Track Your Parcel

PayPal – Working Capital Scheme to extend to the UK

New funding option for UK businesses from PayPal

 

As a small business, whether selling via your own ecommerce website or using existing sites such as eBay and Amazon, there are challenges around every corner. Since the start of the crunch in 2007 it has become increasingly difficult for small business to get funding to enable not only the business launch but also growth which is vital for both the business and the British Economy as a whole.

 

Last year, PayPal saw this challenge in America and launched a loans programme which has since provided around $140 million in cash advances to SMEs. They have now announced a similar programme to launch in the UK, initially to specially selected merchants but to become more widely in 2015.

 

We have identified some of the key features that will set PayPal aside from the rest of the finance market as they begin to offer cash advances rather than traditional loans.

  1. Fast approval process as they already have customer data – funds could be available around 5 minutes after the application
  2. Repayment schedule is not set. They will be made as a percentage of future sales revenue
  3. No interest fees or late payment fees
  4. No external credit checks
  5. One fixed charged for programme sign up

 

Cameron McLean believes that it is time for them to make a difference to UK businesses. The Managing Director of PayPal UK said that “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy. But seven years after the start of the credit crunch, many of them are still struggling to get funding.”

 

He went on to comment that “According to the British government, around a third of SMEs rely on retained earnings or the owner’s own finances rather than bank or equity funding. This means that many find it very difficult to finance their present needs or future growth. And the problem is acute for smaller, online businesses. PayPal is well placed to make a difference.”

Are you an eBay seller looking to grow? Why not link your account and start using our free shipping tool. Designed to save you even more time, you can compare a range of courier services and book online in a matter of seconds. Plus, save hours of data entry as description, delivery address and dimensions are automatically uploaded for each of your eBay items.

Posted by Siobhan at 11:43

Delivery Services - Who delivers what, where and when?

Here at My Parcel Delivery we make it quick easy for you to find the right delivery service whether you are sending presents to family in Finland, or a vital letter to Larry in Luton. Take a look below to see our delivery services at a glance so that you know which courier will get your parcel to the right place, at the right time, and at the best cost.

Download your FREE "Couriers at a Glance" guide here.

Are you an ecommerce business using our site for your deliveries? This at a glance guide is ideal to help you expand your market and offer more to your customers. You could start to deliver internationally, or simply offer an express delivery service for when they just cannot wait. Take a look at our free to use guide and see your options at a glance. 

Posted by Siobhan at 16:57

Making web design work for e-commerce businesses

Vincent Holt, commercial director at Salford-based 11 Out Of 10 web development agency, got into working with the web after years of project managing IT systems in what became engineering giant, GEC-Alstom.

After seeing a gap in the market for providing a blend of technical web design and sound business advice, he launched 11 Out Of 10 more than a decade ago. Now with 10 staff, the company provides highly specialised design for bespoke websites and e-commerce systems, aimed at companies “wanting an edge over the competition and prepared to pay a bit more to get it”.  Clients have included Walls Refrigeration and PureGym – the latter taken from an initial concept to a multi-million pound business in 3 years. 

My Parcel Delivery grabbed a few minutes with Vince to sample the secrets of web design for successful e-commerce businesses:


HOW FAR HAS E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN ADVANCED IN RECENT YEARS?

What was expert knowledge 10 years ago is now more widely understood. Off-the-shelf, template systems have improved and can offer a wide range of functionality. But templates aren’t great if you want to create a bespoke e-commerce site. This is important, as marketing is now 10 times more sophisticated than it was and companies need to be better equipped and reactive to compete for online shoppers.


WHAT ARE THE MOST CRITICAL LESSONS FOR BUSINESSES SELLING ONLINE?

The reality is this: it’s becoming winner takes all. That means being able to occupy online the top three spots in your market is becoming more critical. Anything that gives you an edge in the e-commerce environment can make the difference between going broke and making a fortune.

As a guide, SMEs getting into e-commerce need to understand they have to match their web development spend on marketing spend in the first year in order to play the game. That comes as a shock to many, but without capital or innovative marketing it’s difficult to grab the attention needed.


WHAT SHOULD ASPIRING E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES BE THINKING BEFORE LAUNCHING ONLINE?

