by Bogdan Chiric
Senior Account Executive
Choosing the right courier is probably one of the most important steps for your online store.
Why? Because, as technology and purchasing habits have evolved, so have expectations for product delivery. Online shoppers, now more than ever, prefer quick delivery and high-quality services.
As a result, the more enjoyable the delivery experience, the better your chances of increasing sales and improving your company’s reputation.
So, what should you look for when selecting a courier?
- Delivery zone – Of course, certain couriers can outperform in some areas, both locally and globally. Determine where you want the vast majority of your parcels delivered and select a courier who specializes in those areas.
- Transit time – The faster you deliver the products, the more likely it is that those customers will order from your online store again.
- The technology they use – Outdated technology can result in a lower delivery success rate and a negative end-user experience. As a result, you should be aware of the sorting bands, payment methods used – card payment by courier phone, link to pay *, PDAs * and how their fleet looks, and whether there is a website or mobile app tracking.
- Expertise – Depending on the type of products you want to deliver, ensure that the courier’s portfolio includes companies with similar profiles to yours. You should also take into account the fact that certain products necessitate special delivery conditions, and the courier company must have the necessary authorizations as well as the appropriate fleet.
- Customer Service – Because the deliveries are handled by the courier company rather than you, when the final consumer has a problem, the majority of the time it is directed to the courier’s Customer Service. Make certain that their service is satisfactory, as the vast majority of customers will associate it with your company.
- Rates – In most cases, rates are based on the number of packages sent per month. Each courier company has a minimum order quantity, which is usually between 100 and 200 orders. If you have fewer orders than the minimum, you can choose the prepaid option, which requires a monthly subscription with a limited number of shipments.
- Alternative delivery methods – As the volume of e-commerce deliveries grows, a variety of alternative delivery methods have emerged. That is why the courier company you choose should deliver to lockers and even use the ship & go option (own points or parcel delivery /collection partners).
Besides the criteria listed above, what else can you do?
- Inform yourself – The purely commercial choice is frequently unfavourable. Ask one of your partners who works with the courier you’re talking to for their opinion.
- Sign the contract only after you have thoroughly reviewed the clauses and steps in the operational flow – the time of package pickup, the capacity of the pick-up machines, transit time, and so on.
- Sign an SLA – The SLA is a guarantee of the quality of service from the courier. If things don’t go the way you thought they did in the original discussion or even better than you expected, you can agree on a few extra benefits.
- Threshold pricing – Choose a price list valid for a certain period of time, with a progressive discount.
- Establish a timetable for conducting a business review – The recommendation is for a maximum of two months. This is where you can talk about complaints, improve solutions, and go over performance reports in depth.
Depending on your needs, you should also ensure that the courier company offers additional services such as: goods insurance, available delivery intervals (days, deadline until return), document return, parcel exchange, parcel opening, forwarding, cash on delivery, and so on.
Finally, when it comes to selecting a courier, it is important to consider all of the evaluation criteria in order to find the best solution to support the growth of your business. Finding your ideal courier may appear to be a difficult task, but it is unquestionably a worthwhile long-term investment. As a result, as long as this last mile experience is good and positive, your customers’ overall online shopping experience will improve.
*Link to pay is a card payment service that does not require any technical implementation. With its help the sale of a product or a service is done through a web link. Customers of an online store can make payments with any card issued by Visa or MasterCard.
*PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) is a small, mobile portable device that provides computing, storage, and retrieval capabilities for personal or business use, and is frequently used to keep programs, calendars, and calendar information handy. In logistics and courier, they receive and transmit real-time information on deliveries and orders from the field to central systems, or they issue transport or collection documents.