Royal Mail has launched new day before delivery time notifications, advising recipients the day before of their delivery day and estimated delivery time. Recipients will also get shorter estimated delivery windows, starting at two hours. Generally, knowing that a delivery is due may mean consumers will plan to be at home, but knowing the evening before does give slightly more flexibility.
A third of online shoppers want to receive information day before delivery time notifications, according to Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters research. Last year, Royal Mail introduced a four hour estimated delivery window for Royal Mail Tracked services, available on the day of delivery. Royal Mail’s expected delivery windows are based on the unique nature of the Royal Mail network that delivers to around 30 million addresses in the UK, six days a week. This says Royal Mail, means that their delivery windows can be calculated earlier than competitors with different daily routes based on the parcels they have for delivery that day. Competitor networks generally only predict delivery times on the morning of delivery.
“Notifying customers of their expected delivery time the day before we deliver is just one of the ways we are helping to make our customers’ lives easier. Coupled with a shorter estimated delivery time of as little as two hours creates a step change in convenience for online shoppers. Our posting customers also benefit from increased repeat orders from happy online shoppers. This latest innovation is part of our major investment in changes that increase convenience for our customers and their recipients.”
– Spokesperson, Royal Mail
It’s interesting to see delivery windows narrowing. There is no doubt that knowing if you can pop to the shops without missing your parcel is a massive improvement on the old days of knowing a parcel will almost certainly result in a missed delivery if you so much as pop round to the neighbours. With Royal Mail, depending on how early in the day the day before delivery time notifications arrive, you’ll know know if you can make plans for the afternoon or not.
It’s likely that in the future Royal Mail and other couriers will start to predict delivery slots almost at the point of despatch (and yes some courier already offer scheduled times but they cost more). What we’ve seen in recent years that as carriers improve their service others follow. Gone are the days when your parcel might arrive at any time from 7am to 7pm as just about every courier can predict a four hour slot, if not two hour or one hour. The closer the to the delivery time the more accurate the prediction comes until some carriers offer a 15 minute time slot.
Royal Mail’s ability to give two hour day before delivery time notifications before shouldn’t really come as a surprise as Posties are regular as clockwork. If I have a signed for parcel due, I can almost guarantee that it’ll arrive at my house between around 11.30am and 1.30pm. However occasionally it can be earlier or later and I’ll appreciate the day before estimate.