CASE STUDY: BEST OF BRITISH BEER
DHL eCommerce UK’s unparalleled flexibility and customer service supports a growing business
Best of British Beer has grown from its 2011 origins as a Husband-and-Wife team, to one of the UK’s top alcohol sellers. Now supplying popular gifting website Funky Pigeon, co-founders Will and Gill Sherwin say DHL eCommerce UK’s reliability, flexibility and service help keep business booming.
PARTNERING WITH DHL ECOMMERCE UK
Stemming from a love of beer and launching from a dining table turned packing bench – and now occupying an 8000 square foot warehouse – Will and Gill quickly identified a niche in the market.
“Our competitors were set up to appeal to the ‘beer lover’ themselves. But we wanted to make it easy to buy great beer as a gift,” says Will. “A large proportion of our customers are actually women shopping for men, so we wanted it to be accessible for everyone. It’s not just about the beer itself, it’s about how it looks – and that’s why great delivery is critical. If we spend lots of time making the packaging look like a little cardboard pub, and it arrives all smashed up, it’s not a great experience. So reliability is important.”
Best of British Beer have worked with DHL since 2014. When it came to choosing a delivery partner, Gill explains many factors went into their decision:
“We got quotes from 3 or 4 couriers, but DHL has a multi-parcel rate which made a massive difference to us. It’s not only price-based though: we trusted them. They have a great reputation and a recognisable brand. We liked the account manager, and the drivers and livery look really professional. For us it’s about price, reliability and trustworthiness.”
SPEEDY AND ULTRA-RELIABLE DELIVERIES
Because customers expect their gifts quickly, Best of British Beer pride themselves on sending orders out the same day they’re received. Even personalised orders placed before 5pm are fulfilled same-day. DHL’s timed next day deliveries support this exceptional customer service.
“We’ve probably sent about a million parcels with DHL.”
“People need their gifts in time: they expect things to arrive next day. If they’re ordering on Monday, it’s because they’re working at home on Tuesday, for example. So speed and reliability are the two most important factors,” explains Gill. “98.5% of parcels were delivered accurately by DHL this June. Those were big delivery numbers because it’s Father’s Day and, other than in lockdown, this was the best Father’s Day we’ve ever had. Considering we have such a fragile product, we’re really pleased at the reliability.”
Gill believes timed delivery and tracking are essential: “We almost take timed delivery for granted: if we were to take it away, you’d immediately notice the impact. Drivers don’t get enough credit for doing it so reliably! And tracking is absolutely critical to us too. Customers like to know exactly where their order is.”
A FLEXIBLE APPROACH SUPPORTS CHANGING NEEDS
“We often have no way of predicting what our volume will be. It might be three times higher than normal because of a third party promotion, and DHL don’t know about that in advance. So they check in with us to see if they need to send a larger van, or if we need a later collection,” says Will. “It’s like having our own Logistics Manager here. They think ahead for us, and that’s amazing. It’s not the norm among other couriers.”
During peak periods, like Christmas or Father’s Day, the flexibility is essential. “We don’t have a huge warehouse so when we struggle for space at Christmas, DHL will give us multiple collections to free up space for us. They’ve added Saturday collections, late night collections, or even kept their depot open late for us so we can drop off.”
DHL eCommerce UK’s customer service team offer practical, hands on support. “They know us and take ownership of any issues,” explains Gill. “It’s frustrating when you can’t get an answer from other couriers. But DHL always pick up the phone to us. They fully investigate issues and call us back. And our Account Manager Dee – who we’ve had for about 7 years – really has our best interests at heart.
“Even the collection guys come in for a cup of tea. If they’re going to be delayed due to traffic, they call the office and tell us. It’s a real partnership.”
RECOMMENDING DHL ECOMMERCE UK AS A PARTNER
Best of British Beer use Feefo for independent reviews, and are proud of their 4.9/5 score for service and product, which includes delivery.
Best of British Beer feature ‘Speedy Delivery with DHL’ on their homepage. Gill explains: “We’ve had customers call and ask who delivers our products. But if we put that sign there, people don’t worry because DHL have a good reputation. If you’re a small business and you can’t get things delivered, you have no business. At Christmas when there was disruption in the wider industry, we still had really great service – no impact at all.”
Would they recommend DHL? “Absolutely, we already have!” says Gill. “Some of our brewery partners have started working with DHL because we’ve always had such great service from them. They really are our complete logistics partner.”
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