How Much Does Ecommerce Fulfilment Cost?

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 1 July, 2020

We break down each cost of the entire outsourced order fulfilment process, and help you choose the right provider for your business


Receiving costs come in at around 10p per item


 Storage fees range from 5p for a small letter to £10.88 per pallet/cubic metre, per month


 Picking and packing fees start at £1.50 per order, but can reach £4.20 for packages with up to 10 items inside


 Huboo is the cheapest ecommerce fulfilment provider. Learn more


Want to begin outsourcing your ecommerce business’ order fulfilment, but struggling to get your head around the costs? We don't blame you.

Order fulfilment costs vary wildly across different third-party logistics (3PL) suppliers (many of whom aren’t transparent about their prices), and the guessing game doesn’t stop there.

What you’ll pay also depends, among other things, on:

  • How many orders you’re shipping
  • The number of items in each one
  • The physical size of your inventory
  • The packaging demands of your products
  • Where you’re shipping to

It all begs the question… how much does ecommerce fulfilment really cost?

Let’s find out.


Order fulfilment services pricing UK

We’ve broken down the range of factors that influence ecommerce fulfilment pricing in the UK. Read on for the costs of outsourcing each step of the fulfilment process – from setting up your account, all the way to shipping and returns. 

But before you start, bear in mind these are necessarily ballpark estimates of the costs of order fulfilment. To get a more specific idea of exactly what your business can expect to pay, we recommend taking advantage of our free quote-finding tool.

Simply provide us with a few details about your ecommerce business’ requirements (such as how many parcels you’re currently delivering, and via which channels), and we’ll connect you with leading 3PL suppliers in the UK. They’ll be in touch with quotes tailored to your fulfilment needs, completely free of charge.

What’s 3PL?

A 3PL (third-party logistics) provider is a company that provides supply chain solutions. These companies handle your order fulfilment responsibilities for you, allowing you to outsource your ecommerce business’ packaging and postage needs, and free up your time and storage space.

Setup fees

While it’s not a blanket rule, many 3PL providers will charge a setup fee when you begin working together. This cost ranges from anywhere between £100 to more than £800.

What you’ll pay depends on the complexity of your current setup, including your website, shopping cart, and the size of your business and order volume.

Negotiate this one down, if you can.

Receiving fees

Whether they’re coming from a supplier or directly from you, when you first ship your products to your 3PL provider’s warehouse (a fulfilment centre, in industry terms), there’s a fair bit of admin involved for the latter. Fulfilment centre staff have to receive the goods, relabel them according to their own system, and potentially repackage them to fit your own requirements, too. 

It’s a lot of work… and you can be sure these ‘receiving’ fees are getting passed on to you.

Receiving costs are priced either by the shipment (in which you’re looking at a figure of around £200 per load), or by the unit (a fee of around 5 to 10p per item).

We should note here that, rather than charge individual costs for receiving, picking, and courier costs, some providers roll it all up into a single fee. Huboo does this, with all-inclusive rates available from 92p per small letter.

Compare quotes from Huboo and other fulfilment providers Start now

Storage fees

Storage fees are the bread and butter of order fulfilment costs, and pretty much every 3PL you’ll come across charges them. Essentially, storage fees are what you’ll pay to house your inventory in a third-party fulfilment centre (warehouse). 

What’s less certain, though, is exactly how each 3PL supplier charges for the space your stock takes up. Many fulfilment providers charge by the pallet (one cubic metre of space), including:

  • Core Fulfilment: £10.88 per pallet, per month
  • Minatus: from £2.24 per cubic metre, per week

Charged per cubic metre or pallet, you should budget between £10 and £14 per month in storage. Bear in mind, this price may increase with the more unique products (SKUs, or stock keeping units) that you add to your inventory.

Pallets and storage space in a fulfilment centre

Other 3PL providers argue that charging per pallet isn’t fair – that your ecommerce business should pay only for the actual space your products take up. myWarehouse, for instance, calculates the exact dimensions of your products to help you cut out spend on ‘dead space’ (though, funnily enough, myWarehouse doesn’t tell you exactly what those storage rates are!).

Other fulfilment suppliers charge for storage on a per item basis, such as:

  • Huboo: 5p for a small letter to £1 for a medium-sized parcel (per month)
  • Amazon FBA: from 39p for clothing, shoes, and bags to 91p for ‘all other categories’ items (per daily average volume in cubic feet, per month)

Some 3PL providers charge by individual ‘bin’. This is ideal for small items, and, due to the ease with which they can be picked, helps keep storage costs down. In this scenario, you can expect to pay between £1 and £3 per each bin, per month.

Did You Know?

Amazon FBA hikes its storage fees in the colder months. An oversized package that would cost 45p (per daily average volume in cubic feet, per month) in March would cost you 63p in November! Scandalous.

Read more: What are the Best Alternatives to Amazon FBA in the UK?

Picking and packing fees

When someone orders from you online, fulfilment centre staff swing into action. Your product is selected from your inventory (picked) and then boxed up for shipping (packed). Unsurprisingly, all this incurs a fee.

Picking and packing fees typically depend on how many orders you fulfil a month, and the average number of items per order. 

With Core Fulfilment, for instance, you’ll pay as little as £1.50 per order in picking and packing fees (if you have one item per order, and a monthly volume of 10,000 packages) or as much as £4.20 (if you have ten items per order, and ship 250 items per month).

myWarehouse charges a flat £2.61 picking and packing fee for orders with one item, with each additional item costing 42p. Huboo’s packing fees begin at 30p for a large letter, and go up to £2.95 for an extra large parcel

Amazon FBA’s picking and packing rates (lumped together as ‘fulfilment fees’) depend on your item’s sale value, size, and weight. Costs start at £1.35 for items of small envelope size that weigh up to 80g, and go up to £2.17 for a large envelope. Parcels start from £2.15, and reach £5.52 for items that weigh over 10kg.

Fulfilment centre worker packaging products

Shipping fees

It’s tough to estimate the costs of shipping, as they depend on so many variables – not only the fees of the carrier itself, but on the size, weight, and nature of the products you’re transporting.

However, we should note that – even when you outsource your order fulfilment – you still have the option to use your own shipping carrier. Though this route offers more transparency and control, 3PL providers typically can offer the cheapest, quickest shipping – Amazon FBA being the most notable example.

The bottom line? Get to grips with where the cheapest, simplest shipping lies, before you sign a deal.

Kitting and return fees

If your product requires some kind of assembly or special attention before it’s shipped, chances are you’ll have to pay ‘kitting’ fees. These are usually based on an hourly rate of between £40 and £60, and will vary depending on the size and time demands of the job.

Likewise, return fees reflect the cost of the labour involved with handling any returns. This includes receiving your returned stock, assessing the damage (if any), and (if possible) getting it ready for resale.

Account management fees

These costs vary drastically between providers (in terms of what they include, and how much they are), but some form of account management fees is inevitable.

Typically, these costs include dedicated customer support, and integration with your website and shopping cart. As most 3PL providers’ operations are built around a live, cloud-based platform, you’ll also need to pay a monthly subscription fee to licence the software.

All up, you can expect to pay between £60 and £240 per month for order fulfilment account management fees.

Exit fees

Certain 3PL providers will charge a fee when you conclude your time with them, or slap you with a bill for early termination. 

That’s why it’s crucial to read and negotiate any contract for order fulfilment services with care – and why it’s so important to pick the right provider.


Fulfilment services pricing table

That’s a lot of fulfilment services costs to get your head around. Let’s recap.

Type of costPrice range
Setup£100 to £800 (one-off)
Receiving£200 per shipment, or 5 to 10p per item
Storage£10 to £14 per cubic metre, per month
Picking and packing£1.50 to £5 per item
ShippingDependent on your products and carrier
Kitting and return£40 to £60 per hour
Account management£60 to £240 per month

As we mentioned earlier, these figures should be treated purely as estimates. You almost certainly won’t pay all of these fulfilment costs – many 3PL providers may not charge setup fees, or will waive the fixed fees associated with account management. Plus, plenty of 3PL suppliers offer other ways to save, by not imposing minimum order requirements or roping you into long contracts.

On top of this, many 3PL companies will lump many of these fees together under one umbrella. You might find everything, from receiving to return, simply referred to as ‘fulfilment fees’, or pay a simple monthly subscription fee for the whole hog.

That is, of course, if you choose the right provider…


Choosing the right order fulfilment supplier

Huboo logoWhile this page isn’t about comparing order fulfilment suppliers (we do that in much greater detail in this guide for small businesses), we can recommend to you the cheapest 3PL provider we’ve found. It’s Huboo.

Unlike many other fulfilment providers, Huboo offers rates that combine receiving, picking, packing, and shipping costs, for ultimate simplicity. There’s plenty of flexibility, too – you’ll have the option to choose between 24-hour and 48-hour delivery, and benefit from subscription rates starting from £10 per month.

Add this to Huboo’s offer of two months’ worth of free storage when you sign up, and there are few better deals out there.

Compare fulfilment quotes and save
Six questions, 30 seconds...
Do you already outsource your ecommerce fulfilment responsibilities? YES NO

Next steps

Now that you have a better idea of how much it costs to outsource your ecommerce fulfilment, it’s time to start comparing quotes from providers. How?

Well, simply provide us with a few details about your business’ requirements. We’ll ask:

  • How long you’ve been trading for
  • How you currently deliver your products
  • Where you sell your products
  • How many items you deliver daily

We’ll also need your postcode, so we can put you in touch with the top 3PL providers servicing your area. They’ll then be in contact with you directly, to offer no-obligation quotes tailored to your business’ situation. It takes around 30 seconds to fill in your requirements, and is completely free for UK businesses.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Dash Cam Prices 2020: A Guide for UK Businesses

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 29 June, 2020

How much does a dash cam cost? Compare quotes with us, and get the best deal for your business’ fleet


Basic, off-the-shelf dash cams start from £14.99

Mid-range systems typically cost between £100 and £300

Advanced dash cams can cost £400 or more, but add vehicle tracking, safety features, and live insights into the bargain

High spec dash cams incur a software licence fee, commonly in the range of £20 per month

Dash cam in use on a rainy day

How much does a dash cam cost?

Dash cam prices depend on several factors.

Camera type and direction

Firstly, dash cam prices depend on the type of device you're interested in. 

By this, we mean the direction your dash cam will face. Variants include:

  • Front-facing
  • Dual-facing
  • Rear-facing
  • Interior

Pricing up at anywhere between £15 and £100, front-facing dash cams are the cheapest option you can buy… albeit the most narrow in terms of scope and coverage.

Dual-facing dash cams (£150 to £400+) provide insight into both your vehicle’s cabin and the road ahead, but are more expensive. Likewise, rear-facing dash cams (and the interior-facing ones truckers use to prevent cargo theft) don’t come cheap – although you can save by purchasing multiple cameras in a bundle.

Features required

Secondly, how much you’ll pay depends on the features you’ll require – that is, exactly how much you want your dash cam to do.

The cheapest dash cams simply record the road, without many additional frills. An SD card (almost always not included) allows you to download footage onto your computer after a journey is complete, and view it there.
Garmin dash cam with GPS functionality

Pay a little extra, though (£100+ per camera), and you’ll benefit from dash cams with GPS capability (enabling basic fleet tracking, pictured), as well as parking mode (which captures footage even when your vehicle is stationary). These mid-range options come at a highly reasonable price point, and tend to punch above their weight for features, too.

At the priciest end of the scale (£300+, with additional monthly costs) are the most advanced systems. These include dash cams from Verizon Connect and Samsara, and are what’s known as ‘integrated’ solutions. Essentially, this means that they work in tandem with a software platform to provide real-time updates and insights into your fleet.

Data transmission: Active or passive?

This leads us to the third factor that will influence the price of your dash cam – whether it’s active or passive

Passive dash cams rely on an SD card, which you’ll have to remove to pull data, and re-insert into the camera to begin recording again. 

Cheap to buy… inconvenient to use.

Active systems, however, transmit live data back to base via wifi, allowing you to keep track of jobs as they unfold. Put simply, they’re the best dash cams money can buy – though, for obvious reasons, they’re not the most affordable options around.

For an integrated solution, you can expect to pay a monthly fee for the dash cams, plus an ongoing cost to lease the software that powers them. The exact cost here will depend on the size of your fleet and the features you’ll need, though we estimate it to be in the region of £20 per month.

Businesses vs consumers: a question of scalability

This leads us to the third factor that will influence the price of your dash cam – whether it’s active or passive

For individuals, a cheap, off-the-shelf dash cam works just fine. Businesses, though, should consider at least a mid-range (if not a fully integrated) solution as standard – particularly if there’s scalability on the brain.

If this sounds like you, why not start comparing dash cam prices with us? 

For just 30 seconds of your time (and a few details about your business, such as fleet size, vehicle type, and legal status), we’ll put you in touch with leading dash cam suppliers. You’ll then receive quotes tailored to your business’ specific requirements – it’s as simple as that!


Dash cam prices: Basic (£15 to £100)

If you’re looking for a dash cam for personal use, or for a very small fleet (one or two vehicles, max!), then a basic dash cam will fit the bill.

That said, as a rule, we don’t recommend basic dash cams for businesses. They’re limited; not only in terms of features (as you’ll see below, most aren’t even GPS-equipped), but in their storage and recording capacities, too. Basic systems are also passive, meaning you won’t be able to start scrutinising footage until the vehicle is back at base.
RAC 100 dash cam

For a basic dash cam, you’ll pay as little as £14.99 (for the RAC100, pictured), and as much as around £100. Above this, and you’re looking at more of a mid-range dash cam solution (which we do recommend for businesses). 

You can browse basic dash cam prices in the table below.

