Internet sales have skyrocketed in a growing trend that no one dares to question anymore. But what doesn’t seem to have evolved in line with demand is the delivery system for those orders, at least in some countries.
The gridded business structure of logistics companies clashes with the complicated schedules of users, making it impossible in too many cases for a user and delivery persons to coincide at home and making the collection of an online purchase at the most inconvenient moment of the process. And that’s what we’re talking about if we don’t have to return the product.
A first survey of delivery services confirms that 45% of users are not satisfied with the delivery system offered by online stores. Between 20 and 30% of parcel deliveries are failed and 90% of them are due to the absence of the customer at home
In this state of affairs, it seems clear to everyone involved that the system must be changed and that is where a new business opportunity for proximity trade comes in. Both sales platforms and logistics operators are already taking the first steps to implement a network of alternative collection points to improve the shopping experience.
Companies such as UPS, MRW or Seur are signing agreements with franchise networks and even small convenience stores that can act as collection points for products instead of sending their delivery agents to empty houses. Online platforms have even emerged that present themselves as intermediaries between the online store and the user and are in charge of weaving the network of physical collection stores.
The fact that the opening hours and proximity of the local stores make it more compatible for users to pick up their products seems to be beyond doubt. But what are the benefits for the trade and which of them can provide this service?
To become a collection point, each company has certain requirements, but in general, they ask that the interested party has an active business with a local with storage capacity and good location. In big cities, for example, being close to a subway station is an added attraction.
They also look for collection points that consider this option as a parallel activity to their central interests. Nobody should expect to save a business in crisis through this system. The economic benefit is almost residual since the trade takes a small percentage for each package delivered.
The main attraction is the advertising. With this service in place, many new customers will pass through the premises. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for them to end up buying the products of the local store as well.
But even a clothing store can benefit from landing customers who would never have come to your door otherwise. The possibility of converting the internet user into an offline customer depends on the art of the merchant to design the package collection space and turn it into an attractive shopping spot.
Of course, it also has its drawbacks. For example, taking responsibility for the packages during the time of custody. In some cases, this can lead to the need to extend insurance to cover damage or flaws.
It will also be necessary to assess to what extent the influx of new customers may distort regular customers. For example, an excess of people waiting to be served may not be well seen by those who normally come for the claim of the original business. It can also happen that the organizational tasks of reception, storage, and delivery of the orders can distract the owner of the usual business and end up harming him.
In any case, for the latter there are also alternatives such as becoming a collection point but not physical but through the so-called intelligent slogans.
Some companies have designed slogans to be installed in the portals of buildings. In the absence of further development of this initiative, receiving businesses are proliferating, which allocate part of their surface area to the implementation of this type of slogans in exchange for a commission or rent of the space. The traditional business is also attracted to personnel, although perhaps the lack of personalized interaction reduces the possibility of attracting these online business users as customers.