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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

The Shipping Centre is entering their first year of business.  Marketing will be critical in developing sufficient business to reach profitability. The Shipping Centre offers shipping and packaging services, fax services, and private Post Office Box service. 

Market Summary

The Shipping Centre possesses good information about the market and has collected insight regarding the ideal customer.  This information will be leveraged to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how The Shipping Centre can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Shipping customers9%27,00029,43032,07934,96638,1139.00%
P.O. Box customers5%2,5472,6742,8082,9483,0954.99%
Fax customers6%8,5749,0889,63310,21110,8246.00%

Market Needs

The Shipping Centre is providing its customers with a well-priced, convenient shipping service. The Shipping Centre seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers. 

  • Customer service: Customers are paying for a service and have the expectation to be treated very well.
  • Convenience: The chosen location is easy to get to, and the business hours are long to accommodate most people's free time hours. 
  • Reasonable prices: Many of The Shipping Centre's competitors charge exorbitant prices for their service. By employing sophisticated software that generates workflow efficiencies, The Centre can maintain similar margins but charge customers less.

The market trend has been an increase in demand for shipping services with the advent of Internet-based purchasing.  Now that more and more products are being purchased via the Internet, there is increased demand for unwanted products to be shipped back.  Luckily for The Shipping Centre, the US Post Office (USPS) is not known for its customer service or convenience, driving customers to independent shipping services.  The following variables have contributed to this trend.

  • Internet retail sales: such as Amazon.
  • Internet auction sales: such as eBay.
  • Lack of true competition from the Post Office.
  • Less time in people's schedule to perform "personal maintenance."

Market Growth

In 2000, the shipping service industry grew to over $764 million in revenue.  With the explosive growth of Internet-based purchases, both retail as well as auctions, it is forecasted to continue to grow at 5% for the next three years. 

Additionally, the increase usage of private P.O. Box will fuel growth of this sector as more and more start-up business will rely on a private P.O. Box instead of a USPS P.O. Box due to the inconvenience of the USPS.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company and describes the threats and opportunities facing The Shipping Centre.


  • The use of technology to create efficiencies.
  • Better pricing than competitors while maintaining the same margins.
  • A customer-centric business model.


  • Trouble attracting and keeping valuable employees.
  • A limited budget to develop brand awareness.
  • Price sensitivity of consumers for these services.


  • Participation in a booming industry, fueled in large part by Internet growth and usage.
  • The ability to spread overhead costs over an increasing number of transactions.
  • High transaction numbers.


  • Low transaction amounts that are somewhat labor intensive.
  • Future/potential competition from companies that recognize the limited barriers of entry.
  • Adoption of The Shipping Centre's sophisticated software by other competitors.


Currently, there are several different companies that offer a similar service offering that the Centre does. They are typically located in high traffic areas. They also have P.O. Boxes as well as fax and shipping. These different companies offer a commodity-like service.

People tend to make choices based on convenience. Market research indicates that there is little that differentiates the different competitors and there is little loyalty that customers display toward a specific store other than convenience.

Service Offering

The Shipping Centre will provide full service shipping services. Our main services will be:

  • UPS and USPS shipping, including international shipping.
  • Packaging of items, including weird shapes and fragile items.
  • Private P.O. Boxes.
  • Fax service.

Keys to Success

The following focuses are The Shipping Centre's keys to success.

  • Convenience: The Shipping Centre's services are value-added services.  They must be convenient for customers to pay an additional fee for them.
  • Customer-centrism: The customer must feel that they are being treated specially, otherwise they will not patronize The Centre.
  • Generate repeat business.

Critical Issues

The Shipping Centre is in its first year of operation as a retail service provider.  The critical issues that it faces are:

  • Slowly and steadily gain market share by attracting new customers and generating repeat customers.
  • To establish The Centre as the premier shipping/fax service in Levenson.

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