Retailers: Do You Have a Delivery Contingency Plan?

Retailers: Do You Have a Delivery Contingency Plan?

When the reach and reputation of your company is at stake every day, it’s vital to have a backup plan for your day-to-day operations.

Whether it’s systems to back up computer data, or plans to cover for key members of staff that are unexpectedly absent, most businesses depend on secure contingency plans to ensure they run like clockwork at all times.

For online retailers, a key area that needs a clearly defined backup plan is delivery. That’s why having a dependable contingent carrier to support or replace its regular delivery service is essential to navigate challenging situations with minimal disruption, cost and customer dissatisfaction.

P2P acts as contingent carrier for UK-based e-commerce businesses that are experiencing issues with their pre-existing international delivery service providers. We understand that sometimes companies need short-term help to fulfil their obligations, which is why we extend our flexible tracked, untracked and express solutions to those in this situation.

In this article, we outline what a contingent carrier is, why it’s a vital support for e-commerce retailers, and how P2P’s extended offering can benefit your contingency planning and your business as a whole.

What is a Contingent Carrier?

A contingent carrier essentially acts as a substitute delivery service for online retailers in difficult circumstances, either to assist your existing service or replace it altogether. This is often a temporary requirement at times where demand is exceptionally high, circumstances make it problematic for the traditional carrier to perform their duties, or your existing agreement will not cover a marked rise in deliveries.

The quality, cost and reliability of delivery plays a key role in a customer’s relationship with a retailer, and expectations are growing worldwide. Therefore, it is crucial that retailers provide consistently high standards to ensure expectations are met and build customer loyalty.

Plus, there is the all-important cost considerations. The average cost to a UK retailer for a failed delivery is £14.35. On its own this doesn’t seem like much, but if circumstances cause your delivery service to slow down, even temporarily, those costs can quickly add up.

Therefore, connecting with an urgent delivery courier is increasingly becoming a necessity for retailers to maintain their high standards of delivery when difficulties emerge.

When Would I Need a Contingent Carrier?

There are several situations where retailers require a contingency plan to lift the load on their existing delivery services:

Significant Influx of Orders

During times of exceptionally high activity, it is easy for delivery providers to become stretched and not have the capacity to perform to their usual standards. The yearly shopping season is a prime example of when contingency planning is crucial, as consumers become increasingly active around events like Black Friday Weekend and the lead-in to Christmas.

Enlisting a contingent carrier can ease the burden on your regular carrier and ensure your customers don’t notice any difference in the quality and speed of their delivery.

Loss of Key Equipment/Personnel

It’s not pleasant to think about, but if your regular delivery carrier endures a serious equipment failure or loses key members of staff for a length of time, the ramifications can impact retailers just as badly. The disruption that affected KFC outlets throughout the UK last year is a prime example of the crises this can cause.

The support of an emergency carrier in this interim period reassures you that delivery to customers is not hindered by circumstances beyond your control.

Weather Disruption

Particularly when it relates to international delivery, hazardous weather like hurricanes and floods could limit the reach of your regular carriers. Having a contingent carrier with experience of managing these difficult circumstances means Mother Nature won’t stand in the way of reaching your customers.

Breakdown with Carriers

If your relationship with your existing carrier breaks down suddenly, it can cause serious disruption to your delivery service if you have to use time and resources to look for an alternative. Having a contingency plan in place with another carrier ensures your deliveries are not interrupted during this transition. This gives you time to consider your options, whether it’s finding another partner or turning your contingent carrier into a long-term solution.

Choosing Your Contingent Carrier

We’ve established the situations where contingency planning is crucial for retailers. Now it’s important to identify an emergency courier that can help you overcome these challenges, meet the expectations of your customers and offer delivery to destinations across the globe.

Ease of Integration

A key aspect to consider is identifying a contingent carrier that can quickly and easily integrate their processes into your website. That is something that our team at P2P have been able to offer our clients at short notice, as this fast turnaround and our straightforward APIs minimise delay or disruption of delivery to customers. That way, there’s little break in your delivery service.

Range of Services

It is important to work with a contingent carrier that offers services matching your needs as a retailer and what your customer expects from your usual/previous carrier. We are able to present this wide-ranging flexibility with tracked, untracked and express services, so our clients can present the correct style and standard of international delivery options.

Global Reach

For online retailers with a global audience, your contingency plan must take into account the scale of a carrier’s operations. It’s therefore crucial to choose a carrier with experience handling international delivery and links to delivery partners in those countries. P2P offers links to over 220 countries and territories, giving us the coverage to match virtually every retailer’s requirements.

Extensive Experience

We have extensive experience working with e-commerce companies in the UK, both as a permanent partner and contingent carrier. In fact many of our long-term partnerships began off the back of our work as a contingency plan when they needed it most. We support our clients at every stage of their growth with flexible, innovative international delivery solutions, like our effective delivery tracking system TRAKPAK.

Work with P2P

Whether you require a contingent carrier in the lead-up to the holiday shopping rush, or are in need of a full-time international delivery company, P2P work hard to help retailers throughout the UK explore new markets worldwide and match consumers’ rising expectations.

Speak to our logistics experts today to learn more about our flexible services and how these can support the growth and reach of your business.