5 People Who’d Make Great ‘Parcel Delivery Runners’

Whether it’s via drones or the New York Subway, we’re always keen to hear of innovative new parcel delivery techniques used by forward-thinking couriers.

Recently, we read about Doddle’s quirky ‘Runner’ service, which could revolutionise the way packages are delivered in busy UK cities. The premise is simple; a consumer who wishes to return goods quickly uses an app to summon a trained runner, who collects the parcels and takes them wherever they need to go.

The delivery service is being launched in London, which makes sense as it is city residents who are most likely to benefit from this kind of offer. We all know how difficult it is to get around the capital during the day. Who remembers that early episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson attempted to drive around the London Marathon course quicker than a runner? Needless to say, the runner won convincingly, which underlines the challenges that London-based couriers are facing on a day-to-day basis.

Few will argue that the Runner service isn’t a good idea, but it got us thinking how parcel delivery companies might change their recruitment policies in the future. Rather than hiring someone with 20 years of van-driving experience under their belt, maybe they’ll be looking for people who can run two miles in less than ten minutes.

If you were looking to return an item in double-quick time, who would you trust to get the job done? Here are some suggestions…

1) Mo Farah

Mo Farah

The Olympic hero has become a bit of a divisive figure in recent months, but regardless of what you think of him, there’s no denying that the guy can run long distances very quickly indeed. Earlier this year, Farah broke the two-mile indoor world record in Birmingham, posting a time of 8:03.40.

If the double-Olympic champion decided to moonlight as a parcel delivery runner, there isn’t a vehicle in the land that could compete with him.

2) Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes

According to the Office for National Statistics, online sales increased by 11.4% in June 2015 when compared with the corresponding month in 2014, and with more people shopping via the web, it’s inevitable that the demand for fast parcel delivery services will continue to grow. As such, retailers need to ensure they have access to reliable couriers for 365 days a year.

With this in mind, we’d suggest that Amy Hughes would make an incredibly good delivery runner. She might not be a household name, but Hughes made the headlines in 2014 when she broke the record for completing the most marathons in consecutive days – an astonishing 53.

This kind of reliable, unrelenting performance would certainly come in handy when couriers hit the Christmas rush. We suggest the sports therapist could make a killing in January when everybody is returning their Christmas presents. There’d be no stopping her!

3) Usain Bolt


The Jamaican sprinting legend wouldn’t have anywhere near the levels of staying power as the previous two candidates in our list, but if you wanted a parcel to be delivered over a short distance in the quickest time possible, Bolt’s your man.

Bolt ran the 100 metres in an eye-watering 9.58 seconds in 2009 – a world record that is unlikely to be touched any time soon. You’d have to be extra careful when weighing your parcel, mind. Sprinters are made for speed and huge amounts of time, money and effort are spent on making these finely-tuned athletes as aerodynamic as possible. We can’t imagine the six-time Olympic champion would be too pleased if you asked him to pick up your rock collection.

4) Forrest Gump


With an abundance of couriers to choose from, consumers have never had so many options. This means that delivery companies need to ensure they’re offering exceptional levels of service at all times if they are to stay ahead of the pack. It certainly helps if your couriers are friendly and likeable – two words that adequately describe Forrest Gump.

“Run, Forrest, Run!” is one of the most famous movie quotes of all time, and we don’t think we’ve ever met anybody who hasn’t seen the 1994 classic film. Not only did Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, win our hearts with his lovable naivety, he also demonstrated that he’s a pretty nifty long-distance runner. His affectionate nature, coupled with his impressive athleticism, make him the perfect candidate for a delivery runner role, though he’s probably happy enough spending his time eating chocolates in Greenbow, Alabama.

5) Tim Shieff


You’ve probably never heard of Tim Shieff, unless you’re a fan of edgy urban sports that is. Nicknamed ‘Livewire’ Shieff is a professional freerunner, a world champion no less, and is renowned for pushing the boundaries of what is safe and logistically achievable.

Anybody who is familiar with parkour will be aware of the kind of amazing acrobatics that the runners are capable of. The object is to get from one inner-city point to another, running, climbing, rolling and somersaulting your way through any obstacles that lie in your way.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s hard to think of many people better equipped to transport parcels around a busy city on foot than freerunners. We’ve got visions of a slightly unhinged runner gleefully sliding across the roof of a stationary delivery van as they race across town with several parcels in tow. In fairness, your package is probably going to arrive in better condition having travelled in the back of a van than it would in the rucksack of a freerunner who has a penchant for doing backflips.

What does the future hold?

