Nowadays, many retail businesses offer some sort of eCommerce function alongside their own retail unit. Most people then let their customers choose between Click & Collect or delivery to receive their goods. If opting for delivery, businesses can decide if they want to use their own service or another third-party courier.
But what does it take to offer your own delivery service? Let’s take a look at whether it would be a smart move for you to offer delivery as part of your business.
More often than not, deciding to introduce some form of delivery service means that you will need to take on extra staff. Not only will you need people working in the original business, you are going to need staff that are dedicated to going out on deliveries.
Let’s take the example of a café or restaurant. They might have a main dining room, but also provide their own restaurant takeaway service. When you get an order for delivery, who is going to take it to the customers? The servers? The chefs? They have their own work to do, so they should be able to focus on that. Instead, you need to make sure that you have a dedicated staff of delivery people who can fulfil this service.
If you are thinking about offering a delivery service as part of your business, you need to make sure that you are fully prepared to support your couriers as you would with any other member of staff. Before they even head out on their first delivery, couriers need to get insured. Find a good courier insurance policy so both you and they can be fully protected as they go about their business.
It also helps to get them a uniform if you have one as part of your business. A branded polo shirt and jumper or fleece might be enough to tie it all together. If you don’t have a uniform, a dress code might be needed just to ensure that they are turning up to customers in the right state of dress.
You also need to think about the vehicle you are going to offer as part of your new delivery service. The most obvious would be something like a bike or a scooter. These tend not to be too expensive and it could be perfectly reasonable for you to provide these to new hires. If you would rather send them out in a car, you need to make this a clear part of the job application. Many job listings might mention a need for a clean driving licence and access to a vehicle.
You also need to decide what sort of coverage you will offer for deliveries. Most companies cannot afford to offer international shipping and deliveries without working with some sort of delivery partner. However, depending on the size of your company, you might be able to offer some form of national coverage with your delivery service.
If you have a business that picks up a lot of local trade – like a florist’s, as an example – you might want to take your delivery service back down to just this local area. Clearly state on your website all the areas that you deliver to, but don’t be afraid to bend the rules a little bit. If a customer is just a village outside of your usual delivery boundary, it can come across as a little heartless to just not include them.
When deciding to offer delivery for your business, you need to keep a close eye on the cost of it. It is an area of your business that can quickly run away from you if you do not watch closely. It could quickly prove to be an enterprise for your business which simply isn’t cost-effective.
Many companies try to get around this by charging a small delivery fee but making Click & Collect free. This helps to cover some of the costs of delivery, but also incentivises customers to choose another option or even stop by your store in person, where you could potentially drive an additional sale.
Choosing to set up a delivery service as part of your business is going to take time but it could be a great addition to your company’s existing services. Make sure you treat your couriers well and ensure that they are well-supported. This will hopefully prove to be a very profitable aspect of your business that you can use to expand your business to new products and new areas. Take a look into the costs and logistics of a courier service now!