Royal Mail and the Post Office will launch later this year the UK’s largest ‘click and collect’ network to support online shopping growth aiming to provide convenient parcel delivery options for online retailers and their customers.
The Post Office has the largest retail network in the UK, making them ideal locations to provide convenient, secure parcel collection facilities. 99% of the population lives within three miles of a Post Office branch. Around 10,500 Post Offices will be taking part in the initiative which will enable online retailers to offer shoppers the opportunity to order items for collection at their local branch.
The Post Office is modernising its network. More and more of its branches are opening for longer and more than 4,000 will offer access to items ordered through click and collect outside the usual Post Office opening hours. With many branches open seven days a week, the Post Office network can offer even greater convenience for customers collecting their online shopping.
Of course the Post Office isn’t convenient to everyone which is why retailers should offer a choice of delivery options but your Post Office is probably closer than your nearest Royal Mail Delivery Office and certainly will have much longer opening hours.
Royal Mail do of course also offer delivery to home, or to a neighbour for safekeeping which is likely to remain the preference for the vast majority of customers and Royal Mail expect this to continue to be the case. Choice is important though and for some, Click and Collect is preferable to knocking on a neighbours door looking for their parcel.
Royal Mail is currently talking to a number of large online retailers about integrating this service into their websites later this year and plan to extend the Click and Collect service to smaller retailers in 2014.