Expert Market logo vector transparentKitvision ObserverToguard CE50Kenwood DRV430Halfords HDC400
Dash cam

Kitvision Observer

Toguard CE50

Kenwood DRV-430

Halfords HDC400

Price

£49.99

£59.99

£80

£99

TypeFront-facingFront-facingFront-facingFront-facing
Resolution720p2160p1080p1440p
Field of visionN/A170 degrees128 degrees180 degrees

Features

GPS tracking?XX
Parking mode?
Display screen?X
Want a dash cam that packs a bit more of a punch? Get free quotes

Dash cam prices: Mid-range (£100 to £300)

Looking onwards and upwards (in terms of both price and functionality), we have the mid-range dash cams. 

Mid-range dash cams start from as little as £100 per camera. As well as offering dual-facing cameras, these dash cams have GPS, are wireless, and offer plenty of features, such as audio capture, G-force recording protection, and a still photo function.

Mid-range dash cams are well-suited to businesses with fleets of up to five vehicles, or for vans and larger rigs. If this sounds like you, browse our top mid-range dash cam prices below.

Expert Market logo vector transparentNextbase 522GWVantrue N2 ProRexing V3Garmin Tandem
Dash camNextbase 522GWVantrue N2 ProRexing V3Garmin Tandem
Price£149£159.99£199.99£299.99
TypeFront-facingDual-facingDual-facingDual-facing
Resolution1440p1080p1080p1440p
Field of vision140 degrees310 degrees170 degrees360 degrees
Looking for a dash cam that's more than the middle of the road? Get free quotes

Dash cam prices: Advanced (£300+)

At the business end of the pricing scale sit the most advanced dash cams. Though you can expect to pay at least £300 per camera for these high spec beauties, you shouldn’t let the price put you off.

Because many of these integrated dash cam solutions come as part of a package with fleet management software (which you’ll pay monthly for), there’s less initial outlay than with a mid-range solution. This can actually make them more affordable, and help free up cash flow in the short-term.

Feature-wise, these dash cams are best in class. Verizon Connect Integrated Video, for instance, detects events such as harsh braking and aggressive cornering, and classifies them based on how severe they are. Samsara’s dash cam – equipped with a built-in speaker – even provides voice-based coaching, which alerts the driver when drowsiness or distractions set in and can help prevent accidents.

Could your business benefit from an integrated system? Find the advanced dash cam for you in the table below.

Expert Market logo vector transparentVerizon Connect Integrated VideoSamsara Dual-Facing CM22Blackvue DR900S
Dash camVerizon Connect Integrated VideoSamsara CM32Nextbase 380GWXBlackvue DR900S
PriceFrom £20 per month (software), plus £20 per camera, per monthOn request£399 per camera£399 per camera
TypeFront-facingDual-facingDual-facingDual-facing
Resolution720p1080p (front-facing), 720p (driver-facing)1080p1080p
Field of vision150 degrees121 degrees (front-facing), 177 degrees (driver-facing)140 degrees162 degrees

Has the stunning CM32 caught your eye? Head to our Samsara review to find out more about its innovative vehicle tracking solution. Alternatively, hit the button below to tell us more about your specific requirements, and let us match you with an integrated dash cam provider near you.

Does your business already have an integrated dash cam solution? YES NO

Dash cam installation cost

Like the cameras themselves, dash cam installation costs will vary by provider and model. 

Actually, many basic to mid-range varieties of dash cams allow for self-installation, at no cost to you. However, hiring an expert has its benefits – they’ll do a professional job, for one (and tuck those cables neatly away where you can’t see them), and cut out the hassle of interpreting confusing online instructions.

And, at around £30, outsourcing your dash cam installation is plenty affordable. Better still, some providers (such as Verizon Connect) will even send a technician out to do it for you, for free.


Next steps

So, you’ve learnt what distinguishes an advanced dash cam from a mid-range one, and why (despite the price!) a basic dash cam is best avoided. Hopefully, you’ll also have a good idea of what you can get for your money, and which suppliers can match your fleet’s growth goals.

In other words, you’re ready to start comparing suppliers in more detail. Our guide to the best dash cams for businesses provides a good place to begin, or – if you’re a little short on time – there’s a more direct route.

Simply furnish us with some details about your business’ requirements, and you’ll receive calls from top dash cam suppliers. They’ll table quotes tailored to your business, and discuss the option of a free trial to get you started. Our form takes just 30 seconds to complete, and is free for UK-based businesses.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

The Best Dash Cams for Truckers and HGVs

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 26 June, 2020

Whether your trucks are on the open road or parked, dash cams offer serious security and cost-saving benefits. But which one is right for your fleet?


truck with an interior dash cam driving down the A1 motorway in England

It’s been a long night on the road. Lulled by the dulcet tones of late-night radio and tired from hours of traversing the motorways, your driver yawns. And, as they manoeuvre your truck around a wide, easy bend, their concentration starts to slip…

So many accidents that occur in the trucking industry are avoidable. 

What if, for instance, you had a system that automatically notifies your driver when distracted or drowsy behaviour occurs? If you could see exactly what they see out on the road, and get live insights into speed, braking, and acceleration?

Well, you can. With the right truck dash cam solution – a simple recording device placed on your vehicles’ windscreens – you’ll have the makings of a smarter, more efficient fleet of trucks. And, should an incident take place, you’ll be in a much better place to settle any insurance claim, and clear your driver of blame.

Which truck dash cam is right for your business, though? Let’s find out.


The best dash cams for truckers and HGVs

According to our research, the best dash cams for UK truckers and HGVs are Verizon Connect Integrated Video, Vantrue N2 Pro, Anker Roav S1, Samsara C25-I, and Viofo A129.

The best dash cams for truckers and HGVS:

  1. Verizon Connect Integrated Video
  2. Vantrue N2 Pro
  3. Anker Roav S1
  4. Samsara C25-I
  5. Viofo A129

How did we choose?

We’ve selected the following five truck dash cams based on how well-suited they are to truckers; that is, to long journeys, and to recording at night. We’ve also taken into account price point, ease of installation, and usability (of both the hardware, and the software or application you’ll use to monitor and review footage).

For more information about what makes a truck dash cam great, skip to our section below on what to look for in a dash cam for your HGV fleet.


Verizon Connect Integrated Video

Best dash cams for trucks, full stop

We’ve written at length about Verizon Connect integrated Video. It was one of our best dash cams for businesses, and for vans, too  – and even has its own dedicated review. Why? Because Verizon Connect’s dash cams are, quite simply, the best…

...and the features that make it so essential for vans, cars, and fleets of all sizes also make Verizon Connect’s integrated solution ideal for trucks. The camera’s design is built for the toughest surroundings, and well-equipped for recording at night. Powered by Verizon Connect Reveal, its intelligent, cloud-based software platform for managers, these dash cams offer updates in close to real-time. You’ll get a notification when harsh braking, poor cornering, or speeding occurs, too – allowing you to provide more tailored training to drivers, and help reduce the risk of accidents.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: Verizon Connect’s dash cam solution is bespoke. How much you pay will depend on how many HGVs you have in your fleet, and on the features you need. 

While we believe that you should budget around £20 per vehicle, per month for Verizon Connect Reveal, and another £20 per camera, per month for the dash cams themselves, the easiest way to know what you’ll actually be charged is by comparing quotes with us.

Simply provide us with a few more details about the dash cam solution you’re looking for. That includes fleet size, your company’s legal status, and your postcode. With this, we’ll pair you with leading truck dash cam suppliers (including Verizon Connect), who’ll provide offers tailored to your fleet’s requirements.

Pros:

  • Machine learning classifies road incidents by severity and type
  • GDPR-compliant
  • Clips stored for 90 days
  • 150-degree field of vision means you’ll see exactly what the driver does

X Cons:

  • Has a lower video resolution than some other truck dash cams
  • Its dash cam isn’t a standalone product – you’ll need its software package first

For more information about Verizon Connect Reveal, the fleet management software that works with its dash cams, read our review.


Vantrue N2 Pro

Best dual-facing dash cam for truckers

With a double lens that captures the scenes both ahead of and behind the wheel, the Vantrue provides truck fleet managers with an impressive 310 degrees of visibility. But that’s not all…

Equipped with infrared night vision technology, the N2 Pro is ideal for long journeys out on the open road. Plus, its smart parking mode means your trucks don’t have to be in motion to be protected – the camera begins filming at the first hint of movement, even when your vehicle is stationary. The N2 Pro also does the basics well – it’s GPS and G-sensor-equipped, and you’re covered by an 18-month warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee to boot.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £159.99 per unit.

Pros:

  • Offers a wide field of vision
  • Built-in microphone provides crystal-clear audio quality
  • Good value for money

X Cons:

  • Lacks in-depth analytical functions
  • Mobile app leaves plenty to be desired
Compare Quotes from Leading Dash Cam Suppliers and Save
Do your trucks already have dash cams installed? YES NO

Anker Roav S1

Best low-cost dash cam for truckers

Known for its range of affordable speakers, chargers, and mobile phone accessories for consumers, this Chinese company is attempting to drop anchor in the lucrative seas of the business space. Does its dash cam succeed for trucks?

Yes, it does – for bargain hunters, at least. Because, at just £109.99 per unit (with a 32GB micro SD card included), it’s the best dash cam for truckers we found that won’t hit you hard in the wallet. Refreshingly, the low price point doesn’t mean that too much functionality is sacrificed, either – Anker’s Roav S1 sports both G-sensors and night vision, and shoots the street in full, crisp 1080p HD. Sure, you won’t get the bells and whistles of Samsara and Verizon’s integrated software. But Anker’s app still does more than you’d expect – you can manage and replay videos, track your truck’s route, and even share footage on social media.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £109.99 per unit.

Pros:

  • 12-month warranty
  • Reliable customer service
  • Cheap as chips!

X Cons:

  • Despite the social media gimmick, it’s still one of the more basic dash cams out there

Samsara CM25-I

Best truck dash cam for cargo security

It’s thought that businesses lose around £69 million per year to truck cargo theft in the UK. With that in mind, the Samsara CM25-I – an interior dash cam that helps truckers and managers keep a closer eye on their freight – is a shrewd investment…

Serial innovator Samsara helps lead the world in fleet management software – and its anti-theft interior dash cam for truckers doesn’t disappoint. Infrared LED and flawless night vision spearhead this savvy piece of kit, which is GPS-enabled and internet ready. You can also rest easy knowing that the camera offers on-demand video retrieval for up to 60 hours of driving time, streamed straight to your phone or computer. Plus, its mere presence in your cab (it looks like a CCTV camera you’d see in a shop anywhere) adds an extra level of deterrence to would-be cargo thieves.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: The CM25-I truck dash cam itself costs $249 (£199), while an annual licence fee will set you back $180 (£144).

However, to get the best idea of how much you’re likely to pay for a truck dash cam solution from leading suppliers, we recommend taking advantage of our free quote-finding service.

Simply tell us more about your truck fleet’s requirements, and we’ll put leading truck dash cam providers in touch with you. They’ll take into account your needs and specific requirements, and save you time with a quotes package tailored to your business. 

It takes just 30 seconds, and is free for UK-based fleets.

Pros:

  • HD video and built-in audio and speakers
  • Offers insights powered by the best in AI and machine learning
  • The Samsara app is as smooth and silky as it gets

X Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side
Did You Know?

Dash cams can be (and regularly are) used as evidence in court cases. In 2019, This is Money reported that dash cam footage uploaded online resulted in 1,223 prosecutions in the UK… in just a single year!


Viofo A129

Best truck dash cam for simplicity

Also the Greek for “I live”, Viofo’s series of slick, simple dash cams offer plenty in the way of vitality. And, if you’re happy to forgo features for user-friendliness, the A129 can have big benefits for your truck fleet…

It’s easy to install, for one. The A129 simply sticks onto your windscreen, while its quick release mount makes it easy to take down, too. Its app (though a little basic and bug-prone) is straightforward, and utilising its GPS and wifi-powered tracking abilities is easy enough. You can also expect dual-facing cameras (recording in 1080p HD), a 2-inch LCD display for clarity, and a ‘buffered’ parking mode all included as standard. You’ll have to pay for some extra features (such as a Bluetooth emergency remote), but the low cost of the device itself makes the additions a worthwhile expense.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £154.95 per unit.

Pros:

  • Sports a wide, 140-degree field of vision
  • An optional circular polarising lens reduces glare and improves image quality

X Cons:

  • The design is a little clunky and old-fashioned

What to look for in a truck dash cam

Earlier, we mentioned that our best dash cams for truckers have to meet certain criteria to get the nod. Flimsy, cheap knock-offs are immediately out, as are dash cams without the sufficient battery life (or recording capacity) to support long-haul journeys. 

But there are a few more, quite crucial, elements shared by all good truck dash cams. And, whether you choose your cameras from this list, through comparing quotes with our free service, or by going your own way entirely, you should at least make sure your dash cam has the following:

Night vision

A truck dash cam doesn’t need the latest infrared technology (Verizon Connect’s solution, for instance, relies on a combination of the truck’s headlights and other ‘ambient’ light in the environment), but it sure helps. 

And, on those long, late nights lugging loads across the country, a truck dash cam with good night vision is essential.

Recording and storage capabilities

When it comes to recording and storing your truck dash cam footage, you have a couple of options. 

One is selecting a camera that writes the video into an SD card inserted into the device. At the end of your journey, you simply take this SD card and upload it to your computer to view the footage.

The second option (supported by providers such as Samsara and Verizon Connect with aplomb) involves the live upload of said footage to a cloud-based platform. You’ll have the ability to view and download segments of video as the journey is still taking place, and receive unique insights into driver performance.

All the dash cams for truckers we’ve featured here are supported by an app (albeit to varying degrees of success). The extent of the reporting you’ll get via that software, though, is directly tied to how much you’re willing to spend.

Image resolution

There’s no point in having a dash cam at all unless it picks up the finer details. Yet, unbelievably, there are truck dash cams on the market with resolutions too low to pick up licence plates, or other particulars that could be key to a court victory.

Look for a truck dash cam with a screen resolution of at least 720p. 1080p is optimal, and will get the best results.

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Next steps

We’ve traversed the long roads together. We’ve put up with Heart FM’s relentless repetition of the latest ‘hits’, drank dubious-tasting petrol station coffee, and sung along to guilty pleasures.

