How to implement Royal Mail Local Collect

By Chris Dawson August 14, 2014 - 7:43 am

NetDespatchNetDespatch have developed a web designer’s ‘Location Toolkit’ for Royal Mail that makes the inclusion of ‘Royal Mail Local Collect’ in a retailer’s website incredibly simple – just by inserting a few lines of code.

By integrating the NetDespatch Local Collect function on your website you will be able to offer your website customers the convenience of Click and Collect at around 10,500 Post Offices all over the UK. The NetDespatch Toolkit is free of charge to Royal Mail customers.

Royal Mail Local CollectFrom a simple ‘Select Post Office Location’ button on a website, the NetDespatch Toolkit provides all the web pages and server-side processing needed to allow the web shopper to choose their favourite Post Office (from the authorised Royal Mail list), from which to collect their parcel.

To offer Royal Mail Local Collect Post Offices as a delivery option, a retailer’s IT team will need to make some very small changes to their checkout process:

  • Modify the delivery address web page to include some javascript (provided by NetDespatch) that will present a ‘Select Post Office Location’ button
  • Modify the same web page to include some javascript (again provided by NetDespatch) that will process the returned address and finalise the transaction

The approach used by NetDespatch is wholly secure, and does not cause the web shopper to leave the checkout page. It is similar to that used by many websites to integrate postcode lookup, mapping, customer service or analytics functionality into websites via a call to javascript technology on third party servers.

NetDespatch supply a very brief technical guide, available to those wanting to implement Royal Mail Local Collect®, where the whole process is broken down into five simple steps:
Step 1 – Apply for an API Key
Step 2 – Create a ‘Select Post Office Location’ button on your website
Step 3 – Insert the Toolkit URL in your web page
Step 4 – Insert the ‘Search’ function in your web page
Step 5 – Insert the function to confirm the transaction in your web page

What it looks like on a retailer’s website

Click and Collect

Click and Collect Post Office SelectionWhen, in the above example, the ‘Find your local Post Office’ button is clicked, a pop up panel will appear, showing only those Post Offices where a parcel may be collected. The web shopper selects the address, and the data is returned to the website.

Label production

When a retailer despatches their parcel, the NetDespatch shipping application (also free of charge to Royal Mail customers) will automatically recognise the Post Office address and print the correct Royal Mail Tracked® Local Collect shipping label.

Click and Collect LabelWhen the daily Sales Order Summary is printed all data is automatically pre-advised to Royal Mail, and the appropriate alerts are sent by Royal Mail to the web shopper, so that they know when their parcel has arrived in store.

Over 120,000 e-retailers, eBay and Amazon Marketplace sellers and mail order companies use NetDespatch’s web-based shipping solutions to print carrier labels and seamlessly send pre-advice data to their carriers. The service is provided free of charge to retailers as NetDespatch works in partnership with most postal and parcel carriers including; Royal Mail, Yodel, Collect+, APC Overnight and Nightline and all costs are met by the carriers.

If you would like to find out more about NetDespatch and their Royal Mail Local Collect integration you can contact them through their website or on 08451 305093.

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