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In 2016, online sales reached an all-time high of £133 billion, exceeding the 2015 figure by £18billion. Bolstered by seasonal events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, of course Christmas, it is easy to see why so many retailers want to tap into this lucrative market. However, with this comes a growing customer expectation that they can offer rapid or same day delivery to different locations.

It is increasingly rare that time-pressed consumers want a package to arrive at their home address, unless they have chosen a specified time. Offices are an obvious alternative but with some businesses cracking down on personal deliveries because of the disruption it causes, other drop-off points are needed. For the customer, it is certainly frustrating if they have to spend a Saturday morning retrieving a parcel from the local depot because it couldn’t be delivered first time around.

As the volume of online orders grows, consumers are demanding quicker and more convenient ways to receive deliveries and retailers have been rising to the challenge. The proliferation of convenience store pick-up points means that people can now collect their package or return unwanted goods at a time to suit them including on the way to work, during a lunch break or on their way home, often without having to queue. Pass My Parcel now works with 3,500 parcel shops across the UK, many of which operate long opening hours seven days a week and can be easily accessed by 93 per cent of the UK mainland population.

Delivery via a local shop also offers an additional level of security as goods are kept safely by a registered, trusted parcel shop, rather than being left in a porch or with a next-door neighbour, as was once the case. Speed of delivery is another bonus as parcels can arrive at 7am the following day in a store along with the newspapers and milk.

As the volume of online orders grows, consumers are demanding quicker and more convenient ways to receive deliveries and retailers have been rising to the challenge.

It is not just customers and online retailers who are reaping the rewards though – convenience stores are also benefitting from attractive handling fees, as well as increased footfall and stronger relations with people in the local area. When someone calls in to pick up a parcel, they might also make small impulse purchases that, over time, contribute to additional basket spend and higher profits.

Even if a customer does not spend money every time they drop in, it is still an opportunity for staff to demonstrate high levels of service and encourage them to return.

The parcel delivery industry is constantly changing, and alongside the growth of same day delivery, we are now seeing the digitisation of the customer experience, enabling customers to receive real-time information. Retailers can now fulfil more orders than ever before, providing a level of convenience previously unknown. We are also seeing label-less returns and secure 24hour drop-offs to the trialling of ultra-fast drone delivery. With this, customer demands will inevitably grow and this means delivery firms must be ready to roll out the latest innovations to enable retailers to offer the best service possible.

Launched in 2014, Pass My Parcel is part of Smiths News, the UK’s leading newspaper and magazine wholesaler. It offers fast, secure and convenient deliveries to both domestic and commercial customers, including Amazon and Asos.

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