Taking Care of Brand Experience: Office Depot's Customer-centric Approach to Last-Mile

on Jun 18, 2024

Staying ahead of the curve in retail isn’t just keeping up with what the big players are doing—it's about anticipating your individual customers’ needs. This customer-centric focus can increase customer retention rates by 5% and increase profits by 25% to 95%, according to Harvard Business Review. 

Office Depot, a leading office supply retailer, recognized early on that a robust and flexible same-day delivery program would be the key to creating a delightful customer experience in the Amazon era. 

We interviewed Brittany Pacheco, Senior Omni-Channel Manager, to understand how Office Depot was able to scale last-mile delivery, achieve business goals, and delight customers.




From one to many Delivery Service Providers

In 2017, Office Depot's same-day delivery program was in its infancy. The organization partnered with a single delivery service provider, Shipt, which covered most (84%) of their retail stores. While this was a good start, Brittany knew they needed to expand their reach. 

"We'd been following a strategy of product availability for years now, where we want to put our brand and position our products wherever customers are and however they're shopping," Brittany explained. needed the right platform.


In 2019, Office Depot chose Delivery Solutions as their last-mile solution for two reasons. “Obviously we wanted to have flawless execution from a same-day delivery service, so that allowed us to have some seamless transactions,” Brittany told us. “But the biggest thing is just ease of use for the business.” 

Thanks to Delivery Solutions' simple, streamlined, single API process, the Office Depot team was able to expand quickly with little pressure on their internal development teams. They were able to add DoorDash and Uber Eats to their system alongside Shipt—with very little effort. 

"Delivery Solutions allowed Office Depot to be able to grow and expand quickly. It's truly a plug-and-play solution," Brittany explained. “If we’re [looking at an agreement with a new delivery service provider] and they are already a partner of delivery solutions, we can quickly add them into our orchestration and allow them to be a provider for our program.

Coverage and delivery service provider (DSP) functionality was a major win for the Office Depot team, but it was only one of the benefits Delivery Solutions provided to the retailer.

Connecting the dots with business rules

While ease of expansion was vital to meeting its goals, Office Depot also needed to ensure the profitability of its same-day delivery program. This is where the Delivery Solutions platform shone. 

"This platform allows us to be much smarter about how we are connecting the dots between our program and profitability," Brittany said. By setting business rules around factors like delivery rates, drive time, and coverage, Office Depot could optimize its operations, dynamically selecting the optimal delivery partner for each order to maximize efficiency and minimize costs.

“By allowing a multi-DSP, same-day delivery program, we can really reach all of our locations,” said Brittany. “[We can also] negotiate with our DSPs’ differing rates based on how well they cover certain drive distance from our stores, because our whole program is sourced from our retail stores.”



The flexibility of the Delivery Solutions’ platform helped Office Depot take a strategic approach to its partnerships, leveraging each DSP's strengths and negotiating favorable terms based on its unique capabilities and coverage areas. 
The Delivery Solutions platform acted as a control tower, giving Office Depot a bird's-eye view of its operations and the tools to fine-tune them for maximum profitability. 

But the benefits didn't stop there. As Office Depot looked to the future, they saw even more potential in Delivery Solutions’ evolving capabilities, promising optimization and innovation in their last-mile operations.

Evolving into a one-stop shop

Brittany laid out her vision: The entire Office Depot team wanted to look beyond simple same-day delivery orchestration. The team was excited to expand into other areas like post-purchase branding and ship-from-store, leveraging Delivery Solutions as an all-in-one solution for last-mile needs.“



The beautiful thing about Office Depot is we've been around for 30-plus years,” Brittany said. “We know exactly who we are. We know exactly who our customers are. We know exactly how they shop with us. We have a strong loyalty following.” The secret, she explained, is delivering exactly what their customers are looking for and meeting them how and where they are shopping.

“That post-purchase branded experience is a huge boon for us because we have multiple fulfillment programs, multiple DSPs, and multiple types of delivery partners. To have one Office Depot voice is incredibly important," Brittany emphasized. 

The digital space is unlikely to become less competitive over time, but Brittany and her team are ready to face that challenge. “You have these big dogs that come in with big dollars and many resources, but I think what proves the difference between certain retailers and eCommerce sites is the ability to produce an outcome. And we try to hone in on what we are going to do for our customers.”

Adapting to evolving customer expectations

Customer expectations around how they interact with businesses have irrevocably changed. “10 years ago, [Buy Online, Pick Up In Store] BOPIS was new to our customers,” Brittany noted. “Five years ago, same-day delivery was new to them. Buy now, pay later is new to them.” 

Yet despite these changes, Office Depot's partnership with Delivery Solutions has been a testament to the power of strategic thinking and adaptability in the face of a rapidly changing retail landscape. 

By leveraging our platform's flexibility, intelligence, and expanding capabilities, Office Depot has kept pace with customer expectations and has positioned itself as a reliable partner for businesses in search of office supplies with flexible delivery.

As Brittany put it, "We have significantly grown our same-day delivery program because of what we're able to do with Delivery Solutions. We're able to have multiple DSPs and put those business rules in place to drive profitability to our program.”

When your customer journey is smooth, your business thrives. See how Delivery Solutions can make this a reality.  Book a demo. 

About the author

Ryan Caldarone

Ryan is a Sr. Digital Marketing Manager with over ten years of experience in B2B eCommerce, specializing in brand storytelling and content. Having contributed to hundreds of creative projects for SMBs and startups across the tech, energy, and fine arts sectors, Ryan brings diverse perspectives.


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