Mailshop discusses the advantages of family-owned business

Specialising in direct marketing, digital print, and mailhouse services, Mailshop is a family-owned business that is constantly adapting with technology and proving that small and local can be an advantage within the industry.

The previous owner saw a gap in the market for a creative Mailhouse, then it was taken over by Clemenger. Mailshop is now owned by Deidre Winter who has been with the business for twenty years and continues to evolve the service offering with a unique collaboration between her partner Chris and two daughters Jasmyn & Amber.

It has been especially important in the recent Covid and post Covid environment that the family pools their different skills, BComm in Marketing & Management, MBA and Masters in Design, and continuously collaborate to spur innovation in processes and services. 

“We have a real ‘no holds barred’ approach in collaborating ideas. Underlying all of that is 100 percent trust in each other and personal investment in those ideas coming to fruition for the success of Mailshop as a whole and the results of our clients.”

“We have an extended family of employees and clients. Most of whom have been with Mailshop long enough, we truly feel they are part of the family.”

Mailshop’s objective, from an agency point of view, is to ensure that personalisation combines with the latest in print technologies in order to deliver a delightful experience to the end recipient. Recognising there is no excuse nowadays to be boring. E-commerce logistic capabilities also intertwine with this view and it allows Mailshop to make the delivery component of a products journey from warehouse to customer, an opportunity to add value to the brand it is purchased from. It is that added value for clients that the team pride themselves in.

“It might be that we’re sending out deodorant but we can put a nice card in there which makes it personalised to the recipient, it’s about the journey.”

Back when Mailshop opened its doors, the business was primarily mail, there was no online presence. Now, one of the business’ key activities is the online logistics platform, where the team pick, pack and dispatch, through an online portal.

“With Covid-19, the move to online shopping has been evident. There may be less mail going in the letterbox but our production platform has seen a real shift to the pick, pack, and despatch of parcels.”

“However, there is still a huge need for people to be informed through physical mail.”

During Lockdown, Mailshop remained open as an essential business and assisted in delivering important mail from financial organisations, who have a duty of care to ensure people are informed of any changes.

Being a family-owned business, Winter says, puts Mailshop at an advantage. Each team member has an invested interest in the business and is able to cover one another when needed.

“It’s that old saying ‘if you’ve got family on the till’. It’s all about trust and care. 

“We cover each other, we all can do each other’s jobs. The longevity of our staff is about 20 years, very few people leave us.”

With Covid-19 harshly damaging the country’s economy, many small businesses took a devastating hit. Alike to Mailshop, many businesses are the end result of someone’s heart and soul, an investment of their livelihoods, which Winter says should be appreciated and supported by other New Zealanders in such trying times.

“It’s so easy to go online and order something from overseas but when you support local you know that they have put their heart and soul into the business.

“We support local, we hope other people support local, and what we’ve found is that our clients have been tremendous through Covid-19. They’ve paid on time, they have supported us, they kept us informed, and they genuinely care and I think that’s what’s great about New Zealand is that we actually care about each other.”

Looking forward, Winter says the business is including more online work, aiming to have everything just one click away. Mailshop will continue to champion a collaborative approach with clients, develop on-demand solutions and encourage the use of more and better personalisation.

“As marketing departments have gotten smaller, we’ve got more involved. I often get asked to sense test or get more involved in the creative process. We have improved our general knowledge of data sets and how we can add value to the customer one on one. Technology is just everything.”

Winter says customer experience is also extremely important to them, as people want to see that what they have ordered has been handled with care.

“There should be care in the products, care in what you send. The clients really like the fact that we do care. We pack it and check it, it’s not just another order out the door, it’s from our family to yours.”

For more information visit mailshop.co.nz

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