Guide To Working With Influencers To Promote Your Products

Influencer Marketing

Using influencers to promote your products is called influencer marketing. This is a type of collaboration between your business or marketing team, and a social media influencer, in which they help to bring attention to your goods or services.

The original form of influencer marketing was celebrity endorsements, but in today’s digital world, there are now millions of people sharing content through social media. As such, this has lead to a boom in influencers who could offer value to your brand.

So if you’re considering working with an influencer on your next marketing campaign but you’re not sure where to start, this guide is for you.

What is a social media influencer?

Put simply; an influencer is someone who can influence other people. This is most typically done through social media platforms.

The right influencer can help you to engage with your audience, build trust in your brand and drive traffic to your website and other channels.

They do this by creating original, engaging content. But to ensure they’re creating content that your target audience will enjoy and engage with, you need to make sure you choose the right influencer. Someone whose values align with your own.

How to find your ideal influencer

In order to find the right influencer, there are several things you can do.

Start by deciding which channels you want to use. For example, are you looking for someone with a lot of influence on Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.

Then, once you’ve determined this, you can start doing a manual search on your chosen platform.

Searching for hashtags and business accounts using the search functionality is a good place to start.

You could also put a poll or question out to your followers to ask them what types of media they prefer and if there are any influencers in the industry they particularly admire. This can give you some useful insights to work with.

There are also lots of tools out there that can help to connect you to influencers, tools like Famebit.

Once you’ve started to compile a list, put this into a database, noting down as much information as possible. This should include:

  • The number of followers they have
  • How much engagement their average post gets
  • If they’ve worked with other brands – if so, who are they?
  • Their niche
  • Their other social media channels
  • Any strengths and weaknesses
  • Any contact information

Then you can begin to weigh up your favourites until you determine which influencers you want to reach out to.

Plan your influencer campaign

Before you start reaching out, there is one final thing you should do. You need to at least get a campaign plan in place so that you can give the influencer an idea of the kind of things you want/expect.

This means you need to create a unique message and some ideas for themes.

You also need to think about the amount of content you’d like – for example, two mentions on their Instagram story and a dedicated post.

At this point, you also need to put together a statement about your company values and the aim of your campaign. You can then explain why you think they’d be a good fit for your brand.

Start reaching out

Once you’ve done the above, you can start reaching out to these influencers or to their agents/representatives if they have them.

If you’re going direct to the influencer, it’s usually best to start with a friendly message and only send over the full details if they express an interest.

But whatever you do, you can’t expect everyone to say yes, and you might not always get the one you want. As such, you need to stay positive and keep reaching out to the top people on your list.

Negotiating this type of relationship might take time, but it’s worth it in the end.

Be willing to be flexible and to give up some creative control

Once you’ve got your influencer on board, the work can begin. However, you need to remember that these people are experts at what they do, therefore, they might have some ideas of their own to contribute.

But more than this, they may know better than you what their followers like. So it’s best to be flexible and willing to let them take some creative control over the content.

Give them a rough idea of what it is you want and, of course, check all content before it goes out. But just be mindful that they will need some flexibility.

If you need to send them some of your products, you may need a courier service, this is where Irish Parcels can come in! We ship locally and to over 200 countries worldwide.

Always follow the rules

Before you set out on an influencer marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules. Particularly because these have changed quite recently.

Nowadays, influencers must identify when they are running sponsored posts, usually with the hashtag #Ad or #Sponsored. Therefore, you need to make sure that your chosen influencer is clued up and will follow all these regulations.

What’s more, if the influencer is making video content, particularly a review of your products, they must let their followers know that this is a sponsored post both in writing and verbally during the video content.

Now, there might be other guidelines to follow, which is why it is best to do your research and make sure you understand your role as part of the partnership between your company and the influencer.

This will ensure you don’t get flagged or penalised once your content has gone out.

Be sure to measure your results

Finally, as with any marketing campaign you run, you want to see what results you achieve, the return on investment (ROI) and any other insights that can help you to run better campaigns in the future.

As such, you need to make sure you’re using tracking systems and tools to look at how many views, likes, comments, etc., your post gets. You can also use tracked links and tools like Google Analytics on your web pages. This can help you to see how much traffic you generated as a result of your influencer campaign.

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5 Postage & Packaging Tips For New Startups

Package Being Delivered

There was a time when we rarely thought about the packaging our goods came in because to be honest, it didn’t really make much difference to us.

But nowadays, with the retail industry booming, particularly as a result of the surge in e-commerce – things have changed.

In a competitive market, brands have gone above and beyond to create beautiful packaging and to use this as a marketing tool. In turn, consumers have come to want (and expect) their goods to be properly and attractively packaged.

Not only this but there are now other important considerations to think about – for example, sustainability and the environment.

So as a new business owner, getting your postage and packing right can feel like a minefield, which isn’t something you really want to be stressed about when trying to get your new business off the ground.

So if you’ve recently started a business that involves sending your goods out to customers, this article is for you.

Below, we’re going to share with you some of our top tips for perfecting your packing and shipping strategy, so you can boost your brand and keep your customers coming back for more.

1. Think about your packaging needs

In the early stages of your business, it can be tempting to buy lots of different packaging to try out. However, before you go out and buy loads of products you don’t end up needing, stop for a moment and really think about your packaging needs.