Oh, and we’ve explored the five best dash cams for UK truckers. So which one is going to get your fleet moving?

Could it be the Anker Roav S1, luring you in with a low price point? Perhaps it’s the Viofo A129 for simple installation, or Vantrue’s 100% customer satisfaction guarantee?

We suspect, though, that it’s Verizon Connect Integrated Video and Samsara’s CM-25-I that have got your pulse racing (or maybe that’s just the coffee from earlier). And why not? Providing superlative insights into your fleet, and with scalable software to fuel your truck fleet’s growth, their products are the best that money can buy. 

To begin comparing truck dash cams for your business, try our free quote comparison tool. We’ll ask a few quick questions about your fleet, and you’ll hear directly from excellent dash cam suppliers, who’ll provide bespoke pricing packages that fit your requirements to the letter. It takes 30 seconds, and is free forever.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

The Best Dash Cams for Vans in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 22 June, 2020

Which dash cam should you choose for your fleet of vans? Finding out has never been easier…


best dash cams for vans

It was the 80s. Mullets were in, moustaches were mandatory, and Duran Duran were churning out hit after hit. Oh, and the only van dash cams around were big, clunky things found exclusively in police vehicles. 

Fast forward three decades or so, and it’s a different story. From taxis to couriers, van fleet managers everywhere are catching on to the safety, cost, efficiency and insurance benefits dash cams bring to the table. And, with the better decision making and greater fleet visibility you’ll enjoy, the question soon becomes not one of whether you should buy a dash cam… but which one is best for your business.

So read on as we break down our five favourite van dash cams, which are sure to add power and perspective to your operation. And if you’re short on time, you can begin comparing leading suppliers by providing us with some information about your fleet. Our form takes just 30 seconds to complete, and you’ll receive dash cam quotes tailored to your specific requirements.


What are the best dash cams for vans?

Focussing on a blend of price point, usability, and (of course) pure, unadulterated functionality, we compared the best van dash cams for UK fleets. But which one came out on top?

According to our research, the best dash cam for vans is the Samsara CM32 dual-facing camera. Making up the rest of our list is Verizon Connect Integrated Video, the MIO MiVue A30, the Nextbase 522GW, and Blackvue’s DR900S-2CH.

Click to navigate to a supplier, read our review, compare pricing, and view each provider’s key pros and cons.

The best dash cams for vans:

  1. Samsara CM32: Best van dash cam for safety
  2. Verizon Connect: Best for an integrated software solution
  3. MIO MiVue A30: Best dash cam for rear of van
  4. Nextbase 522GW: Best for smart features
  5. Blackvue DR900S-2CH: Best front and rear dash cam for vans

Samsara CM32 (dual-facing)

Best van dash cam for safety

Just as two pairs of eyes are better than one, Samsara’s dual-facing dash cams make prioritising safety a breeze. One camera captures the road ahead, while the other tells you exactly what’s going on inside your van. Drowsy or distracted driving? Texting at the wheel? Samsara picks it up and feeds it all back to you – in real time. It lets the driver at fault know, too, via a built-in audio speaker that provides voice-based coaching and immediate, in-cab alerts when unsafe driving occurs.

Overall Rating :

Add all this to Samsara’s slick, cloud-based vehicle tracking and management platform, and the CM32 emerges as our top dash cam pick for vans.

Pricing: The only drawback to the CM32 is that there’s no clear pricing information available. Samsara’s solutions are top of the line, meaning that any costs package will be bespoke, and take into account your van fleet’s size and ambitions.

Read more: How much does a dash cam cost in 2020?

Pros:

  • Simple installation – no hard-wiring involved
  • Provides real-time, immediate access to footage
  • Driver leaderboards improve safety by promoting healthy competition

X Cons:

  • No pricing information available

Verizon Connect Integrated Video

Best van dash cam for an integrated software solution

Pushing Samsara all the way is industry heavyweight Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cam solution. And, while it doesn’t offer all the same safety features as the CM32, the AI-driven, cloud-based platform it works with (Verizon Connect Reveal) is more than a match for Samsara’s.

Overall Rating :

Van fleets of all sizes will benefit from a user-friendly interface (accessible anywhere, anytime), and downloadable footage available as quickly as three minutes after an incident occurs. You’ll know who was involved, how fast they were going, and have everything required to settle insurance claims – and exonerate drivers – in a matter of moments.

Our research shows that Verizon Connect's integrated dash cam solution is also well-suited to lorries and HGVs. Head over to our page on the best dash cams for truckers to find out more.

Pricing: Verizon Connect Integrated Video costs around £20 per month, on top of a £20 monthly fee for its fleet management software, Verizon Connect Reveal. However, the exact amount you’ll pay depends on how many vans you operate, and the depth and breadth of features you’re after.

For a deeper dive into what you can expect to pay for your van dash cam solution, why not try our free service? Simply tell us a bit about how many vans you manage, and what industry you’re in. We’ll do the rest, and you’ll receive tailored quotes from leading van dash cam suppliers in the UK.

Pros:

  • Free installation available
  • Its durable cameras are built to withstand harsh environments
  • Its software analyses the severity of road incidents, and classifies them for you

X Cons:

  • You’ll require a Verizon Connect Reveal subscription to get going
  • The ongoing fee required to lease the software won’t appeal to everyone

Want to know more? Read our complete Verizon Connect Integrated Video review.


MIO MiVue A30

Best dash cam for rear of van

Moving away from more advanced van dash cams towards the more budget-friendly end of the scale, we have MIO’s MiVue A30. You’ll be trading down from Verizon Connect and Samsara in terms of features and functionality, but gaining a device that’s as easy to install as it is on your bank account – the dash cam quite literally sticks to your van’s back window, and is available for less than £60. For the ideal blend of crystal clear footage, discreet design, and friendly price point, the MIO MiVue A30 can’t be topped.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £59.98 per unit.

Pros:

  • GPS-equipped
  • Small, unintrusive size
  • Works well even in low-light conditions

X Cons:

  • Won’t provide detailed insights into incidents, or driver behaviour at the time
  • No live updates
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Nextbase 522GW

Best van dash cam for smart features

While Nextbase’s software doesn’t get close to that of Verizon Connect and Samsara, the dash cam itself is inspired. One of the highest spec dash cams for vans that we found, the 522GW sports a 1440p resolution, a touchscreen, and 140 degrees of visibility. It’s equipped with both GPS and Alexa compatibility, too, and works with Android and iOS to store your vans’ footage on the cloud.

Overall Rating :

Add to this the 522GW’s intelligent parking mode (which records any bump and scrape to your vans, even while parked) and emergency mode (which alerts emergency services when a crash occurs), and Nextbase emerges as a solid investment for any growing van fleet.
Nextbase 380GW dash cam
Pricing: £149 per unit.

To see how another of Nextbase’s dash cams (the 380GW, pictured) stacks up against the competition, check out our guide to the best dash cams for businesses.

Pros:

  • Autosyncs footage to your smartphone for convenience
  • Excellent video quality
  • Surprisingly affordable

X Cons:

  • Its video playback software is new, and still working through some bugs

BlackVue DR900S-2CH

Best front and rear dash cam for vans

Heading back to the high-end, high spec dash cams for vans, the BlackVue DR900S-2CH is the last – but most certainly not least – in our list. Rather, with an ultra-wide viewing angle, night vision, and a whole host of security features (including parking mode, loop recording, and file protection) included as standard, BlackVue’s dash cam offers plenty. Pair all that with a cloud platform providing live footage and push notifications – plus an app that enables two-way communication between you and the driver – and your van fleet can enjoy a shortcut to scalability.

Overall Rating :

Pricing: £399 per unit.

Pros:

  • GPS and wifi-equipped
  • Simple to install
  • Sturdy, cylindrical shape adds a touch of industrial chic to your van fleet

X Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side

Next steps

So, what’ll it be?

For a cheap, basic dash cam that sticks straight onto your back window, it’s the MIO MiVue A30 all day. 

For a more advanced dash cam for your van, models from BlackVue, NextBase, and Garmin will certainly do the trick. 

For complete fleet visibility, though, and insights driven by the best-in-class, machine learning-driven technology, there are only two options.  That’s why we recommend Verizon Connect and Samsara for fleets of vans looking to expand their operations, and provide more efficient, effective service to boot. 

Could you picture a dash cam fleet powering the engine of your business? Let us help.

Simply provide us with some details about your van fleet’s size, and your business’ legal status and postcode. We’ll use this to pair you only with the van dash cam suppliers that are the best fit for your fleet, and which service your location. They’ll then be in touch with quotes tailored to your requirements. Simple!


FAQs

Does a van dash cam work as a standalone product?

Some do, yep! These tend to be the more basic, off-the-shelf van dash cams, though. More advanced systems, such as Verizon Connect and Samsara, require a subscription to their software platforms. That means their dash cams can only be used in conjunction with, or as a feature of, this central interface.

What other technology do I need for my fleet of vans?

Most van dash cams are built to work with a wide subset of other products and tech, including Amazon Alexa, GPS, and wifi. But for unparalleled synergy – and unrivalled insights – you’ll also require a van fleet management system.

Van tracking allows you to view your vehicles’ locations in real time, while planning and optimising routes for speed and success. 

Read our review of the best van tracking systems for businesses for more info.

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Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

10 best VoIP providers in the UK

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 22 June, 2020

Chances are, you’ve landed on this page because you are interested in finding a hosted VoIP phone for your business.

You’ve made a wise decision.

Did you know that VoIP solutions can save your business up to 70% on call costs?

And that’s while having the same features and functionality as a traditional on-premise system. Plus, with VoIP you can make calls on the go, support remote working, manage everything via a computer app and so much more. 

Without in-depth knowledge of the industry, choosing a VoIP phone system can seem like a daunting task. This is where we come in.

We’ve been in the industry for 15 years, and know that switching phone providers can be difficult, and setup can be time consuming – not to mention the economical impact of getting it wrong. If you have a couple of minutes, our custom-built tool can speed up the whole process for you. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions about your business to be matched to the best provider. It could be the most productive two minutes of your week!

Need to get to grips with VoIP providers first? This comprehensive guide has been compiled by our telephones systems expert, exploring the ins and outs of top-rated UK providers and VoIP products in 2020. 


What is a VoIP Phone System?

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and refers to the software-based technology which allows businesses to make their telephone calls using a broadband internet connection, rather than through traditional phone lines. Take a look at how it all works:

VoIP phones systems convert the sound signal of users' voices into digital data streams, which can then be sent in “packets” over the Internet.

The signal is passed through an Ethernet cable to the VoIP server or gateway, before connecting with the Internet. Investing in a VoIP Phone system means a business has the freedom to use a variety of different devices to make and receive calls, including physical IP phones, computers or laptops, and smart phones.

Once you’ve set up a VoIP phone system, get ready for cheaper domestic calls and low price per minute international calls, too.

VoIP desk phones can either be set up as a new system or integrated into an existing one.

If you’re looking to integrate business phone systems, contact your current system supplier for advice.

In this guide, we've highlighted 10 of the best VoIP phone models in the corded and DECT (cordless) phone categories. Each of them will integrate fully with a VoIP phone system.


If you've read enough, and are already sure that a VoIP telephone system is the best solution for your business, answer the quick question below. Then, simply provide us with a few brief details about your business, and the kind of phone system you're looking to implement.

It takes about thirty seconds to complete, and it's free. When you're done, you'll receive quotes from several leading VoIP telephone system suppliers. Why not give it a try?

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What is hosted VoIP?

With hosted VoIP, the infrastructure is based ‘in the cloud’ rather than on your premises. A service provider owns, manages and maintains the infrastructure in a secure data centre. You pay a monthly fee to use the service. Most businesses find hosted VoIP to be the best option as it’s so easy and low-maintenance.

VoIP Benefits


Top 10 best UK VoIP provider reviews

The following suppliers offer the best VoIP Phones available in the UK, as reviewed 14th January 2019. Read on for more information about the VoIP services and features of each supplier, and which businesses they are best suited to.

4com Plc

4Com is a successful, fast-growing company. They’ve installed thousands of business telecoms systems across the UK so far. 4Com provide hosted VoIP with UK based support, and were a finalist in the National Business Awards for the Customer Focus and Service category.

Supplier Rating : Read Review

What makes 4com’s VoIP phones stand out is their Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) system. CTI seamlessly integrates phone and computer information (such as customer records) for better call handling and customer satisfaction.

Their VoIP product is feature-rich and reliable. Any maintenance issues that do arise can be dealt with by their Bournemouth call centre, or local agents and engineers.

How 4Com VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Comprehensive call reporting

✓ Computer Telephony Integration enabling instant caller information

✓ On-hold marketing messages

✓ Call recording

✓ Easy-to-use auto-attendant feature

✓ Voicemail to email functionality

✓ Easy installation and setup

✓ Excellent UK service and support

✓ Flexible for any size business, ensuring future compatibility

✓ No upfront costs

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Lily Comms

A relative newcomer, Lily Comms has gone from strength to strength within the UK telecoms industry over the last ten years. They offer a broad range of services with well-priced basic plans, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Supplier Rating : Read Review

Lily Comms currently supply over 2500 businesses. Their fully hosted phone systems are state-of-the-art. Horizon Unified Communications is their primary hosted VoIP product, with fixed and mobile telephony facilities via a high-speed cloud-based portal.

How Lily Comms VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Reliable service with full 24/7 support, training and number porting

✓ An end-to-end single solution

✓ Powerful call handling features

✓ Virtual conference room

✓ Fixed and mobile telephony solutions

✓ Solutions for mobile and home workers

✓ Multi-language auto attendant

✓ Personal call routing

✓ Future proof and feature-rich


Vonage

Vonage are a leading global provider of cloud-based communications. They have nearly two million customers globally. They offer complete flexibility, with no installation charges, line rental, excessive contractual terms, or upfront costs. Their solutions are scalable and designed for today’s flexible working environment. All you need is a broadband connection and Vonage will take care of the rest.

