Category: Trade

Marketing Advice for Delivery Services

Marketing Advice for Delivery Services

5 marketing tips to help boost your brand

From encouraging referrals to branding your delivery vans, effective marketing is critical if you wish to succeed in the crowded courier service market.

 

It can be difficult to stand out in the crowded delivery service market, particularly when it contains several big-name brands. In order to succeed you need to continually grow your customer base, and effective marketing is the key to achieving this.

 

Make a plan

Before you begin any marketing activities it’s important to first create a marketing plan. Sitting down and clarifying your objectives, key selling points, target audience, main competitors, strengths and weaknesses, and key performance indicators, will ensure that any marketing you do is strategically planned and targeted. This in turn will help you to achieve the biggest impact for your delivery business.

 

Use social media

Social media enables companies to engage directly with potential customers for little to no cost, making it a perfect marketing platform for small to medium-sized businesses. Create a business page on Facebook (and potentially LinkedIn if your customer base is made up of other businesses) and regularly post engaging content that your customers will find interesting. To boost your visibility further you might also want to consider investing in Facebook advertising.

 

Alongside your social media activity you should also consider writing a regular blog. It’s a great way to engage directly and informally with your target audience, and studies have shown that it’s a proven way of generating leads and winning new business. Try to create posts that directly address your customers’ needs in order to build trust.

 

Harness your fleet

One of your most effective marketing tools could be sitting outside in the car park as you read this. Commercial vehicle branding, whereby decals or graphics are applied to your company vehicles, has been proven to significantly increase visibility and boost brand recognition. As a delivery service, your vans are a core part of your business so make the most of them by covering them in your branding and turning them into moving adverts for your company.

 

Explore direct mail
Contrary to popular opinion, direct mail is far from dead. It may be somewhat of an old school marketing method, but it can still be really effective when done well, with one report revealing that 40% of consumers go on to do business with a new company after receiving direct mail. What’s more, in a world full of digital marketing, a printed flyer dropped through the door can really help your message to stand out from the crowd. Keep costs down and add a personal touch by getting your drivers to deliver the mail.

 

Encourage referrals

Research has shown that word of mouth is a key driving factor in up to half of all purchasing decisions. Referrals play a particularly vital role in the success (or otherwise) of small businesses and they should be an important tool in your marketing arsenal. In order to benefit from word of mouth marketing you need to provide an excellent service, so always make sure you put your customer at the heart of what you do. You can also encourage customer referrals by offering a referral bonus scheme whereby existing customers are rewarded for successful referrals, perhaps by giving them a free or discounted delivery for every friend who uses your services.

 

There are lots of marketing options out there to help you grow your delivery service company. Whichever methods you choose, don’t forget to measure and evaluate your activities on a regular basis to make sure they are having the desired effect. That way you can continue with the marketing methods that have the most impact, helping your delivery business to go from strength to strength.

Will Brexit Affect Temperature Controlled Transport Costs

Kuehl speed

Kuehl speedBrexit and Cold Chain Logistics

When Brexit comes into effect next year, companies using temperature controlled transport could find themselves facing increased costs and logistical headaches.

On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. This was a momentous decision which is expected to have many social, political and, crucially, economic ramifications both for members of the public and for UK businesses.

One industry which is expected to feel the impact of Brexit is the freight logistics sector and, in particular, those companies exporting goods which require temperature controlled transport.

Temperature controlled transport is a critical component of many supply chains. Perishable items such as frozen food, seafood, fresh produce and pharmaceuticals need to be transported at a low temperature in order to reach their end destination in peak condition – failure to do so results in spoiled goods, disappointed customers and lost revenue. Refrigerated freight enables companies to do this efficiently and effectively and it is an important part of the so-called ‘cold chain’.

Currently this area of business contributes £97 billion to the UK economy per year but there are fears that when Brexit comes into effect next year, the sector could find itself battling rising costs and reduced efficiencies.

Increasing costs

There are a number of ways in which Brexit could affect temperature controlled transport costs. One of the key outcomes of Brexit will be that the UK no longer has free trade with the rest of the EU. This means that movement across country borders is likely to be slower as additional paperwork will need to be processed and new rules followed, which will ultimately impact on logistics efficiency. Time is of the essence when it comes to transporting temperature sensitive goods and any significant customs delays, if not properly planned for, could result in spoiled goods, wastage and lost revenue. New trade duties and tariffs are also a strong possibility in the wake of Brexit.

