Unreliable delivery services big challenge for online retailer

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For online small businesses and retailers, posting nationally and internationally is the cornerstone of their business and customer service however many delivery services are coming up short.

“Posting internationally is by far the most unreliable followed by couriers within Australia. There are so many inconsistencies and the small business contracts are hard to get, and then there’s the issues with late, lost or undelivered mail,” said Micaela Smith, director of Bits of Australia.

“We’ve seen significant and promising growth in our sales, website visits and average spend per order, so we know customers are liking Bits of Australia. It’s getting these products physically out there to our customers that’s been one of the toughest parts.”

Bits of Australia is a growing online retailer offering more than 1,200 unique products, promoting 60 emerging and established local designers and suppliers, and becoming an active champion for ‘Australian made’ at a time when many companies are closing factories or moving their manufacturing overseas.

Bits of Australia delivers to 25 countries around the world, with the top three overseas markets being in the UK, USA and Canada. Having access to reliable and competitive support services is therefore a vital part of the running the business.

Launched in April 2016, Bits of Australia began with a selection of products from just 14 suppliers, offered a competitive flat-rate international shipping fee of $15.00 and free delivery within Australia for orders over $30.00. Today free delivery within Australia requires a $100.00 spend and a postage calculator was recently added for all orders, due to the continued lack of flexible, tailored and reliable delivery services available.

“I am constantly blown away by how little infrastructure there is for small businesses and it’s not just the distribution channels. We need a lot more support in areas like small business lending, banking and cutting through red tape. I am forever shopping around for the best deals, it’s a very manual and time consuming process and our suppliers tell us they have similar problems.”

“Our mission is to promote local talent and make Australian made accessible to a wider audience, and we also hope to triple our sales within the next two years. With so many roadblocks, it’s not surprising to hear that many new businesses stall or fail in the early years.”

“We know that small business plays an important role and make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, so we’ll continue to champion small business issues and fight for more practical progress to be made for the industry as a whole,” Smith concluded.

Chloe Potvin
Chloe Potvin is a contributing small business writer for Kochie's Business Builders.