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If there is a demand, delivering your products to your customers can be an effective avenue for your business. If you solely operate online, it may be your only way of getting goods to your customers. However, if you do not stay on top of your deliveries, you may run into logistical problems in the future. Some businesses manage deliveries themselves, while others outsource to courier or logistics companies. Both methods have benefits, but that will depend on the nature of your business and the kinds of deliveries you need. This article will answer the question, ‘should I deliver my own products?’ by explaining how both methods may work for you and comparing their effectiveness.

Delivering Items to Your Customers

First, you have to consider the volume and scope of the deliveries you need to make. This will depend on:

  • the nature of your business;
  • customer needs;
  • the focus of the customer;
  • customer locations;
  • your products;
  • the volume and frequency of deliveries; and
  • any costs involved.

For example, if you run a physical store that delivers to local customers occasionally, this may be a job you assign to one of your staff. However, if you regularly sell to customers across the country, you may need to use a courier service. 

If delivery is the only way you can get products to your customers, there will be a more involved process. With any delivery, you will need to consider:

  • who pays for delivery costs;
  • whether you will add tracking features;
  • how you will package your goods;
  • how you will manage loss or damage;
  • the way you will facilitate returns and exchanges; and
  • where you will store inventory.

Managing Deliveries Yourself

If your business is relatively small and you do not have to manage frequent deliveries, you may be able to manage delivery yourself. Within this process, you would:

  • manage orders;
  • package your goods; and
  • send your goods personally through a courier service. 

If you have a team of staff helping you, this may be manageable for your business.

Ultimately, managing deliveries yourself gives you complete control over the process, giving you the power to check product quality personally. You may want to maintain this personal approach with your customers if that is an important value in your business. On the contrary, this may become difficult if the volume of orders increases and you do not have the time or workforce to handle each delivery order personally.

Outsourcing

If you do not have the time or staffing to manage deliveries yourself, you can outsource packaging and delivery to a logistics or courier company. Within this process, you send them your products, and they store them for you in their warehouses. When a customer places an order on your website, this company packages and delivers it. Some courier services provide this option for businesses, so look into what is suitable for your enterprise.

This process is convenient and can help your business if you have a high demand for your products without the resources to handle deliveries. However, you do lose a level of control. You cannot personally oversee the delivery process and ensure that the company maintains product quality. If something goes wrong, customers will associate it with your brand rather than who has delivered your products. Thus, it is crucial to negotiate a beneficial contract with your delivery company and develop a plan for what happens if there are any delivery issues.

For example, say that one of the logistics company’s couriers is not careful and throws your packed products into their truck, damaging your products.  To remedy this, ensure you have a clause in your contract outlining the company’s responsibility.

Your Responsibility

Regardless of whether you manage deliveries yourself or outsource the process, you have consumer obligations throughout. When you sell to customers, it is your responsibility to manage:

  • product quality;
  • the upholding of consumer guarantees;
  • customer complaints; and
  • returns and exchanges.

If a customer comes to you with a problem, you are responsible for dealing with it even if the delivery company caused it. You cannot forward them to the company and refuse to deal with the issue. Not only will this look bad, but it also goes against your consumer law obligations.

Ensure that you have a precise delivery or shipping policy so that customers know how you handle deliveries and what they can expect from your business.

Key Takeaways

Consider how deliveries will function for your business and what there is customer demand for. If you have a large team that can manage deliveries for your business, you may be able to do it yourself. However, if you operate your online business on the side and do not have time to handle high delivery volumes, it may be beneficial to outsource this process. If you would like more information or help with your delivery plan, contact LegalVision’s New Zealand online business lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I deliver products to my customers?

You have many options available to you for product delivery, so choose one that suits your needs and product management. For example, you can package and send your products yourself through a courier source or outsource this process to a logistics company.

Should I include delivery as an option for my business?

Whether you add delivery on top of your existing business functions will depend on customer demand for it. Delivery options can be an excellent chance for growth but may be challenging to manage if you have a small team.

Who pays for delivery costs, my business or the customer?

When shipping products to your customers, they generally will pay for delivery costs. However, you can decide to pay for it yourself and offer free delivery if that suits your business. Alternatively, you can offer free delivery once a customer has spent over a certain price threshold.

Should I have a shipping policy?

If your business includes deliveries for your products, it would be a good idea to have a delivery or shipping policy. This way, customers know their options when ordering from you, and you can put in any important information.

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