Parcel lockers are the new big thing with more and more carriers joining forces with well-known supermarket chains to offer consumers the opportunity to pick up their parcels at a place, and time, that is convenient.
Sabi Tolou, CCO & co-founder of Sendcloud asks will parcel lockers win the hearts and minds of consumers? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of delivery?
Consumers crave convenience and are well and truly embracing self-service. The self-service scans at supermarkets and fashion stores have already proven to be a hit, as consumers literally have the power in their own hands.
The same applies to the delivery and return of orders. Consumers aren’t always able to stay at home to take delivery of an item, nor do they have the time to queue up to drop off a return, which is why they are increasingly opting for parcel lockers as their preferred delivery destination.
Not only do parcel lockers give consumers the convenience and flexibility to arrange the time and location of their delivery, but they also contribute to more sustainable and efficient delivery. Bonus.
Parcel lockers as a final stop
71% of consumers claim flexible delivery, such as same-day delivery or delivery to a pick-up point, is key for them when placing an online order. Consumers like to decide themselves where, when and how to accept an order.
Parcel lockers seem to be the perfect answer for that. After all, parcel lockers always have a 100% delivery guarantee allowing consumers to pick up a parcel whenever it suits them.
And it’s a win-win as delivery drivers don’t have to show up at an empty house!
Evri is a good example of a carrier that successfully implemented parcel lockers as a shipping method. They have over 3,000 lockers across the UK, open 24/7, meaning consumers can always find a parcel locker locally to them, at any time of day or night.
Another example is InPost, who have teamed up with the UK’s top retailers and brands to offer collection and returns via parcel lockers. An interesting way to handle counters more efficiently, without creating long queues of people coming to send or collect orders. Not to mention the mountains of packages often tiled up in the warehouse.
Enabling parcel lockers in your checkout
The busiest period of the year hasn’t even started yet and yet the e-commerce market is already slightly under fire. There is a lot going on: increasing fuel prices, high inflation, low purchasing power and staff shortages at carriers and warehouses. In the battle against parcel volumes, it is good to already start thinking about a clever shipping strategy.
By offering a mix of shipping options in your checkout, you can offer consumers the flexibility they desire. Delivery to a pick-up point or locker should definitely be part of the mix, as research we recently carried out amongst 1,000 consumers shows almost half 47% would like to have the option to choose delivery to a pick-up point.
Including parcel lockers as an option in the checkout has plenty of benefits:
Time is still money…
Besides all the advantages, parcel lockers do still come with a few challenges. Due to the complicated technological system behind them, installing parcel lockers is still quite expensive and can therefore only succeed if they are actively used.
If consumers wait two or three days before collecting their order the parcel locker is ‘unnecessarily’ full. The best scenario is being able to use each locker several times a day, meaning that consumers would have to come and collect their parcels within a few hours after the delivery. Is that really what consumers want? Time will only tell…
All in all, parcel lockers can be an interesting solution to reduce the number of delivery vans in residential areas and offer consumers the flexibility they desire.
On top of that, shipping to lockers is more sustainable in terms of the last mile and can be a good way to unburden carriers during the peak period.
However, the rise of parcel lockers will only succeed if consumers are willing to use them and regularly pick up their orders actively…
Sabi Tolou, CCO & co-founder of Sendcloud