One of the main reasons for starting my business was to try and provide an online store that offered something a bit different to the traditional gift hampers and bunches of flowers BUT for less and in the theme of YUM. I wanted somewhere that was easy to navigate, easy to read, easy to order from and easy on the wallet. I wanted to have my prices cheap, well affordable, and to include everything - the gift, the gift tag, the packaging and the delivery. So when people came onto my site they could see WHAT the gift was, HOW much the gift was and WHEN it would be delivered. The hardest part is the DELIVERY. This is by far the hardest thing to control. Delivery is always (well almost always as I do deliver some myself when it is local) done by a third party, a business that is NOT part of Rainbow Designs. I basically hire them to deliver MY gifts, sometimes easier said than done! I'm currently using Toll Express and have been for about a year now and they have been much easier to regulate the delivery times with. Basically they deliver within 1-2 business days of the parcel being sent. The majority are next business day - great news for me and my customers! Of course there are the inevitable delays which generally come from incorrect/insufficient address details or sometimes the courier is just swamped and has had to hold back some items until the following day BUT in general I can rely on Toll to deliver efficiently.
Now having this type of delivery means the delivery charge I pay to Toll is, in the whole scheme of my gifts and business, quite expensive BUT I do think the reliability and speed far outways the cost. The prices I charge for my gifts include everything and this means the gift box/bag, contents, gift tag, delivery and customer service. It's a tough balancing act - offering affordable quality gifts with fast delivery and making some sort of profit.
I think I am managing to still have great priced gifts and with the use of Toll much better control of delivery times and also great quality lollies and chocolates and even fancier gift boxes! Something that doesn't help is when the BIG supermarkets sell their confectionery and gift items so cheap - I can't compete with them on pricing, never will be able to, their buying power is MASSIVE compared to mine! What I can compete with is quality and customer service - I think I can beat them quite easily most of the time!
Not everything should come down to price but it does form a pretty significant part of any business and also customers, as we all have to be mindful of where, when and how much we spend - money doesn't grow on trees!
$22 - no more to pay! Under $30 - we can do that!
Until next time,
eat some jellybeans!