Motorcycle Accessories Retailer Boosts Profitability with Proactive Delivery Management Platform
Pictured (from left) – Adam Coulthard, Adam Sycamore, Billy and Laura Coulthard.
BDLA Motorbikes maximises operational efficiency with single Parcelhub collection offering a multiple carrier solution, increases profitability by 5% thanks to collaborative buying power, and enhances delivery performance through deployment of Parcelhub’s free software and innovative SMART Notifications platform.
Pastime becomes pursuit
Motorcycle fanatics and co-founders Billy and Diane Coulthard decided to start sourcing and selling motorcycle boots and helmets on their own eBay store, and soon after eCommerce website in 2009, following difficulty finding a customer-centric outlet in this category. Billy explains: “One Sunday roughly 10 years ago we went to a local shop to buy some clothing and gear after not having ridden a motorcycle for far too long! We realised there and then that many shops in the trade just simply don’t go the extra mile for customers, and really don’t cater to their needs. There really was a lack of customer support both in-store and online. So, on that day BDLA was imagined with the customer being at the forefront of that vision. No matter the product, we have researched it extensively and can offer you both the benefits and the negatives associated with your choice.”
Investment in technology facilitates growth
Billy: “I’ve always been a bit of a spreadsheet wizard and in the early stages of this business I managed all of our stock levels, customer data and revenue from a single Excel file. As the business expanded it became too much to handle. When my son Adam joined the team in 2012, he badgered me to look at getting an order management system and we happened upon Linnworks, which has enabled us to synchronise all of our business processes from a single platform, giving us greater control of listings and stock levels across multiple sales channels such as our WooCommerce website and marketplaces.”
Bespoke portfolio of carriers and services
Billy: “Sending such a broad range of products (more than 14,000 SKUs) in varied weights and dimensions led to a reliance upon multiple shipping providers. Dealing directly with an assortment of carriers led to problems with sporadic and unreliable collection times. Furthermore, parcel carriers lacked sufficient integration support. We were very fortunate to have been recommended Parcelhub by Linnworks earlier this year who have been able to provide a single collection for multiple carriers. Parcelhub’s business development and account management teams have carefully analysed our dynamic and diverse product range and granted us access to a full range of services in one place that is tailored to our business’s needs; in our case a combination of domestic and international services from Hermes, Yodel, DHL Parcel UK (formerly UK Mail) and DPD.”
Increased visibility and improved seller feedback
Adam Coulthard explains Parcelhub’s benefits: “Prior to partnering with Parcelhub, we had to react to customer queries. By introducing Parcelhub software, their SMART Notifications platform enables us to be more proactive with our customers’ delivery experience and has resulted in strong positive feedback across our digital real estate; this is best demonstrated by our 99.9% feedback on eBay and 99% positive status on Amazon.
Cross-border aspirations stunted by Brexit fears
Uncertainty over Brexit is at present front of mind for many retailers, brands and wholesalers when deciding whether to trade internationally and this Nottingham-based motorbike clothing, luggage and security retailer is no exception.
Billy voices his Brexit concerns: “Demand for our products is very seasonal, starting in February when the sun starts to come out, slowing around August when people go on holiday, with a final peak throughout the festive period. While we are already selling on eBay and Amazon throughout mainland Europe, our next area of focus is to expand internationally via dedicated international marketplaces to fill the gaps in demand from UK consumers. Italians, for example, commute via motorcycle most of the year, while France and Germany continue to be our biggest current international marketplaces. Exiting the European Union doesn’t necessarily mean that there will no longer be a free trade agreement, but for now we are holding back on investing in expanding our operations.”
Billy concluded: “Going forward we will to continue our investment in technology, increase our product range and expand into new marketplaces. We see partnering with Parcelhub as a key component of, and driving force behind our ambitious plans.”
About Parcelhub – The bespoke parcel shipping solution
Save time and money. Increase delivery performance. Enhance customer experience.
Parcelhub is a bespoke and proactive multi-carrier delivery management solution. Flexible and scalable, it integrates seamlessly with marketplaces, eCommerce platforms, OMS, WMS, EMS and ERP systems, providing hundreds of multi-channel retailers, global brands and wholesalers with one access point to 20+ carriers and 300+ services.
Distributing more than 6 million parcels on its own carrier contracts every year, Parcelhub’s free multi-carrier shipping software grants hundreds of national and global businesses access to ‘pooled volume’ discounted rates from its carefully selected range of carrier partners, including Yodel, Hermes, DPD, DHL, UPS, DX, Parcelforce, CollectPlus, SkyNet, ArrowXL, Interpost, Panther Logistics, Direct Link and Palletforce. Dedicated proactive parcel management comes as standard.
Parcelhub is part of the Whistl Group. Whistl is the leading delivery management company enabling customers to get their letters, leaflets or parcels to customers efficiently and cost effectively both in the UK and internationally. It is headquartered in Marlow with 8 depots and 2 fulfilment centres across the UK handling 3.8bn items a year. The company is privately held with over 1,500 employees and a turnover in excess of £600m. It has grown significantly over the years and is now expanding its presence in the eCommerce sector offering fulfilment services to customers through a seamless experience from first click to final delivery.