From store to door: How to nail your delivery service
Delivery is now an expected part of retail. Even independent shops tend to have an e-commerce site to complement their bricks and mortar store, making delivery an essential part of most businesses.
Getting the service right is harder than it sounds. As customers get used to ordering online and next day delivery, the bar has been raised high by large companies like Amazon making it difficult to compete. Logistics may be a nightmare but they are something your business can’t do without.
But just before you start looking at in house semi truck financing and building your own fleet, here are a few things to consider.
Don’t try to compete with the big retailers
Huge online retailers have one advantage: scale. But while they may be able to process more sales per minute than your small business could ever dream of, that isn’t actually your goal as a small business. Winning the delivery race is all about playing to your strengths.
As a small business, it’s likely that a lot of your customers will be close by. This gives you a major advantage: not only can you probably do the deliveries yourself, but you can probably encourage quite a few people to come into your store to collect themselves.
How you package a product for delivery makes a big difference to how people perceive your business. Choosing the right size and shape is essential to keep your products from moving about too much. Similarly adding packing materials should protect the contents and prevent any breakages.
Using branded packaging is a smart way to show off your business and encourage brand recognition. Lots of clothes companies already do this really well but other companies should certainly follow their lead. Many people receive deliveries at work for convenience, which offers you a large audience and a chance to make your business stand out.
Taking care to package your deliveries nicely is another thing to consider. Instead of throwing things into a box, consider ways to make it look and feel more like a gift. This way, every time a customer gets their delivery, it will feel special and encourage them to purchase again.
Every delivery is a marketing opportunity to bring a customer back again. You might like to include a catalogue of products to browse through or maybe you could include a coupon to encourage repeat business. Offering discounts is a great way to bring customers back, but used strategically, could also help you manage your stock and improve overall sales.
If you have a network of small retail businesses in your area, it could be a good idea to team up and put marketing in each other’s deliveries. Naturally, you should think carefully about who would be best placed but this kind of partnership could massively increase brand awareness in your area.
You might only be a small business but adding a delivery service could be a real game-changer for you. Just make sure that you play to your strengths, take the opportunity to add marketing materials and make every delivery feel special.