Friday January 29, 2016
Postage and delivery can be a big part of setting up and running a business, especially for retail and ecommerce businesses, but also in other sectors, there’s a need to send out items to customers, clients and colleagues.
Here are 6 ways you can improve your parcel delivery offering to keep your customers happy and your costs low.
1) Don’t rely on just one courier or delivery service
Your current parcel delivery offering might be working just fine for you, but it’s always worth having some tried and tested backup options, just in case your preferred courier company suddenly increases their prices or changes the weight and size limits on the parcels they’ll accept.
If you’re an ecommerce business it’s also worth doing some research into what delivery services your customers use the most often. Are your items emergency purchases that most people will want next day delivery? Or is cost the most important factor to your customer and they’d be happy to wait longer to receive something if it meant a cheaper delivery cost?
2) Drop Off or Collection – find which works best for you
Are you spending hours each week queuing up at the Post Office before closing time? Would it be easier if you could have your parcels collected instead? Or how about being able to drop them off outside of standard Post Office opening hours?
Couriers like DPD, Hermes, Collect+ and UPS have local drop-off points across the UK where you can drop parcels off for delivery. If you’ve not used a courier drop-off service before, you can find out a bit more about these services and find out if there’s a drop off point near you here – drop offer delivery.
Once you’ve found your local drop-off point, if you know you’ll be sending parcels regularly, it’s worth getting to know the store staff and finding out what time parcels are collected. As a general rule, the earlier you drop your parcels off, the quicker they’ll be collected and delivered.
If you’d prefer to have your parcels collected from your work or home address, there’s plenty of choice in delivery couriers for this too. Be aware that collection times can be as early as 8am or as late as 8pm, so be sure to pick a collection address to suit these hours.
3) Check if you qualify for discounted business parcel delivery rates
Most courier companies offer discounted parcel delivery rates for businesses and people who regularly send parcels, for example, there’s the Royal Mail Business Account.
However, these discounted business parcel delivery rates are often only available to people who send thousands of parcels a year, so many startups, SMEs and growing small businesses will find they are excluded and have to pay standard postage fees.
The good news for smaller businesses and sole traders is that parcel comparison websites like My Parcel Delivery have negotiated discounted rates which anybody can access, with no minimum spend or sending volume. Our parcel delivery prices can be up to 70% cheaper than Royal Mail and if you send more than 10 parcels per week, you can save even more money and access some added features with the My Parcel Delivery Business Account.
4) Invest in your packaging
The way you package up your parcel can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your items protected throughout their journey. Take a look at My Parcel Delivery’s packaging guidelines for tips on the best way to package up your parcels.
It’s not just about safe sending though; as a business, your packaging can often leave a lasting impression – it’s the first thing your customers see, before they even get to your products.
A search on Youtube for “unboxing” reveals over 36 million videos of people opening up packages and products and reviewing them. Maybe your product isn’t the type of item people would “unbox” on video, but it’s a great example of how important it is to think about the customer experience and the impression you want to give when they open the parcel and receive their order. You never know, good packaging could be the deciding factor in getting a customer to make another purchase with you.
5) Put an efficient system in place for managing deliveries
As your business grows, make sure you keep your internal processes and systems up to date too. For example, if you only have a 10 orders a week, it’s easy to book each delivery in individually, however think about how you’d manage booking deliveries individually with 50 orders per week or over 100 orders per week.
There are lots of tools available to help you manage your deliveries, including the Rapid Book tool, created by My Parcel Delivery, which makes it quicker and easier for you to book in multiple deliveries. Sign up for a free My Parcel Delivery account to find out more about Rapid Book and start using it.
For more advice on parcel posting, whether it’s for business or personal use, check out some of our other posts on the My Parcel Delivery blog.
Photo Credit - Travis Nep Smith via Flickr