An important consideration before creating your gift shop should be how you plan to get your products delivered. There are many solutions out there and its important that you do some research to find the best options for your business.
In the gift basket industry, it is traditional for the customer to pay delivery costs and a fee is usually added to the bill to allow this. Sometimes delivery costs can be built in the total gift basket price so that a package can be marketed as free shipping.
There are four main delivery options including customer picking, own deliveries, courier and freight services. Each method is discussed further below.
Very few gift basket companies have customers who will pick up the baskets they bought. If you have a store in front of a relatively busy area, you may find that some buyers will want to pick up baskets. If you do not want headache when customers come to the business premises, consider offering them the opportunity to save on shipping costs if they are ready to get their purchases.
To make your own deliveries
As a gift shop owner you can decide to start making your own deliveries. This can be a great way to go because you get the chance to see how customers respond to seeing your creations, you will be able to get some feedback and customers can give your business a face that can increase your chances of getting future orders.
When your business grows but its unrealistic that you expect to continue making your own deliveries as long as you will be too busy working with other aspects of the business. You may be able to get one of your employees to take over this job at a certain stage, but logistics probably means that this role is best performed by courier companies and delivery companies that can be much more cost effective.
Courier is another popular option to get your baskets to the buyer or gift recipient. Shop around and see what the various local operators have to offer in the way of prices and services.
Find out if their delivery vehicles are suitable for transporting your baskets in view of the contents of the basket. If your creations contain products that need to be kept cool, like chocolate or cheeses, you need a solution that can meet those needs. If your baskets are fragile and must be kept upright and handled with care, you must let the courier know that this is important to you and that those who have your frequent activity claim that they consistently deliver your products to a minimum.
Look for companies that are trustworthy and have the reputation of being professional. Try to get an idea of which courier services are popular with other basket suppliers and florists who have been in the industry for a while.
Whichever shipping method you use, ensure that clear instructions are forwarded from the customer to the person or company performing the delivery. The delivery person should know exactly how to get to the address and other specific instructions that the customer has stated. Find out who is responsible for additional charges in cases where deliveries can not be made for the first time, so that the delivery company must return to an address for a second or third attempt.
While couriers are good for local delivery, you need to look at a shipping service like UPS or Federal Express for further distances. Compare a variety of options for the services they offer, which varies depending on delivery time, destination, package size and weight. You can not always go with the same service for each basket as prices vary depending on each unique situation.
If your gift baskets are to be sent, make sure they are protected in transit so that they are in good condition. Spend a variety of drawers that easily fit your baskets inside them. Fold each finished product into the bubble and then add it to an appropriate size. Add some kind of padding to protect the basket, such as screwed newspapers or foam hobs. Finally, you can seal the box with tape and place a This Way Up sticker on the box to let shippers know how to handle the package. You will undoubtedly get a lot of your goods in packed boxes and you may recycle any of these packages to reduce the cost of buying as much new packaging.