We may jest, but who knows what weird and wonderful new ways of delivering parcels will emerge in the future? It seems that delivery drones are only a few years away from becoming mainstream and who would have predicted that a decade ago? One thing’s for sure, couriers are getting busier and are going to great lengths to ensure their customers’ needs are being met. That can only be good news for consumers!

If you need to send a parcel, you can save a tidy sum of money by comparing delivery services. Click here to get a quick quote right away.

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Why Don’t People Send Memories Anymore?

When was the last time you sent a gift in the post to someone you love, just because you could, knowing that it would take several days to arrive through the recipient’s letterbox, and being perfectly happy with that? With the exception of birthday and Christmas cards, chances are that the last time you wrote a letter and posted off something sentimental is a distant memory.

Back in the first days of the internet, receiving standard mail was so commonplace that an email gave us such a buzz. Now, when we have potentially hundreds of unread emails, the click of the letterbox brings us unprecedented levels of excitement. As many of us have family scattered across the globe, our methods of communication have adapted to allow us to speak to them as regularly as possible, but even in today’s modern world there are some things that technology simply cannot replace.

While technology has been extraordinary in breaking down the barriers of distance, it has also taken away the thrill of receiving something special in the mail. In a world where we are always on the go, with speed and convenience being our top priorities, how exactly do we share memories with relatives on the other side of the globe?

Social media or posting parcels?

In order to find out more about how people across the world keep in touch with one another, we asked 750 people the question; ‘How do you keep in touch with relatives living abroad?’ The results ended up very much in favour of digital communication, with the traditional art of putting pen to paper appearing to take a back seat.


The majority of those surveyed (28.8%) said that they would use social media to get in touch with people, with email coming in second at 22.7% and a Skype call in third with 20.5% of the vote. Traditional telephone calls or texts were rather unpopular with 16% of the vote, perhaps due to the high fees attached to calling and texting people abroad. Meanwhile, sending letters by post came in last with only 7.6% of respondents choosing this option.

An average of 38% of those aged between 18 and 44 years preferred to use social media to contact their relatives living abroad. Only an average of 3.2% of the same age bracket said they would send a handwritten letter.

An average of 38% of those aged between 18 and 44 years preferred to use social media to contact their relatives living abroad. Only an average of 3.2% of the same age bracket said they would send a handwritten letter and parcel.

Towards the higher end of the age spectrum, the preference for contact shifts away from social media and instead towards email and telephone calls or texts. This preference isn’t surprising, especially as latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 11% of 65 – 74 year olds and only 3% of those aged 75+ belong to a social networking website. However, what is surprising is that traditional letters of communication still aren’t a favourite with the older generation. Although the number of people sending letters increases with age, with an average of 15% of those age 55 – 65+ choosing this, it is still the least popular option.

Bring back snail mail

In a world filled with digital correspondence, from the bleep of a text to the ping of an email as it arrives in your inbox to be read immediately, speed and convenience is everything. It is far easier, quicker and often cheaper to send an email to a relative in another country or post important pictures on Facebook for distant friends to see, which means that the handcrafted package is in danger of dying out.

Woman posting letter

Throughout our lives we go through so many wonderful moments; getting married, the birth of a child, watching that child go to school for the very first time and if there’s one thing we love to do it is to share these moments with as many people as possible. While it’s great to see photos of your cousin’s wedding in Australia that you couldn’t attend on Facebook, or open an email attachment to see a scan of your unborn baby niece on the screen, it’s just not the same as holding that memory in your hands.

Here at Parcel2Go.com, we believe that the art of writing letters and sending sentimental items through the post is one that should be revived. As part of our new campaign ‘Sent With Love’, we hope to reconnect families across the world through small gifts and tokens of affection via good old-fashioned mail. As we encourage families everywhere to reach back to their childhood with a handwritten letter and parcel full of love, take a read of our top reasons why you should join us and send a parcel to a loved one today.

It shows you care

We all know it is so much easier and quicker to send an email, text or a Facebook message, which is why sending a handwritten letter shows the person just how much you care about them. You have set aside time during your day to print off wedding pictures or package up that child’s school report you are just so proud of. The recipient knows that you put thought and effort into that and while it’s nice to send an email to your sister living halfway across the world; imagine how wonderful it would feel for her to find a personal letter and memory sitting on her doormat.

It will be a surprise

Nowadays, the only post we tend to receive are bills, bank statements or junk mail, and those aren’t even handwritten. Whether they’ve had a bad day or a great day, a carefully penned letter with a hand-painted picture from your toddler will brighten any grandparent’s day even more, especially as they wouldn’t be expecting it at all. Trust us, it’ll have a far greater impact than an email attachment.

