Choosing a courier service for your eCommerce website

You’ve got a great looking eCommerce site in the works and the time’s come to sort out a courier service. Your customer will want to receive their orders after all, but what makes a good courier?

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Toby Osborne - Web Developer

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Toby Osborne

Hi, I’m Toby, a web developer with over eight years experience. My professional goal is to educate businesses in the use of technology to streamline their workflow.

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Everyone’s had at least one bad experience. A parcel’s delivered to the wrong address or worst still it’s gone missing. As an eCommerce business, it won’t be long until you have to handle a complaint like this. It’s inevitable but choosing the right courier service can reduce the risk. Here are five things to consider when adopting one.

1. Is the courier service easy to contact?

If a problem does arise you’ll want to get it sorted. Ensuring that you can get a hold of your courier service is essential.

It seems like common sense, but we’ve had instances of something going wrong and being on hold for hours.

Make sure to find a courier that’s known for their great support and a clear claiming process.

A women contacting their courier service

2. Does the courier service have a good input process?

It’s easy to get caught up in price, speed and customer service but there’s another major factor. How much time will it take away from you? Remember every order you need to process you’ll also need to input it into their system.

Trust me on this you don’t want to be sat at your desk for six hours copying customers addresses into a portal. That time should be for marketing.

Check their portals and see if there’s any automation with your eCommerce platform.

A little hint, royal mail and Parcelforce aren’t a good choice if you plan on getting a lot of orders. Their system is old and bulk inputting only works on IE10, or Netscape.

We’re in the process of helping our client integrate their courier. Allowing them to print shipping labels at a push of a button from their eCommerce platform. Find out more from our case study.

person creating shipping labels

3. Are the courier drivers friendly?

We’ve had some bad experiences with drivers in the past, we all have. But there have been those that are the complete opposite and that experience sticks. It’s not only a reflection of the courier service but also your own.

Of course, every driver will be different, so check reviews. You’ll also find the couriers offering good employee benefits will have happy drivers.

Our best interaction was with a driver called Paul from DPD, he always had a smile and would talk/joke with us.

friendly courier driver

4. Courier progress updates and tracking

For them, it’s not a case of “it’s in the courier’s hands now”. It’s still on you, and no one wants to feel forgotten (it can be stressful).

Look for a courier that updates your customers about their order with tracking. Not only is it great for your customers but also gives you evidence that order’s reach their location.

If you want to go the extra mile, then seek a courier that offers webhooks or an API. With that, you’ll be able to get a developer to send tracking, updates and follow-up emails.

Think about Amazon. They let you know when an order’s shipped when to expect it and once it’s delivered. It’s that little extra contact that can make the difference.

courier parcel tracking

5. How much will the courier cost?

Everything boils down to cost, and like most things you get what you pay for. So the cheapest isn’t likely the best.

Consider what you need and what the customer expects. For example, will a customer be happy paying for shipping? Do you plan on selling internationally?

Look for a courier that offers what you know you need and be sure to look for hidden costs or corner cutting.

courier service costs

So what are courier service is best?

There are loads, we will usually point people to DPD. We know that they offer everything to save you time and provide an excellent service. As well as having their drivers leave a smile of your customers face.

But, if the cost is your biggest convincer (it shouldn’t be). Then you can utilise a comparison system like Parcel2Go. What these platforms do is provides the cheapest prices options to your customers. It then lets you print labels, and you only have to drop it off at a drop-off point.

Our advice about eCommerce shipping

There are plenty of options out there, and many advertise a lot of services. For example DPD offer:

  • Before 10am
  • Before 12am
  • Next Working day
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

But you shouldn’t ever offer all those to a customer. It’s too much choice and you’ll be more likely to scare or confuse people. Keep it simple, and show one or two options. Trust me you’ll find that it results in more sales.

Need a little help?

We’re excited to see you taking an interest in making your website better.
If we can help in any way, let us know.

Book a consultation send us a message or call +44 (0) 1258 917 311.

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