Parcel operators in the UK are constantly competing to increase convenience and choice for customers and increase the size of their networks.
The latest announcement is from delivery firm DHL Parcel, who are expanding their click and collect services through a new partnership with PayPoint.
Their partnership will allow customers to send, collect or return a DHL parcel from local convenience stores that offer a PayPoint service. Initially, it will be available at 500 locations across the UK, with plans to roll out to 3,000 other independent PayPoint One retailers by the end of the year.
The second phase of the new partnership will see DHL Parcel launch an over-the-counter ‘Send’ service, allowing consumers to order and pay for deliveries online and drop off their parcels at their local PayPoint store.
What does this mean for Post Office?
Collections and returns is a huge growth area for parcel operators. Customers return more than 90 million items to online retailers every year and by 2025 that’s expected to grow to 250 million returns a year.
DHL’s new partnership is another example of the fierce competition, changing customer expectations and digital behaviours that are changing the face of the high street and making it more challenging for retailers to operate.
Customer research on online shopping habits show that consumers want easy, convenient access to goods and services, as quickly as possible. There are far more options than ever before of locations to drop off and pick up parcels.
DHL and PayPoint are badging their new partnership in 3,000 locations as ‘the largest click and collect network in the UK’, but, with over 11,500 branches, Post Office still has the lead.
Our own results show that we’ve seen over 20% volume growth in returns last year. This is fantastic news, but it’s an incredibly competitive market so we can’t stand still and we must become more customer focused, innovative, and even more convenient to retain current customers and win new customers from our competitors.