For example, in order to choose the most efficient packaging, whether that’s a bag, box, bubble wrap, etc. you need to ask yourself:

  • What am I posting?
  • Is it expensive, fragile, large or heavy?
  • Will it require extra padding to keep it safe?
  • How am I posting my goods?
  • What am I charging for postage costs?
  • Am I using a courier service or going to the post office?
  • Do you want custom packaging made up or will you use generic packaging?
  • Are you an eco-conscious brand?

Planning your packaging carefully in this way gives you time to shop around, find the perfect packaging options and ensure that your goods arrive safe and sounds – all without breaking your budget.

And we’re going to look at budgeting and cutting costs in more detail in the next section.

2. Manage your costs effectively

Sticking to a budget and cutting costs wherever you can is crucial when you’re starting up a business. And your postage and packaging is no exception.

As this can range from the very basic, cheaper options all the way up to some pretty expensive custom bags and boxes, it helps to set yourself a budget.

If you want to choose more expensive packaging to impress your customers, this may mean you need to charge them more for postage, so it’s worth keeping this in mind and deciding if this is something you want to do.

Either way, you need to make sure that your packaging is effective, protective and that it doesn’t end up costing you money on your goods.

3. Use your packaging as a marketing tool

Now for some of the more fun stuff.

Your packaging can be a great marketing opportunity. Think about it; your packages are out there with your name and branding on. This can be a relatively low-cost advertising technique, provided you haven’t spent a fortune having the packaging branded.

Not only this, but in today’s digital world, people love to share pictures and reviews of their latest purchases online.

In fact, you may be familiar with the ‘unboxing’ phenomenon that has burst onto the scene in recent years.

This is where people video themselves opening their parcels and share this with their followers online. If they are raving about your beautifully packaged goods to their hundreds or even thousands of followers, that opens you up to a much wider audience.

So this can be a chance to have some real fun and spend some time getting your packaging perfect.

4. Know your audience

The type of packaging best suited to your goods will vary depending on what you sell. It will also vary depending on your audience, so you need to take them into consideration.

For example, are you selling an eco-friendly or all-natural product? If so, it won’t send a great message to put this in a single-use plastic bag and it’s likely that your target audience won’t appreciate that either.

Similarly, if you sell a sleek or luxurious product like makeup or beauty products, your audience might be more enticed by bold, beautiful boxes that look opulent and mirror the product inside.

So it’s not just important to think about what you want your packaging to look like, but also what your target audience will expect from your brand.

5. Go above and beyond

And finally, it’s not just about what the actual packaging looks like. If you want to use more basic bags and boxes to keep costs down, that’s OK! You can add a personal touch in other ways.

Providing you’re not sending out hundreds of parcels a day, why not wrap your goods nicely in tissues paper, add small freebies or even a handwritten note?

These small, personal touches can make a huge difference to the consumer and can help to build your reputation and keep them shopping with you in the future.

Is it time you re-think your packaging?

So as you can see, packaging is more than just a way of transporting your goods. In today’s competitive environment, consumers have come to expect certain standards from brands and many will even base their shopping choices on aspects such as packaging.

Personalised or branded packaging is great if you’ve got the budget. You should also consider those additional little touches and shouting about sustainable or eco-friendly packaging if you use it.

Keeping these tips in mind, you can perfect your postage and packaging strategy and create a loyal customer base that can’t wait to see your parcels coming through their letterbox.

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Guide To Posting Products To Your Customers

Online shopping

In the era of Amazon Prime, consumers have become accustomed to receiving their goods in just a few short days. With some even requesting next day delivery.

Many also expect their orders to come perfectly packaged as the ‘unboxing’ and branding has also become a huge part of the overall consumer experience.

Not to mention customers are looking for more transparency when it comes to the supply chain. People are increasingly concerned with issues like cost and sustainability.

With all this to take in, how your business fulfils, ships and returns its products must be carefully considered.

To help ensure you get the shipping process right, we’ve put together this guide. Below, we’re going to cover the following:

  • How to create the perfect shipping strategy
  • How to package your items
  • How to ship your items
  • How to find couriers
  • How much does shipping cost?

So, read on to find out more about how you can get your new retail business off to the best possible start.

How to create the perfect shipping strategy

In order to create the perfect shipping strategy, you need to understand your larger goals. There are several goals that most e-commerce businesses aim to achieve through their shipping, and this includes:

  • Increasing conversion rates
  • Increasing the average order value
  • Expanding your target audience
  • Decreasing the costs for both you and your customers
  • Improving operational efficiency
  • Offering the best possible consumer experience

As we move through the next few chapters of this guide, we’ll discuss how you can take all of these aspects into consideration to create the most efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly shipping strategy. So, use this as a checklist to ensure you’re achieving your overall business goals and getting the most from your shipping.

How to package your items

packaging

How you package your products is important for a number of reasons.

Firstly, and most obviously, you need to make sure that the goods are wrapped and protected to ensure they reach the customer in perfect condition. This can be especially true when shipping more fragile items.

Secondly, did you know that 40% of customers regularly post interesting packaging or unboxing videos on social media? This can be a great way to spread awareness of your brand and win you new customers!

As such, there are three things you must take into account:

  • The cost of your packaging – you don’t want this to get too expensive
  • The type of packaging
  • Whether you want to include your branding and personal touches

Your packaging costs will vary depending on what you use, so before you set your shipping costs you need to consider your budget and whether you want to use this as a branding opportunity. But as a general rule, bulk buying your packaging such as boxes, bags, tape and bubble wrap will help you to save money.

