Monday, December 8, 2014

Last-minute December Tips

We've made it to December and 2015 is just around the corner. However it’s not over yet and for some of you the next month is going to be the busiest of the year. For that reason, we've put together this last-minute post with some things to keep in mind over the next month.


Email, social media, website banners. However you speak to your customers, you need to make sure you’re doing it clearly throughout December. If you’re expecting that it may take more time for your team to get orders out the door then let them know. As long as they're expecting a delay you shouldn't have a problem. It also pays to be clear with communicating final order dates before Christmas. If you haven’t already seen it, acquaint yourself with our Carrier Cut-off Calendar now, work out your dates and make sure your customers are aware of their order deadlines.

Remain calm

The carrier network reaches full capacity for a large part of December. With retailers shipping more than usual and people sending gifts to families and friends, you can expect that orders may take a bit more time to be collected and delivered. To make sure your orders get to your customer as soon as possible focus on making sure that your internal process is running as smoothly as possible so you aren't losing days by missing your collection time. Possible carrier delays are another point that you should be communicated to your customers to promote a little bit of patience with deliveries.

Know who to call

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to getting in touch with us this year. Our support team will be available from 8am to 8pm (AEST) every day in December excluding weekends and public holidays. Here’s how you can get in touch with them:

Live Chat – perfect for quick tracking requests or for getting support while you’re trying to multi-task. Our Live Chat option will be visible within support hours.
Support Form – Fill out our support form with all relevant details and we’ll contact you.
Email – Describe your query and include any details of your request to
Phone – Our number for support calls is 1300 66 88 58. Please note our opening hours above. We apologise in advance for any potentially long wait times in December.

It doesn't end in December

Post-Christmas is when the fun really begins. You’ll have Boxing Day, January and Back-to-School sales. While the December rush is going to be taking up a lot of your time and attention for now, don’t forget about what comes next. As well as the various website assets and messaging you’ll need to change out, make sure you have enough boxes and satchels to see you into the New Year. If you do need to order more satchels, you can do so by filling out the form here.

We hope you enjoy a successful end to 2014 and look forward to working together again in 2015. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Find your winning combination

When it comes to piecing together the pieces of an eCommerce ecosystem you’re spoilt for choice. Often, decisions can be made based upon the vertical you operate in or the size of your business. Far more important though is the way in which your technology partners influence your brand experience. Whether it be the eCommerce platform, marketing automation or a delivery management platform, each will affect your customers experience with your brand. With so many partners to choose from, how do you cut through the noise and make the right choice for your business?

Our latest whitepaper aims to help you with just that. Created in collaboration with Magento and Bronto Software, Building an eCommerce ecosystem for Success runs through the considerations you need to make to select the right ecosystem to support, not hinder, your growth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Kink in the Chain

In the bold new world of retail, surprisingly few retailers are closing the loop on the multi-channel consumer. Recent supply chain research published by Telstra has reported on the huge gaps between what customers want and what they are being given by retailers. Telstra’s paper shines a light on the current state of the industry in Australia but also highlights a massive opportunity for those retailers looking to cut through and differentiate themselves in a commoditised world.

What do modern consumers want?

In a word: Choice.

One of the biggest draw cards of online shopping is that it’s available anywhere at any time. This seamless experience is how consumers expect their delivery to be as well. These options can be as simple as enabling Authority to Leave (ATL) on deliveries and offering both standard and express services; or could involve more customised options such as allowing delivery to parcel lockers.

If customers are increasingly using mobiles to make purchases on the go how can we assume that they will always be home to accept a delivery? In the same way that retailers have adopted responsive design within websites, they now need to factor increasingly mobile customers into their fulfilment process and offer delivery options accordingly.

Why it matters

Retailers no longer compete with the companies directly around them, they’re competing with businesses all around the world. Customers have access to more choice for their purchases than ever before which makes holding onto customers extremely important. The average cost of retaining an existing customer is approximately 5 times less than capturing a new one. However, you won’t have much chance of keeping your customers if they have a poor experience.

Telstra’s research shows that 50% of Australian online shoppers have had a problem with delivery and our own data shows that of customers who have a poor delivery experience, i.e the carrier didn’t deliver on time, 79% will not return to that merchant within the following 6 months. With a whole world of retailers competing for your customers, it’s more important than ever to provide them with a hassle free shipping experience.

Catching up with Consumers

By sticking to the status quo there are no winners. Our current, rigid processes penalises customers for not conforming to them, resulting in more work for delivery drivers and costing retailers in both redelivery fees and lost customers. The logistics industry is by no means straightforward and requires an industry lead ecosystem approach to solving these challenges.

To craft shipping experiences that truly surprise and delight customers would be almost impossible for most retailers to achieve alone. Just as they might engage with marketing agencies and external advisors to craft their brand and products, they must also forge relationships with technology partners and logistics providers that will allow them to meet the ever-changing service requirements of their customers.

For more insights into changing customer expectations around delivery, read Telstra’s Personal Supply Chain White Paper which includes a contribution from our CEO Carl Hartmann. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Don't be a Grinch. Here's your 4-step plan to a smooth December.

Isn’t December a joyous time of year? Family, friends and a little bit of time off is just around the corner. For retailers the holiday season isn’t about relaxing though, it’s the busiest time of year and can be ruthless for those who aren’t prepared. Here’s 4 simple things you can do now to make sure that December is a success.

