The explosive growth of ecommerce has undoubtedly put more pressure on retailers to deliver on their promises. The pressures of the modern on-demand economy have led to an increasing number of deliveries across the country, resulting in drivers being asked to deliver more and more parcels with each passing year.
Nasdaq estimates that 95 per cent of purchases will be made online by 2040. The same research found that ecommerce will account for $4.5 trillion in sales by 2021, almost twice the figure for 2017.
It’s an enormous task for delivery
drivers to fulfil the number of deliveries assigned to them, which often means
missed delivery targets, customer complaints and drivers inadvertently adopting
the role of scapegoat. This has distracted from the underlying issues with
legacy delivery systems and the current infrastructure. Without addressing these
issues, the problem will only become greater, especially given the demand for
next-day and same-day delivery.
So, how can online retailers continue
to thrive, without increasing the burden on the delivery driver?
Don’t shoot the messenger
shown that 95 per cent of UK shoppers are buying products online due to
improved convenience and timely delivery guarantees. Although delivery was once
considered an afterthought, it has become a vital factor in the shopping
experience and is now a crucial element in decision-making at checkout.
The increasing number of failed
deliveries, or parcels arriving damaged, has resulted in the misconception that
delivery drivers are either incompetent or lazy. In fact, most drivers are resorting to the kinds of behaviours we see shared on social
media—such as careless parcel handling and door-step confrontations—due to the
mounting pressures on them to deliver an enormous quantity of parcels each day.
Delivery drivers are often seen as an extension of the
retailers, which means any frustrations are automatically angled towards them.
Despite what the popular saying tells us, the impulse is always to shoot the
messenger when delivery issues crop up.
Out with the old, in with the new
With current delivery infrastructure,
this situation will soon become untenable. It’s time for retailers to turn to new,
scalable solutions to support this demand. One solution to
alleviating the increasing strain on delivery drivers is to minimise the number
of delivery destinations and optimise delivery routes. This way drivers can
perform the same number of deliveries in a fraction of the time, which means they’re
able to satisfy the growing number of orders, without jeopardising the customer
experience or parcel condition.
By allowing drivers to deliver packages
en masse—to a handful of lockers instead of hundreds of destinations—lockers
provide a way for drivers to carry out their duties without stress of meeting
delivery targets and resorting to mishandling or misplacing packages. This offers retailers a way to ensure
customers can collect, send and return parcels at their convenience.
By introducing parcel lockers to the
suite of checkout options, businesses can cater to today’s fast-paced modern
lifestyle. In an “always-on” society, the majority of consumers are rushing to
work, collecting their kids from school, attending social events, and being
around for a delivery is the last thing they want to do after a hectic day. Introducing
parcel lockers at checkout is a simple way for businesses to cater to today’s
fast-paced modern lifestyle, as items can be collected at any time of the day
or night ultimately countering the damaging characterisation of drivers.
Lockers not only improve overall
customer experience but also create a more direct link between retailer and
consumer, removing the driver from the equation.
Lockers go a long way to addressing the
unjust demonisation of the delivery driver. No longer the scapegoat, drivers
will be freed up to focus on providing a good customer experience. It’s clear
that online retailers must move away from legacy delivery infrastructure, to
align the delivery experience with the modern sensibility and consumer demand,
but to also demonstrate a commitment to the welfare of delivery drivers.
Tavaria, UK CEO at InPost]
Source: Courier News