What’s more, in today’s climate people tend to appreciate brands that offer more sustainable options which is why so many are reducing plastic waste and using recycled packaging. This might be slightly more costly but can be a big win for your brand.

You can also have boxes and bags made up with your branding and logo on them. Again, bulk buying these will be cheaper though this is more expensive than buying generic packaging.

But ultimately, you need to choose the most cost-effective and protective way to package your goods so these will not be damaged during the shipping process.

How to ship your items

Many big retailers will offer a handful of delivery options, sometimes as many as four or five. Though this may not be possible for smaller businesses and those just starting out.

That said, you should still offer some options to your customers as today’s consumers like variety. You can offer a relatively cheap standard delivery that takes around three days and then you could perhaps offer a courier service for faster delivery. Though this would obviously be more expensive.

What’s more, services like Collect+ allow you to deliver orders to convenient locations for your customers to collect themselves. But offering this type of delivery service will very much depend on your budget.

You must also consider what it is that you’re selling. If your products are fragile, heavy or large, specialist couriers might be the better options rather than relying on standard delivery.

The best thing to do is to take a look at your budget and begin researching the different couriers and postal service out there and in your local area. This will give you a better idea of costs.

You might also wish to offer free delivery on larger shops as this means you’ll cover your costs and encourage customers to buy more.

How to find couriers

If you want to send your orders via a courier service, you need to make sure you choose the right one. That’s where our courier comparison service can help!

To help you choose the more beneficial service for your business and customers, you should:

  • Choose the most cost-effective courier (taking service into consideration, don’t just settle for a rubbish company because they’re cheap)
  • Make sure you’ve read reviews so you can choose a courier with a great reputation
  • Consider local couriers before choosing big-name companies as these can be more personal and effective
  • Choose a courier that offers a tracking service as customers like to be able to track their parcel

Posting your products to customers

Now you understand your packaging and shipping options, you can begin to put a plan in place for your shipping strategy. Spend some time seriously considering the packaging and delivery options you’d like to offer your customers.

Remember, the shipping, packing and returns policies of your company can make or break your brand so look at this as a good opportunity to build customer loyalty and attract a wider customer base.

Once you’ve put together a list of options and costs (for packaging, post, couriers, etc.) you can perfect your shipping and ensure you and your customers have the best experience.

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Ways To Engage With Users On Your E-Commerce Website

Your online store is more than just a place for you to make sales. If done right, it can be the perfect way to build your brand and create a loyal and engaged customer base.

How can you do this? By using your e-commerce site to engage with your customers in different ways and as often as possible.

With so much information online, we are always switched on to the sea of digital content. It should therefore come as no surprise that people like individual attention – especially when they’re shopping!

They don’t just want to feel like another number passing through your store.

What’s more, with 86% of consumers saying they’d be willing to pay more for goods and services that involve better customer service and support, it’s clear that taking care of your customers is important. This includes the courier service you offer your customers.

So in order to help you boost your brand and make more sales, we’ve put together this guide of five ways you can engage with users on your e-commerce website.

1. Allow for customer feedback – and respond to it

One thing consumers love when they’re considering buying goods or services is being able to look at reviews from their peers. What’s more, they enjoy being able to give their own feedback, be that good bad or ugly!

As such, you need to give them a space to do this on your e-commerce website by including a comments or reviews section.  

However, you also need to make sure you’re responding to these reviews. After all, no one wants to feel like they’re talking and no one is listening.

You should reply to all reviews (or at least as many as possible) but certainly, you should address any negative reviews as quickly as you can.

You should do this to offer them a solution to any trouble they might be having and to stop them from bad-mouthing your company to others. You can also use this feedback to help you improve in the future.

2. Offer a loyalty program

Creating a loyalty program for your customers is a great way to show them you appreciate their loyalty and to give something back.  

This might be a points-based system like many big-name supermarkets use. Alternatively, you could offer exclusive discounts to customers that subscribe to your newsletters or offer money-back vouchers to those who have made a certain amount of purchases.

There are a number of ways you might go about your loyalty scheme, it’s about finding what works for your business and your customers.

But whatever you choose, it pays to show your loyal customers you are grateful. Plus, sending emails or exclusive offers can help to personalise the shopping experience that bit more. We’ll look at this in more detail in the next section.

3. Make the most of e-commerce personalisation strategies

Personalisation strategies can be used for cross-selling but also as we mentioned, to stop your customers from feeling like they’re just another number.  

This could mean sending out tailored emails, addressing them by their name or showing them related or relevant products.

For example, you’ve probably seen that section on Amazon that says ‘customers who bought this, also bought…’. By giving suggestions to related products you could be adding real value to the customer experience and helping them to find other useful goods.  

Which is a win-win for both parties.  

You should also allow customers to manage their own profile settings so they can choose what marketing materials they’d like to receive. This also means the can change their preferences whenever they want to.

4. Provide great customer service and support

As we mentioned in the introduction, the majority of consumers would be willing to spend more on goods or services if they were offered a better customer experience. So you need to make sure your e-commerce site offers the best possible experience and support.

There are several ways to do this. Firstly, make sure that all the important information is easy to find and access. An example of this could be an FAQs page where people can quickly get answers to some of the most common queries without having to call or email.

