Royal Mail needs to work on convenience for ecommerce shoppers

I missed a delivery on Friday. Nothing unusual there. A very significant number of first time deliveries don’t work out and it’s a great cost and concern to carriers.

It’s certainly at least one reason why so much time and effort is being is being directed at giving the recipient more control on how they get the goods by many in the indutry.

imageWhether it’s Click & Collect (which eBay itself is expanding with Argos for business sellers), dropshops and lockers, better info regarding tracking for buyers so they can be in or Saturday and Sunday deliveries… the new services we’re seeing are many. It’s quite astonishing the number of innovations we’ve been seeing in the last few months.

Delivery is making leaps and bounds forward and not before time. I think that the key for ecommerce sellers is going to be about giving buyers choice.

My missed delivery was by Royal Mail and it strikes me that they are not keeping pace with some of the other players when it comes to cashing in on the revolution in ecommerce delivery.

Firstly, they are wedded to the last mile. I really don’t see I can’t opt to have my Royal Mail parcels held at the depot when I know I shan’t be in. It would save them time and money and I could opt to come by at a time convenient to me.

And they have so many premises that lockers should also be a part of the mix. It makes much more sense than them coming by to deliver when I know I shan’t be in.

And then once a delivery has failed, the service they provide is far from 21st century. The picture above shows the times I can stop by to pick up my parcel at my local Royal Mail depot.

On only one day a week can I stop by after 2pm. That’s just crazy. Here’s hoping that privatisation will mean Royal Mail looks again at these rules to make collection more convenient.

They will find it to their competitive advantage.