It doesn’t actually take that long

The term snail mail was most likely coined when the lethargic garden mollusc moved faster than our postal service, but nowadays there is the wonderful phenomenon of first-class and next-day delivery. These options mean that your parcel could go from being penned and packaged by you to open in the reader’s hands in just a couple of days. There really isn’t an excuse not to send one.

There’s no denying that we’re all on the go, and sending a text or an email to our family halfway across the world is the quickest way to show them we are thinking about them. But why not make a change and go the extra mile to put a smile on someone’s face by sending them a handwritten letter and meaningful parcel? Let’s keep the love of sending touching messages and tokens in the post alive and make sure it doesn’t become something we tell our baffled grandchildren about; like dial-up internet, mixtapes and phones with wires.

For more information on the Sent With Love campaign or to get involved, please contact pr@parcel2go.com.

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eBay Trials New Delivery Feedback Feature

Online auction giant eBay has been trialling a new addition to its feedback page, which requires buyers to evaluate the delivery of their order.

The brand new feature, which will reportedly be rolled out to all buyers, allows customers to state whether the order arrived on time or not. A specific estimated parcel delivery date or time window will be given, with the option to select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response.

Unlike high street stores and large online retailers, the delivery options on eBay aren’t set in stone. There are usually a variety of options available such as express delivery, standard parcel delivery and economy delivery, with click and collect also offered for larger items. However, it has always been up to the seller to dispatch the item, update the system and notify the buyer.

The new change has been met with criticism by some sellers. Many have said there isn’t enough space for buyers to leave enough feedback about the product’s delivery speed, especially as it joins a star-rating system that already allows buyers to rate the delivery.

Others have raised concerns that the new system doesn’t allow for extenuating circumstances to be considered that are outside the seller’s control, such as delays or issues with couriers. Busy periods such as Christmas and during popular online sale times like Black Friday have also caused some worry.

That said, a system such as this could improve speed and efficiency when it comes to parcel delivery and therefore boost customer satisfaction.

Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes the new feedback tool could prove to be incredibly useful for improving services to customers: “Aside from the current limitations in the feedback section, eBay are trialling a potentially great idea. Knowing that delivery could affect their seller rating even more will ensure that sellers are doing all they can to live up to the buyer’s expectations. eBay is recognising the true value of timely parcel delivery when it comes to the whole buying process, and their new system means that sellers will become more accountable for the delivery of their orders.”

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UK Online Retail Sales Spike by 18% in June

Online retail sales in the UK rose by 18% year-on-year in June 2015, according to the latest data from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Earlier in the year, UK online retailers experienced an unexpected fall, which many attributed to the economic and political uncertainty stirred up by the General Election in May. However, June showed that growth was strong once again with the IMR reporting that the figures added up to the highest recorded growth for the year of 2015, and equated to £9.3 billion in online spending. The report also discovered that the number of deliveries made on time stood at 94.5%.

Commenting on the latest figures, IMRG said: “With a 2.7% increase on May, the results also mark the strongest June month-on-month (MoM) growth since June 2003, reflecting the ongoing increase in UK consumer confidence.”

“The total growth for H1 reached 11%, supported by a much-improved second quarter of the year – the Index recorded an annual increase of 14% between April and June, double the growth experienced during January and March (7%).”

A number of factors have been credited with helping cause the recent boom in online sales, with the Index reporting that the travel and clothing sectors were particularly strong, thanks to the summer weather and holiday preparations. Post-election relief will certainly have resulted in a rise in consumer confidence, combined with sales and promotional activity by retailers after a slight slump at the start of the year.

The growing sector of m-commerce (online shopping on mobile devices) also experienced a further increase of 57% when compared to June last year, with figures showing that sales completed on smartphones were much higher than tablet devices.

Head of E-Logistics at IMRG, Andrew Starkey, believes that the figures bode well for the rest of the year: “After the slowdown we saw last month it is good to see the UK’s online retail sector back on the upswing. If this trend continues we will soon approach our start of year forecast of 13%. July usually delivers a mini-peak on the back of summer spending which should push us even closer to this figure.”

Also shown in the Index was the importance of delivery when it comes to dealing with consumers and piquing their interest. Faster and more flexible delivery options such as paying more for next-day delivery and click and collect services are giving the consumer more control over their orders.

Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes these figures show how fast parcel delivery has become an essential part of the customer’s journey: “Focusing on the customer’s parcel delivery needs is essential to building a strong relationship between the retailer and buyer. Providing different options allows retailers to cater to each customer individually, it is then up to retailers to deliver on time as a way of boosting customer confidence and loyalty.”

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Black Friday to See Online Demand Quadruple in 2015

New research commissioned by Yodel has suggested that four times as many people will shop online in this year’s ‘Black Friday’ compared to last year.

The survey, which was conducted by eDigital Research, spoke to 6,371 people and found that 30% of them were planning on shopping online on 27th November. This is a dramatic increase when compared to only 8% of respondents who bought something on Black Friday in 2014.

Dick Stead, Executive Chairman at Yodel, commented on the survey: “2014 was the year that online Christmas shopping in the UK changed forever, with retail websites crashing, warehouses straining and the majority of carriers struggling to cope with unforecast volumes. Our research shows that 2015 is set to break the mould once again, with nearly four times as many people planning to take advantage of the Black Friday online promotions.”

The research also showed that it was younger shoppers who were more likely to take part in Black Friday online shopping, with 39% of 18 to 24-year-olds saying they would purchase, with only 18% of over 65s saying the same.

With retailers already starting to prepare for the festive season, being able to cope with increased shopper numbers and handling subsequent deliveries is certainly something to consider. However, 76% of shoppers surveyed said that they would be happy to wait longer than usual for their deliveries to arrive; with 28% saying an additional two days and 27% suggesting that an extra three days would be bearable.

21% of respondents said that they would only be prepared to wait one day with 13% saying they wouldn’t want to wait at all. Of those who would not wait any longer, 44% would be prepared to pay for next-day delivery.

Commenting on the subject of delivery during the Black Friday sales, Mr Stead said: “It’s reassuring that the majority of consumers are telling us that they are prepared to wait a little longer for their delivery during peak promotions.”

There is little doubt that Black Friday will be an extremely busy day for both traditional high street stores and online retailers, but Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes it is all about clear communication, managing customer expectations and ensuring that delivery services are as slick and reliable as possible.

“Retailers must stress as early as possible that they may have to wait longer than usual for their deliveries, usually in the form of a notification on the checkout page. That way the customer knows exactly what to expect. Another smart option is to offer faster delivery for those who wish to receive their sale items quicker, but it is important to ensure that all ordered items are shipped out to customers on time,” he commented.

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Switzerland and New Zealand Trial Delivery Drones

The testing of delivery drones has begun outside of the United States, with Switzerland’s postal service confirming last week that it had commenced the testing of unmanned drones making parcel deliveries.

The drones from Swiss Post would be able to carry parcels weighing a maximum of 2.2 pounds and will have the capacity to travel for at least six miles in one go. The national post service is currently working closely with Swiss WorldCargo, the air delivery service run by Swiss International Airlines, and have stressed that thorough testing would be required before the drones could be used commercially.

Swiss Post said in a statement: “The drone has an extremely light construction and is capable of transporting loads of up to one kilo over more than 10 kilometres with a single battery charge.”

The drones will be able to fly “autonomously, following clearly defined, secure flight paths, which are drawn up by cloud software developed by Matternet (the drone’s US manufacturer).”

However, full use of parcel delivery drones is not expected for five years, with the company adding: “Until the time of their realistic commercial use in around five years, there are various requirements which need to be clarified.”

Swiss Post have stated that these tests would include navigating the regulations currently in place that apply to unmanned drones roaming the skies, and extensive investigation into any technical restrictions such as battery life.

Switzerland aren’t the only country to follow in Amazon’s footsteps and trial drone delivery. In June, New Zealand-based delivery company Fastway Couriers successfully trialled a drone parcel delivery service by shipping car parts from Penrose to Mount Wellington. The journey would take a land-based courier 20 minutes but the drone completed the delivery in just five minutes.

Fastway Couriers teamed up with unmanned aerial vehicle company Flirtey, based in Sydney Australia, whose drones do not require a person to control it with GPS, have a range of 15 kilometres and can carry packages weighing up to 2.5kg.

One of the biggest barriers for Amazon has been the regulations put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, companies testing courier drones in New Zealand will face fewer obstacles because of the country’s relaxed legislation and less crowded skies.

Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes that drones will completely transform how customers receive their orders: “Although it may take several more years, it’s great to see more and more companies exploring new and faster ways of delivering to their customers and with more countries working on the technology, drone deliveries may arrive sooner than we think. Until that time comes, retailers need to continue to find new ways to deliver goods to their customers quickly and reliably. It’s important for sellers to explore the faster delivery options available to them that will not only guarantee customer satisfaction but also prove financially viable for themselves.”

