There has never been a more exciting, yet challenging time for postal operators everywhere. As the global e-commerce and delivery market continues to grow exponentially, the importance of last-mile delivery is ever paramount in this changing and rapidly accelerating space.
According to CEP Research, global parcel deliveries will surpass 100 billion this year alone. Over the next few years, that number will only continue to rise. It’s no wonder that 90% of posts believe that their success over the next five years will be related to parcels.
What is driving this paradigm shift? A commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. The reason? A changing landscape. Customer’s expectations are not only expanding, they’re accelerating faster than many posts have been able to keep up.
Delivering value to customers and enhancing their experience has taken many forms. Perhaps none more widely adopted than the institution of pick-up and drop-off locations (PUDOs) using 3rd party outlets such as conveniences stores. These locations are convenient for the customer and allow them to have greater control over how their parcels are handled.
The benefit is two-fold. Customers can direct their parcels to a nearby location that is convenient for them. At the same time, last-mile delivery can forward the parcel to that location in case the original location is unavailable.
Self-service kiosks, which allow the customers to rate and induct their own parcels, are another solution to last (and first) mile challenges. This, in conjunction with parcel lockers, has gone a long way towards creating a more convenient experience for customers.
Lastly, the intervention of big data and analytics allows posts to derive deeper insight into their customer’s behaviors and motivations. With the right technology, posts can collect and analyze data at the point of transaction via the retail counter or self-service kiosk. That data can be used to analyze customer behavior and trends, such as calculating high traffic periods. It can also be used to aid in employee training and guidance, even so far as to provide proactive real-time suggestions at the point of sale.
Through implementing these and other initiatives, posts can enhance the customer experience and further differentiate themselves from the increasing number of competitors all vying for a slice of the delivery market.
Challenges with parcel delivery have evolved over time. In 2020 and beyond, we will look to these challenges as opportunities. Delivering exceptional customer experiences at every level is one powerful way that posts can compete within this space and increase their parcel share in 2020 and beyond.
For over 30 years, Escher has been a trusted innovation partner, collaborating with postal operators globally, implementing solutions that drive positive customer engagement, and deliver high-quality customer experiences.
At this year’s WMX Americas Conference, Escher will be presenting on the topic of delivering powerful customer experiences in today’s competitive parcel industry. We believe that posts who can prioritize the customer experience through the adoption of new technologies including big data and analytics will be putting themselves in a more competitive tier and a greater chance for success.