Supplier Rating :

Vonage have a UK head office based in London. Their core packages are offered at three levels: for home and small businesses, for offices of two to 30 employees, and for medium and larger businesses.

There are over 40 call features available with Vonage, only some of which are listed below. It really is a comprehensive VoIP telephony service, built with flexible working environments in mind.

How Vonage VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Full call handling features

✓ Call recording with unlimited storage

✓ Hunt groups for incoming calls

✓ Multi-device extensions

✓ Conference and group calling

✓ Choice of UK area code and number, or port existing numbers

✓ Smart working in and out of the office with Vonage’s flexible solutions

✓ App for smart mobile phones, tablets, and desktops/ laptops


Berry

Berry is the “people’s choice” when it comes to providers of VOIP systems in the UK. Its personalised service and 24/7 support has led to a bagful of awards since it started out in 2011. And its overwhelming customer satisfaction levels online show Berry’s commitment to being the ‘berry’ best.

Supplier Rating : Read Review

As well as offering VOIP services, Berry provide on-premise phone systems – plus dynamic solutions that combine the two. Its handsets look great and offer a range of impressive call reporting and recording features.

Berry provides a scalable, flexible VOIP service that integrates seamlessly with your database. It connects with your CRM tool to equip you with all the info you need to never miss a sale. And Berry’s range of collaborative tools aims to bring your team members closer together. Which means happier staff and happier customers.

How Berry VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Around the clock support

✓ Collaborative features to enable team coordination

✓ Comprehensive call reporting

✓ Flexible phone system options

✓ Personal Account Manager

✓ Easy to set up

✓ Highly scalable

✓ Knows the unique challenges faced by UK businesses

✓ Simple and intuitive web and smartphone interfaces


RingCentral

RingCentral is a global leader in cloud communications and collaboration solutions. It has over 350,000 businesses relying on their systems worldwide, and partnerships with leading carriers, like BT. Their simple to use, featureful products enable today’s mobile and distributed workforce to communicate, collaborate, and connect from anywhere, on any device. It offers a range of packages for the UK market to suit almost any budget, with prices starting at just £7.99 per user, per month. And let’s not forget there’s the option of a 14 day trial!

Supplier Rating : Read Review

RingCentral unifies voice, video, team messaging, conferencing, online meetings, and integrated contact centre solutions. What’s more, their open platform integrates with leading business apps and is highly customisable.

Their innovative cloud-based VoIP solutions suit businesses of all sizes, from small local enterprises to multinational organisations.

How RingCentral VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Connect anytime, anywhere with mobile and desktop applications

✓ Cloud phone system, video conferencing, team messaging, online fax and more

✓ One provider for all your communications

✓ Low, all-inclusive, monthly pricing starting at £7.99

✓ IVR, auto-receptionist, analytics, and over 50 other features

✓ Out-of-the-box integrations with Salesforce, Google, Microsoft and more

✓ High-quality local 24/7 customer support

✓ Robust security and reliability


bOnline

With excellent customer approval ratings and free setup, installation, and support, bOnline is a small business' dream. Its new customer offer allows small businesses to benefit from unlimited VoIP for just £9 per user, per month, and make calls to a generous 36 destinations. Better still, those VoIP services are about as feature-rich as they get; virtual receptionist, call recording, and after-hours smart routing are all included as standard, while bOnline's mobile app is a pleasure to use.

Supplier Rating :

bOnline's small-business focussed packages are tailormade to scale as your operations do. You'll have three packages to choose from:

  • VoIP talk (£9, discounted from £14) provides 100 minutes of calling to UK landlines and mobiles
  • VoIP talk 1200 (£13, discounted from £16) gets you 1200 minutes to UK landlines and mobiles
  • VoIP talk unlimited (£16, discounted from £18) offers… well, you can probably guess!

All plans come with a free domain and two business mails, along with full mobility across laptop, tablet, and smartphone. bOnline's VoIP phones also come equipped with more than 50 features, while an extra £3.25 to £8 per month bags you 500 minutes of calls to 50 countries. With the benefits you'll see on spend, productivity, and simplicity, it's never been more profitable to be online!

How bOnline VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ On-site set-up, configuration, and system changes performed by in-house engineers

✓ Completely customisable and adaptable

✓ Call recording powered by AI analytics

Affordable, friendly service that makes switching easy

✓ Mobile softphone application

✓ Simple contracts

Comprehensive CRM integration

Transparent international rates


BT

BT are a household name and the world’s oldest telecommunication company. They serve a range of telephony and TV services to companies worldwide. BT cover everyone from the smallest to largest of companies. They have a range of solutions from fixed lines to VoIP and managed networked IT.

Supplier Rating :

BT’s cloud-based VoIP phone systems are scalable, with powerful call management features. They offer three core packages:

  • BT Cloud Phone is “plug and play” for up to nine users
  • BT Cloud Voice is more sophisticated for five users or more
  • BT One Phone Office is an integrated mobile and premises operated system for five or more users or call centres. It’s perfect if you have a mobile workforce, and lets you manage all your calls from one mobile device.

Each of BT’s hosted lines comes with an inclusive geographic number, with the option of adding more for an additional charge

If you are already utilising BT fixed lines you may find the BT VoIP a cost-effective product to consider

How BT VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Choice of regional phone numbers, or virtual geographic numbers

✓ Full mobile integration, and diversion for remote working

✓ Call forwarding, routing, voicemail and three-way calling

✓ Call monitoring and recording

✓ CRM integration

✓ Cloud-based, with software-based management portal

✓ Instant messenger for employees

✓ Audio and video conferencing


Focus Group

Focus Group have grown quickly in the UK since they were founded in 2005, going from a start-up with two employees to an organisation with over 300 staff. Their portfolio of web-based products spans IT, data, and telephony, and offer combined IP PBX telephone and fully cloud-based VoIP solutions.

Supplier Rating :

Focus Group’s main VoIP product is Horizon Unified Communications. With fixed and mobile telephony provided by a simple to use web portal, it’s targeted at any size of business. It can be particularly suited to multi-site operations, and those with off-site employees.

Horizon is used by those who need a ‘business continuity solution’, as they describe it, with comprehensive support to continue operating in the event of a major issue. Services can be instantly moved to a backup or diversion plan, without losing functionality or using call forwarding.

How Focus Group VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Combined IP-based and PBX option

✓ Free calls between branch offices and mobile phones

✓ Shared dial plans and directories

✓ On hold, marketing messages, and call forwarding

✓ Only pay for what you use

✓ Cost effective call recording from any location

✓ “One number anywhere” for desk or mobile

✓ Choice of telephone numbers


8x8

Multi-award winning global telecoms provider 8×8 boast big brand clients worldwide, including McDonalds. Their solutions focus on various sectors including government, healthcare and education. They have over 50,000 satisfied business customers and a full UK HQ.

Supplier Rating :

8×8’s main product focus is on two provisions: Virtual Office and Virtual Contact Centre for call centre operations.

Virtual Office is richly featured and mobile, with extensive analytics for improving productivity. It’s easy to use, and offers a continuous communications services no matter your location.

How 8×8 VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Extension dialling, auto attendant and ring groups

✓ Call recording

✓ Internet faxing

✓ Web conferencing and video meetings

✓ Desktop and mobile applications, or feature rich IP phones

✓ Extensive CRM integration


Mitel

Mitel are the fastest growing global cloud communications provider serving over 70 million customers in almost 100 countries worldwide. They have over 1,600 patents and applications with an excellent reputation for innovation. Their solutions stretch across business communications, contact centre specialisms and cloud services. They have regional offices globally, so pride themselves on ‘global reach, local touch’.

Supplier Rating : Read Review

Mitel categorise their solutions across industry and company size. They offer public and private cloud-based solutions, and combined hybrid cloud solutions for those who need it.

MiCloud is their cloud-based VoIP product, safely housed in multiple data locations to prevent downtime. Users have the same functionality in an office, in the field or working remotely. There are three industry leading packages – MiCloud Office, MiCloud Business and MiCloud Flex – to suit businesses of all sizes.

How Mitel VoIP systems can benefit your business:

✓ Complete mobile integration

✓ The same features on mobile and desktop

✓ Easily deployed and scalable

✓ Focus on the millennial generation and the tech-savvy

✓ Full CRM integration

✓ Call recording, playback, evaluation and storage

✓ Easily managed voice, IM and email from one screen

✓ Powerful business analytics

✓ Contact centre options and integrations


Top 10 VoIP Desk Phones

VoIP desk phones work with a cloud-based VoIP, or hybrid IP-PBX solution. They provide physical desk solutions – ie. not softphones – which are headset compatible. They can be used alongside other components from your VoIP phone system provider, such as smartphone applications and desktop computers.

We’ve included our top picks for entry-level, wired VoIP systems and DECT (cordless) VoIP systems below:

5 Best entry-level VoIP office phones

The selection of phones below includes basic, wired models that function a lot like conventional desk phones:

1. Yealink SIP-T21P Entry Level IP phone

Yealink SIP-T21P

This is a great all-round, entry-level IP phone. It has a slightly lower price point than the Grandstream GXP2200 (see below), but offers the same key benefits. Features include: two VoIP accounts, local three-way conferencing, voicemail, message waiting indication, direct IP call without SIP proxy, and phonebook (1000 entries). There is also an extra-large graphical LCD display, providing more visual information at a glance.

Price: £50

Overall Rating :

The Yealink SIP-T21P is the ideal entry-level phone. Cost effective and easy to install, the handset has a clear display as well as secure privacy settings. High-definition audio makes this phone a great choice for offices of all sizes. It also works seamlessly with IP or IP PBX.

Key features:

✓ HD voice, handset and speaker

✓ Group listening, SMS, emergency calling

✓ Phone book and black list

✓ Language selection and caller ID


2. Grandstream GXP2200 Android desktop phone

Grandstream GXP2200

This is an inexpensive corded multimedia Android VoIP phone. It features a responsive touchscreen LCD, in addition to hard keys for functions such as mute, voicemail, hold and so on. As this phone uses an Android operating system, it enables access to popular applications, such Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Voice.

Price: £80

Overall Rating :

The Grandstream GXP2200 is a modern, feature-rich desk phone ideal for forward-thinking businesses. This VoIP phone will suit all types of organisations. Apps can be downloaded via Google Play Store, or you can create custom ones. It has a 4.3 inch touchscreen LCD.

Key features:

✓ Directory with 1000 contacts

✓ Call history holds 500 records

✓ Call transfer, forwarding and waiting

✓ HD wideband audio


3. Yealink T23GN Dual Gigabit Ethernet IP phone

Yealink T23GN

A well-priced phone with an easy-to-use interface and HD audio. Features include: call hold, mute, one touch speed dial and call forwarding. It also has local three-way conferencing, ring tone selection and import, and a local phone book with 1000 entries.

Price: £75

Overall Rating :

The Yealink T23GN is a full featured IP-PBX phone which accepts three lines, has caller display and anonymous call rejection. It’s a good all-round VoIP desk phone for any office, but especially small to medium sized businesses.

Key features:

✓ Large directory

✓ Extensive features

✓ Dual gigabit Ethernet ports

✓ 132 x 64 white backlit display


4. Polycom VVX 600

Polycom VVX 600

The Polycom VVX 600 is a more advanced VoIP desk phone option. It gives exceptional call quality and has a large, very responsive touchscreen. This corded phone supports up to 16 lines, video conferencing and playback through the use of external USB cameras. It also features HD voice technology.

Price: £215

Overall Rating :

The Polycom VVX600 is one of the most popular VoIP phones available. The bright display enables users to manage their calendars, and receive meeting and catch up reminders, all on their phone handset. This capability saves time and boosts productivity.

Key features:

✓ 4.3″ LCD touchscreen

✓ Bluetooth integration

✓ HD voice quality

✓ Dual USB ports


5. Mitel IP485G

Mitel IP485G

A general office VoIP desktop phone, the IP485G has a backlit colour display with a searchable, expanded directory. It has built in visual voicemail alongside standard transfer, conference call and on hold features.

Price: £75

Overall Rating :

The Mitel IP485G phone is ideal for an office-based professional. It has a full duplex speakerphone, visual voice and conferencing capability, and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet switch for Gigabit speed.

Key features:

✓ Eight lines

✓ Expanded call history

✓ LED indicators

✓ 480 x 272 backlit colour display


Best DECT VoIP Office Phones

VoIP DECT phones are cordless. This makes them more mobile than traditional VoIP telephones.

The most innovative phones have a wide range of features including large colour LED displays, SMS facilities, and integrated phone books. VoIP DECT phones are manufactured by many of the big telecoms companies including BT, Mitel, Siemens, Panasonic, Cisco and Gigaset.

Here’s our pick of the top five around today:

1. Panasonic KX-TGP600 DECT Phone

Panasonic KX-TGP600

The Panasonic KX-TGP600 suits small to medium sized businesses which need a more mobile desk phone. It’s a wireless VoIP DECT phone which can fit eight handsets to each base and will handle eight simultaneous calls.

Price: £85

Overall Rating :

This phone has a vivid colour screen and a long battery life. SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol) is available for extra phone security. The phone has an excellent and extendable range.

Key features:

✓ Range of 100-200 feet

✓ Noise reduction technology

✓ 200 hours standby battery life / 11 hours talk time

✓ Repeaters available to extend connection range


2. Mitel Aastra 632 DECT Phone

Mitel Aastra 632

The Mitel 632 DECT is a hardy DECT business phone. It can be used outside, or in industrial environments. It’s perfect for factory floors and care or medical facilities, as it’s easy to clean and complies with hygiene requirements. It also has a sensor alarm and an emergency call key suited to hospitals or highly secure areas.

Price: £85

Overall Rating :

A superb quality workplace phone for both general and specialised environments. It has a colour TFT display, extensive telephone book, ambient noise filter, and a mini USB PC interface, and many more features. The Mitel 632 has all the functionality and navigation you would expect, plus the added benefit of its robust design for certain workplaces.

