These days everyone is looking to shop with the minimum of hassle and fuss so small businesses find themselves competing against huge selling platforms such as Amazon with their Prime next day delivery service. So what we need to do as independent businesses is look to sell online and offer delivery services. This allows your customers to get the best possible service from both large and small businesses and you can compete with the big boys.
Is it Local?
Do your customers generally live in the local area? If they do then it’s easy to offer delivery services, you have the full range of options available to you. Firstly if you have an appropriate vehicle then you can simply deliver the goods yourself or by one of your staff, and if you are struggling to deliver in your vehicle then it’s easy and simple to compare van hire. You can also offer a ‘click and collect’
service which all of the big national stores do these days, this is simple as just add an extra delivery option on your web store of ‘collect’. It’s good to note on the website how long these orders take to prepare so that customers don’t turn up too early and end up disappointed.
National or international delivery
If you are looking to send the goods over a further distance then it’s important to know how you are going to get the goods to the customers. This may require a fair degree of research in a couple of ways. Firstly you will need to know what kind of delivery your customers want and expect. Is speed a factor? You should look around to see how other companies in your type of industry deal with sending things out? Do they offer only one option or are there different methods offered? Free delivery is always an attractive option if you can offer it to them. Parcel2Go can offer a variety of services and if you check with them and set up your various options to the customers. You can have your deliveries picked up by the courier or there are a huge number of locations you can drop off at if your day finds you out and about. There is really no excuse not to offer delivery.
Admin and returns
There are some downsides to offering deliveries. It is a lot more work, dealing with orders, packaging them up and sending them out all takes time and unless you have staff that aren’t that busy you’ll need to figure out how this will be done. You will also need to have a returns policy. There is a bare legal minimum you need to offer which is the ability for a customer to return faulty goods. However to provide good customer service you might want to go a bit further and offer refunds within a certain time-frame. It is important to have your refund policy in writing so that you and the customer have something to refer to.
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