Parcel Delivery – Booking a Courier Service

Online shopping is on the increase and retailers are sending more of their products to customers by courier. The number of courier companies and the services they offer are correspondingly on the increase. When faced with such a wide and diverse range of options it is little wonder that retailers are not sure how to chose a courier, how best to access their service and what makes one company stand out from another.

Where is your priority?
The first question to answer — should the service be the best for the customer or best for the retailer? You may consider that a courier who offers a redelivery or late delivery service is perfect for your customers. However you may chose a more cost effective service, with less flexibility in its delivery service.

Second level considerations
The time it takes for your parcel to reach its destination, whether insurance is included, packaging restrictions and reliability all feature as second level considerations. A courier offering a particularly good level of service in any of these is likely to win your business. Failure to attend to these important aspects and you are more likely to move to another supplier. Peripheral matters such as problem solving and how issues are dealt with can become a crucial selection and retention factor. Clearly this aspect of a service will only become evident once you start using a company, but it does have the ability to sour your relationship even if all other aspects are being attended to. Adding value is the next consideration. If all courier companies are providing a similar level of service, for roughly the same cost, with decent levels of customer service how does a retailer choose between them? Having discarded the expensive, those providing poor service and the unreliable courier companies you are can still be faced with a number of options.

Third party companies
Third party booking companies negotiate contracts with national and international couriers and resell their services, often at a lower rate than the courier offer themselves. The third party resellers look after all aspects of customer service, deal with losses and handle the insurance claims. This makes good business sense for the courier and the retailer can access excellent courier services at a lower price. Most reasonable third party companies offer a range of services across the various couriers — resolving one dilemma for the retailer — choosing the most cost effective service for a particular delivery. Courier A may offer the best 10Kg service UK to UK, but Courier B the best international service to the United States. A third party company would offer you this choice and ensure that you have the opportunity to take advantage of the best deal on the market. Price competition amongst third party providers will also drive the price down for retailers, high volume users can also agree discounts on particular services.

Accessing the service
All reputable courier companies and third party providers have online booking systems. Customer details, collection and delivery addresses, package weight, dimensions, contents and value are all standard requirements when placing a booking. However differentiation between the providers can be seen most clearly at the level of sophistication, ease-of-use and reliability of the booking tool. For the busy retailer this can be a major factor in choosing a particular company and remaining loyal. There is a familiar look and feel to most third party courier booking systems. They require the usual detail to be input, either a cut and paste from your e-commerce platform or retyped if your details are collected offline. Unreliable and unstable sites usually indicate the level of service behind the site so should be avoided.

Raising the bar
Gaining the advantage in a competitive field is a challenge for third party providers. Competing on price has limits and the market is littered with companies who have failed themselves and their customers by competing on price to the extent that they have gone out of business. Third party companies have limited influence on operational services at the delivery end; this is in the hands of the courier company. This leaves the booking process and customer service as the main areas where a third party company can distinguish its self from others, attracting and retaining your business.

Automatic downloading
A booking system, which downloads all of the address details (collection and delivery) package weight and dimensions, contents and value, with the possibility of doing this for multiple orders, all at the click of a button and in a fraction of a second, is a significant improvement in booking tool functionality. The time saved from cutting, pasting or typing this detail can be significant. Having the tool linked to multiple platforms at the same time — eBay, Channel Advisor, ZenCart, OsCommerce and a simple CSV file, so all courier services are managed within one account is real bonus. Once orders have been downloaded the retailer is presented with a range of courier services based by default on price, but also including guaranteed delivery or services for outsized packages, all based upon the actual parcel details solves another retailer dilemma.

It ensures that the genuine best service is offered, rather than just the best service one courier can provide. The savings achievable via this cherry picking approach to courier booking should not be underestimated. Individual package booking, but collective payment if multiple orders are being placed is a significant time saving feature. Taking all of the features into consideration it is possible to book courier services across different suppliers, with different services and pay for all within minutes rather than the hours this would take under traditional means. Third party operators who understand what retailers need and work to provide this stand apart from their competitors. Tracking parcels – usually by inputting a serial number into a field and seeing the latest location information is the minimum standard, how about having an ability to view all of your parcels that are out for delivery, on one screen, with nothing more than one click of a button. Being presented with the headline status of all of your parcels with an additional option to see the specific details for each is yet another time saving function.

Summary
E-commerce retailers need to choose a courier company to take care of their deliveries. Cost will be a major factor but there are a number of other value adding considerations. Third party companies who can deliver an excellent range of services combined with innovative and time saving booking software, and advanced tracking tools — at no additional cost or commitment are worth finding. There are companies out there who work hard to provide a genuinely superior service. Do not accept anything less.

