Post Office is opening up new opportunities for parcel customers as it offers the option of sending packages using DPD and Evri by buying parcel postage in-branch.
Demonstrating the scale of change in the mails market, for the first time in its 360-year history, customers will be able to choose other parcel carriers over the counter in Post Office branches, as well as Royal Mail Group.
The new buy-in-branch parcel service will begin in selected branches in time for the peak Christmas delivery season, complementing the recent launch of Parcels Online which enables customers to compare and purchase postage online for drop-off in Post Offices.
The announcement marks the continued diversification of Post Office as it evolves to become a one-stop hub for customers and a destination where they can access multiple delivery carriers all under one roof.
In chosen branches, Post Office customers will be able to walk up to a counter and choose to send their parcels with DPD or Evri, in addition to existing services, so they can choose the delivery carrier which best suits their needs.
According to new research commissioned by Post Office, 76% of the UK population send parcels each year. More than one in three (37%) tend to shop around to find the best delivery deals while almost half (48%) wish there were more delivery providers available to choose from at one location when they are posting parcels.
The announcement, which comes in the run-up to the busy Christmas period highlights new research showing that 40% of people admit sending parcels at Christmas can be stressful as they worry that it could get lost (47%) or won’t arrive in time (43%). 84% UK adults consider Post Office as a reliable place for their parcels to be dropped off, so this new service aims to help further reassure customers when sending parcels at this time of year.
DPD and Evri have chosen to partner with Post Office because they have the UK’s largest network and Post Office branches are seen as a trusted and safe place to go for parcels, handling millions of parcels every week.
The launch will not only benefit customers by providing greater parcel carrier choice, Postmasters will also reap the rewards of this new service as customers realise all their mails and parcels needs can be met in their local branch.
Nick Read, CEO at Post Office said: “We are fundamentally transforming Post Office by introducing new mails carriers for over-the-counter sales for the first time in our 360 year history. This expanded partnership with DPD and Evri shows how we are disrupting the mails market to offer greater choice for customers and more opportunities for Postmasters as we build a Post Office fit for the future.”
Neill O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Parcels and Mails at Post Office, said: “Post Office is innovating to meet changing customer preferences and the increasingly competitive market. Our goal is to deliver unparalleled access to parcel services, addressing the needs of businesses and retail customers, both now and in the future.
“Our new buy-in-branch service reflects how Post Office has adapted as a business to ensure our customers now have access to multiple delivery carriers and services conveniently in their local Post Office. It’s very exciting to have major carriers DPD and Evri as our launch partners for this new service which will be rolled out across branches over the coming months. We will continue to innovate to provide a broader range of options to suit customer needs through our extensive network.”
“Our buy-in-branch parcel service will not only widen delivery choice for our customers but our in-person service provided by our dedicated Postmasters will also give them additional peace-of-mind knowing their parcels will be taken care of and arrive safely.
“Our ongoing partnership with Royal Mail remains of utmost significance to us, and this announcement further enhances the Post Office’s pivotal role as an indispensable one-stop hub for communities where our valued customers can confidently participate in a wide array of face-to-face transactions, all while enjoying the exceptional assistance and support we provide.”
Elaine Kerr, CEO at DPD UK, said: “Buy-in-branch extends our working relationship with the Post Office and will help provide more choice and convenience for UK parcel shippers. DPD parcel recipients can already collect their parcels from Post Office branches and regard them as safe and trusted locations for a wide range of services. The new service will help reinforce the unique position the branches have and, for the first time, give face-to-face parcel customers genuine choice over how they ship.”
Martijn de Lange, CEO at Evri, said: “We’re committed to delivering a high-quality, convenient, and reliable service and this partnership offers our cost-effective options, with great quality benefits such as tracking as standard, within the Post Office’s expansive network to reach more communities. We deliver over 730 million parcels each year and as well as offering domestic services, which sees us deliver to almost every household in the UK, our international services will be available at selected Post Office counters.”
Elliot Jacobs, Postmaster and Non-executive Director at Post Officesaid: “Providing multiple carrier options in our branches is essential for our customers. We’ve seen a broader demographic coming through our doors since partnering with Evri and DPD for PUDO and Parcels Online, and it’s made a significant difference. With the new buy-in-branch service, we can finally offer our customers the convenience of choosing from a range of carriers, all in one place. This not only simplifies their lives but also brings more traffic to the high streets, potentially boosting local businesses. With this new service, we’ll never have to do that again. It’s a win-win for everyone, from providing more choices to improving customer experiences and making our branches even more central to our communities.”
This launch forms part of Post Office’s broader Mails Strategy which has already introduced thousands of new carrier opportunities across its unparalleled UK branch network, including Click & Collect, Customer Drop Off and Customer Return points, as well as extending its offering online with the launch of Parcels Online earlier this year.
Providing multi-carrier omni-channel services highlights how Post Office is adapting to changing consumer demands and continuing to reach and deliver to the needs of all a wide range of personal and business customers. The launch of buy-in-branch realises the benefits and value of face-to-face interactions with experienced, knowledgeable Postmasters when sending parcels, something that is important to half (51%) of parcel senders across the nation – equivalent to over 25 million people.