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How Are Parcel Couriers Enhancing Services For Their Rural Customers?

Shopping isn’t just limited to city centres. Thanks to the online shopping boom and the expansion of the internet, you can purchase millions of items at any time of the day at the touch of a button. Even in the most isolated village in the country, all you need is a computer and a connection. And it seems that those living in the most rural parts of the country are the biggest spenders.

For those who don’t know, online retailing giant Amazon celebrated its 20th birthday on 15th July and marked the occasion by holding ‘Amazon Prime Day’. Similar to the Black Friday sales that have migrated to the UK from across the pond in recent years, Prime Day involved discounts and sales being applied to a huge number of Amazon products, with new ones added every 10 minutes. Strictly for £70-a-year Prime members only, of course.

While many people may assume that those in city centres and suburban areas would be more likely to order online, new research from broadband provider Gigaclear has discovered that 91% of people living in rural areas are regular online shoppers, a figure that is significantly higher than those residing in other locations. The reason behind their love of online shopping? Super-fast broadband speeds that are up to four-times faster than those in city centres.

How times have changed

Not too long ago in fact, those living in rural areas were plagued by poor broadband connections with temperamental speeds and shoddy loading times. So much so that in 2013 the government announced a Broadband Delivery plan for the UK, outlining plans for a £1 billion investment in the country’s broadband and mobile infrastructure, which included delivering superfast broadband to 90% of the country by 2016 and 95% by 2017. And now these areas are reporting some of the fastest internet speeds in the country.

Unfortunately, living in an area that is a bit out of the way often used to go hand in hand with slower delivery times. But times have changed so much that Royal Mail are not the only parcel delivery company in the country that can reach every nook and cranny. There are dozens of different specialist couriers up and down the country who are all committed to making speedy deliveries to anyone, no matter where they are located. But in order for people to receive their orders, many delivery companies were tagging on ridiculously high charges, and shoppers were feeling as though they were being discriminated against because of their location.

However, in July 2014 it was announced by the UK government that they would be putting together plans to tackle these extortionate delivery charges, which included making information about costs available up front. Ministers believed that the changes would lead to fairer delivery prices being charged.


With the popularity of next-day delivery and the growing demand for same-day delivery, parcel couriers are under pressure to ensure that all deliveries, no matter where to, are handled the same and received when they were promised. It’s all about making sure the customer’s expectations are managed. Providing different delivery options is one way that parcel couriers have ensured that customers are happy with their deliveries, as it means that they are in control of the speed at which their order arrives. Online tracking is a fantastic little tool as although delivery has already been selected, the customer can follow their order and plan their day accordingly; rather than waiting in all day for a parcel that may not arrive.

Other helpful customer features include text and email updates, the ability to rearrange a delivery at will and, most effectively, the use of independent couriers. Larger logistics companies will hire couriers who work on a self-employed basis to deliver parcels to their local area. Not only does this cut down on the number of huge lorries travelling up and down country roads, it also ensures that parcels will be delivered safely and on time, as local couriers will know the area inside out.

Having to wait a day or two for your latest order can often be agonising, but imagine how bad it could be if you were living in a really remote area, on a small Scottish island for example. Take a read of these weird and wonderful delivery locations and be ready to count your postal blessings. Unless you live in one of these places, of course.


Altnaharra is a tiny hamlet located in Sutherland, with just 30 people calling it home. It is thought to be one of the coldest locations in the UK with temperatures in 1995 dropping to a bone-chilling -27.2 degrees Celsius and -22.3 degrees in 2014. The closest postal delivery office to Altnaharra is Lairg, but this means that postal workers there make a 120-mile round trip every single day. But no one can say that the residents out there aren’t tough. In 2014, Altnaharra experienced some of the most severe winter weather in its living memory but there was still only one day when deliveries couldn’t be made. Now that’s commitment.


Situated off the north-west coast of Scotland, Knoydart is often referred to as ‘Britain’s Last Wilderness’. The last census recorded the population as 98 residents and it can only be accessed by sea or by taking a 16-mile walk. A single postman delivers mail to the 53 addresses of Knoydart by ferry from Mallaig, as the peninsula’s mere seven miles of road is not connected to the UK’s road system.

