At Metapack’s Delivery Conference I sat down with Neil Ashworth Chief Executive Officer at CollectPlus to get updated on the company’s performance and their plans for 2017.
I was surprised to discover that only about 4% of the CollectPlus business is now consumer to consumer parcels. A massive 46% is click and collect (take note any marketplace sellers who aren’t using eBay’s Click and Collect at Argos). Over 50% of CollectPlus’ business is returns, they offer white label solutions for retailers and it’s proving popular with consumers. The business is growing at 29% so things are looking healthy for the company.
Neil explained that consumers are learning to explore fulfilment options and finding solutions to fit their lifestyle. In December alone they had 530,000 new customers and 90% of those customer reuse the CollectPlus service. Neil says that ever more people are finding options that suit them and building them into a portfolio of offers that are their first choice when considering delivery and returns options.
CollectPlus’ Expansion Plans
I asked Neil about the renegotiation of their contract with Yodel and PayPoint. Neil sees the future as a multi-carrier solution. Consumers want a convenience and ideally if they can they want to pick all of their parcels up at a single collection point.
CollectPlus are pretty much the only carrier network operating 365 days per year. The last parcel for Christmas was picked up from a CollectPlus store at 11.19pm on Christmas Eve and the first holiday return took place under 8 hours later at 7.08am on Christmas Day morning!
On of the strong assets of CollectPlus is their extensive network of locations, so why not use them? CollectPlus is the only customer facing brand on most website checkouts (other options are often just listed as “Next Day” or “Economy”). CollectPlus is the only brand you select at checkout and customers appreciate the service. CollectPlus are working ever closer with Yodel, but being free to pursue other carriers makes sense, the parcels will still arrive to the customer.
Future plans are integration with couriers that offer inflight redirection of parcels – that could be your nearest CollectPlus store. Integration into checkout would enable carriers to utilise the CollectPlus network, which with over 6,000 locations is the biggest Click and Collect network out there, only Royal Mail have more locations. CollectPlus are open to conversations with couriers about how they can work together.
One of the interesting options for CollectPlus is that although consumer sends are now only 4% of their business, the network is there and if a potential partner came along their substantial store network is already up and running and ready to go at a moments notice.
The Proposition for Stores
CollectPlus have a very compelling proposition for stores who wish to become a parcel collection location and they are looking for retailers with aspirations to grow. Handling some 1500 to 2000 parcels a year attracts a stream of ready customers who often spend in store while picking up their parcels.
One of the interesting things with the additional footfall is that the client base is different to those typically attracted to a PayPoint store. Those who are topping up their gas or electric during the day with cash (PayPoint customers) probably aren’t big spenders on the Internet and conversely those who spend the most on the Internet and are looking for convenient out of hours collection probably work and have more discretionary spend. Attracting these customers into a store can give £7,000 or more additional revenue over the course of the year and they are customers who, without collecting their parcel, may never have visited the store before.
CollectPlus have differentiated themselves by building a valuable Click and Collect estate and refusing to compete with other carriers on price and low value/weight parcels. They’ve established their brand as the named delivery choice on retailers websites giving retailers the ability to instantly offer Click and Collect at over 6,000 locations.
Now they’re able to open up their network to other carriers and potentially set up locations other than at PayPoint stores they’re set for growth and already seeing the rewards.
If you’d like to offer Click and Collect on your website then CollectPlus is a relatively easy option to integrate and an attractively large network of end points. Equally if you need a returns solution with location close to your customers, CollectPlus is again a large enough established network and recognised brand ready and able to help.
hmm thought they flogged it off to yodel. never get asked for click and collect. None of this seems to bear out my experience, so I’ll sort of categorise this as ebay speke, I think.
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