You might also wish to include a delivery and returns page that explains your policies. Often these are some of the key aspects customers are looking for, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find this information.

It’s also a good idea to add widgets to your social media pages as customers often find it easier to get answers or find what they’re looking for from your social media channels. They can also message directly through these platforms.

Similarly, it’s a nice idea to have a webchat option where possible.  

This can be a proactive and useful approach to customer service. Chat windows can pop up when someone joins your e-commerce store asking ‘is there anything I can help you with?’. This can help lead them to relevant products or to the FAQ page should they have a query.  

They should also easily be able to find the contact details of your team and get a response relatively quickly. Whether this is through a phone call, email or social media message – people don’t like to be kept waiting too long.  

5. Make the most of social media

The last point in this guide we have briefly touched on above but there is so much more you can be doing with social media.  

People like to browse a brand’s social media channels before making a purchase with them. This will allow them to see reviews or comments from other customers, learn about any promotions and also help them to begin building a relationship with the brand. 

They may then choose to follow your e-commerce company on one or more of your social media channels.

As such, you should be posting on updates regularly and making it easy for customers to find your channels through your website (using the widgets we mentioned earlier).

It can also be a nice idea to include pictures from your Instagram or reviews from Facebook on your site so visitors to your webpages can see what you’ve been up to or what others are saying about you.

Simple captions like ‘come over and check us out on Instagram’ can be the perfect way to get them engaging with your brand and to make the customer experience seem more relaxed and personal.

 

Further Reading:

International Parcel Delivery

Couriers Ireland

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Best Plugins To Accept Payments On Your Website

The e-commerce industry is booming right now, with many traditional retailers taking the leap and moving online as well as using their brick-and-mortar stores. But no matter what you sell or what services you offer, every e-commerce business has a common goal – to make money!

This means that while there are a number of important functions your e-commerce site must serve, accepting payments needs to be one of your top priorities.

One of the best solutions for this is to choose the best payment gateway and payment plugin for your website. This is because online payments aren’t just about taking money, they also include other aspects like donations, subscriptions and refunds. As such, you need to choose the plugin that is going to best serve the needs of your business and your customers.

But before you begin feeling stressed or overwhelmed, we’re here to help!

Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the key aspects you’ll want from your payment plugin. We’ll then take a look at some of the best plugins out there right now. So read on for tips and advice that will help you to choose the perfect plugin for your e-commerce site.

What do you want from a plugin?

Before we begin looking at some of the best plugins for accepting payments, we’re going to take a quick look at what you need to be considering. When choosing the ideal plugin, you need to keep in mind:

  • Your payment gateway – In order to enable payment options on your website, you will need a payment gateway. These are not to be confused with plugins! Most sites will use Stripe or PayPal, though other providers are available. But this means when selecting a plugin, you need to make sure that it is compatible with your payment gateway.
  • Refunds and cancellations – Unfortunately, refunds and cancellations come with the territory when running an e-commerce business. As such, you need to put a strong returns policy in place and choose a plugin that can facilitate this.
  • Converting currencies – If your e-commerce store is international, you may need to consider a plugin that converts currencies automatically.
  • Saving card details – Returning customers may opt to save their card details so they can check out quicker when they visit your site. Some plugins will facilitate this while others may not, so consider whether you want to make this an option on your site.
  • Having a policy in place – It’s good practice to create a legally compliant policy page in accordance to GDPR, CCPA, COPPA, APP and others. You can use a privacy policy generator plugin to get your website legally compliant.
  • Security – Lastly, as we’re talking about financial transactions here, you’ll want a safe and secure plugin that offers the best security measures.

The best payment plugins

Keeping all of this in mind, we’re now going to look at five of the best plugins out there right now for accepting payments through your website.

1. Stripe Payments

Let’s start with some of the bigger names. Stripe Payments is an incredible plugin that has lots of powerful features. And you guessed it – the plugin works with the Stripe payment gateway. There is a free and paid-for option depending on what you want from the plugin but some of the key features include:

  • A ‘Buy Now’ button from Stripe that can be easily placed on your site using shortcode
  • The ability to accept donations alongside payments
  • Remembering card details for quick payments and checkout
  • Customers can see the details of their transaction as soon as they’ve finished checking out

They also have a support centre to help anyone using their services with any queries or issues they may be having. So you can be safe in the knowledge any problems will be dealt with.

2. WPPayForm

WPPayForm is a WordPress plugin designed to make taking payments much easier. The plugin has a simple user interface and also comes with clear guidelines and instructions to help users get the most from this service. Stripe integration is available on the free version and if you update to the premium you can also integrate with PayPal.

The plugin is full of useful features including 22 input fields, tabular products and instant reporting. There is also a dedicated, information-rich landing page on the parent website for any queries or support you might need.

3. Contact Form 7 – PayPal and Stripe add-ons

Contact Form 7 is a WordPress plugin designed to make simple and effective contact forms for your website. The product itself is open-source but there are lots of plugins you can use in conjunction with this including the PayPal and Stripe add-ons. The only thing to bear in mind is that to use these payment plugins you’ll already have needed to install Contact Form 7 on your website. Some of the key features of these plugins include:

  • Sending emails and SMS for payment confirmation
  • Connecting multiple items through your CF7 forms
  • Blocks spams and blank entries

If you want to know more about these add-ons, you can visit their website for a demo video and a 30-day money-back guarantee is available if you want to give it a try.