Holy Island

Holy Island

Off the coast of Northumbria sits Holy Island, which is only accessible via a two-mile causeway which floods with sea water twice a day. The single Post Office caters to the 160 residents on the island, and one postwoman handles the mail, which she delivers on foot using a trolley. Once she has delivered the mail, she collects the parcels that have been posted and drives them across the causeway where they are handed over to a postal worker from the Berwick-Upon-Tweed delivery office. The harsh winter weather of 2014 made the causeway freeze over and parcel delivery would have been suspended if it hadn’t been for the residents of Holy Island who volunteered their 4x4s to help.

Of course, a frozen access route may impede a delivery courier’s progress to hand over your order, but many couriers are working tirelessly to ensure your products make it safely into your hands, wherever you live. Two great examples of this are Amazon’s use of independent delivery companies and self-employed couriers who can make local deliveries. As we have proven, delivery is an extremely important part of a shopper’s journey and retailers must do everything they can to ensure a timely parcel service.

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How are retailers dealing with growing parcel delivery pressures?

Online shopping has soared in popularity over the past few years and no doubt it’s a trend that is going to continue. Everything from clothes and shoes to food and household items can now be bought online and delivered to our homes, and the benefits of doing so are numerous. It’s now far more convenient for people to open up a laptop and place an order than trekking to the shops, and it saves that person valuable time that can otherwise be spent elsewhere.

Undoubtedly what attracts many people to shop online is the prospect of having their purchases delivered to them free of charge within just a couple of days and, if necessary, to return them for free too. Online stores such as ASOS, and brick-and-mortar and online retailers such as River Island and New Look, offer free returns for customers if they are made within a certain number of days, usually 28. But one of the problems with shopping online is never being 100% sure whether an item of clothing or pair of shoes will fit, given that you don’t get the chance to try it on. However, research has shown that savvy shoppers have found a way around this, but at a price to retailers.


The downside of free delivery

A survey conducted in 2014 by Fits.me found that buying an item of clothing in multiple sizes was more common than originally thought. When asked about the nature of their last online shop, the vast majority of people (75%) stated that they had bought one size of the item, loved it and kept it, but 10% of people had bought multiple sizes, kept the one that fit and then returned the ones that didn’t fit back to the retailer.

News like this may dismay some retailers, or at least cause many to click their fingers and exclaim “that’s why they ordered so many pairs!”, but the fact that people are ordering several of the same item and then returning them several days later means that some retailers may be losing money to excess postage if free delivery and free returns are offered. Even if you enjoy a steady stream of customers to your website, constantly footing the bill can cause postage costs to become a black hole that you pour money into, and can quickly eat away at your profits.

Mail express delivery

What can retailers do?

Fits.me found that 84% of the total shoppers surveyed said they hadn’t returned items, whether it was bought as a single or multiple. This means that three-quarters of purchases were successful, and 9% of customers who found an item unsatisfactory for any reason did not return it. But that doesn’t mean retailers shouldn’t try to make changes in order to cut costs.

On getting wind of these kinds of tactics, the first instinct for many retailers would be to stop offering free delivery and returns, however this could actually be more detrimental than helpful. A study by the Baymard Institute has found that a huge 68.5% of customers will abandon their online shopping carts, usually because they’re suddenly hit with an unexpected cost. That equates to a massive amount of potential revenue that is lost for retailers, and while there are numerous reasons why customers will abandon their purchases, a high delivery cost at the end of the process can put them off incredibly quickly.

Offering free shipping is bound to increase sales if you market it correctly, however, as it is the retailer who will be taking the fall in terms of costs, it is essential that providing this service doesn’t result in financial loss. Before you decide to offer free delivery on each and every one of your items, first consider the profit margin. If you’re going to be taking a loss or only just breaking even, the completely free delivery isn’t really a viable option. If it’s a close call, consider trialling free delivery for a while to see if it results in a sales boost; also a great way to attract new customers.

Items that are small and lightweight are usually the best candidates for free shipping, however offering free delivery on orders over a certain amount is also a great tactic to encourage customers to spend more. It’s all about weighing up the type of business you are with the products you sell.

Before you make the decision to offer free shipping throughout your business, it is essential that businesses don’t just opt for the first courier company they see, as they may not be offering the most competitive price. During your trial period, shop around for different couriers using a delivery comparison to gain a more rounded idea of what your shipping costs will be, and whether you can afford to offer free delivery permanently.

Regardless of who is paying for shipping, communication with your customer is essential throughout the entire process. Free delivery doesn’t always mean slow delivery, and retailers need to state exactly how long items could take to arrive. That way, your customer’s expectations can always be easily managed and you can work to go above and beyond for them.

