Alleviate the anxiety of missed deliveries, up your flexibility, and cut last mile of delivery costs. Win win win! Pick-up points may seem to be the way forward, but what makes a great pick-up point? Let’s take a look at four factors that will lead you to pick-up prosperity.
1. Convenient location
In the world of e-commerce where convenience is key, customers want a pick-up point close to their home or place of work. Research conducted by delivery carrier Hermes revealed that German consumers are only willing to travel an average of 1.56 kilometers to collect their undelivered items, highlighting the need for well-located pick-up points.
While most pick-up points are currently small retail stores, supermarkets and petrol stations, some brands are starting to get more creative as they strive to delight their customers.
The convenience factor depends on the products being ordered and shipped. In summer 2017 Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo noticed an increase in the number of customers shopping at their stores. After locating the source of the increase as holidaymakers, they opened up a trial pick-up point at a campsite. Jumbo customers could then order online and pick up their shopping when their holiday starts. The ultimate convenience!
The e-commerce beast that is Amazon is on a mission to marry the convenience of home delivery with the flexibility of pick-up points. Their Amazon Hub project will see their lockers, which have already sprung up in retail stores and supermarkets, brought into homes. The Amazon Hub lockers will be placed in apartment buildings so that customers can collect and return their items without leaving their building. To shake things up the lockers will accept all deliveries, not just those from Amazon.
2. Long opening hours
With 60% of e-commerce customers missing their deliveries and requiring additional arrangements to receive their packages, pick-up points offer busy consumers an alternative. Bearing this in mind, opening hours that go beyond those of traditional businesses are key. Many retailers including Amazon and Macy’s are investing in pick-up lockers, so the future of pick-up points will give customers the option to collect and return their items 24 hours a day.
3. Easy accessibility
How will your customers be travelling to the pick-up point? The answer will probably depend on where you are shipping. If it is a city, many residents won’t own a car, so train stations could be the most convenient option. But if you are shipping to a rural region where residents rely on their cars to get around, petrol stations or supermarkets are more logical pick-up point locations.
UK supermarket chain Waitrose offers their customers a commute and collect option. Their temperature controlled lockers are placed in train stations so customers can collect without deviating from their daily route.
While this works well for Waitrose, other UK supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s have ended a similar trial. The retailers partnered with Transport for London and placed pick-up lockers at several tube stations around the capital. The trial ended as more residents drove to collect their shopping than doing so on their commute as intended.
Maybe collecting a whole weekly shop and then carrying heavy items home takes the convenience out of shopping online. Placing lockers at more rural stations, where customers travel to and from by car, could have been more successful. Or maybe smaller, lighter items that can easily be carried by hand would benefit more from tube station lockers.
4. Short waiting times
E-commerce is built for the impatient shopper. It alleviates the waiting times that come with waiting for service or waiting at the checkouts in a bricks and mortar store. When asked what the appeal of click and collect was, a group of British consumers stated that convenience and not having to wait were the two biggest benefits. Therefore the last thing customers want is to wait to collect their items at a pick-up point. 42% of consumers in the UK stated that they were disappointed in the waiting time involved in a click and collect purchase. The consumer group said that a wait of three minutes or less was a positive pick-up experience. However, their average waiting time was more than twice that for purchases of electrical and fashion items.
The last mile of delivery causes anguish for both the retailer and the customer. Pick-up points are a great alternative for both parties. Pick-up lockers can encompass all four of the convenience factors that customers are looking for in a pick-up point. With minimal waiting times and the potential to collect and return items 24 hours a day, lockers could be the future of how we collect and return our online shopping.
Want to learn more about pick-up points?
Paazl will be joined by DHL to discuss pick-up points for e-commerce in our latest webinar. Be sure to join us on June 20th.