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Whether you deal in expensive artwork, specialise in building fine furniture, or offer similarly high-value products, you likely want your high-end service to extend to the delivery experience. This means providing your customers with a premium delivery experience that reflects the quality of your products and services.
That’s where white glove delivery services enter the picture, allowing you to provide an added touch that matches the premium price that your customers paid.
Interested in offering this mode of delivery? Read on to learn more about it and how you can implement it.
What is white glove service?
White glove service refers to premium assistance that’s delivered with close attention to detail and an extra level of care. Often tailor-made and expedited, this type of service involves an added touch to regular services.
The term “white glove” is believed to have originated from the white gloves worn by the staff in elite European households. These white gloves were instrumental in handling expensive silverware with care as the material could get tarnished if it came in contact with skin.
What is white glove delivery service?
White glove delivery service is premium assistance provided in the delivery industry – typically for courier services and last-mile delivery. For example, while standard delivery may involve transporting the products to the customer’s doorstep, white glove delivery service may also include taking the product up a flight of stairs and into the desired room, unpacking it, and installing it.
As such, special attention is paid to the package, which minimises the risk of damage even for fragile items. Moreover, in the case of specialized items such as electronics, the customer doesn’t have to worry about the complicated installation process.
The main processes in white glove delivery service include:
- Specialized packaging depending on the size, product type, and fragility to ensure safe transportation
- Swift and secure shipping, using dedicated vehicles that may have extra features such as padding, refrigeration, temperature control, and CCTV surveillance
- Timely deliveries with expert handlers unloading the goods and placing them in the customer’s desired location
- Expert assembly and installation at the preferred location
- Taking care of discarding the excess packaging material (optional)
How much does white glove delivery cost?
The actual cost of white glove delivery may vary depending on factors such as the type of product, size of the item, and delivery destination. However, most services typically cost between £100 and £250 per shipment. Additional fees may apply for installation and assembly.
Who needs white glove delivery?
The added touch of a white glove delivery service can be beneficial to a number of individuals and businesses. Here are just a few examples:
- Individuals with disabilities or mobility issues who are unable to unpack, install, or setup the item themselves
- Customers who need to safely transport expensive and/or delicate items such as artwork, jewelry, and antique
- Offices that need equipment, paper, and other supplies delivered quickly, often overnight
- Fresh good outlets such as bakeries that count on super-fast delivery to maintain their reputation for “fresh” goods
- Private labs and testing facilities that need samples transported safely and swiftly to ensure accurate test results and reporting
- Businesses that sell high-end products such as fine furniture, antique, vehicles, electronics, and luxury goods
The benefits of white glove delivery
Due to the extra attention and care that’s provided with white glove delivery, there are several benefits that businesses can enjoy.
More on-time deliveries
Speed and efficiency are key essences of white glove delivery, allowing your customers to receive their orders as early as possible. This also positively impacts your on-time delivery rate.
More damage-free deliveries
With white glove delivery, extra care and attention are paid during the entire process of handling, shipping, delivering, unloading, unpacking, and setting up the product. This significantly reduces the chance of damages in transit or during handling; damages that can be extremely costly since they’re high-value items.
Improved customer experience
In white glove delivery, the top priority is customer satisfaction. Since you’re ensuring that customers receive their shipment exactly when they need it and with a high level of care, it minimises the risk of shipping delays and damages, thus enhancing their overall experience. Plus, a few extra touches such as product assembly, installation, or dismantling further help to personalise the shipping experience for each customer.
White glove delivery gives your customers the assurance that their goods will arrive safely and on time. It helps to address their biggest purchasing anxieties, making them more likely to convert. This subsequently contributes to a growth in revenue because customers are converting more and paying extra.
What businesses offer white glove delivery services (and when)?
Most types of businesses can offer white glove delivery when their customers require an extra level of care in handling and shipping the products. Ecommerce businesses, vehicle dealerships, art galleries, furniture stores, fresh goods stores, B2B supply companies, and luxury goods dealerships are some common examples of businesses that may offer white glove delivery services.
In addition, shipping carriers and courier services often offer white glove delivery in addition to their standard delivery services. Leading courier companies such as DPD, DHL, FedEx, and UPS all offer white glove delivery.
How to offer a premium white glove delivery service
Sometimes, white glove delivery services don’t necessarily live up to the promise of a premium delivery experience. Damages in transit, careless handlers, and unexplained delays can still occur and put a damper on the customer experience. As such, it’s crucial to plan ahead and ensure that you’re actually offering a premium white glove delivery service experience.
Decide on what your service will cover
Start by clearly outlining what your service will cover. For example, in addition to inspections, shipping, handling, and delivery, you may also offer DDP shipping services for international shipments. By specifying these details beforehand, you can set realistic expectations with your customers.
Plan your rates
Next, draft up a chart of what your rates would look like. Rates may vary depending on several factors including the type of product, fragility level, package size, and destination. Will installation and assembly come at an added cost? Clearly laying out your rates will ensure that your customers don’t get surprised by unexpected fees.
Prepare necessary shipping policies and insurance coverage
Is there anything your service doesn’t cover? How will you take responsibility in case of delays or damages in transit? How much insurance coverage can your customers get for their shipments? Make sure to specify all these details ahead of time. Providing them with insurance coverage for high-value items will give them additional peace of mind to entrust you with their shipments.
Find the right shipping partners
If you’re not going to transport the items yourself, you need to partner with reliable shipping services that have the necessary resources and equipment to handle the types of products you’re shipping. Do they have padded vans to transport fragile items? Do they have refrigerated or temperature-controlled vehicles to safely carry perishable goods?
Additionally, make sure they have a team of professional handlers who can take care of the delivery and unpacking processes on your behalf. ShipBob can contact existing partners to help you select proven and reliable partners.
Plan schedules and routes efficiently
Since time is of the essence when it comes to white glove delivery, make sure you’re planning your schedules and delivery routes well ahead of time. Invest in technology that can help you manage this more efficiently even if you need to make adjustments while your team is on the field.
Provide real-time visibility across the board
With white glove delivery being a customer-first service, it’s crucial that everyone on your team has full visibility into your customer info. Make sure your team is equipped with all the specifics about each customer – from additional delivery notes to even something as “basic” as how to pronounce their name so they can provide a highly personalised experience. Moreover, provide your customers with real-time updates so they don’t have to keep calling you.
ShipBob fulfilment connects you with the world’s best white glove delivery services
ShipBob doesn’t just efficiently handle your entire fulfilment process for you; we also have an expansive partnership network consisting of leading carriers that provide white glove delivery service. From DPD to DHL to FedEx to UPS, we connect you to the most prestigious shipping partners that allow you to provide a premium delivery experience.
Get started with ShipBob
Ready to outsource your fulfilment to ShipBob? Request a quote to connect with our team.
White glove delivery FAQs
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about white glove delivery.
Is white glove delivery worthwhile?
White glove delivery can be a worthwhile option if you’re looking to transport high-value, fragile, or delicate items that need to be handled with the utmost level of care.
What is another word for white glove service?
White glove service can also be labelled as VIP, premium, or personalised service.
White glove delivery vs. threshold delivery
With white glove delivery, the product will be delivered to the desired room, unboxed, and even assembled. Threshold delivery only brings the item to your front door at a scheduled time.
Does white glove delivery ever go wrong?
Some white glove delivery services don’t follow through with their promise of a premium delivery experience. Customers have complained of damaged items, careless handling, improper assembly or installation, and delays.