As the impact of coronavirus COV-19 is sweeping the country we wanted provide extra information, advice and support to you all. We know that the coming days and weeks are going to be tough for all of you both personally and for your businesses and we will do whatever we can to help you.
From our side, we are fortunate that as a "virtual" business we can continue to operate largely unaffected. Most of our team are working remotely from home as a precaution with no disruption to our service and support for you whatsoever.
The Shift to Online
First, a silver lining. One thing that is clear is that buyers are shifting during this period even more to shopping online. We have seen clear evidence of that these past few days with activity on Yumbles dramatically increased. So while your offline sales may be impacted during this period, we hope you will benefit from a growth in your online sales and we will be doing all we can from our side to help you achieve that.
So if you haven't recently reviewed your Yumbles shop and made sure your offering is up to date and in tip top condition then now is the time!
Food Hygiene and Safety
We know that you are all already meeting strict food hygiene and safety regulations, and we are in turn assuring Yumbles buyers of that. However, we would encourage you for your own piece of mind and your customers, to consider increased procedures wherever you can. Particularly policies around keeping staff suitably distanced and considering work from home policies where you can without harming your operations. No doubt this is already something you are getting in place.
Parcel Delivery/ Royal Mail
The Royal Mail have reported that according to Public Health England there is no risk in terms of receiving parcels. The Royal Mail also shares information on changes they have made to the safe receiving of and signing for parcels in the same article. This information might help assure your customers and is indeed something we will share directly with all Yumbles customers too.
It is likely that in the coming weeks you may well find yourself running short on key supplies and, if you have staff, members of your team may be forced to self-isolate. If you don’t already have contingency plans in place to accommodate for those likely factors then some preparation now could save you a much bigger headache later.
Product Availability/ Delays in Fulfillment
We know that the coming days and weeks may test your abilities to continue to fulfill orders for some or all of your products. Here is a reminder of the key features available to you on Yumbles to successfully manage your product availability and fulfillment, and continue to deliver great customer service:
- Temporary unavailability on a specific product or two? From the Products page, change the quantity available for those items to 0 to show them as out of stock. Or, if you know when you will be able to resume deliveries then use the pre-order settings available in your listings - more info on pre-order settings is here.
- Stopping all orders for an undefined amount of time? On the Products page in the portal change the quantity available for all of your active listings to 0 for Out of Stock. (We recommend this rather than changing their status to Hidden or Disabled, so that your products can still be seen and buyers can choose to be notified when you are back in stock).
- Stopping all orders for a defined amount of time? Use the holiday settings here to specify the last day you are processing orders (start date) and the first day you are back handling orders (end date). All orders received between those dates will have their estimated delivery dates automatically adjusted to show that delivery will be after you are back.
- Delays for existing orders? Make use of Back Ordered status for orders if the delay period is unknown - this will send them an automatic email - OR if you know how long the delay is then edit the estimated delivery date in the order and send the customer a message via the order to explain the slight delay and offer a refund if they can't wait.
- Longer delivery timescales? Update your delivery settings here to manage customer expectations. Let us know if you need to temporarily turn off Next Day delivery as an option.
Great communication with your customers has always been important but never more so than now. So please do keep an eye on customer messages via your Yumbles inbox and also make sure you correctly manage your orders in line with the communicated delivery times or advise customers promptly of any delays using the above mentioned features. We’re all in this together so buyers will understand issues may occur but it is always best they hear it promptly from you and know what is going on.
Check your insurance
A couple of bakers have notified us that their insurers have indicated that cake deliveries - as a luxury item - may not be covered during this period by their insurance. This may also be true of other non-essential food items. Each insurer varies in their policy so do check yours.
Useful Coronavirus resources and support for small businesses
Public Health England guide is here
NHS guide is here
Government coronavirus guidance for employers and businesses is here
HMRC dedicated helpline is 0300 456 3565
Need more help?
As always we’re here to support you. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3322 4132