Customer: ‘Petrol number 4 and a lottery ticket please’
Petrol station attendant: ‘No problem, would you like to collect your book/game/TV/camera/pair of jeans with that?’
The parcels carrier, DPD, commissioned a survey to determine how online shoppers chose their delivery arrangements and discovered that 30% of those surveyed had their purchases delivered to their workplace rather than their home address. 10% of those surveyed also said their employer had forbidden personal deliveries to the workplace. Easy to understand, when you think about the logistics of a company with 4,000 employees trying to run a post room at Christmas time. No wonder people complain about the internal mail!
All for online shopping
Online shopping makes sense in a lot of ways. Ideally we’d all like the luxury of having the afternoon to swan around the shops, weigh up the options, maybe stop for a pot of tea.. but the reality is, that many of us just don’t have time, or rather, not as much time as we’d like. Add in the benefits of scanning what 500 other people thought about the cotton content of your new T-shirt before you even think of pressing ‘add to basket’ button, plus online discounts , and it’s easy to see why online shopping is currently growing by 12% a year . In fact, the E-commerce retail body, IMRG*, describes the UK e-commerce market as “the most sophisticated in the world”; forecasting that Internet shoppers overseas would push cross-border parcel traffic to as much as 30% of total volumes by 2017.
Tradition has it that most home deliveries are attempted at 1pm in the afternoon, when you either have been at work for 5 hours , or popped out to the shop for 5 minutes. It’s always the way.
DMC, a UK fulfilment and distribution specialist, is finding that increasing customers are specifying carriers that offer a Drop Shop option.
So, say somebody buys a ‘running vest’ from ‘JT Mac’s’, they can choose to pay a little extra for the carrier to deliver it somewhere near to where they live, e.g. a late shop or petrol station, which, you’ve guessed it, are open past 5pm, so that you can collect it on your way back from work. Magic.
Don’t like it?
Similarly, there is an option to return items via a Drop Shop. If a customer wants to return something, DMC can email them the paperwork, and all they have to do is print it off and take the goods along. The local Drop Shop then scans the details and arranges for collection, which is also a pretty nifty way of making goods traceable for both client and customer.
The future’s local
Roy Whittle, Business Development Manager, at DMC, is continually looking at new systems to help clients provide the service that customers need. ‘One of our carriers uses Hermes as a partner for returns services which gives customers more flexibility’, says Roy. ‘With the exponential growth of online shopping, I think it’s only a matter of time before some larger employers will be negotiating with our carriers to creating a system to accept employees parcels as part of their employment package – you heard it here first !’
What do you think about the way that parcels are delivered? Do you think that there should be more Drop Shop sites? Do you already use them? We’d be really interested in your views if you want to ‘leave a reply’ below or email us with any questions about fulfilment and distribution services at firstname.lastname@example.org