How To Create Automatic Delivery For Your Ebay Items

So you want to sell ebooks and/or digital products on eBay and you want your customers to have instant access and for this to be done automatically?
Up until recently automatic delivery has never been so easy!

Now you can sell hundreds of digital products every day and never have to send an email.

Where is my eBay digital delivery?

Some customers may ask you where is my product,
or that they have checked their email and there is no delivery.
If you are selling digital products and a customer asks you where their product is, please feel free to provide a link to this article.

As per eBay’s new policy on digital products the download page is displayed after your purchase by eBay.
To find this page

1. Log in to the eBay account under which the item was purchased.

2. Go to “My eBay.”

3. View the “Items I’ve Won.”

4. You will find the view digital delivery hyperlink next to the item you purchased.

Please note, you may have to click the arrow to see the drop down menu to access the hyperlink.

Also, you can find the digital download hyperlink by going back to the ad of the item you purchased.

Digital delivery seller requirements

Here are some of the requirements to sell digital items.

1. Use fixed price or store inventory (you can’t sell digital items by auction).

2. Offer only immediate PayPal payment.

3. You must use a PayPal Verified Premier or Verified Business account. (From experience I find the most trusted sellers are verified)

4. No pornographic material.

5. Seller must be the intellectual property owner, or an authorised reseller.

6. Sellers item must not include any software/scripts that harm the buyers computer or privacy.

For more information try reading eBays FAQ on digital items

Step one

Please note you can only sell digital items as fixed price, or store item (no auctions allowed).
After selecting your category you will then arrive at the “Title & Description” page.

If you don’t see the “List as a digital file or information” then you may have used the wrong category. For example, you can’t sell digital products in the motor vehicle category. Also, you could try lisiting the item from ebay.com to see if that makes a difference (sometimes does).

Please note, you may have to start a new listing to enable the digital delivery option.

Step two

After clicking the “List as a digital file or information” link, type some information about the product for sale. For example, is it mac compatible? Windows XP SP2 compatible? pdf, .exe, or zip files? Will the file be downloaded or emailed?

Make sure you click the legal agreement box and that you are an authorised seller.

Step three

After you have setup the “Title & Description”, the “Pictures & Details” you now will have to setup the “Payment & Delivery”.

This is the page where you specify how the buyer will receive the item. The buyer will only be shown this after payment has been made.

Here you can give the buyer details, for example:

“You can download your purchase from here….”

“Please message me (my email address) and let me know which email address you would like me to send your purchase to …”

“If you have any questions or problems, please email me here…”

I recommend you supply people with a download page, or a link to download the file. That makes the whole process more automatic, and your customer receives the product immediately after purchase.

Final word

I hope this article answers all of your questions about eBay digital delivery, and thank you for your time.

Improve the Delivery Side of Your Business With a Hyper Local Delivery App

India is turning out to be a hotbed for hyper-local delivery services that are either mobile-or web-based serving millions of users like never before. This year, a lot of brands including Google launched their own app-based local services platform and the services may range anything from food delivery, grocery, logistics services, home services, pharmacy to cashless transactions. The evolution of “Digital India” has only accelerated the efforts leading to a more flexible, service-oriented, solution-focussed and transparent business model in the web-and mobile-based e-commerce sector. As they start to grow, they seem to solve more of the existing local issues. Generating trust amongst customers with respect to the delivery segment is one of the biggest challenges that drive the major players to be active in the market.

With most apps in this niche, you can establish your product, menus, payment gateway, delivery schedule and set up the various branding elements such as logo, colour scheme, etc. You can change the look and feel of your store the way you want. This allows greater control over your orders, product delivery and business in general. As store customization is fast and easy, just with the click of a button, it requires no coding skills, developer or programming team on the part of the service provider.

A few apps are loaded with GPS-based routing and optimisation which means you can access it from anywhere and create routes and plans easily. Efficient delivery is supported by Automatic Order Consolidation and Deliverer Performance Optimisation feature in some mobile apps. Most apps offer service companies with end-to-end dedicated support and customisation.

Any app-based service firms looking to integrate delivery services should look if it can collect information from its POS/Website/App, optimize the delivery system through Route & Deployment feature, one-screen interface and access to all major delivery companies, interface with CRM through Point and Click type interface and capability to hire and organize/manage staff directly from one’s platform.

Most apps, these days, utilize propriety technology to augment the delivery end of business with no capital investment for app installation required at the user end, without any need to depend on on-demand delivery companies with options to build one’s own delivery network.

The ability of the hyper local delivery app to connect with a user’s POS or Web CMS is a welcome feature. This means a company does not have to look for multiple platforms for different features. The delivery app’s API should integrate with major POS systems available at the marketplace. It should be easily customizable with the existing user’s app features to suit requirements.