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Royal Mail widens access to its click and collect services

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Small and medium-sized businesses can now offer their customers the option of picking up their online purchases from their local Post Office.

Royal Mail has extended its Local Collect service, available at 10,500 Post Office branches, to its 20,000 SME contract customers.

The move comes in response to the growing popularity of click and collect. Some 70m deliveries were made through click and collect and third-party delivery points in 2013, a figures that’s expected to rise 17% to 82m in 2014, according to Verdict. The consultancy forecasts the value of the delivery channel will rise by 112% to £6.5bn in 2018 from £3bn in 2013, representing compound annual growth of 16.2%.

Retailers who are Royal Mail contract customers get direct access to the Local Collect through its API, which gives retailers access to all Post Office details and enables them to integrate the service to their website so that shoppers can choose their most convenient Post Office at checkout. The service is available on Royal Mail tracked and special delivery guaranteed parcels. When the parcels arrive at the designated Post Office their barcodes are scanned, triggering a text or email confirmation to the customer.

Paul Brown, head of commercial development, Post Office said: “The Post Office offers the largest and most convenient network for posting, collecting and returning parcels, and we’re changing to make it easier for customers to access our services. Thousands of our branches are now able to offer collection services on Sundays and from early morning until late at night, offering an extra 150,000 opening hours to customers using the Local Collect service. We’re delighted that even more SMEs can now take advantage of this service.” is an existing Local Collect customer. Its head of operations Will Longmuir said: “We have been using the Local Collect service for a number of years now and its popularity with our customers has grown year on year. With Post Offices now opening on more days, and for longer hours, this additional flexibility not only addresses the increasing demand from our customers for convenient delivery solutions but also drives loyalty and in turn repeat sales.”

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Royal Mail is a key partner for online retailers like Figleaves and we are well placed to benefit from the growth in e-retailing. By teaming up with Post Office to offer the UK’s largest click and collect service, Royal Mail is enabling shoppers to have greater control over the delivery of their items.”

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