The High Cost of Online Delivery Services

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Ordering food, drink, presents and many other products online has made all our lives easier, with the opportunity to place an order for whatever we need without leaving the home. The costs are also relatively small in most cases, compared to the amount that would otherwise be spent on petrol and transport services.

For a lot of retailers though, they are now realising the expense that online deliveries can create. In turn, the additional costs being introduced are having an impact on businesses that use their delivery services and leading to more using cheaper alternatives such as InXpress and others for their professional delivery services.  

Online Retail Sales

Online retail sales have seen a massive rise in the past decade or so, with many experts constantly proclaiming the high street to be dying. Competition has increased so much that most are battling with each other to offer the cheapest prices and quickest delivery times.

In some cases this has led to some retailers offering unprofitable delivery options, which has resulted in them exploring ways to get back the costs. Certain retailers that were offering free delivery have introduced charges to try and cover the costs.

Minimum Orders

In 2012 Sainsbury’s were the first retailer to introduce minimum orders for online orders as they tried to avoid unprofitable deliveries. In certain cases they would be losing money from such small orders being placed due to the petrol, driver and other costs involved.

With delivery charges in place already, a minimum order also ensured that no customer would spend more on delivery than the cost of their actual goods. There may have been worries that they would lose out on some custom, but the majority of retailers now implement minimum orders as well.

Click and Collect

According to research, margins for some supermarket online sales are just 1%, compared to 2.5% and more for in store sales. Such low margins are part of what is making online deliveries unprofitable for a lot of retailers and leading to them exploring new strategies.

Click and collect is one such option that is used by many retailers to try and bring their online sales margins back up. With a much smaller charge for the service and no need to pay for fuel and drivers, it makes more economic sense for a lot of supermarkets and other retailers. Online deliveries will not go away but they may continue to evolve.   

 

Saving on Delivery Costs for Small Businesses

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Whatever type of business you run, it’s likely that you will spend a lot of the monthly budget sending out parcels and letters. Whether it’s sending out deliveries to clients and customers or simply dealing with business correspondence in a more traditional manner, the costs can soon add up.

For small businesses that are working on a tight turnover, these costs can have a big impact on the company’s profitability. There are a number of different ways small businesses can cut back on their delivery costs, for both domestic and international deliveries.

Delivery Comparison Sites

The internet has seen a big rise in the number of comparison websites, with everything from car insurance to holidays available to compare online. Parcel2Go is another such site that compares the prices of sending parcels all around the world through leading couriers. Easily compare the weights, delivery options and couriers to see how much can be saved. Or if you’re just in need of a quick quote then this can be arranged simply, whether sending within the UK, to Europe or further afield.

Auction Bids

For sending packages across the UK, reverse auction sites are a good option. This works by transporters bidding to deliver your parcels, and many will deliver all sorts of items, from live animals to furniture and more. It can be a bit more risky than sending through an official company, so check your deliveries are covered. Most transporters should have goods in transit cover, but it is always safest to check first.    

Reduce Package Dimensions

Sending large packages costs a lot more than smaller ones, so where possible it is advisable to reduce the weight and dimensions of your parcels. Tightly package the corners using packing peanuts or bubble wrap so they fit into the smaller dimensions bracket. These will change for each delivery service, so be sure to check them before. Using lighter packaging can make a difference weight wise as well, such as thinner cardboard.  

Bulk Up

Packaging materials can also add to the cost of sending letters and parcels. Buy in bulk to cut the costs and also try to send as many items out in the same package or delivery too. Recycling the boxes and packaging materials you receive is another way to cut back. Simply add a personal touch by including some of your business’ stamps or packaging for that professional touch. All these tips will be cheaper than sending directly through your local delivery firm.

Tangible Benefits of Using Tools for Collaborative Efforts

Collaboration tools for teams can present challenges, and getting full adoption going can be like herding cats, but the benefits to businesses are undeniable. Forbes recommends that in terms of collaboration, that leading by example is the best path to success, but in case you need further convincing there are serious bottom-line benefits to consider.

  • Clearer Communication: It’s frustrating when you can’t get your message across through a text message or a phone call. Not only can it make for sour moods and internal conflict, but it can also keep your team from accomplishing what needs to be done. However, with the audiovisual aspect of a complete web conference solution, you will be able to get everything you need to be sure about the message each person is trying to deliver. You’ll have physical cues as well as the tone of voice, ensuring you won’t mistake a curt response for rudeness ever again.
  • More Savings: If you are a startup or a long-established corporation struggling to get by, then you might not have much of a budget to spend just to send your people out to a meeting in another city, much less any that’s going to be held in another country. However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel, because based on information from an article by GoVLoop.com, using these types of solutions can help you lessen any expenses involved with travel.
  • Faster Decision-Making: The long wait for a response can make any employee feel anxious, especially if it’s about an urgent matter. It could be because your recipient is still spending an hour typing out a response, among other things. With a quick call over the web, you can eliminate the need to wait and just talk to each other on the spot, ensuring no important matters go unresolved.

Collaboration Toolbox

Besides a way to communicate, you’ll need to have some other tools on-hand to make your discussions much more productive. Here are a few that you can try out the next time you have to gather people for an important decision the company has to make:

  • Kanban Charts: This is perfect for anything that comes in individual stages. For instance, if somebody has to finish a draft before somebody else can edit it, then that means n progress can be made until the person responsible for the draft finishes his or her work on time.
  • Online Meeting Software: These kinds of software have been found to produce effective and meaningful discussions in workplace environments, and for good reason. Because so much can be lost over any communication methods that are purely based on audio or text output, misunderstandings can easily happen. However, if you have audio and visual working together, it’s hard to miss certain cues, making for clearer communication between all parties involved. For effective group collaboration for IT, providers like Blue Jeans offer various kinds of equipment and services that can increase your team’s productivity.
  • Social Media Platforms: Do you tend to have to chase after people just to get them to turn in their work for the day? You might have an easier time keeping an eye on them if you utilize social media for some of your deliverables. Just be careful, as it can also be easy to get distracted by anything that’s not related to work.
  • Gantt Charts: Unlike the other type of chart, these are great for anything that needs fast turnaround times and have specific deadlines that your team has to meet. You can lay out your tasks that need to be accomplished per day, and gives you a good overview of how far along you’ve come on any specific task.
  • Task Lists: While it may seem like it’s easy to keep certain to-dos in your head, as the day progress, it can get harder and harder to remember what you had to do. This is especially true if your originally plan is suddenly set aside for an emergency project that you have to prioritize, leaving you frazzled and confused. Even the simplest pen and paper should do, though you can opt for digital versions on your mobile devices instead.
  • Collaboration Apps: If you need the ability to attach files, leave comments, assign tasks, and schedule other items all in one place, this type of solution may be best for you. There are a variety of different options available for free on the web, most of which come with premium versions that provide perks.

There are so many different ways to make collaboration efforts more effective that it can be intimidating, especially since there might be some pressure to choose a single perfect method that works in all cases. While this kind of solution may be hard to find, the important thing is to find the right process for the right task, while being open to any possible changes to whatever you have gotten used to. This way, you can take advantage of what works while also adapting to positive improvements that could increase your company’s productivity and profits.