Be clear about who your audience is. Once that’s established, be sure about what your competitive edge is and what you can offer over and above the rest. As well as retailers, manufacturers are now realising the potential in selling online, which can even involve trade websites for their channel partners to buy from them. More and more manufacturers are now realising they can sell directly to the consumers and increase their margins, by using drop shippers to manage the logistics – which by-passes what was traditionally the role of the wholesaler and distributors.


WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL MISTAKES E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES SHOULD AVOID WHEN THEY START?

Trying to sell everything! It’s better to go for a small, niche range of products. As a starting point it’s easier and lower cost to market a specialism rather than trying to compete with the bigger, more established companies. Aim to attract an audience with your niche product area and build on that.


WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR MORE ESTABLISHED E-COMMERCE BUSINESSES?

Companies can get complacent. After investing money when the site is built, they tend to think that’s “job done” and squeeze every penny they can out of the site. But they need a longer-term view and strategy. Management might be suspicious because it’s difficult to keep up with the advance of technology but, ideally, a site needs to be reviewed every 2-3 years and investment is needed to keep up with newer technology, such as ensuring their website is mobile device friendly. If a business selling products online is not converting mobile traffic, then creating a mobile site will help sell and this is usually a healthy contribution towards the price of the website overhaul in its own right.


HOW HAS CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IN E-COMMERCE CHANGED?

Consumers used to be more tolerant of websites and would accept making their way slowly through a transaction process. Today, they are both intolerant and impatient and won’t put up with substandard sites. More than that, the process now has to engage the customer with subtle touches that people will enjoy.

International e-commerce sales are becoming more and more important – in fact, the UK is the biggest exporter via e-commerce – so showing your prices in other currencies is helpful to show overseas customers how much it’s going to cost them.

And consumers are very aware of online customer reviews – 60% of people check out reviews before buying. Reviews are also important also for SEO on the site itself as Google sees them as a nice thing to have.


WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE NEXT BIG THING?

E-commerce is becoming more joined up. For example – at the bigger end of retail – you buy online and pick up your purchase in a shop at your convenience. Add to that drop-off points for click and collect. Shops are going to function more as showrooms, with shopping for entertainment as much as requirement. Shops may be fewer in number, but they will be more interactive.

While there will be more mobile payment via phone it needs to be slicker process, such as being able to make a mobile purchase without entering card details at check-out.

And there’ll be a complete intolerance of hidden charges when buying online. It’s one of the biggest turn-offs in the process, which currently results in about 70% of shoppers abandoning the cart altogether.

Posted by Shaun at 14:37

Ebay sellers – safety first! Beware the unscrupulous buyers.

Have you ever asked yourself - who is the most at risk? An eBay seller or an eBay buyer?


With over 17 million people logging onto eBay in the UK every month, the site is now responsible for over 15% of the UK’s online shopping (Experian Hitwise, 2011). What once started as a place for people to flog an unwanted gift or a rarely used impulse buy is now a global site for everything from fashion to furniture, and from collectibles to cars! What’s more, thanks to security measures and PayPal guarantees, it is safer than ever to be an eBay buyer but what about being an ebay seller?


There are hundreds of blogs, articles and cautionary tales of eBay buyers ‘scammed’ by unscrupulous sellers who pocket your hard earned money. We hear far fewer stories of hard working eBay sellers ‘scammed’ by buyers who pocket your goods! But how can this happen? Well it seems that the eBay system is weighted in the favour of the buyer rather than the seller. Don’t get me wrong, there are far more instances of undelivered items than false refunds but it is still something to consider as an eBay seller.


The problem seems to be a combination of a few factors. These include an uneven weighting in the number of eBay buyer claims vs eBay seller claims and eBay’s understandable quest to reassure buyers to shop. Furthermore, eBay’s process when investigating seller claims is said to be far too long-winded and time-consuming which has led to incorrect snap judgements being made. Something as simple as losing your postal tracking number could leave you with the difficult, unenviable task of having to prove you have fulfilled an order. But do not fear....there are 3 simple ways to help protect yourself:

  1. Turn your item into a star! More specifically, take plenty of detailed pictures from every angle prior to posting. This is to ensure that you can prove the condition of your item should the buyer submit a claim based on the condition in which it arrived.
  2. Make your own rules. Only you can control who is able to buy your items. Restrictions such as PayPal registration and policy violations may reduce your potential profit by 20p but could also save a lot of time and effort.
  3. Pick the right delivery service. There are plenty of options available to you so why not shop around for a trusted delivery company who can help you send a parcel both in the UK and abroad. Remember to balance your decision between a cheap courier and protecting yourself! The Post Office isn’t always the answer!

