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Questions To Ask When Choosing A Courier Service
Thursday, 24 January 2019 at 17:04
When your garage is loaded floor to ceiling with boxes and your living room dotted with packing supplies, it’s time to outsource your deliveries. A third party courier service can handle packaging and shipping orders for you.
Courier services differ in the type of products they can ship, level of service they provide, and amount they charge. To ensure you find the best courier service for your business, here are five questions you should be asking:
1. Do they have experience with your line of products?
Clothing, glassware, shoes, electronics, and toiletries are all products that require special care from a transport service. It may be that your product is fragile or will leak if not handled properly. Or, if you sell apparel, you might need to anticipate a higher-than-average number of returns for clothing that doesn’t fit. In either case, you want to make sure your transport provider can give you the special service you need. The easiest way to do that is to find a service that handles your type of product already from another client.
2. Do they pass shipping discounts on to you?
Due to the high volume of products going out, fulfillment centres get substantial discounts on deliveries. Some of them pass this on to their clients.
3. Do they have multiple warehouse locations?
Want to deliver low cost to Europe or other countries? Then you’ll need to find a courier service with multiple warehouse locations. This can give you closer access to markets in the United Kingdom and help you avoid pricey international shipping and customs fees.
4. Do they provide freight?
If you’re new to order fulfillment, you may want help setting up inventory and getting your products to the warehouse. One of the ways courier services can help is by providing freight — a transport service that will show up to load your products and bring them to the warehouse. With Fulfillment by Amazon, for example, you can request freight from your online dashboard. Or, if you have a relatively small load to send, you can print UPS shipping label at a discount. Even services that don’t have a robust, automated dashboard can usually assist you on the phone and recommend a freight provider to bring your products over.
5. Will they integrate with your website or e-commerce platform?
Outsourcing order fulfillment is way to relieve some burden on your end. Ideally, the service should be able to link with your website or e-commerce platform so they can get automatic notifications when orders are placed. Otherwise, you’d have to be constantly filling out order forms whenever a customer buys a product.
Fulfillment by Amazon, as you’d expect, does a great job filling Amazon orders. For orders outside Amazon, however, you need to manually fill out forms. So if you get a lot of orders from your own website, eBay, Shopify, etc., you’ll probably want a service like Fulfillment.com, which can integrate with many different platforms.
Transport services also differ in how they handle customer service issues, such as lost or damaged products. With Amazon, your customers can contact them directly to settle the issue. While this does relieve some of your burdens, it also means you’re giving up control of customer service, a flagship of many small retailers. Instead, you might be better off handling customer service yourself and finding a courier company that responds quickly and effectively to complaints.