Retailers: Four indispensable tips you need before investing in a parcel locker
4 Min Read
Written by: Alexandrea Purvis
E-commerce is growing at a staggering rate. Retail e-commerce sales globally have reached close to $4.13 trillion in 2020, and it’s expected to increase to $4.88 trillion in 2021. With COVID-19 leading to stay-at-home orders around the world, many consumers were forced to take their shopping online. In the UK, for example, the Office for National Statistics reports that “the proportion of retail expenses spent online increased from 9.1% in April 2019 to 30.7% in April 2020.” In France the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that “the market share of e-commerce rapidly increased to almost 10% of total consumer goods during the confinement period, compared to less than 6% in 2019.” However, while large growth was seen in the e-commerce market, brick-and-mortar stores took a hard hit, with stores seeing record losses in sales as footfall to stores dramatically decreased due to COVID.
According to McKinsey & Company, retailers who focused on the Customer Experience (CX) were more resilient in downtimes than those who didn’t. Therefore, brick-and-mortar retailers who had already implemented creative ways to combat the loss of foot traffic due to e-commerce pre-COVID fared better than those who did not. One creative way retailers have been able to bounce back is through flexible fulfillment via a multichannel shopping strategy. By utilising a multichannel strategy, brick-and-mortar stores create a seamless experience for customers, even as shopper expectations and preferences evolve. It is through this strategy that retailers will see the increased revenue and foot-traffic they need to overcome the revenue impact of 2020.
By implementing Click-and-Collect options via intelligent locker solutions, retailers are optimising the customer shopping experience and encouraging a safe return to physical stores amid changing health and safety needs. Before investing in a tech-forward solution, like parcel lockers, it is important to ask potential locker vendors the right questions based on the following four themes.
1. Understanding your business needs
Your assessment of your business needs should be based on your foundational objectives, such as improved operational efficiency, or customer experience. Once you have this information, you will be able to identify your specific needs as well as the KPIs to measure success. Some important questions to ask include how many lockers your store locations will require, and how much time will your customers save when retrieving their deliveries from the lockers.
2. Creating a new customer experience
Click-and-collect or buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) service options enable retailers to create a modern shopping experience. Click-and-collect via lockers brings added convenience for consumers by enabling them to retrieve their orders at a time that is convenient for them. Outdoor parcel lockers, for example, offer the convenience of 24/7 pick-up. When you integrate parcel lockers into your retail strategy, store associates can focus on customer satisfaction and sales, rather than retrieving orders. Better customer service leads to improved revenue as a result of impulse purchases made by customers who come in-store to retrieve their Click-and-Collect orders. Some important questions to ask are how you can utilize your lockers to improve customer satisfaction and engagement, how to increase in-store traffic via the smart lockers, what other benefits you can expect, and if there are any potential risks.
3. Grow ROI (Drive in-store traffic)
With a convenient, quick, and modern experience, customers are more likely to purchase additional items since their time is no longer wasted waiting in line. By using a BOPIL (buy-online-pick-up-in-locker) strategy, the risk of lost items and delays that impact the customer pick-up experience is dramatically reduced. Additionally, BOPIL and BOPIS reduce costs and eliminate errors, saving retailers money in the long term. Consider asking questions about how the lockers will work for your organisation, and what the potential returns are. For instance: Who will be responsible for loading and unloading the lockers? How much time can customers and employees expect to save in the delivery and return process? How will smart lockers improve staff efficiency? And what is the anticipated operational cost savings?
A recent study conducted by weighing solutions provider Shekel indicated that 90% of consumers prefer contact-free shopping experiences such as parcel lockers for Click-and-Collect purchases. As a result, retailers globally are acting fast to implement BOPIL as a means to drive consumers back to brick-and-mortar locations. Parcel lockers offer a safe, convenient, secure, and personalised shopping experience that meets consumers at their preferred touchpoints. Many parcel locker solutions provide a contact-free, self-service process that eliminates long queues and wait times, while streamlining Click-and-Collect processes. This helps cut out unnecessary contact with fellow shoppers and employees while creating an efficient operational process. Therefore, it’s important to understand how a potential parcel locker vendor enables a contactless retrieval and return process.
Quadient Parcel Locker Solutions
Quadient is the best source for parcel lockers. We provide parcel lockers that are:
- Secure. An automatic log is kept of every drop-off and pick-up for full chain-of-custody visibility. The sturdy steel lockers keep all contents safe.
- Convenient. 24/7 Package collection.
- Affordable. They reduce labor, as fewer resources are required for parcel management, distribution, and collection.
- Carrier agnostic. Any delivery carrier can deliver to our parcel lockers.
- Contactless. Utilise a contactless delivery, collection, and return process to remove queues and limit unnecessary contact with others.
Are Quadient Parcel Lockers right for you?
Quadient is dedicated to helping retailers of all sizes find the right locker solution to fit their package, management needs. From planning and implementation to ongoing support, we partner with you to ensure our smart lockers provide a premium experience for your customers and staff. Find the locker solution that is right for your location. Contact us today.
Download a complimentary copy of our white paper “Smart Lockers in Retail: A comprehensive vendor selection guide” to learn more.