With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping nations and economies off their feet, no industry has been left untouched. Despite people working and spending more time at home, and ordering more things online, the postal industry has still been hit – both in a positive and negative way. Parcel2Go experts look at the ins and the outs of how posts are coping now, and what the industry’s plans are to future-proof the sector in general.
Will the upsurge in demand for online shopping and parcel delivery remain?
The postal industry has been changed forever thanks to the pandemic. With over 83% of posts having to adopt new solutions and approaches to their offerings, there has been an exponential shift within the sector.
Ashley Taylor, head of commercial at parcel delivery comparison website Parcel2Go, commented, “A major trend we have seen is a noticeable uptick in customers wanting their items collected from home as opposed to going to their local store to drop their parcels off. We also encouraged this by offering discounts with some collection products to assist our customers. We also worked with some of our partners to offer new collection products to deal with the new demand.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic Parcel2Go has seen an incredible surge in demand. As consumers have been homebound, there has been a surge in online purchases via retailers and marketplaces, as well as people sending items to loved ones. As a result, more people and SMEs have been looking for shipping solutions which met their needs. As Parcel2Go offers access to nearly all major UK couriers, we’ve seen over 10,000 new customers a week come to Parcel2Go to access courier services via our website. Couple this with an increase in items being shipped via our existing customers, we’ve seen 400,000 parcels a week being shipped through the comparison website.”
What technology and data analytics have helped?
Innovative tech and analytics can help postal services determine how busy they can expect to be, help to reduce overall running costs and also give them the ability to expand revenue opportunities. If for example, couriers don’t offer certain services such as click and collect or collect from home, by looking at the data and introducing new technology to their operations, they will be able to not only expand, but also see how often these services are being used and how successful they are.
What does the future of the postal industry look like?
With new services in place, data being used to determine busy periods and the expansion of many postal and courier services, Parcel2Go head of marketing Larisha McGurty discussed what the future might look like: “As lockdown restrictions are reduced further in the coming months and customers start to make a return to high street shops, we expect the demand for online purchases to remain high. The Covid-19 pandemic turned parcel delivery into an essential service and ensured the experience was a safe one for those receiving deliveries, while it also highlighted to the public the array of items that can be delivered to your door with great ease and efficiency.
“In the current climate, customers feel safe shopping online and it is likely that these habits, whether it is buying essentials, treating yourself or even buying a gift for a relative, will continue for the foreseeable future. Even when the public starts to venture back to normality with a trip out to the shops, we expect the positive online shopping experiences during this period to encourage more online purchases than before the lockdown period.”
With so many Covid-19 changes looking to stay put, will the future of the postal and courier industry continue to push forward on an upward trajectory?