Roger Black’s Delivery Policy is a Breath of Fresh AirBeth Wright
We need to talk about… delivery – From Pandora’s Box to the Roger Black Box
Within the manufacturing and retail sector, it’s always the elephant in the room. In our case, it’s a ‘white’ elephant, as our delivery service is formally entitled ‘white glove’ and with good reason. White glove delivery is a two-person delivery service whereby the team will take your home fitness equipment into your room of choice (and unpack it if required). With our service, customers can also choose their delivery date of choice. It’s a pretty awesome service.
It is really important that you as customers understand the dilemma we face as an industry and really consider your purchase before you click ‘PAY’ when buying large home fitness equipment (or any larger purchase). Yes, sometimes things go wrong, or deliveries arrive late or slightly damaged. That is real life and if a product is damaged, we will always either send a missing part, a replacement machine or provide a refund.
A lack of presence when buying online particularly may be partly due to the ‘Amazon Prime Effect’ – the miracle that is Amazon Prime and how deliveries arrive the following day, and, if small enough, for free. This doesn’t and can’t happen with larger, heavy items. We’ve all become spoilt perhaps, but speed is all in online retailing. Our expectation and benchmark is now pretty high, thanks to Mr Bezos.
What many customers may not be aware of is that we lose money on every purchase. That’s right. We pay over double for each and every customer delivery than the average £20 we charge you (depending on your postcode).
Whilst this might not seem like good business sense, we need to stay in line with market and consumer expectations. Would you be willing to pay, on average, £45 for a delivery of a Roger Black Air Rower, priced at a reasonable £349? Think about it. Or should we put our prices up to absorb the delivery and ‘risk’ cost? We genuinely would welcome your feedback on this as we are on the inside, looking out.
We mull over this challenge… We think about it each and every day and want to make available the best service at the best price. And then there are returns; some of which we can’t bill for due to third party policy, or product replacements. So we lose again and delivery charges clock up further – in some cases to a tune of over £100 per customer. And that’s definitely not good business. So what’s the solution?
Why Are We Talking About This?
The information we are sharing in this blog is not to sound negative or unprofessional. It is opening up a dialogue that isn’t spoken about or considered enough by anyone inside or out of retail. If perhaps you as customers are more aware of the process and the costs involved, maybe you will reflect before you buy, even if you know you can return the item at no cost to yourself. The use of a two-person service also adds to our joint carbon footprint.
The Effect of Brexit
In addition to cost, there is a scarcity factor that most of you will have read about since Brexit – less drivers and certainly just a few companies who offer a two-person delivery service in the UK. The entire Roger Black range weighs over 15kg – the Roger Black Folding Exercise Bike weighs 16.5kg and the Roger Black Gold Treadmill weighs 61kg. Home fitness equipment needs to be heavy. Our range is not the heaviest or the lightest on the market but weight is considerable, even with the folding products. Unless Geoff Capes or Popeye are part of our delivery team, most of the range (excluding the folding bike) will need two people, regardless.
We Welcome Your Thoughts and Opinions
As we open up this industry ‘Pandora’s Box’, we ask you to consider your Roger Black Box before you buy in the future. If you do have any thoughts on how we can manage delivery costs in the future, we are all (elephant) ears. We want to keep prices down for our customers. We also need to make money as an emerging SME business in order to survive and help as many people throughout the UK get and stay healthy and well as we all get older and wiser. And that is great business sense.