4. WP Fluent Forms

WP Fluent Forms allows you to build powerful WordPress forms that can actually boost your business. With a wealth of features, it helps to create a better user experience. This tool allows you to accept payment through Stripe and PayPal. It also makes it easy to take payments online, some of the other top benefits of this plugin include:

  • Allowing you to create order forms or event registration forms
  • Accepting donations alongside payments
  • Taking payments/donations for e-books

There is a basic and a pro version but if you’re willing to invest a little more, the pro version can be the perfect payment solution for your business.

5. WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart

As you can probably work out, WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart allows users to shop and then pay using PayPal. It makes the user experience much easier and makes managing their cart more efficient. This is done through:

  • ‘Add to Cart’ buttons – these can be put on every post, page or product
  • Ability to remove items from cart or change quantities
  • Easily able to update shopping cart and check out through PayPal

This is a free plugin and there are video tutorials available to show you how you can make the most of this tool and what great things you can add to your website through the plugin.

Further reading:

Couriers Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

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How to Cut Costs on E-commerce Shipping

Shipping charges can often be a large expense for any business, but getting it right is crucial, for you and your customers. In this article, we cover how to cut costs on e-commerce shipping.

Free or discounted delivery options

With so many big brands out there offering free delivery, it can feel like you are up against the big guys, but even though you are a small business you can still offer this service to your customers.

If you want to offer your customers free shipping, there are ways you can do this. One of the most common ways you can make free shipping work is to build the shipping price into your overall product price. If this would eat into your profit, you could even just add in a small percentage of the delivery cost, so you can still offer a lower cost delivery than you have before. This is a fine balance, as you have to ensure that you are still keeping your prices competitive, but this is a good alternative to allow your customers to have free or low-cost shipping. To do this effectively you have to know your profit margins as if you have products that are popular and have a high-profit margin, this will allow you to cover the cost of the shipping, without having to add this into the overall cost of the item.

Top-Tip: Offer Free Shipping when customers reach a certain spend, set this just over your AOV (average order value). Customers would rather spend a bit more on your products than on shipping, the extra profit from extra items helps off-set the free shipping.

Save money on packaging

Packaging is one of the most popular ways that e-commerce companies can save money on shipping. Below we have outlined five effective ways that you can cut costs.

  1. Ditch the boxes
    Often when shipping an item in a box, there will be plenty of leftover space that you will be paying for. Unless your item fits in the box perfectly, look into using padded or bubble-wrapped envelopes.
  2. Buy in bulk
    Buy more to save more! If you buy your packaging in bulk, you may receive a discount from your supplier. Shop around and choose the best offer you can find, just remember to ensure you have the room in your warehouse to store them.
  3. If the courier offers packaging – use it!
    Shipping companies have set dimensions on what size parcels you can send. If your boxes do not fit these requirements then you can incur fees. Some courier companies will provide their own packaging, if they do so, use it to avoid any unnecessary charges!
  4. Look into eco-friendly options
    Although eco-friendly packaging is usually more expensive to buy, it is usually more lightweight than traditional materials. This could mean it may end up being cheaper and more cost-effective. Not only will you save money, but you will also be doing your bit to help the environment.
  5. Reuse old packaging
    If you really want to save money and emphasize recycling, you could reuse old packaging that you receive from returns or other orders. Instead of sending all these packages to the landfill, you can reuse them, help the environment, and save money all at the same time! You can use this type of packaging for shipping to suppliers and other businesses, rather than customers.

Reduce your product returns

If you reduce your rate of product returns you will not only save money on shipping but also overall on your business.

There are many factors that eat into profit when you receive a customer return, we have outlined a few below

  • If you offer free shipping.
  • The extra costs for processing returns.
  • The cost of packaging, as you may not be able to reuse this.
  • The loss of product cost, as you may not be able to resell this item.
  • Issues of customer fraud.

Each of these points can add up and impact your overall profit, so it’s important to ensure that you work towards a low return rate. Below we have outlined a few ways to help keep your product returns low.

  • Product descriptions need to be clear and accurate, listing all features and dimensions.
  • List what the purchase includes and does not include, this is important to clarify before purchase.
  • Ensure you have accurate product images that display the item correctly and do not show anything that is not included in the purchase that would disappoint customers.
  • Offer a longer returns time frame, studies show that the longer the return rate, the more likely the customer is to keep the product.

Use a printing software

It might seem like a no-brainer, but even the smallest eCommerce business should try and utilize printing software. Not only will this save you valuable time, but it will help streamline your overall shipping process. Investing in printing software will also make things easier for overall business growth. By allowing software to take care of this menial task, you and your staff can instead focus on something which has higher priority.

Use a Courier Comparison Website

Courier comparison services offer small businesses a fast and efficient way to contrast and compare the best prices for your shipment. Here at Irish Parcels, we work with the most experienced courier companies to ensure your items are treated with the utmost of care. We can offer you discounted prices, compared to going direct, offering you and your business savings on every shipment! We offer a great Courier Service in Ireland.

 

Irish Parcels is used by hundreds of local small businesses in Ireland and is committed to keeping costs as low as possible. To learn more about what we offer and get a quick quote check out Irish Parcels here.

