More than two billion items are posted through the traditional mail system at Christmas, and every week over the festive season a million parcels will go missing.
This is largely because they are sent to the wrong address, they are not addressed properly or the parcels are not packaged correctly.
For individuals sending or hoping to receive gifts, this can be extremely disappointing, but for businesses it can be disastrous. There is the financial cost of replacing lost items, but the reputational damage can be much worse. Customers are much less likely to be understanding at this time of year, when they themselves are under pressure to buy gifts and get them wrapped and ready in time for the big day. Christmas can be a great time to foster relationships that lead to repeat orders throughout the year, but it is undoubtedly a make-or-break period when customers can also be lost forever.
There are things you can do, however, to ensure that your business does not suffer the adverse effects of lost parcels this year. First and foremost, it is essential that all of your goods are packaged correctly. It may be tempting to save a few pennies by scrimping on cushioning and even tape for packaging, but this can be false economy in the long run. You may be sending out the best goods in the world, but if they don’t arrive at their intended destination in one piece or, worse still, don’t arrive at all, they are worthless to your customer.
Also ensure that your packages are labelled clearly and correctly and that you include a return address both on the outside and inside your parcels. This gives you the best chance of getting your goods back if they are not delivered.
Another vital element in the delivery process is your choice of the company responsible for getting your packages to their destination. The parcel-delivery business is booming right now, and competition is fierce. This can mean great offers of prices for businesses sending out their goods, but remember that the cheapest is not always the best. You may save a pound or two on delivery, but if you then end up losing businesses and having to replace lost goods, you will lose money — not to mention your company’s good reputation. There are countless review websites on the internet, so do your research thoroughly. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.