An Expert Panel Unlocks how to come first in the last-mile – here are 4 Key takeaways

Retailers and logistics providers are feeling the strain of scaling their businesses to meet the rising consumer demand for deliveries and returns spurred by growth in e-commerce. Inefficient, traditional delivery methods, growing customer-to-customer (C2C) deliveries, increased returns, and sustainability initiatives are key areas that are addressed with an Open Locker Network (OLN) to create a comprehensive out-of-home (OOH) proposition. But don’t take our word for it – hear what the best minds in the industry have to say.

A panel of industry thought leaders give us a global perspective on the power of Open Locker Networks. In this blog, we look at four main topics discussed during our “How to Come First in the Last-Mile” webinar made by the panelists:  Marek Rozycki, Managing Partner, Last Mile Experts, Laurie Weston, General Manager of E-Commerce, Purolator, Mike Richmond, Chief Commercial Officer, Doddle, and moderated by Gary Winter, VP of Strategic Initiatives. Our panelists share four key takeaways:

  1. Returns create a competitive edge that can drive customers towards OOH options, making OLN a smart strategy for reducing processing costs around returns. Customers who use lockers for returns will likely adopt them as their delivery preference due to the convenience and ease of use. According to Laurie, “Since turning on the returns drop-off function, we saw a 237% increase in usage for drop-off.” Marek added, “Centralizing returns to lockers within an OLN allows customers to quickly convert to pick-up, driving conversion and increasing parcel turnover for a substantial return on investment (ROI).”
  2. The C2C market is experiencing a surge in growth, rendering the traditional processes of collecting and delivering orders to customers’ homes costly and inefficient. For this market to keep up with its global expansion, it must encourage more consumers to opt for OOH delivery. Marek says, “In France, Vinted is one of the fastest growing C2C players, and given the climate, it will be bigger. However, C2C doesn’t work without OOH.” Mike further emphasized that “platforms, like Vinted, drive customers to use pick-up, drop off points. Traditional methods of shipping a package are expensive, which makes OLN the best option in reducing costs while creating a sustainable option to match rising demand.”
  3.   Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of their delivery decisions. Mike noted that as the studies and quantity of literature around sustainability becomes more mainstream for merchants and consumers, it’ll impact delivery decisions more broadly. Laurie added that she believes that the younger generation is pushing businesses to make sustainable changes, which will help build a stronger case for more sustainable delivery options, such as through an effective open locker network within both urban and rural areas to create a dense, interconnected locker network that helps build upon business’ sustainability initiatives. Marek added, “where people have a feeling for ecological issues, out-of-home is going to be a winner.”  
  4. Data shows that OLNs provide retailers and logistics partners the best opportunity to offer a more comprehensive OOH delivery and return service that customers appreciate. For Laurie, “Canadian customers chose lockers for pick-up because they are located near places they were already visiting, like grocery stores. Once customers became comfortable with it, they loved it.” By investing in an OLN-based OOH proposition, businesses can increase consumer convenience, boost their net promotor scores (NPS), and remain competitive within a cost-effective, efficient process. Marek added, “Wherever you have a good out-of-home proposition, where lockers are very close to the customer, and on their way, such as in Poland, NPS is higher for OOH delivery than home delivery.”

Fulfillment strategies must adapt to the changing delivery and return landscape to bring operational efficiencies that handle parcel volume at scale. Incorporating scalable parcel locker technology through an Open Locker Network is a strong option for logistics providers and retailers to satisfy the rising consumer demand for expedient deliveries and returns while reducing costs and improving operational efficiency. Most importantly, these efficiencies increase ROI, customer satisfaction, and promote sustainability.

During our Panel Discussion on how lockers support the retail and carrier out-of-home experience, Laurie Weston – General Manager of eCommerce at Purolator provided some great insights into how lockers are a game changer for their business.

Parcel Pending by Quadient’s global Open Locker Network creates an enhanced customer experience, that provides a more efficient method to access out-of-home deliveries, and fosters the development of stronger communities through a sustainable delivery and return service.

Click here to watch the full webinar to learn more on how your business can come first in the last-mile.