Four reasons a courier service can be a superior solution to postal services for businesses


When it comes to providing the best quality service, delivering your product efficiently to customers is surely near the top of most ecommerce businesses’ priorities.

Companies need to choose whether to use the regular postal service, or opt for a professional courier. These services organise the shipping of parcels, important documents and more.

There are two types of shipping that couriers tend to offer. The first is “time-sensitive shipping”, whereby couriers aim to deliver goods worldwide within a reasonable time frame, and within specific timeframes during the day. The second is”‘local shipping”, where couriers deliver parcels only within a specific area, but can do so more quickly, and offer same-day delivery services through their large network of reliable drivers. Here we look at some of the reasons why a courier may be a more reliable option for your business’s delivery needs.

1.   Couriers provide a high quality of service

The price of a courier service will usually include additional costs to cover fuel, remote area surcharges, and parcel-handling fees. It’s more expensive, yes, but the improved quality of service could prove to be invaluable to your business. For some companies, it’s worth paying more to ensure that your item is handled properly and gets where it needs to be without fuss or hassle. If something were to go wrong, such as your item getting lost in transit, couriers generally provide a full track and trace service, giving you an audit trail and making it easier for the customer service team to solve it.

While postal services often offer more affordable shipping prices, you do get what you pay for: long delivery times, unreliable and limited tracking options, and a distinct lack of customer service if things go wrong. This may not be acceptable for you if what you deliver is high-value, perishable, or fragile. Indeed, the lack of customer experience is one of the most frustrating disadvantages of most postal services. Once an item is sent, it’s very difficult to track a parcel or change any of your delivery preferences. This scenario may be inevitable for businesses that are delivering products consistently, but it is still difficult to get any useful assistance. Courier services are different, not only providing reliable, real-time tracking, but offering an enhanced customer experience if something goes wrong.

2.   Courier services can improve conversion rate optimisation

During the Covid-19 pandemic, more people have been buying items online, but no matter how attractive your website is, or even how many items users have saved in their virtual basket, it means nothing unless the customers actually checkout. However, there are proven ways to increase conversion rate, one of which is by offering free shipping. In fact, as many as 80% of consumers are more likely to complete their transaction when this is offered.

But what’s more impressive then free shipping? Same-day shipping. This gets to a deep-rooted psychological fact about consumer behaviour: people buy things in emotional states — they’re excited about getting them — and they want their items quickly. Offering a same-day delivery option is so convenient that customers are almost certain to have their interests piqued. Features like this are the kind of thing that makes business extraordinary, the kind of details that people share with their friends when recommending ecommerce websites.

Incorporating same-day delivery is also easier than many businesses think, especially if you use local couriers who can offer their clients a priority service. CitySprint, for example, calls upon a network of 5,000 drivers to offer same-day delivery across the UK, while its priority service for urgent deliveries operates on a “last on, first off” basis when time is critical and even same day isn’t fast enough. Operating a speedy service will soon be a must-have for every ecommerce business, so starting early will allow you to plant your flag in customers’ minds as an early adopter.

3.   Courier services are available 24/7

Many couriers deliver packages all day, every day, including evenings, weekends, and bank holidays, allowing businesses to send packages when postal services are either running at half-capacity, or out of action altogether. During the coronavirus pandemic, and the corresponding rise in deliveries, Royal Mail has struggled to keep up with demand, listing 28 specific areas of the UK where deliveries would be limited “due to resourcing issues”. In the event we go back into lockdown at any point in the future, you want to ensure that you’ll be able to continue delivering your goods without putting further strain on postal services. Courier services will help you do exactly that.

4.   You can deliver almost anything

Courier services generally have fewer size and weight restrictions for parcels, giving you more options in terms of prices for specific packages. For example, if you use a postal service like Royal Mail, you may discover its weight limits will prevent you from shipping your goods. While these can be worked around, it can take a great deal of time and effort to find the right solution, whereas sending these goods through a dedicated courier service can ensure that they get to their destination with minimum fuss and disruption.