Key features:

✓ 12 hour talk time

✓ Man down, no movement and escape alarm

✓ Hands-free operation

✓ Compatible with high hygiene workplaces


3. Gigaset SL785 DECT phone

Gigaset SL785

The Gigaset SL785 is ideal for home and office-use. It has positive reviews for its touchscreen interface with integrated answering machine (45 minute recording capacity) and ECO DECT technology for reduced battery and power usage.

Price: £195

Overall Rating :

The slick design makes this model perfect for modern businesses and the clear display offers a number of functionality benefits. Other advantages include: directory transfer options and the ability to store multiple numbers under one directory entry.

Key features:

✓ Bluetooth enabled

✓ Base handset locator

✓ Call recording

✓ 15 hour talk time



4. Yealink W52P

Yealink W52P

With a 1.8 inch colour display and intuitive user interface, the Yealink W52P offers all the standard features you would expect including intercom, transfer, call forwarding and three-way conferencing.

Price: £90

Overall Rating :

With a 1.8” colour display and intuitive user interface. The Yealink W52P offers all the standard features you would expect including intercom, transfer, call forwarding and three-way conferencing.

Key features:

✓ Exceptional HD sound

✓ Highly scalable

✓ Up to 4 simultaneous calls

✓ Up to 5 VoIP accounts


5. Grandstream DP720 DECT IP Phone

Grandstream DP720

This is an inexpensive VoIP solution that gets the job done. Up to five phones can be attached to a single DECT hub and up to 10 SIP accounts per handset. It’s a full HD audio phone with a long range that’s perfect for small businesses or as a home phone.

Price: £50

Overall Rating :

The Grandstream DP720 is a high quality DECT wireless IP phone designed for homes and small business. It has three-way local conferencing, phonebook, and DECT authentication and encryption technology. With a modern design and high-end features, it’s a great phone for a great price.

Key features:

✓ 10 hour talk time

✓ 80 hour standby mode

✓ 300 metre outdoor range, 50 metre indoor range

✓ 5 phones per DECT base


Benefits of VoIP for your small business

VoIP Benefits for small business

VoIP brings several benefits for your business, no matter the size. Let's take a look four ways a VoIP system can help your business grow.

1. Reduce costs

The adoption of a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone system for your small business can drastically reduce both your capex (capital expenditure) and opex (operational expenditure).

In other words, not only is it a great long term investment, but it will start saving you money on your calls from day one.

Providers such as One2Call offer free inter-site communication, which is hugely beneficial for your business, especially if you're looking to expand. Providers offer VoIP to UK landline calls for as little as 1p per minute.

2. Flexible and mobile communications

VoIP systems can work from any location with internet, or via a VPN (virtual private network). This makes them a great choice for if you run a smaller business, with staff who work from home. Telephone numbers can be retained and will remain directly associated with the main business office, allowing employees to use the same service.

One good example of what UK VoIP providers can offer your small business comes from Voipfone, who deliver up to 800 different extensions (per account).

These can be placed in any physical location, in the same office or internationally, and calls will be free of charge.


Save by Comparing VoIP Phone System Quotes from Leading Suppliers
Do you already have a VoIP Phone System? YES NO

3. Enable growth

VoIP offers the potential to scale up operations as your business continues to grow.

Additional ports can be easily configured and brought online to provide for an extended service, or withdrawn and taken down when you no longer need them.

This can all be achieved seamlessly without disruption or down time, ensuring that communication between your employees and customers will not suffer.

The V-Plan Business VoIP package from Vonage (from £12.25 per month) gives you unlimited dialling to UK landlines, as well as unlimited calls to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Canada and the US. This makes it a great option if your business is looking to expand into exciting new territories.

4. Connect to the future

Studies have shown that over 45% of UK businesses were already using VoIP phone systems in 2016 and that the majority of the rest would be doing so in the near future. And with call charges of up to 50% lower than BT and other providers, it’s no wonder so many savvy small businesses in the UK are making the switch. Are you?


VoIP Phone Accessories

Some businesses choose to invest in VoIP headsets, which have a number of benefits including increased employee comfort when making long calls, freeing your hands for other tasks such as using a computer while you are on the phone and freedom of movement.

The latest models have significantly improved sound quality compared to earlier handsets. There are a number of different VoIP headphones available with prices starting from around £20 per set.

Other accessories available include conference call sound stations, and cases to protect cordless phones. There’s a wide range of suppliers of VoIP telephone hardware, so shopping around is always a good idea.

VoIP: The Verdict

As we’ve already seen, a VoIP service offers many important benefits that will help you run a more efficient, flexible business. To find out more about the costs and services available from service providers, fill in this short form and we’ll gather the most competitive prices for you – for free!

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Verizon Connect Integrated Dash Cam Review 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 11 June, 2020

Are you an ambitious fleet owner looking to scale your operations while prioritising safety? You’re in the right place…


Verizon Connect Integrated Video

Pros:

  • Durable, 720p dash cam
  • Installation you can take care of yourself
  • Intuitive app interface is easy to get to grips with
  • Push notifications keep you in the loop
  • 3-month free offer available

X Cons:

  • Pricing isn’t transparent
  • The dash cam isn't standalone; you'll also need a subscription to Verizon's fleet management software
At a glance: Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cam solution offers slick, stylish hardware, and the scalable software to match.

With the fastest 5G network in the world and an employee base roughly equivalent to the population of Kingston upon Thames, Verizon doesn’t do things by halves.

It’s little surprise, then, that Verizon’s dash cams (part of Verizon Connect, the tech behemoth’s range of fleet management and asset tracking tools) are at the industry’s forefront.

But what can Verizon Connect Integrated Video do for your business?


What are Verizon Connect’s features and benefits?

Receive updates in close to real-time

If one of your employees is driving dangerously – or, worse still, is involved in a collision while out on the road – you’ll need to know about it as soon as possible.

With Verizon Connect, you’ll receive a push notification when any kind of aggressive driving occurs, such as harsh braking or hard cornering. Verizon Connect’s advanced algorithms also analyse the severity of these events for you, and classify them based on their risk to road users. 

Verizon Connect live notifications

Plus, Verizon Connect isn’t just smart – it’s speedy, too. After unsafe driving occurs, you’ll be able to view footage of it within three to five minutes. This allows you to respond to cavalier cornering and bad braking with speed and decisiveness, and demonstrate your fleet’s commitment to safer driving.

Complete fleet visibility – anywhere, anytime

The strength of Verizon Connect’s solution lies not in its dash cams alone. Rather, it’s within the synergy of that hardware with its powerful, cloud-based analytics platform, Verizon Connect Reveal.

Formerly known as Fleetmatics Reveal, Verizon Connect Reveal is an advanced vehicle tracking portal that offers a 360-degree view of your fleet. There’s nothing to download or install – you simply log in from a web browser on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and get started.

verizon connect reveal software

Your dash cam footage is also stored on that cloud platform, meaning it’s not taking up precious space on your computer. Verizon Connect saves your videos for up to 90 days before deleting them – helping you cut down on old, unnecessary footage, while remaining GDPR compliant (and avoiding big fines!).

Plus, when combined with Verizon’s fleet management and route optimisation tools, you’ll see savings across your fuel and maintenance costs, too.

For more information about Verizon Connect’s vehicle tracking and fleet management software, read our review.

Industry-leading hardware

Backing up all that intelligent software are the dash cams themselves. Verizon Connect’s devices shoot the road in 720p HD video, while offering an impressive 150 degrees of vision – meaning you’ll see exactly what the driver does.
Verizon Connect dash cam with software
Better still, Verizon Connect’s dash cams – unlike most of the cheap-and-cheerful varieties you’ll find on the shelves of your local Halfords – are built to last. 

Verizon Connect’s dash cams are built to withstand the vibrations and high heat of even the toughest environments, while their sleek design should add a touch of class to your cabs.

Free installation

And, when it comes to actually installing that hardware, you can do it your way. For DIY types, Verizon Connect provides installation instructions online, while you can activate it all through the Verizon Connect Reveal mobile app. 

For the less hands-on fleet owners out there, installation by a trained technician is provided for free.

Capture hard evidence of road incidents

When an accident occurs, a dash cam records it – but that’s just the absolute minimum. With Verizon Connect’s integrated solution, you’ll get so much more.

Its GPS-equipped dash cams let you know exactly where the vehicle was when the scrape occurred, who was driving it, and – crucially – how fast they were going.

This info (along with the footage itself, of course) can be important when it comes to settling insurance claims, and for driver training purposes. And, when combined with Verizon Connect’s fleet management and route optimisation tools, you’ll see savings across your fuel and maintenance costs, too.

Ready to start comparing tailored dash cam quotes? Let's go

How much does Verizon Connect cost?

To benefit from Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cams, you’ll first need to have a subscription to its fleet management software, Reveal. 

Verizon Connect Reveal is SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), meaning that you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee to lease the software. In Verizon Connect’s case, that’s around £20 per month, though it will vary depending on the features you need. 

On top of this, you’ll pay an additional fee of around £20 per month for Verizon Connect’s dash cam. However, it’s important to remember that all businesses are different, and what you’ll pay will hinge on the type of vehicles you operate, and how many of them you’d like dash cams installed in.

To get a better understanding of exactly how much your business can expect to pay for an integrated dash cam solution, tap into our free quote-finding service

Here’s how it works:

1. Provide us with some information about your fleet, such as:

  • How many vehicles are in it?
  • Are they cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, or something else?
  • Which type of dash cam are you most interested in?
  • What is your postcode?

2. We match you with suppliers that are tailored to your fleet’s specific requirements, including location.
3. You’ll hear directly from up to three industry-leading suppliers (including Verizon Connect), who’ll provide no-obligation quotes that are tailored to your business’ requirements.

It’s that simple.

Verizon Connect is currently offering three months free when you sign up to a 39-month contract.

Is Verizon Connect right for my business?

“I’m in the business of haulage. Is Verizon Connect a good fit for me?”

Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cam is ideal for truckers, HGVs, and fleets in the logistics industry. 

To explain why, we’ll contrast Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cam with a cheap, off-the-shelf one – in this case, the plucky RAC 100 (£14.95). Like all basic dash cams, the RAC 100 is ‘passive’ – to view footage, you’ll need your drivers to manually remove the cam’s SD card at the end of their journey, and download the video.

When you’re operating a fleet that’s making lengthy cross-country trips, there’s no time (or energy) to spare for this. Worse, you won’t know how your lorry drivers are getting on until the journey is complete, and will struggle to provide your clients with accurate ETAs.

Now, consider Verizon Connect Integrated Video. Unlike the RAC 100, it comes equipped with GPS capability. You’ll know exactly where your trucks are, and whether they’re following the recommended route. You’ll also get insights into driver behaviour in close to real-time, and be able to watch segments of each journey as it happens.

For truckers, it’s got to be Verizon Connect – or at least one of our other top picks for heavy vehicle fleets. Explore them below.

“I’m looking to add dash cams to a small fleet of between three and four vehicles”

In this case, Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cam solution might not be for you. Verizon Connect's dash cam isn't a standalone product – it relies on integration with Reveal, Verizon Connect's fleet management software. The additional expense of this package may be too much for some small fleets – who are also less likely to need the sophisticated variety of fleet data Verizon Connect's software provides.

For very small fleets, a basic, off-the-shelf dash cam might just do the trick. However, they’re not user-friendly, and you’ll have to get used to sifting through hours of footage at a time. As a short-term solution, basic dash cams fit the bill – but they won’t grow with your business in the same way that Verizon Connect will.

Ready to start comparing tailored dash cam quotes? Let's go

What do Verizon Connect’s customer reviews say?

We don’t write reviews that don’t take the customer’s opinion into account. So, what do Verizon Connect’s customer base have to say about the tech giant’s integrated dash cam solution?

Well, reviews of the dash cams themselves are surprisingly few and far between. Feedback about the software package (Verizon Connect Reveal, which also includes fleet tracking and management), though, is widely available. 

Let’s take a look.

Cindy says:

“We love this software, and we have improved employee driving safety by using it. We've been using [Verizon Connect Reveal] for years. We initially signed up because we wanted to keep track of what employees were doing in our company vehicles, but the software is capable of so much more. 

“From tracking our oil changes to sending us alerts when employees are speeding, we use this every day. The customer service is amazing, and there's a pretty nice referral program, too.”

As Cindy highlights, Verizon Connect’s software allows you to do more than merely monitor dash cam footage. You’ll also be able to track your vehicles, foster better, safer habits in your drivers, and benefit from good customer service to boot.

Another review highlights the mobile app’s refreshingly smooth interface:

Nate says: 

“I like the Verizon Connect Reveal app, through which I can track where our trucks are at any moment. I also like the reports that I can run to see the different metrics of each vehicle. The user interface is pretty easy to use; simple and concise.”

However, it’s not all good. 

Buz says:

“Even though the trackers were installed for free, I feel that the monthly service is too expensive. It seems maybe you could get incentives or price breaks.”

The software’s high price does crop up a lot as a sticking point for Verizon Connect’s customers. As do it’s waiting times, as Caity explains:

Caity says:

“I can go weeks waiting for an email back from their team.”


What other dash cams could I consider?

If you’re put off by the price point of Verizon Connect’s dash cams (or if the size of your fleet doesn’t yet warrant such sophisticated features), then don’t fret. There are several other providers you can consider.

For an off-the-shelf solution, you can’t go wrong with these options:

Expert Market logo vector transparentapeman c420Garmin Mini dash cammotorola mdc125Viofo a119 v3
Apeman C420Garmin MiniMotorola MDC125Viofo A119 V3
Display screen?X
GPS tracking?XXX
Parking mode?XX
Read more: Dash Cam Prices 2020: A Guide for UK Businesses

For larger fleets with more than five vehicles, we recommend looking at more high-end alternatives to Verizon Connect:

Samsara Dual-Facing CM22Nextbase 522GW

Samsara Dual-Facing CM22

Nextbase 522GW

Voice-based driver coachingCompatibility with Amazon Alexa
Infrared LED for driving at nightIntelligent parking mode
Automatic upload to the cloudEmergency SOS response feature

If any of these take your fancy, why not start comparing dash cam quotes now – with us?

