At Parcel2Go, customers mean everything to us and we love your feedback. So in October, we sat down with Emma, the Partner Support Manager at Not On the High Street and NOTHS seller and business owner, Mike.
We asked Mike some questions about his experience with Smart Send and how it’s helped him ship his handmade bee hotels, and Mike offers business owners some really helpful advice about Smart Send and selling across different websites.
Tell us about your business
I started making bird boxes in my shed just as a hobby, selling to family and friends in 2010. I then went onto selling on Etsy to begin with and now I sell on NOTHS as well as lots of other places online.
I now have multiple staff in multiple locations and it’s my full time job.
Is it hard selling across several websites?
Keeping up with it all is fairly tricky.
I tend not to run out of stock because I can just make more, so that’s not a problem for me. It’s just if I have a new colourway or new product, it has to be photographed and updated on every website which can be time consuming.
It’s also a lot to keep prices up to date across every platform because it is a pain to edit across websites.
Do you have any advice for people looking to sell on different websites?
Get someone to do it for you! I can upload but there are people who are far better at it and can do it quicker.
So, how long have you been using Parcel2Go?
About 5-6 years.
I have changed over the years and generally my decisions on shipping are cost based, but I use Parcel2Go because it’s so convenient and the prices are usually the cheapest. And if there’s ever a time where prices aren’t the cheapest, the convenience of Parcel2Go is worth that extra little bit for the amount of time saved.
How easy was it to integrate NOTHS with Smart Send?
Generally very easy! With Smart Send, everything is laid out very clearly, the services are there and date options are clear to see.
I usually use Evri Drop Shop for anything between 1-5kg because I have found that for me they have a lower loss rate than Royal Mail.
What do you think is missing from Smart Send?
I sell the same product on many different sites but I call them different things - bee hotel, insect house, etc. Smart Send doesn't know that the product I’m calling by different names is the same thing, but it does group everything I sell on NOTHS and Etsy together anyway, so it’s not the end of the world.
And if you ever need to change anything, it’s about 2 or 3 clicks to change each order, so it’s pretty quick.
During peak periods, I have found that if I have a lot of orders it can be complex to track on Smart Send because I don’t clear out all the orders each day. So what I do is use Save for Later, which greys out the order, on all orders then I take it out of Save for Later to confirm the shipping and that works for me.
If a customer comes to you with an issue, how easy is it to match them with their Parcel2Go order?
It’s really simple, you can search by name in your orders but it does have to be the name on the parcel.
Sometimes people contact you through a platform that they didn’t even order from, but once you know who they are, it’s easy to search in Smart Send.
Have you tried using our Rule Manager?
I don’t use Rule Manager just because all my items, although they are the same, are labelled differently. I know you can set rules based on weight - so anything that is 1-2kg from NOTHS can be sent via Evri, but it’s just something I’ve been meaning to do.
To be honest, just using Smart Send doesn’t take long even without Rule Manager because it remembers the weight from previous orders.
I know if I set up Rules it will save me time, but Smart Send is convenient anyway.
Would you recommend Smart Send to other businesses?
Absolutely. It is much, much easier than using spreadsheets. It saves a lot of time and saves using multiple files. Smart Send just makes it faster for me to dispatch parcels through Parcel2Go.
When you started with Smart Send, how did you first get into using it?
It’s easy to use and is fairly self explanatory, so I just got straight into it. My advice would be just go and use it and if you do get stuck just ask Parcel2Go’s customer service team.
It’s a very quick and convenient way of accessing lots of services. If I sell something heavier I can just click another button to send with a different courier rather than setting up a whole other account with another courier service.
What advice would you give to new partners shipping with Smart Send for the first time?
Have a play around with it really - it’s not a difficult system and if you click something wrong, just delete it and start again.
Also, have a look at the services. Look at all the prices because what you think might be the cheapest might not be and you should really look into your options - for example, I use Evri Drop Shop because the drop-off point is right around the corner from my kid’s school and it’s really worth the time when I’m shipping lots of orders at once.
I’d especially advise comparing the prices when looking at shipping internationally, as you could reduce delivery time from 2 weeks to 2 days for only a couple of quid more, which could be worth that extra cost.
And Emma, what have you found from working with Parcel2Go?
One of the best things from working with Parcel2Go is that all of the tracking info is automatically uploaded to our partner’s dispatch emails. From doing lots of research we know that if a customer has tracking information available to them, they’re much less likely to get in touch with you, so it saves our partners a lot of time.
That automation is one of the greatest things from working with Parcel2Go, as well as being able to swap couriers and see comparisons easily to find the best options for you.
And at NOTHS, we always advise customers to have a contingency plan over peak times like Christmas. Parcel2Go allows you to have that by giving you other shipping options when one service doesn’t work out.
You can also get in touch with NOTHS’ customer service if you sell on our website and need any help with Parcel2Go’s shipping services and there are lots of helpful videos on how to use Smart Send.
Are You Making the Most of Smart Send?
We found speaking to Mike and Emma really helpful and we hope you do too.
Smart Send can take your business to the next level by automating orders, saving you a lot of time and admin so you can spend that time elsewhere.
And Mike isn’t the only one who was happy to share his experiences with Smart Send with us - we caught up with Self-Care business owner, Dimitar, earlier last year who explained how Smart Send has helped her business.
If you’re a business owner using Parcel2Go’s services, make sure you’re making the most of Smart Send and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.