One important consideration before you set up your gift basket business should be how you plan on getting your products delivered. There are a lot of solutions out there and it is 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 for delivery expenses and a charge is usually added to the bill to allow for this. Sometimes though, delivery expenses can be built into the overall gift basket price so that a package can be promoted as having ‘free delivery’.
There are four main delivery options including customer pick up, making your own deliveries, courier companies and shipping services. Each method is discussed further below.
Very few gift basket businesses have clients that will pick up the baskets that they have purchased. If you do have a store front in a reasonably busy area you may find that some buyers will want to pick up baskets. Unless you really don’t want the headaches associated with having customers come to your business premises then you may consider offering them the option to save on the delivery cost if they are prepared to pick up their purchases themselves.
Doing your own Deliveries
As the owner of a gift basket business you may decide to start off doing your own deliveries. This can be a great way to go as you will have a chance to see how customers react upon seeing your creations, you will be able to get some feedback and customers can put a face to your business which will possibly increase your chances of getting future orders.
As your business grows though it is unrealistic to expect that you can continue doing your own deliveries for long as you will be too busy working on other aspects of the business. You may be able to have one of your staff take over this job at some stage but the logistics involved will probably mean that this role is best to be performed by couriers and delivery companies who can be much more cost effective (due to the volume of deliveries that will be distributing in an area). Think about a delivery that may be twenty minutes drive away and the costs associated with labor, gas and other vehicle related expenses and you will most likely soon see that it is usually best to outsource your deliveries. Courier charges should average somewhere between $10 and $20 for local service.
Couriers are another popular option for getting your baskets to the purchaser or gift recipient. Shop around and see what the various local operators have to offer in the way of rates and services.
Find out if their delivery vehicles will be suitable for transporting your baskets, giving thought to the basket contents. If your creations include products that need to be kept cool such as chocolate or cheeses then you will need a solution that can cater to these needs. If your baskets are fragile and need to be kept upright and handled with care you need to let the courier service know that this is important to you and that them having your frequent business relies upon them consistently delivering your products in mint condition.