It’s simple. Just take 30 seconds to provide us with a little more information about your requirements, and we’ll match you with leading dash cam providers. They’ll provide you with tailored quotes, that’ll take into account the size of your fleet and the features you need. It’s completely free for UK-based businesses, too.


Expert verdict

Verizon Connect Integrated Dash Cam represents some of the finest fleet optimisation technology on the market.

It is relatively expensive, yes – and certain customer reviews do raise a few questions surrounding Verizon Connect’s customer support. But, for businesses looking to make a long-term investment in safety, productivity, and their reputation, Verizon Connect is a must.

Do you use Verizon Connect’s integrated dash cams? Do you agree with our verdict? To chat more about your experience with Verizon Connect’s products, send me an email at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk and share your thoughts.

Ready to start comparing tailored dash cam quotes? Let's go
Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Dash Cams: The Ultimate Guide for UK Businesses

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 5 June, 2020

What is a dash cam? How does it work? And which type of dash cam can accelerate your business’ growth?


Dashboard cameras. Once primarily the facilitator of questionable YouTube entertainment, dash cams are now gaining serious traction in the world of business. With one in four motorists in the UK using one, it’s not hard to see why fleet managers are flocking to them in their droves.

Dash cams can help you cultivate better road safety habits, cut out lazy or aggressive driving, and settle disputes. Dash cams aren’t just a boost for your reputation, either – with the savings available on fuel, mileage, and your insurance, they’re a breath of fresh air for your wallet, too.

But what is a dash cam exactly, and how does it work? Furthermore, how do you choose the right type of dash cam for your fleet, and ensure you’re getting the best value for your business?

Read on to find out. Or, if you’re short on time and want to get to the business end, simply let us know your requirements. We’ll ask about the types of vehicle in your fleet, how many there are, and what dash cam features you’ve got your eye on, if any. Then, you’ll receive quotes tailored to your business’ requirements. It takes 30 seconds, and it’s free.


What is a dash cam?

what is a dash cam

A dash cam is an onboard recording device, usually attached to the inside of the windscreen, which is used to capture video and audio from in and around your vehicle. This footage can be downloaded and viewed to provide insight into your drivers’ habits, and get to the bottom of things if there’s an accident.


How do dash cams work?

As with most tech solutions for businesses, dash cam solutions are comprised of two parts.

Dash cam hardware

First, there’s the hardware – in this case, the windscreen-mounted camera itself. 

Once it’s installed to the inside or outside of your vehicle (tucked in behind the rearview mirror is usually the safest bet), it’ll capture what you want it to: whether that’s a view of the road ahead only, or footage from within the car, too.

And – at least where basic, off-the-shelf dash cams are concerned – that’s all there is to it. When you want to view the footage, you’ll have to manually remove the camera’s SD card, hook it up to your computer, and download the recording. Unless…

Dash cam software

With more advanced dash cam solutions, though, there’s a second component – the software. Here, video footage is transmitted via the cloud to an app on your smartphone or tablet. 

Rather than having to wait until a journey’s over, you’ll get insights into what’s happening out on the tarmac in close to real time. With Verizon Connect, for instance, footage is available between three and five minutes after unsafe driving occurs. 

You’ll also receive push notifications that let you know when there’s been an accident, so you can address it straight away  – without having to sift through hours of footage first, or wait until your vehicle is back at base.

Providers offering this business-grade level of software include Verizon Connect, Samsara, and UK Fuels. Click below to tell us about your requirements, and get tailored dash cam quotes.

Want to explore how a dash cam can help your business grow? Yes, please!

What are the features and benefits of a dash cam?

Though recording the road is their raison d'être, dash cams bring a whole host of additional features to the table. Here’s a whistle-stop tour:

GPS (Global Positioning Service) capability

A GPS-enabled dash cam has obvious advantages. As well as recording your vehicles’ journeys, it allows you to see where those vehicles are – and how far they’ve travelled. The good news is that GPS also allows you to optimise your routes and save cash on fuel

The better news? These days, most dash cams do work with GPS – even the more basic varieties. However, the high spec dash cam options, such as Verizon Connect, still come out on top. Verizon Connect’s hardware sits as a function within its wider GPS fleet management software – allowing you to not only track your vehicles, but leverage data insights to get the most out of them, too.

G-sensors

Also known as an accelerometer, a G-sensor detects sudden changes in acceleration and direction, as well as harsh braking. Helpfully, it also measures the force applied during a collision – allowing you to extract important details from the footage, in the event of a crash.

Parking mode

Dash cams with ‘parking mode’ have the ability to record footage continuously – even when the vehicle isn’t in motion.

Parking mode (also known as ‘sentry mode’, or ‘360-degree surveillance’) is indispensable if you’re worried about your vehicles being vandalised or stolen when stationary.

While this feature tends to be restricted to the more high-end dash cam models on the market, we’d still recommend it – particularly for tradespeople that travel in vans full of expensive tools.

Night vision

Simple, but essential. If your fleet is in haulage or logistics, and requires a lot of travel by night, you’ll need to make sure your chosen dash cam supports this feature.

What do all these features mean for your business? Let us count the ways.

The benefits of using a dash cam for your business’ fleet include:

  • Helping settle insurance claims and determine liability
  • Identifying where drivers are relying on inefficient routes
  • Cutting down on fuel spend and reducing idling
  • Driving down your insurance costs
  • Acting as a deterrent for disruptive customer or passenger behaviour
  • Maintaining a record of collisions, even when parked
  • Determining the speed, acceleration, and location involved in an incident
  • Monitoring the progress of deliveries or jobs in near real time

However, not all dash cams are created equal. And not all will provide the entirety of features above. 

There’s a world of difference between a camera you might pay a few quid for at Halford’s, and a fully integrated, machine learning-driven piece of tech from a provider such as Verizon Connect.

Essentially, the benefits your business will get from a dash cam rely on how much you’re willing to pay, and on the specific type of dash cam your fleet needs.


What type of dash cam do I need?

Dash cams aren’t ever a ‘one-size fits all’ approach – just one of the reasons we always recommend a tailored, integrated dash cam solution, rather than a generic, off-the-shelf version.

Ultimately, the right dash cam for you depends on what you want to use it for. Whether that’s mainly for insurance purposes, or to make sure your drivers are on the ball, read on to find out what type of dash cam suits you best.

Front-facing dash cam

Front view dash cam

The bread and butter of the dash cam world, this device captures everything happening on the road ahead of your vehicle.

As the cheapest, most simple dash cam option around, front-facing dash cams are a great way to enter the market. They’re useful for proving who was at fault if there’s an incident, and for ensuring your employees are driving safely. And, if you decide you like it, it’s easier to scale up to a more high-end solution.

Front-facing dash cams are best for:

  • Individuals
  • Small fleets (less than five vehicles)

Front and rear dash cam

Front and rear dash cam

Traffic accidents, when they occur, tend to happen from behind. One piece of abrupt braking from the vehicle in front, plus one distracted driver behind, equals a mess your business doesn’t need. Here’s where the front and rear dash cam comes in.

By capturing footage from the rear – as well as the front – of your vehicle, this type of dash cam doubles your coverage in case of an unwanted prang. 

That’s why we most recommend it for heavy vehicles, or those making long cross-country deliveries. It’s the law of averages, after all – the more hours you spend out on the road, the higher your chance of a scrape… and the more coverage you’ll require.

Front and rear dash cams are best for:

  • Lorries and other HGV fleets
  • Haulage businesses
  • Logistics

Cabin view dash cam

Cabin view dash cam

Cabin view dash cams record footage from both the inside and outside of your vehicle. Why do you need footage from inside your vehicle, you ask?

Well, it’s not about spying on your employees – though a cabin view dash cam does allow you to stamp out dangerous and distracted driving. Rather, this type of dash cam is useful for taxi firms, who wish to provide their employees with an extra layer of security.

Dash cam footage can – and, in fact, has beenused in court as supporting evidence. That means it can act as an effective deterrent for any antisocial behaviour in the back of your taxis, and make your drivers feel safe and supported.

Better still, the more advanced cabin view dash cams can even prevent accidents happening in the first place. Samsara’s AI-equipped camera can spot if the driver is distracted, has their eyes closed, or is looking anywhere other than at the road.

Then, this smart dash cam speaks directly to the driver, issuing a warning and urging them to refocus their attention. It’s a life-saving feature that could be the difference between a successful job and serious injury.

Cabin view dash cams are best for:

  • Taxis
  • Couriers
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians

How much does a dash cam cost?

The answer to this question really depends on how advanced (and how scalable) you need your dash cam setup to be.

The most basic dash cams (such as the RAC 100) start from around £15. Slightly more feature-rich off-the-shelf dash cams will set you back between £49 (for Nextbase’s rear-facing camera) and £89 (the Garmin Mini). Beyond this, you can pay up to £400 or more for higher spec solutions, such as the Blackvue DR900S front and rear-facing package.

Though these dash cams are available at a one-off (and relatively affordable) cost, we’d only endorse them for individuals, or for the smallest of fleets. If you’re in charge of at least five vehicles, you should consider a more advanced setup.

That's why (for businesses, at least) we recommend an integrated dash cam solution – one that backs up your onboard camera with intelligent software. A package like this will cost you a monthly fee to lease the software, with a single, one-time cost to purchase the devices themselves. Verizon Connect Integrated Video and Samsara are our top picks for this type of dash cam.

For more information about costs, check out our complete guide to dash cam prices for UK businesses.

FAQs

Am I responsible for installing my own dash cam?

Should you opt for a basic dash cam, then yes – you will be required to install it yourself. However, when you invest in an integrated hardware/software package, installation is often included at no cost, or is available from a team of experts for a nominal fee.

Many companies offer much-needed flexibility when it comes to installation. Verizon Connect, for instance, provides the option to self-install (with instructions online and activation available through an app), or to have a technician come to you.

Do dash cams constantly record?

Most dash cams are made to record continuously. However, some of the more high spec systems can be configured to only begin recording when sudden or adverse motion is detected. 

Dash cams with parking mode can record continuously, regardless of whether the engine is on or the vehicle in motion.

How long do dash cams keep footage for?

When it comes to reviewing longer-term insurance claims, having access to historical dash cam footage is vital. However, you’ll need to ensure that you’re remaining compliant in the eyes of the law – specifically, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

That’s why we recommend opting for a cloud-based dash cam setup. This software puts GDPR at the forefront, allowing you to remain compliant by not holding onto any data your business might not strictly need for longer than permitted.

Verizon Connect’s software, for instance, can only retain footage for 90 days – helping you avoid hefty fines for non-compliance.

What are the best dash cams for businesses?

Our top pick is Verizon Connect’s integrated video solution, though we also recommend devices from Garmin, ASUS, Nextbase, and Cobra. For our full rundown on the best dash cams for small businesses, check out our bumper guide.

Or, for an even faster, more direct route to exploring the best dash cam selections for your business, try comparing quotes with us today. You know the deal – hit the button below to provide us with some details, and get free, no-obligation advice about the next step on your journey to dash cam success.

Want to explore how a dash cam can help your business grow? Yes, please!
Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Mitrefinch Payroll Review 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer

Flexipay is Mitrefinch’s flexible and intuitive payroll software program. But is it right for your business?


Mitrefinch logo

Pros:

  • HMRC-recognised
  • Easy to use and quick to implement
  • Comes with forward-thinking features, such as instant calculations and anytime pay
  • Free demo available

Cons:

  • Doesn’t transparently advertise its pricing
At a glance: Mitrefinch’s payroll software, Flexipay, is innovative, easy to use, and suitable for businesses big and small.

Picture the UK in the late 1970s. Ford Cortinas and Austin Allegros roamed the streets. ABBA was spinning in everyone’s cassette players. And Mitrefinch was busy pioneering computerised clocking in systems.

In the decades that have followed, Mitrefinch has continued to develop innovative workforce management solutions for businesses – from HR software to time and attendance solutions. Today, though, we’ll be holding the metaphorical microscope over Mitrefinch’s HMRC-recognised payroll system: Flexipay.

So, can Mitrefinch – and more to the point, Flexipay – meet your business’ unique payroll needs? Let’s find out.

Quick facts

  • Mitrefinch has gained over 7,500 customers around the world
  • Flexipay is used by some of the leading outsourced payroll providers in the UK

What are Mitrefinch's payroll’s best features?

Let’s kick off with a snapshot of our favourite things about Flexipay… 

Unique instant calculations

Quite possibly the most exciting thing about Flexipay is its unique ability to make instant calculations. That’s right – no more waiting endlessly for payroll calculations to run! In fact, during Mitrefinch’s benchmark testing, the software was able to produce gross to net calculations for 10,000 staff in just 20 seconds.

How does this work? Well, just as the Hulk’s secret is that he’s always angry, the key to Mitrefinch’s super rapid sums is that its innovative calculation engine is always running, 24/7, in the background. So essentially, whenever you need gross to net calculations, they’re just… already there.

As well as winning over the impatient among us, this feature also enables more accurate reporting, as well as more flexible submission deadlines. Mitrefinch has solved a prevalent payroll frustration here, and we’re impressed.

Adaptable paydays

Flexipay offers optional integration with Wagestream, which enables employees to draw down pay when they need it most, instead of having to wait until their official payday.

In enabling staff to access pay that they’ve earned whenever they need it – in the face of an unexpected bill or expense, perhaps – you’ll be offering an excellent workplace perk that’ll not only make your employees’ lives easier, but also show them that you care about their wellbeing. That can only boost their loyalty to you as an employer.

Speedy implementation and dedicated support

Paying staff is, of course, a time-sensitive endeavour – so when it comes to setting up a new payroll system, holdups and hiccups are the last thing you want. Fortunately, Mitrefinch promises pain-free implementation, providing an on-site “implementer” and a dedicated project manager to ensure the installation goes as smoothly as possible.

