On the 7th September, Royal Mail launched a pilot program that saw around 100 of its busiest delivery depots across the country open on a Sunday.
The initiative is a direct bid to fend off stiff competition from a growing number of rival carriers and of course, the increasingly popular click and collect service operators. Whether your branch opens or not is based on highest parcel volume, but the trial will also see some 1600 post offices open on Sundays too, so you never know. Word on the street is click and collect is set to kick off with unprecedented popularity this Christmas, the likes of John Lewis say it could even take over their home delivery service.
Royal Mail parcel Managing Director, Nick Landon said he was delighted to pilot Sunday afternoon openings as a way to better address out customers needs.
It obviously comes as welcome news to many small and medium-sized online businesses but also to bricks and mortar retailers too. More and more high street retailers are capitalising on multi-channel marketing and sales, by offering Christmas gift collection or mail order drop off services. So the fact Royal Mail says it will make available it’s local click and collect service to 20,000 of its SME contract customers, is great news this Christmas.
Are you one of them? It’s worth checking, especially since it it provides you with a ready-made add on service. You could make a big thing about your customers placing orders for Christmas hampers, or pre-wrapped gifts for collection at a branch near them. The seasonal implications of this makes it a real viable option for offering year-round gifting. Read how to send wine bottles as a gift through the post or how to send hampers as a gift through the post for tips on how to keep your parcels in tip top shape in transit.
Lastly and interestingly, that age old dilemma of waiting in all day for your parcel to arrive may be a thing of the past. Royal Mail has signed off on its official ‘delivery to your neighbour’ initiative. Wooohay! You’ll find its rolled out across the UK already.
So all good on a consumer front, just don’t get too excited and think your suppliers will ever be able to compete with Royal Mail’s recent convenience shake up – suppliers will always be behind the consumer traffic, which is fine and how it should be eh? We still aim to get your parcels to you on a next day service, although if you leave 2 working days – longer at Christmas, we promise it will help with your heart palpitation.