The Ultimate Guide to White Glove Delivery Service and Its Impact on Your Brand

Peloton became a much-loved brand in recent years, as consumers turned to the fitness giant to stay active in an engaging way during lockdowns. Of course, increased demand for product equals more deliveries equals more room for problems to creep in. And they did, with customers reporting delays and less than stellar white glove installations from Peloton’s delivery partner.  

There’s an important lesson here. The more a customer pays for your product, the higher their expectations around experiencing delight across every brand touch point. This extends to the white glove delivery experience often included in higher-ticket, big and bulky purchases. 

Let’s take a closer look at white glove service and how it contributes to the impression your brand leaves on customers.

What is white glove delivery service?

Whereas standard delivery often leaves a product on a shopper’s doorstep, white glove delivery involves trained delivery professionals bringing the item inside to the exact spot a customer wants it, setting it up properly, and then taking any packing materials or garbage with them when they leave. 

White glove delivery is typically reserved for items that are more difficult to handle and more easily damaged. Think big-and-bulky goods or fragile items that require extra care and set up – like furniture, mattresses, and exercise equipment.

Is white glove delivery more expensive?

The costs for white glove delivery will typically depend on a variety of factors. 

  • Location – Distance from pickup to destination is a factor. For example, for most delivery partners, markets are divided into delivery zones with varying proximity to fulfillment centers. The closer a zone is to the fulfillment center the less delivery will cost. 
  • Complexity – Costs can increase with installation complexity. For example, if more than two people are required to move the item or if tech setup is necessary. 
  • Weight – Delivering a single chair to a location will cost less than delivering an entire dining room suite. 
  • Urgency – As with any shipping model, the faster you need an item delivered the higher the cost. 

How do I choose a white glove service partner?

Choosing which last mile partner is your best match for white glove delivery will ultimately depend on your specific needs and business model. Here are a few things to consider when you’re evaluating different vendors. 

  • Speed and flexibility.  To best accommodate your shoppers’ deliveries, look for a partner who offers quick, white glove delivery for big and bulky orders too. Additionally, you can ask whether weekend and evening deliveries are an option and if they have the infrastructure to facilitate and manage product returns. Ideally, your 3PL partner will offer different service levels for deliveries, including curbside, threshold, room of choice, and white glove. 
  • Accurate delivery times. The nature of white glove delivery requires the customer to be there to receive their items, but that shouldn’t mean tethering them to an ambiguous delivery time window. Ideally, your white glove service partner will let your customers know how to best prepare for the delivery and choose a shorter delivery window that works for them. Since delays sometimes can’t be helped, they should also provide frequent real-time updates on when to actually expect the delivery. 

    GoBolt drivers send order updates via SMS when they are one stop away and on their way to the destination. Hands-on customers can also use our real-time truck tracking app to keep an eye on their delivery and even get photo proof of delivery. We provide your shoppers with a direct line to our customer support team to answer questions and solve issues that arise on the fly, so you don’t have to get involved. 
  • Positive brand representation. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that the teams delivering your goods will take gentle care of your precious cargo and present themselves professionally in front of customers. Drivers and assistants that are employed by your white glove service provider may be more likely to receive robust training. Ask providers if you’ll have dedicated drivers assigned to your brand so they gain deeper knowledge of your products and preferences. 

    GoBolt drivers are fully employed, benefitted, and trained to complete installations and assembly, so you can be confident that our service quality matches your product quality. Our drivers also wear booties for all deliveries, which include taking items into the customer’s room of choice. This is followed by removing packaging, assembling the items, staging the products, and wiping everything down so it’s ready to go. 
  • Sustainable options. If corporate responsibility is embedded in your brand DNA, then sustainable delivery is bound to be on your radar. Ask if your white glove service partner has carbon-neutral delivery options. If they’re also going to manage big and bulky product returns for your brand, probe on whether they’re tapped into options like donations and recycling to reduce landfill waste. For example, GoBolt has a partnership with The Furniture Bank Network that allows returned and unsellable household furniture and mattresses to be donated to families in need.

Is white glove delivery worth it?

If your company ships high-value, fragile, or big-and-bulky goods, there’s significant peace of mind associated with knowing your products are in good hands for the last mile. Choosing the right white glove service doesn’t just free your team to focus on other things, it can also be really good for business. 

Customers will pay up to a 16% price premium on products and services when they have a truly good customer experience. It turns out every industry sees a potential price bump for providing a positive customer experience, but luxury and indulgence purchases benefit the most from top-flight service. Customers are also more likely to try additional services or products from brands that provide a superior customer experience. That adds up to a whole lot of reasons to make sure your white glove service is remarkable.  

Want to make your brand’s last impression as impactful as your first? Check out the GoBolt difference in last mile delivery.