Plus, the company offers robust customer support and guided training to help your team get to grips with Flexipay quickly. In fact, Mitrefinch states that full implementation can be achieved within just three weeks. It helps, of course, that the Flexipay system itself is incredibly easy to learn and use, with highly-polished, intuitive, user-friendly dashboards.

Flexible integration

Mitrefinch’s workforce management solutions can work independently of one another. So, if Flexipay is all you want from the company, that’s fine – it’ll work well as a standalone product.

However, if you’re looking for a full suite of management software, you’ll be happy to know that Mitrefinch’s systems can integrate with one another to create a cohesive end-to-end management tool. This minimises the time you’ll spend inputting information and gathering reports across different platforms.

So, what exactly can you integrate Flexipay with? Well, besides payroll software, Mitrefinch also supplies time and attendance systems (don’t forget to check out our review of those here!), HR software, and access control systems.


How much does Mitrefinch's payroll cost?

One of the frustrations of working with a big payroll software provider like Mitrefinch is that its pricing is bespoke. In other words, it’ll depend on factors such as the size of your businesses, the number of users who’ll need to have access to the system, and whether or not you choose to integrate it with any of Mitrefinch’s other systems, as discussed in the section above.

The crux is this: we can’t tell you how much Mitrefinch will charge you right now. But tell us a bit about your business, and we can help you to quickly and easily gather tailored quotes from the payroll service providers that can best meet your unique needs.

Simply answer a few quick questions about your business, and we’ll match you up with the right payroll providers for you. They’ll then be in touch with no-obligation quotes that are tailored to you. It’s a super easy way to compare the price options and suppliers available, without hours of endless research. Oh, and it’s completely free!


Is Mitrefinch's payroll right for my business?

Check the statement that applies to you to find out!

“I run a small business with a handful of employees”

Flexipay is a breeze to use and pretty painless to set up, which makes it a solid option for small businesses that are new to the world of automated payroll. Plus, Mitrefinch’s focus on dedicated, responsive customer service means you’ll be in reliable hands if something ever goes wrong. It has to be said, too, that Flexipay is easy to scale – adding new payments and deductions is super easy – meaning it can grow as your business does.

All that being said, we know that as a small business, your budget may well be a limiting factor. Unfortunately, due to its bespoke pricing model, we can’t advise on whether Flexipay will suit you in that respect. But we can help you to quickly find and compare prices from providers that do suit your needs. Just answer a few quick questions about your business, and payroll providers that can cater to your unique requirements will be in touch with no-obligation tailored quotes. Simple!

“I run a larger business with 100 or more employees to manage”

That’s great – we think that Flexipay’s flexibility, scalability, and integration options make it ideal for businesses like yours! 

With so many employees to manage, any number of complex scenarios could arise while processing payroll. Fortunately, Flexipay is well-equipped to deal with all sorts of unique calculations, handling multiple pay groups, tax references, and pay elements and benefits all on one payroll. Plus, its instant calculations engine will save you serious time when it comes to running those numbers.


Compare tailored quotes from leading payroll system providers Request free quotes

What do Mitrefinch’s payroll customer reviews say?

Now, you can’t get a clear picture of what a supplier’s really all about without checking in with its customers. So we took to Mitrefinch’s Trustpilot page and scoured through acres of reviews to find out what real users honestly think of it.

Happily, the majority of Mitrefinch’s reviewers seem very pleased with the company – it boasts a rare ‘Excellent’ rating, with 74% of reviewers awarding it five stars. A further 14% gave it four stars, with just 12% of users rating it average to bad.

We have to bear in mind, of course, that not all of these reviews are about Flexipay specifically. However, we’ve plucked out a few of the most telling reviews that shed light on Mitrefinch’s payroll offering.

The majority praise Mitrefinch’s speedy customer service and system implementation:

“We chose Mitrefinch on the promise of a speedy implementation, having been let down by another provider who shall not be named.

 

“I'm happy to report that we went live on time and to budget – paying our staff accurately using the payroll module without a hitch. Having moved into support, we find the team both knowledgeable and responsive.

 

“Highly recommended and we are pleased we made the right choice.”

 

– Paul, Mitrefinch payroll customer

“Whenever I have a problem using the payroll system, or have a new payment to set up, the Mitrefinch support team is very efficient in sending a reply and easy to follow instructions, with screenshots, on how to do it.

 

“The online process to create a ‘ticket' for a query seems to work much better than waiting for an advisor to call you back.

 

“Often, with payroll, a response is needed pretty urgently, especially if a payday deadline is looming. Mitrefinch seems to understand this, and responds quickly.”

 

– Dianne, Mitrefinch payroll customer

Some highlight the fact that they have had technical issues with the system – however, that’s countered by the fact that Mitrefinch has been quick to fix those problems:

“I use Mitrefinch to process payroll, and although there have been some problems with the system, Mitrefinch has always been friendly and helpful in solving these issues.”

 

– Jenny, Mitrefinch payroll customer

Meanwhile, others laud the system for its ease of use, and the fact that all of Mitrefinch’s tools can be integrated for a smooth user experience:

“One of the things I like best is the interconnectivity of the software. We used to have several different softwares for the different sections of HR and payroll, and were constantly manually entering information several times into different systems. Now, if it’s in one it’s in them all, so there’s less room for human error. I also love how I can automate and customise pretty much anything through field calculations, reports, and overnight server processes.

 

“Flexipay is a godsend with HMRC. It does all the tax and NI automatically, RTI is a breeze, and month-end PAYE and year-end submissions are all done for you. It has all the AOE parameters set up in the background, and the sick diary makes SSP very simple. I can’t really say much bad about Flexipay – it does everything. I bought the p11d and benefits module, and that’s very straightforward too – it handles all the p46 submissions, which saves me navigating that awful HMRC website, and it sorts out p11d at the end of the year.”

 

– Stuart, Mitrefinch payroll customer


Mitrefinch payroll: the expert verdict

In our opinion, Mitrefinch’s Flexipay should definitely be on your list of payroll software programs to investigate. It’s forward-thinking – its instant calculations engine and integration with Wagestream are pretty innovative – and importantly, it comes with slick, intuitive dashboards that are easy to navigate. Plus, its existing customers seem to be very happy with it, which is always a fantastic sign.

Unfortunately, Mitrefinch’s downfall is that it isn’t very transparent about its prices. However, we can help you there. 

It’s so important to compare your options – pros, cons, prices and all – before committing to a single supplier. That’s what our service aims to help you to do. Simply answer a few quick questions about what your business needs, and we’ll match you up with the very best payroll providers for you. They’ll then be in touch directly with no-obligation, tailored quotes and further info. It’s fast, easy, and free – why not try it today?


What other payroll systems could I consider?

If you haven’t completed your payroll-hunting journey just yet, why not check out some of our other reviews of popular payroll software providers:

The GuildRead review
IrisRead review
MoneySoftRead review
SAPRead review

Compare tailored quotes from leading payroll system providers Request free quotes
Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

Best Fulfilment Companies for Small Businesses in 2020

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 9 April, 2020

Often, the smallest businesses come with the largest workloads. Find out how you can ease yours, with our top six order fulfilment providers in the UK


Growing your ecommerce business is fun. 

Seeing orders rush in, watching your bank balance grow, and witnessing your products (quite literally!) fly off the shelves – it’s all part and parcel of the adrenaline rush that is online selling.

What’s less fun, though, is the legwork. Staying up late to sort through stock and pack goods, with only a cup of coffee and a few flattened cardboard boxes for company… who wants to be doing that?

Not you – so it’s time to start outsourcing your ecommerce fulfilment responsibilities. By hiring a company to handle the picking, packaging, and postage of your sold stock, you can cut costs, streamline your operation, and free up time for what matters.

In other words, you can focus on growing your business – not running it.

But choosing the right ecommerce fulfilment company (also known as a third party logistics, or 3PL, supplier) isn’t always that easy. Most 3PL providers are geared towards catering to clients with larger sales volumes. Smaller businesses tend to get the short end of the stick, becoming saddled with minimum charges and bloated monthly fees.

It’s not fair. So, we decided to put together our list of the best fulfilment companies for small businesses.

Read on to explore which one is best for yours.

best fulfilment companies for small businesses

Time, money, hassle, coffee consumption… outsourcing your small business’ order fulfilment duties can save you more than you think


The best fulfilment services for small businesses

We compared the range of ecommerce fulfilment services in the UK to find the ones best suited to the needs of small businesses. In particular, we kept an eye out for low fees, straightforward pricing, and a focus on catering to the needs of smaller scale operations. And here’s what we came up with.

The best small business fulfilment companies in the UK are FedEx, Huboo, Core Fulfilment, Abstrakt, James and James, and Amazon FBA. 

The best order fulfilment companies for small businesses:


FedEx

Best for online stock and order management

FedEx is, quite simply, a huge name – if not the name – when it comes to delivery services. In the UK alone, FedEx boasts 75 locations, over 4,000 employees, and a fleet of vehicles that’s more than 2,200 strong. FedEx is common knowledge – but what’s less well-known is how adept this big business is at catering to small ones. As well as integrating with marketplaces such as Etsy, Magento, eBay and more, FedEx’s stock and order management software is among the best on the market. Why?

Well, FedEx’s cloud-based platform syncs with your existing software to provide insight into the whole ordering process – from placement to fulfilment, and all the way to transit and delivery. You’ll also know exactly when it’s time to order in new stock, while FedEx’s best in class analytics let you crunch the numbers to drive better business decisions.

Just ask FedEx Supply Chain’s senior vice president Ryan Kelly:

“FedEx Fulfillment gives small and medium-sized businesses the potential to achieve profitable and scalable growth. Online shoppers show deep-rooted loyalty to brands with fast shipments, easy returns, positive customer service experiences and flexible delivery options.”

Pros:

  • Its brand name inspires trust and confidence
  • Its broad network of fulfilment centres promises quick delivery
  • Integrates with payments, payroll and accounting tools, such as Square, Quickbooks, and Xero

X Cons:

  • Rates aren’t transparent, so you won’t know how much you can expect to pay unless you enquire with FedEx directly

FedEx pricing

FedEx offers pricing that's tailored to the unique product, storage, and packaging demands of your business. Get in touch with FedEx with a few more details, and they’ll be able to provide a better idea of what your fees will be. 

Alternatively, you could answer a couple of quick questions and receive quotes tailored to your small business right here, right now. 

It’s nothing like a survey – we’ll just ask for a little more info about how you currently deliver your products, where you deliver them, and how many parcels you ship daily. 

In return, you'll receive quotes from the best ecommerce fulfilment suppliers in your area. And you can rest assured that the companies that get in touch have all been hand-picked by our team, to help small businesses like yours scale.


Huboo

Best for lowest costs

If there’s anything small businesses shouldn’t have to do, it’s pay through the nose for fulfilment services. And with Huboo, you won’t – its rates are the lowest in the industry, and by a fair distance, too. Huboo offers two months' worth of free storage when you sign up, and tailored discounts on space after that. Huboo also boasts an incredible range of integrations – not just the big names such as Amazon and eBay, but the more obscure ones, too. And if they don’t already have it, Huboo promises to build that integration for you – for free!

Pros:

  • Offers instant setup
  • Provides strong customer support
  • Huboo sports excellent online customer reviews across the board

X Cons:

  • You'll need to be shipping at least 30 units per month for it to be worthwhile

Huboo pricing

Huboo’s packing and packaging fees start from 29p for a small letter, going up to £2.95 for each extra-large parcel you wish to send. 

Storage fees begin at 7p for a large letter, and cap at £1 for a medium-sized parcel.

Monthly subscription rates are as follows:

  • Bronze (30 unit per month limit) £10
  • Silver (300 unit per month limit) £25
  • Gold (1,500 unit per month limit) £50
  • Enterprise (5,000 unit per month limit) £150

For corporate rates of over 5,000 units per month, contact Huboo directly. 

Ready to find out how the right ecommerce fulfilment provider can help your small business scale? Get Free Quotes

Core Fulfilment

Best for late order cut-offs

There’s a lot to get excited about when it comes to Crewe-based 3PL provider Core Fulfilment. Its industry-leading 10pm order cut-off times for next-day delivery, for instance. Its weekend order processing, too. Oh, and did we mention Core Fulfilment’s cloud-based software, and its seamless integrations with Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce? Core Fulfilment is also totally upfront with its pricing, with a handy cost calculator on its website to help you understand exactly what you’ll pay in fees.

Pros:

  • Allows you to offer your customers a wider choice of parcel delivery partners
  • Has experience in several sectors, including cosmetics, clothing, and consumer goods

X Cons:

  • You’ll need to be processing at least 250 orders per month to be eligible

Core Fulfilment pricing

Core Fulfilment’s picking and packing fees start at £1.95 per single order with one item in it. It’s 25p extra for each additional item added to the same order.

Storage fees weigh in at £10.88 per pallet (approximately one m³), when you have up to 50 unique products (SKUs, or stock-keeping units) in your inventory. As you add more unique SKUs, storage fees will increase accordingly.


Abstrakt

Best for returns handling

These days, handling returns is a huge part of running an ecommerce business. If it’s not easy to return, a customer won’t buy it. That’s why it’s such a relief that Abstrakt goes the extra mile to accept and process any returned items; getting them repackaged, re-shelved, and ready for resale. Abstrakt also offers kitting, reworking, and gift-wrapping services, too, while its software chips in with daily insights into the status of your stock.

Pros:

  • Offers excellent integration with the big ecommerce marketplaces, such as Amazon
  • Its Birmingham-based warehouse allows it to cater to businesses from all over the UK

X Cons:

  • No pricing information available

Abstrakt pricing

Abstrakt doesn’t advertise its rates transparently on its website. All of Abstrakt’s pricing is bespoke, so you’ll need to get in touch with the supplier directly, and provide some information about your business.

Remember, though, that you can also do that here. Simply provide us with some brief details about where and how you currently sell online. Then, leading 3PL providers will be straight back in touch with quotes tailor-made for your small business.


