We all understand that the retail sector has gone through an online revolution that has changed the face of modern retailing. With the increased access to the internet that our mobile smart phones provide, we have access to thousands of products that are only a click away twenty-four hours a day. Not only does this give us access to a much wider range of products than a bricks and motor store can provide, but it also gives us the opportunity to shop wherever and whenever it is convenient for us.
Convenience is one of the key factors that has helped to drive online ecommerce forward, and the delivery of retailer’s goods is one area that has had to adapt. Domestic and international courier services have changed from taking 3- 5 working days to deliver a mail order dress, to now being delivered the next day to residential addresses within a 1-hour notified delivery window. This has been pioneered by DPD to have been able to take a leading role in automating parcel delivery by automating the delivery routes of their drivers.
This enables them to estimate when a delivery will be made, and to be able to text and email this information to the receiver. Enabling them to plan their day without needing to stay home and wait for the driver. These alerts can also offer the ability to send messages to the delivery drivers, such as leave in a specific place or to reschedule for a more convenient day.
This has increased the rate of first-time successful deliveries, which has lowered their operational costs whilst increase customer satisfaction, a win win situation. This change has brought about confidence in the buying public that they can purchase goods and know that they will arrive at a convenient time and promptly.
Significant changes have also been made in providing consumers with a prepaid and easy to use local returns process, so that buyers can have confidence that if they for any reason need to return their purchases this is also convenient to do. This has resulted in thousands of local drop off points being opened throughout the Country within large retailers and petrol stations.
As a result, the buyers now are willing to buy online both from local internet retailers, and even from vendors despatching from abroad. As the internet does not sell within the physical boundaries of a County, many retailers are able to offer both domestic and international delivery options. Enabling them to offer a next day parcel delivery to Germany as easily as one a few miles away from their warehouse.
The ability for online retailers to sell domestically and even internationally means that the choice of goods that buyers can source online will continue to increase. I expect that this will lead to international courier costs lowering as volumes grow. Which makes me believe that online sales will continue increase at the cost of local traditional retail outlets, and that further advances in delivery convenience are yet come, there will even be the option for same day courier.