Parcel Deliveries: Top Tips For Retailer

With more consumers now shopping online UK retailers are set to dispatch 930 million parcels in 2014 with 120 million of those forecasted in December alone.

Two in five Northern Ireland consumers abandon an online order due to delivery costs or complications and up to a third of Northern Ireland businesses are unsure of the law relating to online trading and delivery practices.

The following guidance from The Consumer Council has been designed to help businesses to: develop their delivery policies; avoid common delivery problems; and build customer loyalty.

Things that you should consider include:

1) Delivery costs

You should ensure that your delivery pricing policies do not discriminate against consumers on the basis of their location. Geographic surcharges should be applied only when these costs are justified by objective criteria, such as actual and unavoidable costs incurred because of the distance.

2) Where you deliver to

You should aim to provide the widest possible delivery coverage. Businesses should only refuse delivery when this can be justified. This could include the dimension and/or weight of the item fall outside the scope of the universal service obligation.

3) Order completion and dispatch

You should provide consumers with any relevant delivery information that you hold – details on the time that their order is completed and/or dispatched.

4) Your delivery policy

You should ensure that consumers can easily access clear, timely and transparent delivery policy information. This should be available at the earliest possible stage in the online buying process. This may include details on any geographic surcharges or delivery restrictions that could apply, and the reasons for such variations. You should provide consumers with transparent information about delivery options before they complete their order.

5) First-time delivery

You should consider delivery options and services to increase the success of first-time delivery. This could include, allowing customers to chose a timed-delivery slot or giving them the opportunity to suggest a safe-place where their package may be left.

6) Seek feedback

You should consider options for consumers to provide feedback. This could include emailing customers after delivery to find out about their delivery experience.

If you supply goods or services to consumers, your business should be aware of recent changes to the regulations. You can read further information about your legal obligations in nibusinessinfo‘sĀ guide Consumer Contracts.