You might also like:

5 Top Tips For Sending Large Parcels Overseas

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How To Package A Parcel For Overseas

Here at Irish Parcels, we are experts at shipping parcels internationally, specialising in delivering packages to over 200+ countries around the world. We want your item to arrive safely and promptly. So, to help you get your parcels ready for sending and answer any questions you may have, we thought we’d put together this guide on how to package a parcel for overseas shipping.

What packaging can I use?

When sending your items it is important to use sturdy double-walled cardboard boxes. Do not use flimsy cardboard boxes or brittle plastic boxes, as often these can break and cause damage to the items during transit. Irish Parcels does not accept items in suitcases or bags. Due to Covid-19 most couriers are not physically inspecting all parcels, so it is your responsibility to ensure you use the correct packaging and have sealed your box for collection. Please do not sellotape or strap boxes together.

How to package a parcel safely

To ensure your items arrive safely, there are a few things you need to do!

  • Individually wrap items inside your parcel
    Use bubble wrap to protect fragile items before placing them in your parcel. Wrap each item individually and secure it with tape.
  • Use protective material to fill up the parcel
    If there is extra space in your box, then fill this up with polystyrene, foam, newspaper, or shredded cardboard, to add extra padding which can prevent damage during transit.
  • Secure your box with strong tape
    After you have packaged your box, securely seal the seam with strong tape, focusing on the box seams and corners.

Are there any items I cannot send?

Yes!

When sending an international parcel, there are items that you cannot ship, these are called prohibited items. If your shipment includes these products your order may be subject to being cancelled and you may not receive a refund. If the item is collected it will not be covered by compensation cover.

Prohibited items include; Aerosols, Air Bag, Alcoholic Beverages, Ammunition, Animals Of Any Form (Alive Or Dead), Batteries (All), Biological Samples, Car Batteries, Car Bonnet, Car Bumper, Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cheques, Christmas Crackers, Compressed Gas, Counterfeit Currency, Dangerous Goods, Drugs (Including Prescription), Filth, Fire Extinguisher, Fish (Live Or Dead), Flammable items, Gun, Hazardous Goods, Human Remains, Infectious Substances, Juice, Liquid, Lottery Tickets, Meat, Money/Cash/Currency, Nail Polish, Oil, Paint, Passport, Perfume / Aftershave (All), Perishable Goods (All), Plant, Pornography, Printer Toner (International Parcels Only), Replica Weapons, Settee, Sinks, Slush Syrup, Sofa, Stamps (Unless Franked), Tobacco, Toilets, Unknown, Water, Weapons, Windscreen.

Do I need labels?

Yes! Labels are incredibly important, do not give your package over to your courier without attaching your labels. All you need to do to access your labels is go to the My Orders section of IrishParcels.ie. Depending on what service you are using, your label design will vary, some contain barcodes and others do not, so do not be alarmed if your labels are different from last time.

You will receive your label after booking, an email will let you know when your labels are ready and available to print. All you need to do is print off the labels provided and stick it on your parcel using tape. If you are provided with more than one label, attach one to your item and give the other label to the courier. Ensure that when you attach your labels that no barcodes or addresses or covered or obscured.

What happens if you cannot print your labels?

If you are having issues printing your labels, please contact our customer services team. Do not give your parcel to the courier driver without having labels attached. You may incur an admin fee or your parcel could be returned if you do not attach labels.

Will I need to fill out customs forms?

Only if sending an item outside the EU! All parcels that are travelling outside of the EU will need to have customs forms, which will be supplied to you by Irish Parcels. You can access them in the My Orders section.  Each country will have its own customs regulations, so it is your responsibility to investigate this prior to sending your parcel.

International parcels can be liable to local duties and taxes, the person shipping the item is responsible for these payments. Irish Parcels is not liable for the payment of any local Customs Duties and Taxes. This lies with the responsibility of the sender/receiver. Failure to pay for customs can result in your item being confiscated or abandoned by local customs officials.

To attach your custom forms, insert 3 copies into a clear document enclosed wallet. If you do not have this, please hand the custom forms directly to the driver.

Where is my parcel collected from?

Irish Parcels offers a door to door delivery service, so your parcel will be collected from the address you have provided. Drivers collect your items between 9.00 and 18.00, however, we are unable to give a specific time of collection. For business addresses, drivers will usually collect during working hours.

Online tracking

When you use our service to send your package overseas, you will be provided with online tracking, so you can track where your package is and most importantly when it will arrive at its destination. You will be able to check your package’s journey and can contact our customer service team directly if any issues arise. You’ll also receive a notification when your parcel is out for delivery, so you are also kept informed of your item’s journey. Irish Parcels offers full online tracking for all shipments if you have any questions about your item our dedicated customer service team is here to help.

So that’s our expert advice on how to package a parcel for overseas shipping. If you still have any questions after reading, please get in touch with us and we’ll always be very happy to help!

More blog posts:

Top 10 Strangest Customs Regulations From Around The World

How To Ensure Your Parcel Arrives Safely – 8 Expert Tips

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Shipping A Parcel To America

Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Our International Courier Prices

Ireland To UK Courier

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Getting A Foot In The Marketing Door

The world of marketing can seem like an impenetrable industry that requires extensive experience and a plethora of degrees. In many cases, sadly, this is the case, however, the industry is definitely not impenetrable. 

The reason I know this is that in the last few years I have managed to get a foot in the marketing industry with a degree in History, not marketing or business. On the contrary, sometimes having a different degree can help, as it provides a variety of different skills. History certainly provided me with extensive experience in writing, which is what I now do as a Freelance Writer for Irish Parcels, as well as My Baggage and NI Parcels

If you are looking to get a foot in the marketing industry and are unsure where to start hopefully this article can help!

