DPD has become the first parcel carrier to provide customers with a one hour window for their home deliveries.
Shoppers who buy from retailers shipping with DPD can receive a free SMS or email giving them a precise one hour window in which the driver will arrive. And, if the recipient of the SMS knows that they won't be in to sign for the package, they can reply and arrange for DPD to deliver on a more convenient date.
The launch follows an investment of £2m by DPD in developing the technology needed to support the one hour delivery window.
1,500 companies have already signed up for the service, including Three, Dixons Direct and iwantoneofthose.com.
The scale of home delivery hassles experienced by UK householders was highlighted in a recent survey by pollsters Opinion Matters, says DPD, which found that of 1,369 adults:
- 87% have waited in all day for a delivery without knowing when it would arrive and 23% of us have done it four times a year or more
- 82% find it 'frustrating' or 'very frustrating' to wait at home for a delivery, not knowing when it will arrive
- 10.2% have fabricated an excuse to stay off work and wait for a delivery. For the record, the researchers say that excuses included 'my gerbil has died', 'my budgie is dying', plus the less imaginative 'migraines', 'waiting for a plumber', and 'a dodgy prawn sandwich'.
- 80% have had to go to a parcel depot or Royal Mail office in the last 12 months to collect a parcel, and 27.5% have made five visits or more.
- 82% of people would find a one hour delivery window 'very useful' and a further 14.2% would find it 'useful'.
"Most online shoppers are busy people who love the ease of buying on the internet at any time of day or night but resent the inconvenience of waiting in all day for a delivery," says DPD's CEO Dwain McDonald. "That's why we're confident that our one hour service is the solution that shippers and shoppers alike have been waiting for. Consumers who value their time are more likely to re-order from retailers who proactively communicate with them to make the delivery experience as convenient as possible."
"Our own research shows that 62% of online shoppers have experienced a failed delivery due to nobody being at home and a further 38% are put off purchasing because delivery times are too vague," added David Smith, director of operations at IMRG. "That's why we think that the new DPD offering will be welcomed by retailers and by their customers."