The difficulty in deliveries to individuals is one of the big problems for both companies and consumers. Convenience points are among the measures that are giving the best results, a transport service that is already well received in other countries but that in Spain has only begun to take off.
The problem of home deliveries
We have all experienced firsthand the problem of receiving packages in our homes. Working hours or any other circumstance that makes us leave home end up with failed deliveries -along with the inconvenience of having to reschedule the delivery- or with the obligation to stay longer than desired at home if we want to receive the merchandise.
This means that around 30% of the first parcel deliveries are not completed; a situation that generates frustration in the companies that send merchandise, in the recipients and in the logistics operators that carry out the deliveries. The latter, which often carry the additional costs of a second delivery, have recently resorted to a new transport service created to tackle this problem: convenience points.
Convenience points; a new transport service
A convenience point is a place where the transport companies leave the merchandise and where the recipient goes to pick it up. They can be ticket offices or other similar devices, but most often they are shops, which is the option we are going to focus on.
When deliveries are made in stores, logistics operators go from 70% successful deliveries to ensuring that delivery can always be made. And the great beneficiary of this is the recipient, since they will be able to pick up their package whenever they want, without the inconvenience of contacting the carrier and being tied back to a schedule in which to be at home.
Convenience points in figures
Given that Spain is somewhat behind in this matter, it might come as a surprise that in 2015 there were already more than 10,000 convenience points throughout Europe. According to data from the e-Shopper Barometer study, 55% of e-commerce customers in France already list this type of delivery as their favorite.
This transport service, however, remains at 9% of followers when we look within our borders (compared to 17% on average in Europe). Despite this, its future invites us to be optimistic. In the last five years, electronic commerce has grown in double digits and convenience points are not immune to this development. At the end of last year there were already 8,000 collection points of the main operators.
On the Internet freedom of choice is king
What is missing for the takeoff of convenience points
There are two main reasons that are usually cited for why this transport service has not had the same penetration as in other European countries up to now: lack of tradition and lack of choice when buying.
The lack of tradition means that many people are not even aware of the possibility of using these systems, which also leads to their not requesting them. In turn, there are still many electronic businesses that do not offer the possibility of making shipments through any of these networks -such as Yupick, the one we use in our case through the Tipsa network-.
This lack of choice is a major misconception, especially in a world like the Internet, where freedom of choice is king. The shipping method—and how to pick it up—is one of the many things customers want a say in, and convenience points give them that. Not giving them means not only problems at the time of delivery, but also the loss of sales from customers who did not have their preferred delivery methods.
It is easy to see how both causes -lack of tradition and lack of choice when buying- feed each other and end up being the whiting that bites its tail. The less people who know about this transport service, the less people who ask ecommerce for the possibility of using them. However, the growth data augurs that this spiral of silence is breaking.
What advantages do convenience points offer?
The raison d’être of a transport service is to provide improvements and own advantages. These are some of the ones offered by the collection points:
Quality improvement: improving the success of deliveries improves the quality perceived by the user. In addition, we avoid the frustration of staying at home (even worse if the delivery person does not arrive). The recipient’s experience is the key.
Cost improvement: each failed delivery represents an unproductive expense.
Relief on crucial dates: the saturation of dates such as Christmas and Black Friday benefit from these types of deliveries. It is much easier to leave several packages at once in a single point where you know it can be delivered.
More customers for the collection point: businesses benefit from the transit that involves collecting the packages. Why not take advantage of the fact that I have to go to the supermarket to do the week’s purchase? It is already common to include discounts or advertising for recipients to use when picking up their merchandise.
Faced with the fear that at first there may be that the merchandise will not be collected for a long time, the data indicates that 90% of customers collect the package between the same day of the notice and the next day.
Care for the environment: a vehicle that has to repeat a journey is one more vehicle that pollutes. Delivering right away is a sustainable practice that improves the footprint we leave on the planet. In addition, delivering several shipments to a single point reduces the kilometers traveled.
Closer: traditionally, the closest thing to convenience points were the notices to go pick up the packages at the parcel company’s delegation. However, it is easier and more efficient to add a new collection point in a nearby business or establishment than to create a new delegation. That is why it is more likely that your collection point is closer than the logistics operator’s warehouse.
Play in favor of the current: every year the percentage of users who say they prefer to buy online than in physical establishments increases. Therefore, improving the deliveries of purchases in your e-commerce will allow you to take advantage of this trend.
Impulse purchases, those that were not planned but that we suddenly want to have as soon as possible, are very sensitive to delivery times. We want our whim and we want it now; so we do not want to wait to be able to arrange delivery with the carrier or to be able to be at home.
Take advantage of weekends: the usual delivery hours for transport companies are from Monday to Friday, which means that weekends are considered extra or sometimes not offered as a possibility. However, if they leave our shipment at the collection point on Friday, even if we do not go for it that same day, we have the whole weekend at our disposal.
As we can see, there are many advantages offered by convenience points. However, there are still many people who are reluctant to have to go to the collection point, even if that means delays or other types of inconvenience, such as having to wait at home. Although sometimes it is mere ignorance that makes you not opt for this transport service. In any case, the figures indicate an increase in its use and it seems to have the trends in logistics and consumption in favor.