What is White Glove Fulfilment?

What Are White Glove Fulfilment & Delivery Services?

As a retailer, getting your products noticed and sold is the first order of business, but for online sellers, ensuring your customers’ purchases reach them in perfect condition is equally – if not more – important to guarantee consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

Despite the now longstanding success of online retail, special items like jewellery, fresh foods, and delicate or perishable items have still been purchased predominantly from bricks-and-mortar stores. However, in recent years, ease of customer service, readily available reviews, and quicker shipping options have lead to a large increase in the online sales of these items.

As the online accessibility of these products has improved, couriers and delivery and fulfilment providers are increasingly having to offer high-security, quality-controlled white glove services. Not sure what this means? Don’t worry – you’re in the right place. In this article we’ll discuss what white glove services are, how they work, and how you can use them for your business to improve profitability and customer satisfaction.

What Does ‘White Glove’ Mean?

Named after a butler’s spotless white gloves, the term has come to mean a service that goes above and beyond. White glove services typically offer meticulous attention to detail and care, and deal in high-value or delicate items.

In delivery and fulfilment, white glove services are available to ensure special items are moved with care, and this covers all kinds of moving, from furniture removals to international jewellery shipping.

Which Items Benefit From White Glove Services?

Services will vary depending on your items, but white glove delivery and fulfillment providers should be able to take care of your particular needs. Items that may require special attention include:

  • Fresh foods and perishable items
  • Delicate fabrics and jewellery
  • Antiques and rare items
  • Cosmetics
  • Medical instruments and equipment
  • Fragile electronics and high-value technology
  • Products that require customisation or embellishment

By ensuring your items receive the specialist handling they require, you can relax knowing that they’ll reach your customers safely, securely, and looking their best.

Unsure whether your items require specialist white glove services? Speak to our team for advice about your particular needs.

How Will Your Items Be Cared For?

Your fulfilment and delivery provider should have specialist facilities in order to ensure that your sold items are prepared for delivery in a quality-controlled environment. These facilities may include:

  • Isolated cleanrooms, separate from warehouses. Cleanrooms should be sealable to prevent particle-matter accumulation and ensure hygienic conditions are maintained.
  • Temperature- and humidity-controlled areas, which can be adjusted to effectively cater to delicate and perishable items.
  • Advanced security, including access controls and CCTV monitoring, in order to provide a secure environment for high-value products.
  • Processes and apparatus in place to allow for product customisation, embellishment, and specialist gift-wrapping or packaging.
  • ERP software or other technology-led operation management to ensure an efficient, trackable, and accurate flow of products from shelf to shipping.

Of course, the extent of special care required will depend on your specific products.

Do your products have specific care requirements? Our advisors can help you decide how to take care of your items while they are in storage and shipping.

How Will White Glove Services Improve Your Product Offering?

Customer satisfaction generates customer loyalty and referrals, which allow business to build reliable sales and scalable operations. If your business offers high-value items, but your customers receive damaged goods, you’ll face negative feedback, high volumes of returns, and very few loyal customers, all of which will result in diminishing order numbers. Likewise, if fresh foods arrive and are out-of-date, or if medical tools arrive and are contaminated, you’re unlikely to secure returning customers to your business, regardless of the skills of your customer service team.

Taking appropriate measures to ensure your products reach your valued customers in prime condition will result in:

  • Positive reviews, which will attract new customers
  • Loyal, returning customers, who will spread the word, bringing you new customers
  • Fewer returns, cutting the costs of your fulfilment operations
  • Fewer dissatisfied customer, allowing you to employ fewer customer service advisors

The benefits of efficient, effective, and tailored delivery solutions cannot be overstated. While cutting corners when it comes to fulfilment could save you money in the short term, customers who feel let down after spending a lot of money with you will be sure to let you know, and take their business elsewhere.

On the other hand, customers who invest in high-value, collectible, or precious items with your business will feel invested in your brand. Should they require the same services or products again, you can be sure they will turn to a business that took care of them previously, one that they trust.

Are you looking for a tailored solution to ensure your products are handled with appropriate care? Our team can help you work white glove services into your fulfilment operations so you can deliver the perfect product in perfect condition, every time.

Want to learn more about how streamlining your fulfilment operations can help you increase ROI and sleep easy once your products leave the warehouse? Our blog is full of tips on managing your delivery and fulfilment operations, or finding a provider who can do it for you.

by Gemma Tomlinson on 21/10/2017