Use Free Online Courses

Without experiences or formal education in marketing, I was always going to be at a slight disadvantage. However, I really have a passion for marketing and needed a way into the industry.

Thankfully, we have the internet. There are so many free online resources that you could never work your way through them all. Firstly, FutureLearn is a tool I have used often. It is a free service in which Universities provide online courses, usually presented by a relevant lecturer. I found several marketing courses there that expanded my marketing knowledge and gave me a grounding. Likewise, OpenLearn is a similar and excellent tool. Both can provide tangible qualifications if you pay a fee, which can provide substance to your CV. If not it can still be used as evidence of your interest.

It’s important to work on honing your skills in different areas like social media advertising or creative writing. Youtube is packed with presentations, podcasts and explanations of marketing terms and processes. Again it is totally free and can be accessed at any time. Giving yourself a basic knowledge base is a great place to start meaning discussions with those in the industry are easier to follow and it will express you are really engaged. Even just getting to grips with the jargon is a massive step forward.

You can’t know everything but it is a great place to start off. 

Be Bold and Ask

The next thing I did was simply to ask and seek advice. Be bold and speak to your managers or the marketing team. When I joined the My Baggage Group I worked entirely in customer service. Then around six months in I expressed my interest and passion for marketing. I explained that it is where I wanted to be and that I would gain massively from just shadowing the marketing team. 

The director and I discussed my interest and my desire to get into the world of copywriting, research and blog writing.

It was a perfect place to start. I worked away part-time for several weeks changing the copy of different web pages to increase traffic. This experience showed that I was willing to put in the work and what I was able to do. I now had my foot in the door. 

As time progressed and I demonstrated my work, I was then placed on creating blog posts for the different companies. This is exactly where I want to be and I was given the chance to write articles that really interest me.

Of course, it helps greatly that my director was open to helping me expand my marketing repertoire, but this definitely is where many businesses are going. A new mentality in workplaces is putting more emphasis on attitude than just aptitude.

So, the lesson from my experience is to be bold. Express your interest, show the work you can do and the studying you have done. Even if you can just spend some time discussing ideas with the relevant team it can be invaluable. There is absolutely nothing to be lost from enquiring. If anything it will at least show your willingness to learn and progress.

 

Go To Events and Get Networking

Marketing events are one of the most essential resources for someone looking to get a foot in the marketing industry. Firstly, they provide a plethora of fascinating talks and workshops that help explain new ideas and systems. Keeping up to date with the changes and progressions of the marketing world is essential.

Events can be one single lecture or a full conference, either way, they are well worth attending. Most events will not expect there to be any prior knowledge as long as you are willing to cover the cost. However, again back to the previous point, some businesses may cover this cost as part of a training initiative. It never hurts to ask. 

The most vital part of the events though is the connections you make. Speak to people, engage in discussion groups and even join in the many social events. Take email addresses, ask questions and make connections. 

Marketing events are brilliant for getting your foot in the door as well as being a fun excursion in general. I went to one when I first started writing and cannot express enough the benefit of them.

Use Your Own Connections

Finally, stick to what you know. That may sound simple but it isn’t always. 

What I mean by this is to use the connections and interests that you already possess. Volunteer your work or ask around for opportunities with these connections.

One of the proudest pieces of work I have ever done is an article for The British Exploring Society and was my first piece to ever be published. BES is close to my heart and a charity I have worked with before. I raised some money for them and had chatted previously about my love for writing. They asked me to write an article for them to encourage others to donate.

I never expected this opportunity and it simply arose from my connections with a charity and work I was doing anyway. This experience was something I placed on my CV but the feeling was incredible.

So, have a think about what interests and connections you already possess and just go for it. Email them, ask if you can write or discuss ideas with them and see where it goes. Again, (I know I harp on) be bold and see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

These are just a few ways that worked for me in getting a foot in the marketing world. Each person’s experiences are different but they certainly can work. I would say be bold, never stop asking for opportunities and learn all you can!

Do you need to ship your items locally or internationally? We offer a door to door service, that is fully tracked and up to 70% discounted from going direct! We are a great partner to new and existing business. Why not get yourself a quote?

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Irish Parcels Christmas 2020 Send By Dates

Do you need to send a parcel this Christmas?

Irish Parcels offers a convenient and affordable parcel delivery service across Ireland, to Northern Ireland, mainland UK and to over 200 countries worldwide.

In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about sending a package with Irish Parcels this holiday season, including our recommended send by dates and office Christmas closure dates.

Due to Covid, this Christmas period is set to be the busiest for all couriers around the world, we recommend booking and sending as early as possible.


Irish Parcels Christmas Send By Dates

If you want your parcel to arrive in time for the festive season, take a look below at our recommended send by dates. Please be aware that these are the latest dates we recommend, however, we cannot guarantee your item will arrive in time for Christmas. Please note that all Irish Parcels services are estimated and can be subject to delays due to unforeseen circumstances.

Please be aware that due to the high volumes of shipment during the festive period, please allow 1 to 2 extra days than normal for delivery and also consider unexpected weather conditions. Deliveries will be available until 24th December.

