Panther Warehousing has experienced substantial growth in demand for its Saturday deliveries since launching the service in 2013, reporting an increase of 135% over the last two years.
The surge in demand for a Saturday service comes at a time when busy working consumers increasingly expect to receive their purchases on a day of their choice instead of next-day delivery, placing the focus on convenience rather than simply speed alone.
Colin McCarthy, Panther’s Managing Director, says: “We are always striving to offer the most flexible and convenient services to our customers and end customers. Even we, however, were surprised by how quickly our Saturday service took off which suggested there was huge pent-up demand for deliveries outside the working week. Busy consumers seem to find a Saturday service a great option if they aren’t at home during the week.
“The service has been so well received that we are now looking at introducing a Sunday delivery service.”
Although demand is rising for Saturday deliveries, an e-consultancy survey in 2013 found that just 33% of retailers offered this option at the time. According to e-consultancy’s Multichannel retail survey in 2014, 50% of respondents have even abandoned an online purchase due to unsatisfactory delivery options.
Most people need to know exactly when their delivery will arrive. Having a nominated, fixed date is the most convenient option, even more so than same-day or next-day delivery, says e-consultancy.
Most retailers are trying to replicate the experience online that customers would expect to have in a shop and that includes Saturday ‘opening’. Convenience is key and shops and retailers have to meet changing retail patterns and fit in with customers’ hectic schedules.
Panther, which has gained a solid reputation in both two-man and one-man assisted deliveries, has always strived to meet evolving customer expectations by introducing a raft of varied delivery services. It offers a full range of flexible delivery options, including a pre-10am and pre 12pm service – with a cut-off point for orders as late as 10pm.
This flexibility, coupled with unrivalled service levels, reinforce Panther’s position in the market as a leading force in two-man delivery.
Despite the undoubted success of the Saturday delivery option, Panther in not resting on its laurels. It is pushing ahead to further improve communication channels and so stay ahead of the competition. Most recently it made a number of new developments to its ground-breaking app including helping the end customer to be fully in control of the delivery via a self-booking element.
Panther’s expansion over the last few years sparked a move of premises last year to Lodge Farm Industrial Estate in Northampton, a site that is three times larger than its previous base in Crick, Northamptonshire, with a 25 bay cross-docking facility. The move took its depot network to six.
These changes and continued expansion will enable the company to be in a strong position to handle the anticipated boom in Internet shopping for larger items over the next few years. According to a report published by Barclays bank, more than £1.3 billion worth of goods are expected to be ordered online in the UK in 2018 with an extra 40% in deliveries of larger items – from 360m a year in 2013 – to 507m in 2018.