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6 Famous Pieces of Sports Memorabilia We’d Love to Buy

Stock up on the strawberries and cream and break out the Pimm’s because it’s that time of year again. Wimbledon is coming and all eyes will be whipping from left to right as we follow the progress of the world’s finest tennis stars.

With only a week to go until the players take to the courts, Andy and Kim Murray have announced that they will be auctioning off a tennis ball signed by both the former Wimbledon champion and tennis legend Fred Perry. The lucky winner will be able to take home this unique piece of Wimbledon history marked by two Grand Slam champions, as well as a lifetime of bragging rights.

Sports memorabilia is big business, especially in the digital era. As a leading delivery service comparison specialist, we at Parcel2Go.com have a keen interest in what items are being bought and sold via auction platforms such as eBay. We’re particularly intrigued by collectibles of a sporting variety.

To enter into the spirit of things in the run-up to one of the country’s most anticipated sporting events, we thought we’d take a look around the world to find 6 of the most famous, and most expensive, pieces of sports memorabilia ever to be sold at auction.

Muhammad Ali’s Boxing Gloves

Considering his status as one of the most famous and greatest fighters in the history of boxing, a title that still lives on to this day, it’s unsurprising that Ali makes an appearance on this list. A pair of Ali’s gloves, incidentally the pair he wore in 1956 during his first heavyweight title fight, were sold at an auction to raise money for brain research at a gala held to mark his 70th birthday. The fight took place in Las Vegas where Ali defeated Floyd Patterson. The gloves fetched a staggering $1.1 million from Lorenzo Fertitta, the co-owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.


Geoff Hurst’s World Cup Shirt

England’s victory in the 1966 World Cup remains one of the country’s proudest moments. A vital player in that match, Sir Geoff Hurst is still the only man to ever score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final, which he achieved during England’s 4 – 2 victory over West Germany. 15 years ago, the iconic red shirt worn by Hurst during that match was auctioned to a private collector for £91,750. That may not seem like much, but over the course of the years, the shirt has seen numerous different owners, and its estimated value now reportedly stands at more than £2 million.

Barry Bonds’ 715th Home Run Ball

Baseball is one of the most famous sports in the United States, second only to American Football. It should come as no surprise then that some of the most famous sporting memorabilia ever sold can be traced back to this iconic game. But not all of the sales are reserved for the hushed halls of auction houses; some even make their way onto websites such as eBay for the general public to take a swing at securing. Left fielder Barry Bonds is considered to be one of the most famous baseball players of all time, and the ball he hit during his 715th home run sold on eBay in 2006 for $220,100. Why so much? This ball is the one that moved Bonds into second place in the list of all-time home runs. Nice to have on your mantelpiece, I suppose.

Football Rules Book

As one of the most played sports in the world, it is expected that the rules of football are known far and wide. But once upon a time, they weren’t so well known, and had to be written down. The Football Rule Book was considered to be the first-known written copy of rules, and the last surviving copy of the Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the Sheffield Football Club. Hand-written in 1858, Sheffield FC were forced to place the book up for auction at Sotheby’s to ensure the club’s survival, where it fetched £881,250. With so much ambiguity surrounding the current offside rule, we could do far worse than refer back to this relic every now and again.

Babe Ruth

While Babe Ruth himself was never auctioned off, due to his international fame as one of America’s greatest and most loved baseball players, many of his items were sold for staggering amounts. The earliest baseball jersey known to have been worn by Ruth when playing for the New York Yankees, dating back to 1920, fetched $4.4 million at auction, which makes it the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold. The contract detailing Ruth’s move to the Yankees from the Boston Red Sox in 1919 sold for $1 million, one of the highest prices ever fetched for a document. Finally, the bat used by Ruth to hit his first home run in the Yankee Stadium was auctioned for $1.26 million.


Tennis Girl

A simple search of eBay will bring up dozens of different results for tennis memorabilia; from signed pictures to Slazenger tennis balls used at Wimbledon, but perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of tennis history all stemmed from a single picture. Tennis Girl is a famous, and now perhaps infamous poster of a tennis-playing woman in a short white tennis dress cheekily flashing her behind as she walks across the court away from the camera. In 2014, the white dress and the tennis racquet being held in the woman’s right hand were sold at an auction for £15,500, more than 8 times the predicted amount.

Somewhere in the world, these extraordinary pieces of memorabilia are sitting in people’s homes, but don’t despair! Just because you haven’t got a spare couple of million lying around doesn’t mean you can’t own your own piece of sporting history. Just head to eBay and spend some time searching for autographs or other little tokens from your favourite sports heroes; you may even come across a quick bargain!

