Introducing the carriage contribution was a painful decision but one that was necessary to ensure we could maintain the free next-day delivery service for most orders from most customers.
Having attended the number-crunching meeting myself, I can attest to the fact that the decision was based on having the smallest impact on the fewest customers and will not even cover the total carriage costs incurred by the order affected.
Anyway, the free delivery threshold (which you’ll know is still one of the lowest in the industry), can easily be beaten so you can get the most value from your £8 rather than putting it towards carriage. With that in mind, these are my top ten tips on adjusting your order to qualify for free delivery.
1. Capital Collection specification cards
Whilst we’d rather you purchased the complete Capital Collection book for the full impact on your clients, we know, for a number of reasons, you’ll sometimes only want samples from one or two of our signature fabrics. At £7.50 each,or £5.00 if you’ve already invested in the book, these cards are a great way to push an order up to or beyond £150.
2. Sample packs
There are three sample packs that jump out to me immediately as being perfect for crossing that line. Firstly, the INTU sample packs we offer for Venetian/Pleated and Roller blinds come in at just £3.95 each. If you’re seven-pounds-something short of the threshold and you’re not picking these up, I urge you to reconsider!
Aside from the INTU packs, I’d also recommend the Sense vertical fascia pack. The Senses fascia absolutely transforms a vertical blind and it’s great to have one of these to hand to demonstrate this to your clients. It comes in at £12.50 but when you’re saving £8 on carriage, it’s virtually free!
3. Silicone spray
This is absolutely my favourite thing on this list. Beyond blind manufacturing and fitting, it’s one of those products that comes in handy all the time. Say goodbye to squeaky doors, stiff drawers etc. At just £5 each, a can of silicone spray may or may not push you over the line but you can always buy two!
4. An Allen key!
Okay, so at 31p each, a 2mm Allen key isn’t going to save many orders from the carriage contribution but it might just tip the scales for someone. And, who can say they haven’t found themselves in need of a spare Allen key at least once?
5. Pure wood & faux wood swatch
Now this one is has run away from the £8 a little but hear me out. Having one of these to demonstrate how the real and faux wood slats look AND feel could clinch a deal with an undecided client. If you’re a few pounds short of the £150 and one of these will push you over, think of the £8 saving as a 40% on a great sales tool. Give it a whirl!
6. Bundle deals
This one’s more for those who manufacture their own blinds and definitely exceeds the £8 that could be saved. BUT… if you’re purchasing components regularly and are considering combining orders to save on carriage, revisit our bundle deals and you might save more than you realise. Check out all of our bundle deals here and see if there’s anything suitable for you.
If you’re not looking to add extra items to your order in order to meet the free delivery threshold, you could consider upgrading your order instead.
A components-only order might be upgraded by opting for better materials, colours or features. If you can add value to your clients by paying the same for an even slightly better component on their blinds, why wouldn’t you?
Minor upgrade options are always available on made-to-measure blinds too. Think about upgrading a single-channel remote to a multi-channel for example, or adding a spring-assist to a roller blind for just £7.50. Things like this will result in your order to coming to similar final cost but will add value to your clients.
If you really want to push the boat out, you could add the Capital Fascia to a blind. Take a 1200mm roller blind for instance – whatever length or fabric you choose, it will come in at under £150 but adding a Capital Fascia at £38.00 could save you that £8 contribution. I’ll concede this won’t be for everyone, but again it’s something to consider when finalising costs with your client.
Getting back to adding a few cheaper items to your order, you could stock up on packaging supplies. I found that a pack of 6x buffer tapes costs just £7.20 and two of our cardboard box packs come in at under £10 each.
9. Endless chain loops
This is an easy to way make up almost exactly the value you need. The white plastic operating chain is a bugbear of mine. I just don’t like them but they are very cost effective and undeniably still a staple in the industry. If you ever use these for your blinds, we supply 10x plastic 4.5/6 chain endless loops, at sizes ranging from 400mm to 2000mm, all under £8. There are even a few that are now clearance items so check them out before they’re gone.
10. Tarquin Evans
Right, Tarq has been listed in the catalogue for £49.99 for a few years now and we’ve still not shifted him. I don’t want to hurt his feelings by adding him to the clearance page just yet but all I’m saying is that if you’re a little shy of the free delivery threshold and want to put an offer in, we’re open to negotiation!
Hopefully, you’re one of the majorities of customers who will always qualify for free next-day delivery every time. If you’re not though, I hope one or more of these will help you to get the value from your orders – we’d rather you spend your money on making up your orders with the odd item or upgrade than pay the £8 carriage contribution.
Have any ideas that I’ve missed? Get in touch. You can email me at email@example.com or reach out via social media. You’ll find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.