The Need for Ongoing Evolution in Delivery

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By Published On: April 12, 20220 Comments

With online sales continuing to rise and customer expectations at an all-time high, how and when parcels are delivered is more important than ever before.

As online retail accelerates in Australia, traditional delivery systems are overdue for change. Not only are they unable to keep up with the increasing demand and volume, they are falling short in meeting customer expectations and modern business KPIs. Solving these issues requires retailers to think outside of the box and adopt flexible and community-minded solutions that centre around the customer. This starts by giving them what they want. Right now, that means greener solutions that don’t compromise the delivery experience. 

Today’s consumer is increasingly environmentally and socially conscious, and this is influencing their purchasing behaviour. This is particularly apparent when shopping online. PWC found that 53 percent of people consciously consider the retailer’s values and commitment to doing the right thing before buying from them. 

Julian Leach, Parcelpoint CEO and Co-founder, said, “Customers want to know that what’s important to them is also important to the companies they buy from. It’s why they’ll choose one brand over another, and it’s a big driver of loyalty. More and more, people’s key focus and priority is sustainability. It should be for businesses, too.”

“Retailers, in particular, have a chance to make a big difference. We know parcel delivery is a major contributor to carbon emissions, particularly when deliveries keep failing due to poor customer communications and need to be repeated. A fundamental shift in the last mile model needs to be embraced if we are to reduce carbon emissions and move closer to net zero.”

An opportunity exists for forward-thinking retailers to become drivers of change and advocate a new standard of delivery that’s better for the planet, their customers, and their business. Because today’s methods are leaving a huge carbon footprint, as well as being ineffective and expensive. 

A Community Effort

A community-based approach that leverages the sharing economy can help overcome these issues, creating efficiencies and giving retailers a competitive edge. Look to utilise existing infrastructure such as local businesses that are close to parcel delivery locations and use them to help distribute parcels and ease bottlenecks. According to a 2021 Accenture report, this decentralised approach has the potential to reduce last-mile carbon emissions by up to 26 percent by 2025. 

Beyond the obvious commercial and environmental benefits, it’s also a brilliant opportunity to support small businesses and local communities. These hubs not only are a place to conveniently pick up or distribute parcels in the last mile. For locals, they’re quite often a store down the road, one in which they may already frequent and have a relationship with the staff. Creating another reason to pop in-store not only helps to strengthen these connections, it increases foot traffic and promotes more income for the local businesses and helps keep them going. 

Beyond bricks-and-mortar sites, there’s an opportunity to tap into existing local delivery networks that rely on electric bike, bicycle and foot couriers. This is much better for the local community from a sustainable perspective, reducing the number of trucks and vans on the road and promoting a safer, cleaner last mile. Often, it’s also more efficient too, with bicycles and electric bikes less limited by traffic and congestion. Food delivery businesses have been successfully using these community networks for years. Mail is being delivered by electric vehicles. Yet parcel delivery is still heavily reliant on vans and trucks. It’s time for change.

“Incorporating community-based solutions and local networks into your last mile strategy makes sense,” Leach said. “If supported by the right technology and partners, it can have a huge impact on business performance, improving delivery efficiency, customer experience, and profits.”

Parcelpoint’s Doorstep Delivery and Pickup solutions are examples of community-powered parcel delivery. Already used by several of Australia’s leading online retailers, these allow customers to get exactly what they want from the brands they shop with – a sustainable delivery solution that also offers them control, visibility, and choice. Because despite efficiency so often leading the conversation, positive delivery experiences are never solely about speed. Retailers must allow customers to choose how and when they receive their order, providing options to suit different lifestyles. It’s such flexible solutions that can improve the customer experience and allow delivery systems to keep pace with the evolving e-commerce landscape.  

You can find out more about why now is the time to rethink delivery, and how Parcelpoint can help you deliver a delightful delivery experience here.

About the Author: Power Retail

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