Following the recent announcement from Royal Mail, Michelle De Pasquale, commercial director at InPost, the largest global operator of a 24/7 parcel locker network in the UK, is calling for retailers to adopt a flexible parcel delivery service in order to meet the demands of the modern consumer.
Michelle comments: "Over the course of the past year, eCommerce has revolutionised the delivery landscape and retailers are increasingly looking to capitalise on shoppers’ demand for click-and-collect options. In the UK alone, eCommerce is expanding rapidly, with statistics from the Centre for Retail Research showing that UK online sales will reach nearly £45 billion by the end of 2014, which has increased from almost £39 billion in 2013.
"Although it is interesting to hear Royal Mail’s announcement of a Sunday delivery trial within the M25, the latest IMRG statistics have found that 56% of UK consumers are not at home, even on Sunday, during normal delivery hours. Opening some offices on a Sunday is a start but today’s consumer no longer expects to have to plan their day around parcel delivery with ‘click & collect’ to a store, or a local collection point, beginning to put them firmly back in control. Parcel lockers with their flexibility and convenience are now the next evolutionary step of this concept.
"Local parcel lockers that enable consumers to collect parcels 24/7 are therefore becoming the next point of differentiation for retailers and this looks set to increase further over the coming months. InPost now boasts a network of close to 1,000 collection points across the UK, all of which are sited in convenient locations such as stations, petrol forecourts, outside local shops and retail parks. Parcel lockers therefore enable consumers to collect their delivery any hour of the day or night and it now takes just seconds to collect a parcel at the consumer’s convenience."