How can you, as a brand, ensure customer satisfaction at every touchpoint, particularly in the last-mile? Particularly if you’re trying to scale your e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales, what can you do? Offering delivery to pick-up points could be a way to remain competitive and please customers, without breaking the bank.
Optimizing the last-mile
Creating the best possible last-mile is a challenge: ensuring that once an item is ordered, it’s delivered within budget and the preferred time frame. And that someone is there to sign for delivery if necessary.
For most companies this is a huge strain on resources as you need to manage stock, have local warehouses, and a good list of carriers and delivery options. Not to mention the cost (and environmental impact) of next day delivery.
Meanwhile, customers have ever increasing expectations: according to ComScore, 2 in 5 customers said they abandoned shopping carts because estimated delivery dates didn’t match their expectations, while nearly half of online shoppers were not willing to wait more than 5 days for parcels to be delivered.
This is all about convenience, so how can you meet expectations?
To solve the challenge consumers started getting creative, for example having things delivered to their office. However, this also poses a problem because front desk staff can’t deal with the increased volume of parcels and distribute them: they don’t have time to take on these additional logistics.
Customers can also choose to have parcels delivered to their neighbours, though this is a less popular option. In order to counter the challenge, alternative solutions such as MyPup or Bringme have popped up, offering individuals and businesses the possibility to set up lockers in their premises to which parcels can be safely delivered. But these solutions only work on a large scale and aren’t directly available for consumers: their building has to make the investment.
Pick-up points as a solution
So why not take a closer look at pick-up points? They are a great way to ensure parcels get delivered without consumers having to be home, and help companies gain in efficiency. Across Europe, many carriers offer pick-up points as an option with retailers or local shops acting as pick-up points for parcels. See below for a list of pick-up networks offered across Europe:
Pick-up points work particularly well in cities, where there are many within a same neighbourhood for customers to choose from. But equally in more rural areas, if they are located in or near grocery stores to which people make regular visits, it simplifies things. This gives people the flexibility to collect their parcel once they’re available, knowing it was delivered and kept safely in the meantime.
This guarantees customer satisfaction, and most importantly it helps you as a business to save on costs, and scale faster. When using pick-up points, you no longer have to worry about the cost of setting up new warehouses, or optimizing your logistics down to the last millimeter so drivers take the most efficient route.
In addition, pick-up points are more environmentally friendly. By delivering parcels to pick-up points, you are avoiding the additional carbon emissions of having to re-deliver a parcel a second time, the van driving back and forth through the city several times a day, or leaving only half-full.
With your pick-up points sorted, you now have time to focus on scaling your business in other areas.