James and James

Best for startups and micro-businesses

Unlike many 3PL providers in the UK, James and James offers a fulfilment service that caters to businesses taking as few as 150 orders per month. As well as being tailored towards young businesses looking to grow, James and James’ service is also highly scalable – which means it’s perfectly placed to handle spikes in demand from marketing pushes, fresh investment, or kickstarter campaigns. Better still, this is all powered by James and James’ award-winning cloud-based software, which offers real-time stock and dispatch information to keep you in the loop.

Pros:

  • Its highly intuitive software provides a 360-degree view of your stock levels
  • Its US, European, and New Zealand fulfilment centres pave the way for your business to scale internationally

X Cons:

  • Its network of fulfilment centres isn’t as wide as those of the big 3PL providers

James and James pricing

James and James is also coy when it comes to disclosing exact ecommerce fulfilment rates. What it’s website does tell us, though, is that you’ll pay three different types of fees:

  • Fulfilment services costs: These include dedicated customer support, integration with your shopping cart, and your order fulfilment software licence fees
  • Fulfilment centre costs: These are what you’ll pay for the receipt and storage of your stock at James and James’ fulfilment centres (warehouses)
  • Order fulfilment costs: These fees are for the picking, packing, packaging, and shipping of your stock, and include a returns handling service
Ready to dip your toe into the warm, inviting waters of ecommerce fulfilment? Get Free Quotes

Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon)

Best for selling small-sized, low value goods at high volume

Amazon may have its faults, but we’ll say one thing – it has big, big brand power. Its name and logo alone inspire enormous consumer confidence. And, for your small business, ‘piggybacking’ on that brand recognition can go a long way towards boosting sales – at least in the early days. Add to this Amazon’s slick returns handling, excellent customer care, and vast network of fulfilment centres, and you’ve got a whole host of reasons to give it a go.

Oh, and those faults we were talking about? Well, Amazon FBA hikes its prices during the leadup to Christmas. It’s also widely known that Amazon co-mingles stock, meaning the product your customer ordered may not be the one they actually receive.

Pros:

  • Provides 24/7 customer support
  • Has no monthly minimum order amount
  • Allows you to sell through a variety of ecommerce channels and platforms – not just Amazon

X Cons:

  • Amazon has strict guidelines for having goods shipped to their fulfilment centres

Amazon FBA pricing

Amazon FBA’s fulfilment fee starts from 60p for a small letter, and goes up to 80p for a large letter (providing the value of the item itself is £9 or less). Envelopes range from £1.35 to £2.17, while parcels start from £2.14 (for an item weighing up to 150g), and reach £5.52 for an item weighing more than ten kilograms.

These prices are for goods sold on Amazon.co.uk and fulfilled by UK-based inventory. It costs only slightly more to sell on Amazon’s European marketplace (providing it’s fulfilled with locally-based stock). However, you should steer clear of selling abroad with UK-based stock – it’s almost three times as expensive!

Amazon FBA’s monthly storage fees start at 39p for clothing, shoes, and bags (between January and September) and go up to 91p for ‘all other categories’ items between October and December.

Essentially, Amazon isn’t cheap. But, if you’re looking to sell small-sized, low value goods at high volume, it’s a solid partner to start your ecommerce fulfilment journey with.


Next Steps

Which ecommerce fulfilment provider you ultimately choose for your small business should depend on several factors.

The first is down to which kind of features you’re looking to prioritise. If it’s total visibility and control over your inventory and order management – with excellent reporting features to match – then FedEx is your best bet. If low fees are at the top of your wishlist, though, don’t look past Huboo.

As a young, growing business, you’ll also need to think about how to best optimise your customers' experience. To do this, we’d recommend both Abstrakt (for making the returns process as seamless as it can be), and Core Fulfilment (for offering your customers late cut-offs for next-day delivery).

Finally, you’ll need to take into consideration the size and specific needs of your ecommerce business. If you’ve literally just started out, James and James is the best option for you. Likewise, if you’re building your reputation selling low value goods at high volume, Amazon FBA is a good place to start.

Don’t just take our word for it, though – find out for yourself which ecommerce fulfilment service is the most well-suited to your small business. It takes 30 seconds, and it’s your shortcut to getting the best deal. 

Simply answer a few short, straightforward questions about your current situation. We’re talking about:

  • How long you’ve been trading for
  • How you currently deliver your products
  • Where you sell your stock
  • The number of parcels you deliver daily
  • The rough size of an average parcel you’d deal in

Once we have all this, we’ll match you with the suppliers that are most well-equipped to handle the channel and volume of the products you’re shipping. 

They’ll then provide you with quotes tailored to the responses you gave, ensuring you get an ecommerce fulfilment solution that’s as unique as your small business is.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

How to Take Payments Online and Over the Phone

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 7 April, 2020

Learn how to accept ecommerce payments, and safeguard your business against the uncertainties of COVID-19


“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”.

For British businesses, at least, Albert Einstein’s words have never been more relevant. Because things have changed, and they’ve changed fast.

Though the first confirmed UK cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) didn’t arrive until late January 2020, by the end of March the high street was unrecognisable. Shops across the country have been forced to close their doors indefinitely, but – with the population in lockdown in an attempt to stymie the virus’ spread – does this mean they’ve been robbed of their customers, too?

Well, no – because online buying and selling (ecommerce) remains as strong as ever. The postal service is continuing to function, websites are still live, and people are at home with more time than ever before – and with the same desire to shop. 

So it’s time to take Albert’s advice: to change, to adapt, and to make the smart choice for your business. 

It’s time to start accepting payments online, and over the phone, too. But how? Let’s take a look at how you can embrace ecommerce to defy COVID-19’s impact on your sales – and future-proof your business while you’re at it.

Alternatively, get straight to the good stuff with credit card processing quotes tailored to your business. Answer a few brief questions about your business’ industry and requirements (it takes about 30 seconds), and we’ll match you with hand-picked merchant account providers that’ll help you accept online payments.

Before we begin: This article focuses solely on accepting payments online, helping businesses respond to the government’s recent measures to close bricks and mortar establishments. 

For information about how to accept payments in person (with a PDQ machine and an electronic point of sale (EPOS) system), dive into the article below.

Read more: How to Take Credit Card Payments 4 Simple Steps


How to take payments online

how to accept payments online

Merchant account

First things first, any business that's looking to accept credit or debit cards (whether that’s in person, online, or over the phone) needs a merchant account

Of course, if you were accepting card payments from your physical store (i.e. at the point of sale) before COVID-19 happened, you’ll already have a merchant account. 

If this is the case, you can skip to the next section.

Jump to: Payment gateway

If you’re completely new to accepting credit or debit card payments, though, you’ll need to apply for a merchant account before you can get online.

Think of a merchant account as a kind of holding pen. It’s where funds go to be settled, before they arrive in your business bank account.

Types of merchant account

Merchant accounts are either:

  • Dedicated (or traditional): This kind of merchant account exists to process your business’ transactions only. Dedicated merchant accounts offer negotiable rates and flexibility, and are ideal for businesses that process larger amounts of transactions.
  • Aggregated: This kind of merchant account is offered by providers that ‘batch’ together your transactions with those of other businesses. Ideal for small or seasonal businesses, aggregated accounts are typically easier to get approved for than their dedicated counterparts – and offer simple, flat rate pricing to boot.
  • High-risk: This kind of merchant account exists for businesses with poor credit, or those that operate in a high-risk industry such as gambling, travel, or online pharmaceuticals. If this sounds like you, we recommend our list of the best high risk merchant account providers in the UK – find it here.

You can apply for a dedicated merchant account directly through an acquiring bank such as Barclays. Your other option comes in the form of third-party merchant account providers. In industry parlance, these companies are known as ISOs (Independent Service Organisations), and include suppliers such as takepayments and First Data.

As the name suggests, ISOs are independent companies that offer dedicated merchant services directly to businesses. They still work with the banks, but are generally cheaper, and offer superior customer support. 

Sure, dedicated merchant account fees can be trickier to get your head around. But in the long run, a dedicated account is a more cost-effective route for businesses – especially those that accept more than £2,000 per month in card transactions.

Alternatively, you can opt for an aggregated merchant account through a company known as a payment facilitator. Funky name, but you’ll certainly be familiar with the likes of Square, iZettle, and SumUp – their modern, mobile card machines are a staple on the counters of market stalls and micro-breweries across the country.

Payment facilitators (PayFacs) are well-suited to small businesses and sole traders. They offer straightforward, flat rate pricing, charge no monthly fees, and are typically easier to apply for (Square, for instance, doesn’t run a credit check). 

PayFacs are also called ‘all-in-one’ providers, because they give you the ability to take payments via multiple channels (online, in-store, over the telephone, by mail, and via invoicing) with the convenience of handling everything through a single supplier.

As for the application process, you’ll have to do it the only way most of us have these days… online. When that’s done, it’s time to get down to the real business – accepting payments online. To do that, you’ll need a…

Payment gateway

A payment gateway is a piece of software that authenticates and secures payments made through your website. 

A payment gateway is hosted either on your website (to help maintain a consistent customer journey) or on the website of your payment gateway provider (cheaper and more compliant, but potentially disruptive to your customers' user experience). Either way, it can usually be customised to fit the look and feel of your business’ colours and brand. So how do you get one?

Well, how you source your payment gateway service will depend on the type of merchant account you’ve selected (head back up to refresh your memory on what those are). Take a look at your options below.

With a dedicated merchant account

If you’ve opted for a dedicated merchant account, a payment gateway should be available to purchase as an ‘add-on’. Most providers offer it as a service for which you’ll pay a monthly fee (typically around £20), and in return get a set amount of ‘free’ transactions (usually between 350 and 400 per month).

If you exceed your number of transactions, you’ll then be eligible for a small per transaction fee (most likely around the 10p mark).

To reiterate, most merchant account providers offer a payment gateway. But if yours, for whatever reason, doesn’t, then stress not. You can also integrate your merchant account with a payment gateway from a third-party provider

Many providers (Authorize.Net, Braintree, and Amazon Pay included) specialise in such a service. Some, such as Stripe, are customisable to the extent that they’re almost a white label solution. So, if you’re tech-savvy (or have a software engineer or two at your disposal), then this could be the best option for you.

Be warned, though – this is a more complicated solution, and will probably be pricier, too. We always recommend entrusting your credit and debit card payments to a single provider, such as takepayments or First Data.

With an aggregated merchant account

If you’ve opted for a PayFac such as Square or iZettle, accepting payments online is a fair bit easier. That’s because – as we mentioned earlier – these companies offer an ‘all-in-one’ service. It’s a payment gateway, virtual terminal, and invoicing tool, all rolled into one

All-in-one providers also help you remain PCI compliant, and also throw in a bunch of other added benefits – including fraud management, subscription billing, and customer loyalty features.

Providers such as Square also work with website builders such as Wix. This team-up allows you to use drag-and-drop functionality to create a stunning website, then start selling through it. These providers also integrate with a range of shopping carts and ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Etsy, and BigCommerce – allowing you to manage your sales and inventory from a single, convenient hub.

Going down this route is surprisingly affordable, too. Unlike with certain dedicated merchant accounts (where there can be hidden fees), you’ll pay only a small fee on each transaction you accept via your website. This cost will be a bit more expensive than it would be if you were accepting card payments in person (because of the higher level of data risk involved with ecommerce transactions), but it’s still minimal.

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How to take payments over the phone

how to take payments over the phone

Of course, you won’t only need to get on top of accepting payments online now that COVID-19 has shut down the high street. You’ll also want to explore the possibility of accepting card details remotely over the phone, or via mail order.

Here’s how.

Virtual terminal

A virtual terminal is a secure webpage that allows you to accept payments over the phone. You simply log into the page from your device, enter your customer’s card details (which you’ve received either over the phone, or via mail), and take the payment. These payments are called MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) transactions.

Once chiefly the domain of freelancers, tradespeople, and food delivery businesses, MOTO payments might just be exactly what your SME needs to send sales back in the right direction. And they’re simple to accept, too – virtual terminals are basically an online version of a card machine.

Sage Pay virtual terminal

Sage Pay offers a slick, simple example of what a good virtual terminal interface should look like


Virtual terminals can also be used to process invoices, and you can save customer card details to speed up service. Better still, they’re totally secure – virtual terminals use AVS (Address Verification Service) to authenticate the payment, and are fully PCI compliant, too – providing, that is, that you don’t leave anyone’s card details lying around on a scrap of paper in your office.

Virtual terminals – a no-brainer, right? So how do you get one?

With a dedicated merchant account

Well, as it turns out, it’s as simple as obtaining a payment gateway. A virtual terminal is available as an optional add-on with a merchant account. It’ll set you back a monthly fee, usually starting at £10, plus a small cost per transaction beyond an agreed limit of sales made through the terminal.

With an aggregated merchant account

If you opt for an all-in-one provider, a virtual terminal will be included as standard – no monthly fees or hidden costs in sight. However, you will pay a percentage-based fee for each transaction you accept through it. With Square, that’s 2.5%, while SumUp will set you back 2.95% + 25p.

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Next Steps

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.
Albert Einstein circle

This is another Einstein quote. Like the one we referenced earlier, it also sums up the days and weeks you have ahead of you.

Because, though COVID-19 will continue to test your business, it also presents a myriad of opportunities to take a look at your existing processes – and how you can improve them. How much does your business have to gain by accepting card payments online, or over the phone? 

More sales, for example? More customers? More ways to connect people with your services, products, provisions, or pleasant diversions that might even help them through a tough time?

Plus, even if the current pandemic wasn’t happening, accepting payments online and over the phone would still make perfect business sense. So let us help you get started.

To begin, simply take a minute to answer a few short questions

We’ll ask you about your industry, and the total number of card payments you’re looking to accept per month. We’ll also ask for your postcode, so we can match you to suppliers in your area.

Once we have a sense of your requirements, we’ll match you with merchant account providers that fit the bill. They’ll then be in touch directly, with quotes tailored to the specific needs of your business, and information about your next steps towards accepting payments online and over the phone.

It’s free to complete, and you could be speaking to an expert today. Why not give it a go?

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.