In addition to this, a weakened pound could increase the cost of fuel, while restrictions on EU migrants could potentially lead to a driver shortage, which in turn will help to push up wages, and therefore operating costs, across the sector.

Opportunities and innovation

However, while Brexit could pose economical and logistical challenges for the cold chain, some experts predict that Britain leaving the EU could also result in new opportunities for the sector. For example, a rise in the price of fuel could encourage the manufacture and use of commercial vehicles that use alternative fuels. With the cold chain being increasingly criticised for its carbon emissions, this could be a welcome development.

Furthermore, by reviewing their operations and introducing efficiencies and back-up measures, such as new fleets, more effective tracking systems and additional storage facilities, transport companies can mitigate any potential problems caused by Brexit, helping them to keep costs down and remain competitive.

Another possible boost could come from businesses that currently make-do with standard freight, but will need to use cold transport if prolonged delays become a common occurrence.

With so much of the Brexit details yet to be finalised, it’s difficult to predict with any certainty how it will affect the temperature controlled transport sector. There are sure to be changes, but how much impact these will have on costs and performance remain to be seen. What is certain is that those companies who are willing to embrace change and innovate will be best placed to weather any Brexit-related storms and thrive in the new trade environment – however that may look!

How To Send Christmas Presents To Friends In Europe

Christmas presentsAll You Need To Know About Sending A Christmas Parcel To Europe

Friends and Family abroad love nothing more than personalised gifts at Christmas. But what items can you send and which is the best international delivery method?

Summer has just ended, so surely it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas? Not if you’ve got friends or family who live abroad. Christmas is a time when many expats particularly miss home, so a carefully packed parcel full of hand selected gifts is especially welcome. Give yourself plenty of time to choose the right items and prepare your package with care. If you have friends or family who live in Europe, then here’s a guide to sending them the perfect Christmas parcel.

Hand-Selected Gifts

Although online shopping sites such as Amazon and Marks and Spencer are quick and convenient, they lack the personal touch. Also if you want to send a variety of items and you’re using Amazon, you may find yourself dealing with different sellers who have different delivery times and costs. Your loved ones may end up receiving their gifts at different stages and it could end up costing you far more.

A collection of beautifully wrapped, thoughtful gifts, packaged in one parcel is far more meaningful and ultimately, cost-effective.

Packaging

Choose a double or even triple corrugated cardboard box. New is preferable but if you’re using a used box, ensure that any labels are removed. Individually wrap each item in Christmas wrapping or gift bags but leave the outside of the delivery box plain.

Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap and place them in the centre of the box.  Fill any spaces left with styrofoam packaging chips.

Use high strength packing tape. It’s stronger than regular masking tape or sellotape.

To address an item to Europe you’ll need the recipient’s name, street address and postcode. Ensure the sender’s address is also marked clearly on the outside of the box. For European (EU) countries there’s no need for customs documentation.

Food Parcels 

Seasonal foods are always popular at Christmas time. A hand-picked hamper with favourite treats from home make a thoughtful gift, especially if packed with items that your loved ones can’t get in Europe.

It may be tempting to send homemade delights, but be aware that there are strict regulations regarding what you can send:

  • Choose shop bought items that are packaged and sealed in the original manufacturer’s packaging.
  • Foods should have a ‘use by’ date longer than 6 months.
  • Don’t send chilled items such as meat, cheeses and dairy products.
  • You can send wine beer and champagne, but items with an alcohol volume over 24% are prohibited.

Other Restrictions

Perfume and after shaves are popular Christmas gifts, however they are flammable liquids and therefore prohibited.

Electronic items and toys are also popular but ensure batteries are housed inside the device. All electronic items and toys must bear the CE approved mark.

Delivery Services

Most people automatically choose the Royal Mail to send parcels. However, price increases and a limit of 2 kg, means it’s not necessarily the best option. A quicker and cheaper option would be to send large parcels via an independent courier service; we recently discussed the growth of intra-European imports, many service providers do smaller parcels too. If you are sending a range of gifts to an entire family, grouping them together and using a courier service will save you time and money. You’ll only pay for one delivery service and your parcel can be tracked for extra peace of mind.