Follow these 3 simple steps and you are well on your way to being an ‘unscammable’ eBay Seller.

Posted by Siobhan at 09:00

Picking the best parcel courier

There are so many questions that you need to ask yourself when trying to pick the best courier for your parcel. Selecting the cheapest, or the fastest, courier may be the simplest option but we suggest that you answer the below 10 questions before making your decision. This will ensure that you select the best courier for your parcel. 

1. What is the size and weight of your parcel?

There are some couriers who are more suitable than others based on the size, shape and weight of your parcel. For example, City Link will allow you to send an item that is 240cm in length, whereas DX requires your item fit into their tamperproof polybag which is 69x65x5cm. Parcelforce allows parcels of up to 25kg, whereas Hermes only allow up to 15kg. Ensure that the courier you choose is capable of taking your parcel to avoid collection refusals and/or surcharges from the courier depot.

2. How valuable is your parcel?

As parcel delivery becomes an increasingly automated process it is vital to choose the service that can treat your parcel with the care and attention it deserves – remember that machines cannot read the fragile message that you put on your parcel. If your parcel is valuable to you, either financially or sentimentally, ensure you select a courier with the best reputation rather than just the best price. You may also consider adding additional compensation cover as accidents can happen.

3. When does your parcel need to arrive by?

While courier companies cannot offer a guaranteed collection and delivery date they can give an indication of the length of time a parcel can take. Through myparceldelivery.com you can choose from same day, next day, 2 day and economy services.

4. Do you have a printer?

We appreciate that not everyone has a printer at home. Many couriers now allow you to use the service without printing your own label. The exceptions are Hermes, DPD, UPS and any drop off service (myHermes, Collect+ and Parcelforce Drop-Off).

5. Do you want your parcel to be collected from home or dropped off at your convenience?

Sometimes it is not convenient to wait in all day for your parcel to be collected. myHermes, Collect+ and Parcelforce all offer a parcel drop-off service for just these occasions. Beware; you will need a printer to use the drop off service.

6. Does your parcel contain confidential information?

If you are sending confidential and/or sensitive information you may want the added security of using City Sprint who offer a SecureData service, or DX who seal your parcel in a tamperproof polybag.

7. Is your parcel on the prohibited/restricted items list?

While most items can be sent via courier some cannot, and others can be sent but with limited or no compensation cover. For example, you cannot send external car parts (e.g. bumpers and bonnets), musical instruments can only be covered to a maximum of £100, and items which are made of glass or have glass components can be sent at your own risk, but are not covered against loss or damage at all. Ensure you check the Prohibited and Restricted Items List before you book your delivery.

8. Do you need the parcel to be delivered at the weekend?

Very few couriers will allow you to select a weekend day for delivery. It is available through Yodel, Parcelforce and City Link at an additional cost, and Hermes will deliver and collect on a Saturday but will not allow you to specify a Saturday (or any specific day) for delivery.

9. Are you sending your parcel inside the UK or internationally?

If you are sending your parcel internationally not only will the number of providers offered be reduced, but there are other factors to also consider such as whether the country you are sending to offers home or depot delivery (as with some African nations), and whether customs will enforce any delays and/or charges.  We recommend that you investigate this prior to making your booking but if you need any help on where to look then contact our customer service team.

10. How much are you able to spend on your parcel delivery courier?

We appreciate that you want the cheapest courier possible however it is more important that you get the best value courier for the service you need and our price comparison service will make sure you can get that.

This list is not exhaustive and you may well find additional questions depending on the specific delivery you require, but if you ensure that you always consider the above 10 points your decision will be much simpler!

Posted by Siobhan at 10:10

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