Many managers of online stores decide to transfer the delivery of orders for outsourcing to all their time and energy to focus on the development and promotion of the store. Today we will talk about how to choose the right courier service. This question is certainly very serious because of the clear work of the delivery service directly depends on the turnover and profit of your store.
There are two approaches to service of the clients at delivery – the courier service or the foreign logistical operator. Today, this process is increasingly being outsourced. Actively developing e-commerce tries to minimize the costs of specific operations and risks of process administration. For the majority of online stores the involvement of third-party courier service is usually more profitable and reliable due to the reduction in the cost of operations with a large volume, the availability of backup mechanisms, the variety of logistics services, the already built network of units, a wide range of services for customers. Most often, only large online stores with a high turnover of goods retain their services.
What aspects should be taken into account when ordering courier services from a logistics operator?
- Tariffs for courier services and delivery terms. In this part, much depends on a particular segment of goods, because somewhere you need to act in advance of the market and the timing is more important than the costs, and somewhere profitable part of the sale is small and more important than reducing related costs. Larger logistics companies usually have a wider choice of tariffs and services, and it is possible to achieve minimum terms;
- Availability of an information system that allows communication with the courier. Store Locator & In-store Pickup will allow us to trace the cargo on the way and warn the client about the emergency situation. Availability of own call-center;
- Services that can be obtained when ordering service. It is important to accept cash on delivery, including payment by bank card, fitting services, the possibility of partial delivery from a number of ordered items, the possibility of receiving returns from customers, etc. In addition, it is important to deliver in the evening, follow the declared intervals of the arrival of the courier, service at the weekend;
- Geography of delivery and promotion markets. It is possible to choose partners with different representation in the territory of the country, indicating the regions where the customer service is already needed and potentially important for the development;
- The appearance of the courier is the availability of branded clothing, branded cars, etc. The courier is the face of the company, do not forget about it;
- Possibility of cargo insurance, methods and safety indicators, especially if expensive or fragile cargo is transferred for delivery. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the readiness of the courier company to fix its obligations on terms in the contract as a set of criteria to assess the quality of delivery, as well as options to reduce the cost of services in case of violation of terms.
It is good if the company offers other logistics services in addition to courier delivery – customs clearance or additional packing of fragile goods, transportation of goods with hazard classes, etc.
Every owner of the internet-shop sooner or later faces the problem of choosing a courier service. In today’s market, there is a huge number of different delivery services, which at first glance seem to be a little different from each other. Some believe that the difference between courier services is absolutely insignificant, and therefore do not spend a lot of time to analyze and choose the service that can be trusted to deliver to their customers. And in vain, because the quality of the courier service depends on the conversion of purchases! In this belief, I will be supported by those who burned, if not once when choosing a poor quality delivery partner! So how do you choose the service that you can trust with such an important process as the implementation of the “last mile”?
- Of course, first of all, study the tariffs very carefully. Check if there are any hidden tariffs, for example, subscription fees or other “surprises”, for example, some KS indicate the cost of delivery to the city and for delivery “to the door” must be paid extra.
- Pay special attention to the issue of transferring money received from your customers to you. The more often you get your money back, the better.
- Do not be lazy to read reviews on the Internet. Do not forget that, as a rule, a review leaves a dissatisfied customer, while a satisfied customer does not even think about it and just uses the service.
- An important issue – automation. Data exchange with courier service is best solved by integration with the administrative system of your store. Be sure to check if your potential delivery partner has such an opportunity.
But it also happens that after analyzing all the factors, you suddenly realize that you can not choose the only service, as, for example, large-size goods you benefit from carrying “this” transport company. To solve this problem will require either a logistician who will distribute orders between services, or work through the aggregator, where this task will be performed automatically.