TNT Services

  • UK Express – 18th December
  • UK Economy –  16th December
  • Europe Economy – 14th December
  • Europe Express – 18th December
  • Worldwide Economy – 11th December
  • Worldwide Express – 16th December

DPD Services

  • DPD Next Day – 17th December
  • DPD 48 – 16th December
  • Europe – 11th December

Find out more from the courier’s website: TNT, DPD.


Irish Parcels Christmas 2020 Closure Dates

We’ve outlined our Christmas closure dates below, you can also see which days during the festive period that collections and deliveries are available.

Date Open/Closed? Collection/Delivery?
23/12/2020 Open Collections and Deliveries
24/12/2020 Closed (Live Chat and Email Available) Delivery only
25/12/2020 Closed No collections or deliveries
26/12/2020 Closed No collections or deliveries
27/12/2020 Closed No collections or deliveries
28/12/2020 Open No collections or deliveries
29/12/2020 Open Collections and deliveries
30/12/2020 Open Collections and deliveries
31/12/2020 Closed No collection or deliveries
01/01/2021 Closed No collection or deliveries
02/01/2021 Closed No collection or deliveries
03/01/2021 Closed No collection or deliveries
04/01/2021 Open Normal service resumes (No services in Scotland)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our online booking system is available 24/7  so you are able to place a booking on our website on ANY of the dates listed above.

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Irish Parcels Contact Information

If you need to contact us during the dates mentioned above when our office is open we are available from 9 am – 6 pm and you can contact us directly here. However, if you need to get in touch with us regarding your shipment and our offices are closed you can contact the couriers directly. Find out their contact information below:

TNT: Please call 0818 400 600 and have your tracking number to hand. This can be found by logging into ‘My Orders’ in your Irish Parcels account.

DPD: Click here to find the number for your local depot. Have your “CR101” reference number ready. This can be found by logging into ‘My Orders’ on your Irish Parcels account and clicking ‘Track’.


How To Book With Irish Parcels This Christmas

Whether you need effective shipping for your business or want to send a Christmas present to a loved one down under – anyone can send a package this Christmas with NI Parcels.

Booking is quick and easy, all you need to do is start off by getting a quick quote from our website. We compare quotes from a variety of leading courier companies to ensure you get the fastest delivery with the lowest price for your parcel. All you have to do is select the shipping option that best suits you.

We offer a convenient door to door shipping service, meaning we’ll collect your parcel from the address given and ship it directly to the forwarding address. We also provide you with an online parcel tracking tool so you can monitor your shipment every step of the way. If you happen to have any questions or concerns along the way our customer support team will be more than happy to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us via phone, email or live chat if you need to.

Did you know that booking with Irish Parcels is up to 80% cheaper than booking with a courier directly? Get a quick quote now and see how much we can save you!

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New to Irish Parcels? Learn more about us here!

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Ireland’s Top 6 Places To Visit

Thinking about doing a tour around Ireland? These 6 places will guarantee you an unforgettable and eye-catching adventure through the vast and rich nature surrounding the Emerald Isle.

1. Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher (Source: Pixabay)

Nearly 1 million people visit this a year making it Ireland’s most visited attraction. The cliffs are one of the most spectacular coastal areas in Europe and stretch 8 km along the western coast of County Clare and rise to over 700 feet.

The stunning sights frequently feature as backdrops to major films such as Harry Potter. This place is made for photographer lovers and nature addicts.

2. Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway (Source: Pixabay)

The Giant’s Causeway was built by an Irish giant so that he could reach his Scottish rival, if you believe the legends. In terms of places to walk through it is one the best.

This coastal area in Northern Ireland is full of these unique basalt columns. The explanation of this puzzle-like shape is related to a volcanic eruption around 60 million years ago.

3. The Aran Islands

The Aran Islands (Source: Unsplash)

If you want to get in a time machine and go back to Ireland in the 1800s; take a ferry ride from the mainland and find the small and rocky islets known as the Aran Islands. The three islands are inhabited only by 1,200 residents.

Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer are well known for their marvellous preservation of a rural existence mostly unchanged. The residents of the islands are very charming and friendly.

4. Titanic Belfast 

Titanic Belfast (Source: Pixabay)

The Titanic was poorly piloted, but it was certainly well built in Northern Ireland. The museum, opened in 2012, is located on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard; where the ship was built.

In this Titanic exhibition you learn how the ship was constructed, the legacy of the tragic disaster and the myths and legends surrounding it. The museum is intended to serve a similar transformational function to that of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, as a focus for the regeneration of the city.

5. Trinity College

Trinity College Library (Source: Pixabay)

Trinity College was the first Irish university, founded in 1592 – and it is one of the ancient treasures in Ireland.

The college is known for its priceless treasures including the Book of Kells and the mind-boggling Long Room, which was the inspiration for the library in the first Harry Potter movie.

6. Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry drive (Source: Pixabay)

The Ring of Kerry drive contains a great number of ancient monuments, romantic castles, spectacular gardens and unique colourful towns and villages. For a lot of tourists, this reflects the spirit of Ireland itself.

En-route there are a lot of different points where you can take photos of the Atlantic Ocean views, the stunning islands or the wild sweeping mountains.

From breathtaking hills, places of legends, ancient buildings, to popular Harry Potter locations, there’s a lot to explore. If you are hungry for adventure and history, then do plan an excursion to the above-mentioned places to visit in the island of Ireland!

These are our favourites. What are yours? Tell us on Twitter!

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