Have you ever gone to retrieve a package only to discover that it’s been stolen? If so, you’re not the only one.
According to the New York Times, 90,000 packages are stolen in New York City per day. Assuming a $78 average order value, this equates to over $2 billion of stolen items per year! Furthermore, with the pandemic now in its second year, online spending is up 32% so far in 2021 and it’s not stopping there. Ecommerce revenues are projected to rise to $6.54 trillion in 2022, further increasing the threat of porch pirates on a global scale.
The good news is that PUDO (pick-up-drop-off) locations, can help postal operators save the day. Besides dramatically reducing the chances of stolen packages, PUDO alleviates capacity constraints in postal operators’ delivery networks, lowers last mile delivery costs, and actually improves the customer experience. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how PUDO continues to be the best alternative delivery method for consumers who crave peace of mind and for Posts undergoing digital transformation.
In the UK, 72% of customers use Post services outside of the post office and this trend continues to grow globally for good reason. PUDO enables Posts to scale their retail network at a far lower cost than opening new brick-and-mortar post offices. More Post locations also result in greater accessibility and customer convenience. PUDO locations are often closer to the customer than a post office and aren’t bound by traditional post office hours.
With PUDO, customers can order stamps and pick up their packages when they are running everyday errands like getting groceries, gas, or picking up their prescriptions, all at the same location. And with more PUDO locations, delivery drivers also have more drop-off points, making their delivery routes quicker, while easing capacity constraints in the system. Most importantly, PUDO ensures parcel security. Customers must have or show particular information about a package to pick it up, ensuring safe delivery.
PUDO is also a complementary part of a Post’s digital transformation. Today’s consumers expect a seamless experience when interacting with your Post. So as you roll out more digital services, ensure they are seamlessly connected to your physical channels too, including your PUDO locations. Bridging your physical and digital channels unifies the entire customer journey at every touchpoint, from mobile apps to self-service kiosks to PUDO, giving your customers more choices such as beginning a transaction online at home and completing it at the post office or a PUDO shop. And now is an excellent time to begin this transformation.
We know ecommerce sales and deliveries are steadily increasing, but returns have grown in a big way. In fact, 15 to 40% of online purchases are returned and Allied Market Research estimates that returns will become a $600 billion industry within five years. The issue is that consumer returns can translate into huge logistics problems for Posts if they don’t have the supporting delivery network technology or modern retail network to handle the extra parcels. Fortunately, PUDO can help with first mile challenges like returns as well. By embedding your Posts’ services across existing third-party retail networks, customers have more options for returns, and Posts can more reliably optimize and manage return routes.
PUDO is revolutionizing retail and delivery networks, offering customers more convenient and secure interactions with postal organizations. But what if you could take the PUDO concept even further? That is precisely the idea behind Escher Group’s Universal ePOS and Post Office on Demand solutions.
Universal ePOS gives third-party retailers full postal service functionality directly on their existing POS or payment system. This means consumers can pay for postal goods and services and store merchandise in a single transaction at check out. And because there are no post office leases, hardware, support or maintenance costs, this is an incredibly cost-effective way to scale your Posts’ retail network. Additionally, Escher’s Post Office on Demand can turn any retail location (such as retail space at a mall) into a post office in a single day and it comes with everything you need to operate a post office. It’s like a post office-in-a-box.
All of these PUDO options make it incredibly easy and cost-effective to offer post services in grocery stores, convenience stores, petrol stations, and even malls during peak seasons. These added locations put Posts closer to the customer, providing greater convenience and security.