Royal Mail is extending its click and collect service to 20,000 SME contract customers. Customers can opt to collect parcels from one of 10,500 post offices around the country.
The service is available on Royal Mail Tracked and Special Delivery Guaranteed enabling parcels to be tracked through to delivery at the recipient’s chosen Post Office. On delivery to the nominated Post Office branch, parcels are scanned as delivered, triggering an SMS/email confirmation to the customer.
Until now the service has only been available to larger customers. Royal Mail has developed its Local Collect application programme interface (API) and upgraded its despatch management tool for SME retailers.
The API gives retailers direct access to the details of all post offices, before labelling and shipping the parcel through the Royal Mail parcel despatch management tool they use. It also enables online retailers to integrate the service in to their web site and checkout processes for shoppers to select a post office convenient to them.
Figleaves.com, the lingerie and swimwear retailer, is currently a user of the service. Will Longmuir, head of operations, said: “We have been using the Local Collect service for a number of years now and its popularity with our customers has grown year on year. With Post Offices now opening on more days, and for longer hours, this additional flexibility not only addresses the increasing demand from our customers for convenient delivery solutions but also drives loyalty and in turn repeat sales.’’
Click and collect accounted for 70m deliveries last year and is forecast to rise to 82m this year, according to research group Verdict.
Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Royal Mail is a key partner for online retailers like Figleaves and we are well placed to benefit from the growth in e-retailing. By teaming up with Post Office to offer the UK’s largest click and collect service, Royal Mail is enabling shoppers to have greater control over the delivery of their items.”