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Why the E-Commerce Revolution is Great for British Retailers

No matter what your age is, there are few things more exciting than unwrapping a parcel that you’ve received in the post. Online shopping is a lure that is difficult to ignore, and it seems that this pull is one that is becoming increasingly strong across the globe.

Research conducted by the world’s largest e-commerce companies, OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google, has predicted that the combined online retail economy of the UK, US, Germany and China will double in size to be worth £645 billion by the year 2018. Online shopping is already huge for people living in the UK, with the report stating that British people spend £1 of every £5 of the nation’s total spend through the internet.

The study also showed how mobile shopping has become such a huge part of the online retailing world. Many of the world’s biggest online shops, including ASOS and New Look to name just two, now have their own apps that you can download on to your tablet and smartphone, allowing you to make your purchases on the go. And who can blame them? The figures showed that 59% of online sales in the UK were conducted through tablets or smartphone, so not being in the mobile shopping business would be a mistake for retailers.

Sales Director at Google UK, Martijn Bertisen, commented on these figures: “The number of people with internet access is growing fast, with many new consumers skipping the desktop phase entirely and only experiencing the web through a smartphone.

“Our study shows that this is increasingly translating into mobile transactions and that a mobile-first or even mobile-only strategy is now imperative to international success in retail. UK retailers should be well positioned to lead this growth internationally, as UK consumers are already amongst the most mobile of all.”

UK is leading the charge when it comes to mobile shopping, as mobile figures for the UK were a significant way ahead of other countries. According to figures from PayPal, 59% of online transactions in the UK were carried out on mobile phones, compared to Germany at 24% and the US at 45%.


Made in Britain

It’s not just Britons themselves who are seeking UK-made products, it seems. According to a study conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, those abroad appear to strive to own British products too, with figures showing that British retailers who export overseas could earn an additional £2.1 billion if they brand their goods with the slogan ‘Made in Britain’. That’s right, simply by adding the Union Jack Flag to a product, apparently a consumer’s inclination to make a purchase increases significantly. The study also found that a ‘Made in Britain’ label could trigger a readiness to pay 7% more for a product, compared to those that did not declare their country of origin.

The exception to this was for alcoholic drinks, where the study found that boasting about a product being ‘Made in Scotland’ added a far greater premium than ‘Made in Britain’, particularly in Ireland and the United States. You win some, you lose some.

Why buy British?

The lure to buy British products for people who live here is not difficult to understand. Given the publicity surrounding certain food scandals over the past few years, more and more people are eager to be reassured that their food hasn’t come from far away, and has been prepared properly in accordance with stringent guidelines. Given the increasing demand for organic food, supermarkets are feeling the urge to slap a Union Flag on all of their products, particularly the fruit, veg and meat products.


But what attracts people who live abroad towards buying British-branded products, especially when it comes to paying that little bit more to export it over? It appears that price isn’t a barrier, with the CEBR study showing that Chinese shoppers choose to buy products online from British retailers almost as often as people living here do; spending an average of 2.7 more than they do with retailers in their own country. Germany wasn’t too far behind, with its consumers apparently spending 1.7 times more with British retailers.

For many us living in Britain, we tend to look abroad to countries like China when we want to buy cheaper clothes, regardless of the delivery speed, but what if it is the exact opposite for people living abroad? London is considered to be one of the fashion capitals of the world, with such designers and fashion houses under its belt as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Burberry; Britain is renowned across the world for producing high quality and stylish clothes. This begs the age-old question of if the quality is outstanding, does it justify a higher price tag? It seems to be that if the product is British, then the answer is yes.

A bright British future

Whatever the reason is, the figures are showing that sales of British products online are on the increase, which can only mean good things for the economy. Commenting on the study by OC&C, PayPal and Google, Head of Retail at OC&C, Anita Balchandani, said the report promised a strong future for businesses based in Britain: “The study has shown that UK retailers are some of the world’s most popular and are in a strong position to seize more opportunities abroad.

“But at the moment, the majority are only doing the basics to adequately serve foreign markets, for example, by offering international delivery on their UK website and working with partners to provide local returns addresses.”

In order for this trend to continue, British businesses need to ensure that their exporting options are as quick, cheap and efficient as possible, in order to increase orders from abroad. The evidence has shown that people are willing to overlook higher prices if they are receiving top-quality products in return, but this could all turn around if the shipping prices and delivery times are sky high and slow. Making the whole process easier for your customer is key; so offering cheap delivery services and a simple returns policy will hopefully encourage your customers to come back for more.

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