As a small business owner, your product delivery offering is an important part of gaining sales, especially from repeat customers. With the growing number of online sales from Australia and overseas, your potential client base has grown but so have the number of competitors you need to match.

Here are some hints to make sure your freight transport company is going to support your business.

Prompt delivery

You need to make sure your items arrive promptly. Buyers expect that they won't be waiting longer than a few days for any items they buy online, so you need to make sure that the time from order (which includes your packing time, and time for the freight company to pick up) to delivery is within a week. If the company has advised that they can't make that time frame for customers in certain regions -- either non metro customers or certain states -- then explicitly state this is on your site before the customer confirms their order. It is better to be honest and exceed expectations than optimistic and disappoint your customers.

A prompt delivery schedule is often a byproduct of freight companies with frequent transport routes and high volumes that ensure the transports are fully utilised. This kind of operation keeps prices down as well.

Competitive pricing

Having competitive delivery pricing is a vital part of your small business. You may find it hard to compete with the low delivery prices that the very large global retailers offer, so you may need to absorb some of the true costs of the delivery into your product's costs. For many retailers, offering large order discounts is also a technique to ensure customer loyalty. 

Ideally it is also good to offer customers a higher priced 'express' shipping option in case they are very eager to get your items, so it's good to review the details and pricing options in your freight transport contract. 

Wide delivery range

While the Australian population is concentrated around the metro areas, rural customers tend to be passionate supporters of online shopping due to lack of local options. Be sure to work out if there are any postcodes where your freight company will not deliver at all, and integrate these 'delivery black spots' into your website so that you don't accept orders you can't deliver.

It may make sense to use one freight service for the majority of your deliveries in the big metro centres and another for your harder to reach customers.