The Royal Mail has launched a pilot of opening approximately of 100 delivery offices across the UK. Its trial of Sunday deliveries includes addresses within the M25, part of an initiative to compete more effectively.
The new approach will see 1,400 delivery offices opening six days, catering for offices across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – the areas with the highest parcel volumes. Approximately 1,600 Post Office branches will now be open on Sunday in an initiative designed to make it easier for online shoppers to receive parcels. Delivery offices taking part will open between 12:00 and 16:00, allowing businesses to offer more flexible options for the customer to collect and receive them.
Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, explains the benefits of the extended services, “We are continuing to be more customer responsive and provide more options for people to receive items they have ordered online.
“I am delighted to pilot Sunday afternoon opening at around 100 of our delivery offices across the UK with the highest parcel volumes, and Sunday deliveries to addresses within the M25 motorway,” continued Landon.
The move comes after the Royal Mail Group’s express parcels business, Parcelforce Worldwide, launched a Sunday delivery service for online shoppers through participating e-retailers. The service is available to contract customers across the UK and started in June.
Royal Mail also recently announced making its Local Collect ‘click and collect’ service with Post Offices available to its 20,000 small medium enterprises (SME) contract customers. This enables many UK SME online businesses to offer shoppers the option of collection from any of 10,500 Post Office branches. By partnering with the Post Office to offer the UK’s largest click and collect service, the Royal Mail is enabling shoppers to possess greater control over the delivery of their items. Deliveries are the lifeblood of many businesses and the Royal Mail realises this, also rolling out its Delivery to Neighbour initiative across the UK. This followed a trial of the service, which the Royal Mail claims found customers welcomed the convenience of items being delivered to a neighbouring address if no one was at home to receive them.
With more people using online shopping to research and especially buy items; there has always been the restriction of being able to receive them. Not everyone has the luxury to receive items at the workplace, so there had very limited options, which could have an impact upon buying decisions. By allowing neighbours to receive items, or to arrange more suitable collection and delivery times for the purchaser i.e. Sundays, it builds better rapport between businesses and customers.
Developments around logistics and delivery should be reviewed by all businesses. It’s essential for them to discover how they can bring this huge element of the relationship they need to build with customers to remain competitive, particularly where mobile and other technologies are involved. Customers have a plethora of choice within the palm of their hands around the clock. Businesses need to avoid falling down at the last hurdle by not being able to place what they need into their hands when they want it.
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