Why every small retailer should sign up with On The Dot today
This afternoon I sat down with Patrick Gallagher CEO of CitySprint to talk about their On The Dot proposition which only launched last year. It’s an interesting service and I’ve discovered it’s ideal for small businesses.
Patrick has had an interesting life, working in the US and the UK for courier companies looking at how to add convenience for consumers in an accessible way for small businesses. This is the aim on On The Dot and why the company was set up.
Working from 41 localities around the UK, each call centre serves it’s local area. There’s no use having a call centre in India who’s not aware of heavy snow in the peak district when you’re aiming to get a delivery made. That’s why each call centre is local to the people it serves.
What do On The Dot do?
So what do On The Dot do? Their proposition is convenient delivery. Often we think of convenience as being delivery within an hour and On The Dot can do that. However what convenient delivery really means is delivery when we want it.
There are many many solutions for getting goods to a consumer, lockers, parcel shops, collection from depot, timed deliveries, before noon deliveries… the list goes on. Consumers generally don’t want to collect their parcels, a convenient delivery is delivery to home but when the consumer is at home.
That’s what On The Dot will do, anything you can purchase with click and collect can be collected by On The Dot and delivered at the time that’s convenient for the recipient.
On The Dot for Small Businesses
There are many applications for convenient deliveries from medical supplies and drugs to mobile phone deliveries. However On The Dot is ideally suited for small businesses giving them the type of service options normally only available to large corporations.
Imagine a customer in your shop who makes a large purchase. With On The Dot you can offer a home delivery service and allow the customer to choose a particular time slot.
Again if a customer telephones your shop to check on stock levels, you can ask if they would like the product delivered and enable them to choose a convenient time slot without any inconvenience on your part. Even if you only have a warehouse and not a shop counter you can still offer local deliveries for telephone orders.
On The Dot Retailer Options
If you’re a brand new retailer to the On The Dot service, you can register and be up and running in no time at all. You simply register on their site and no integration is needed. Simply advertise the service, or don’t advertise the service and offer it as your own solution.
There are integration options which can be On The Dot branded or white box style where again it appears to be your own offering. There are some integration costs but are relatively low.
As On The Dot are still a relatively new customer they’re very interested in promoting their service. Currently they’ll display your logo on their website, blog about you and generally give you some free promotion. That’s not likely to be the case in a year or so and as they sign the large retailers On The Dot case studies will naturally feature them.
To put it bluntly, if you want to offer convenient local delivery to your customers and sign up (for free) with On The Dot then you’ll get some free promotion out of them.
What does an On The Dot delivery cost?
An On The Dot delivery cost £6.95. The price goes down if you choose to buy a bundle of deliveries. You can buy at this price as a consumer, or as a retailer if you book a delivery for an in-store customer or take a telephone order for local timed delivery that’s also the price you’ll pay.
I really like the convenient local delivery premise that On The Dot provide. If you only sell online and don’t have a local customer base then it might not be for you. But if you ever have a customer call and ask if they can collect in person, don’t forget to offer them a convenient timed delivery and that will be time you want to use On The Dot.
Looks good but naturally there are some things you just can’t get round. For example, for a package to be delivered within the hour, your store and probably the customer need to be within a 5 or 10 mile radius of the OntheDot depot. This makes perfect sense and I can’t really see any way around this. Having said that, you can still offer a set one-hour delivery slot even if that’s not within the hour. Still looking into the concept, it’s a very interesting idea and has lots of potential; thanks for sharing this!
“Why every small retailer should sign up with On The Dot today”.
Having read all the information for retailers, I can’t see how this service would be of any benefit to a lot of small retailers who trade mostly on the internet at all (ie. the majority of your readership).
Unless I have mis-read the details, the customer needs to be within 5 miles from the “collection point”, which for most small retailers would be their place of business. It may work for those trading from a city location, but I could probably count on one hand the number of customers I have had within a 5 mile radius from our location in the past 12 years or so – and 2 of those were delivered by hand at a cost a lot cheaper than £6.95.