Order your satchels

As we get closer and closer to the silly season carriers are going to get inundated with requests for satchels as merchants run low. Get prepared for your pre-Christmas volumes early and have enough satchels to see you through until the new year. Temando customers can do this by filling out our satchel order form. We really recommend getting on top of this in November as during December carriers will have longer wait times and less satchels to give.

Know your cut-off dates

Millions and millions of parcels travel through carrier networks every December and each one operates at slightly different speeds and frequencies. We’ve rung around and received cut-off dates from every carrier, however we recommend using caution with these and being proactive with your customers about getting in early. Check out our cut-off calendar and keep these dates in mind when you’re sending out communications to your customers.

Stay on top of your orders

If you’re expecting more orders than usual in December then it’s important that you don’t let things get out of hand. As always you should be planning to send orders on a daily basis and not allow a backlog to develop. If you use one or two carriers regularly, we highly recommend setting up a permanent pickup to ensure the driver will collect from you every day. Drop our support team a line if you have any questions about permanent pick up or read more here.

Know what to do when things go wrong

Mike Tyson once said “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth”.

At some stage in December things might go wrong, and it just might feel like a punch in the mouth. The secret is knowing who to turn to. Our support team will be working through December up until 8pm (AEST) on December 24th and will continue to be available on all non-public holidays thereafter. For a better guide of what details they’ll need when you call, please see our Holidays Essentials post.

To contact our support team you can fill out our supportform, email our team, call them on 1300 66 88 58 or use our live chat function available in the ‘chat now’ tab on the right of this page.

Here’s to a busy and successful December! Remember to start preparing now if you haven’t already and if you need anything fulfilment-related our team is more than happy to help.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Carrier Cutoffs for the Holidays

Click to enlarge

We posted our Holiday Essentials Guide recently with some tips to help you plan around the busy December period. As we get closer to the busy period, it’s important to make sure you’re giving your customers the right information about shipping deadlines. As a reminder, see our cut off calendar above or our full list of carrier provided cut-off dates below:

TNT Road:                     18th December
Fastway Couriers:        19th December
TNT Priority:                  20th December
Couriers Please:            23rd December
Capital Transport:         23rd December
Hunter Express:             23rd December
Direct Couriers:             23rd December

Allied Express:              19th of December for capital city deliveries
                                        Progressively earlier for more regional locations
Northline:                      13th December for regional
                                        17th December for cross-country between capital cities
                                        19th December for east coast capital cities
CourierPost (NZ):        19th December

Please note that these dates do not guarantee delivery before December 25th.

It has to be stressed that these dates have been given to us as a guide for when courier operations will be running. The week before Christmas Day is extremely busy for the delivery industry and just because a courier will pick up an order before Christmas does not guarantee that it will arrive in time. We recommend that any orders that are cross country (East coast to west coast or vice versa) need to be collected no later than the 19th of December. For orders that have a same coast or local destination, we would recommend collection on the 22nd of December at the latest.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Note About the G20 Summit

Brisbane is hosting the G20 Summit this week which may result in some delays with deliveries. Starting Tuesday, there will be some road closures around the Brisbane CBD and that will increase leading up to Friday, the official public holiday.

Potential impacts will be a delay in deliveries and collections around the CBD area, which could extend transit times to other states.

Our customer service team will continue to operate as usual on the public holiday.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Using Technology To Keep Brand Promises

How do you make your customer ‘little-kid-tasting-ice-cream-for-the-first-time’ happy?
Our CEO Carl recently spoke at the 2014 Australian Digital Summit about the future of retail. In particular, he spoke about the power of brands, the importance of getting the basics right and closing the loop by bringing the two together to give customer’s an exceptional experience. 

The Brand

Brands are an integral, intangible part of a business. As a consumer, brands make us feel things about a product - be it aspirational, emotional, nostalgic or otherwise. Brands are what bring people through the doors and the reason why people will be willing to part with their hard-earned money for your product. Every brand is different and there’s no roadmap to creating a successful brand but it is undoubtedly a crucial part of the business. It’s what brings your products and services to life and influences your customers to make a purchase.

The Basics

Just as important as having a brand is the ability to deliver on everything that the brand promises. This means a high level of service, accountability and particularly in online retail; reliable delivery. For retailers, this involves being prepared to change the way that they have been looking at delivery. Recent research by Telstra indicates that a staggering amount of customers are willing to pay extra for more tailored delivery solutions but very few retailers are willing or able to offer them.

For such a seemingly basic part of the purchase process, retailers have made very little progress towards changing this themselves. This isn't an indictment on retailers, shipping is a very tricky industry. In the same way that you would approach a creative agency to help shape and build a brand, it’s important that retailers reach out to experienced shipping solutions partners to help them create shipping experiences that match the needs of their customers.

Closing the Loop

You can’t have one without the other. You might have the coolest brand on earth but if your service is lousy then that will be your lasting impression on the customer. Likewise, you could offer the best service in the world but if there is no brand to excite and capture the imagination of the customer then you won’t make sales. Getting both the brand and the basics right and pulling the two together is how you create lasting impressions with your customers.

For a detailed discussion about these ideas, here’s Carl’s keynote speech from the 2014 Australian Digital Summit and the future retail panel featuring Carl alongside Dean Flynn from IE Agency, Karsten Wildberger from Telstra and Ian McCall from Nuon: