously (real-time tracking systems, forward-looking camera systems, IoT sensors, collision mitigation technology, and the like).
It is also vital at this juncture to address the towering safety concerns involved in transporting highly combustible liquids and gases over significant distances by road. The companies must immaculately monitor the transportation tanks to ensure safety; they must appropriately allocate funds to ensure this, without which the company’s existence will perennially hang by a thread.
Only then must intrepid business owners venture into creating the on-delivery app to enable the service, though last is not the least. The usability shortcomings of the application are hurdles many entrepreneurs fail to cross, with order tracking and route management being the Achilles’ heel in these solutions. The architecture of the app backend is another crucial hallmark as end-users will use the app over data or Wi-Fi all the time. Thus, the seamless delivery operation is staked almost wholly on some key app features that demand discussion.
Vital features of an On-Demand Fuel Delivery app:
- Pricing charts
The customers must get a glimpse of the savings they make through properly illustrated price charts; the introductory offers may be the bait for most customers. However, no compromise must be made on fuel quality, with double-filtered fuel as the norm.
- Real-time tracking
Given that the orders for fuel delivery often are in emergencies, the two-way tracking system will be equally valuable to the delivery agent and the customer while also winning the customer’s long-term trust. In addition, they can use third-party maps that show the delivery routes with ETA.
- Accept/Reject options
Since safety is paramount in an on-demand fuel delivery service, the fuel delivery agent must have the right to reject orders if they are inaccessible or compromise security in any manner. There must also be an option to keep charges pending until the delivery agent can make an informed decision.
- Synced with various payment options
The customers should be able to make their payments over a broad range of payment methods at their convenience. They must be aware of the various situations the customers may find themselves in and be adaptable to COD, online banking, and the slew of mobile banking apps with whom they must ensure compatibility. There must be an order/transaction history so the users can keep track of their expenditure online.
- Customer support
The business must address the fears and misconceptions of their customers by establishing communication channels between the people and expert employees who can mitigate their doubts and create clarity over the ins and outs of the delivery protocols. Automated messages can also have a positive impact in this regard.
Experion recently built a digital platform for on-demand fuel delivery for a US-based early-stage enterprise. You can read the complete success story here.
If you have an idea for a big change in the automotive world and need the right IT support to help you realize it, drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.