Demand for online shopping has rocketed in the last year. According to recent ONS data, in January 2021 internet sales made up over a third of total retail sales in the UK, an increase of 81% compared to the year before. With the world of ecommerce moving so fast, how can pick and ship businesses keep up?

Paul Futcher, director of The Cigar Club, saw a 32% increase in his business revenue between 2019 and 2020, despite the lucrative nature of his industry. Here he provides his insight on how other businesses can continue to grow alongside shifting customer demand and the increasingly higher expectations for pick and ship services.

Refine your delivery process

With technological advances across the delivery process, and so many businesses in the online shopping space needing to stay on top of their competition, customers have become used to top notch virtual retail experiences. They expect to be in the loop from the moment they click buy, through to the product arriving at their doorstep. The quicker it arrives the better.

The Cigar Club thought carefully about each stage in the customer experience journey to improve how they coordinate orders, and ultimately to refine their pack and ship process. 

Paul says:  It is important to us that our customers receive the product exactly as it is described on our website, in perfect condition and protective packaging. We’ve tested out a variety of boxes over the years and have come to a size and shape that keeps shipping costs as low as possible without sacrificing quality or protection. We keep the line of communication between us and our customers strong, by being quick to respond to queries, and using delivery technology that updates the customers on the status of their package as well as exact delivery times. 

Don’t neglect SEO

With more people searching online for products, ensuring you get your business in front of them at the right time will ultimately lead to an increase in sales. One way of doing this is by using an SEO company, who specialise in increasing both brand visibility for relevant organic searches, and the quantity of traffic to your website. 

Through using an SEO company, The Cigar Club managed to win relevant and lucrative featured snippets, which are boxes of information that appear at the top of a search results page. This led to a big growth in product page visits. For example, winning the featured snippet for the search ‘Montecristo No 2’ led to an 822% increase in visits to this page.

Rake in the customer feedback and show it off

Simply put, reviews are super important! According to Podium, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. Shopping online is a busy space to operate in, and people want reassurance that they are making the right decision before they commit to a purchase.  

Through using the review platform ‘’, The Cigar Club has accumulated over 730 company reviews and 166 product reviews. Their efforts to ensure their delivery is efficient and products are up to standard, have led to an extremely high overall review rating, with the most common phrases including ‘excellent service’, ‘efficient service’ and ‘prompt delivery.’

With these positive reviews firmly under their belt, The Cigar Club added a widget displaying them on their website homepage, to build trust with customers browsing their site which truly shouts about the quality of their service….

Paul says:  These customer reviews have really helped us grow as a business, as with so many options for products to choose online, our positive reviews help communicate to new customers that we really do care about providing a high quality product with efficient service. Also, by putting these reviews on our homepage we have been able to create a personal feel for those browsing our products. We’ve always tried to keep this personal touch there in all our transactions, as this is what makes our cigars unique. Particularly when online shopping is a wholly solo task, adding in real-life perspectives on our products really makes a difference. 

In summary

Changing and refining the way your business operates can be an intimidating feat to undertake. But by paying attention to your logistics process and putting some time into boosting your online visibility, you can put yourself in a much better position to stay ahead of the competition and succeed.

Paul Futcher, Director, The Cigar Club