Convenience stores – how to offer parcel collection and returns services efficiently

With e-commerce an undisputable part of everyday life, the trusty convenience store has become an even more pivotal point in many communities, with thousands opting to offer Pick Up Drop Off (PUDO) parcel services. With the rise of online deliveries continuing in the ongoing fallout of Covid-19 and the world tentatively returning to normal, the opportunities are potentially even greater as people return to work and are no longer at home during the day to receive parcels as they were throughout lockdown. If you’re still considering whether becoming a PUDO hub will be a benefit or a burden for your convenience store, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons for you, and how to offer this service efficiently, so it doesn’t take over your store.

The advantages for convenience stores offering parcel Pick Up Drop Off services

Added footfall: By offering a PUDO parcel service to your customers you can attract people into your store who may not have crossed the threshold before. Similarly, existing customers are likely to visit more often.

Increased sales: With parcel collectors popping into your store to retrieve their deliveries and drop off their returns, you have the perfect opportunity to upsell and make visitors aware of all your convenience store has to offer, converting new visitors into regular customers and existing clients into bigger spenders.

Become an important part of your community: Regular shoppers are every convenience store owner’s bread and butter – they are vital to keep your door swinging and your tills ringing. It’s not just the proportion of people shopping online that is on the increase, but the regularity of e-commerce orders is also a huge source of growth. One report details that over 75% of people shop online at least once a month. By becoming a parcel Pick Up Drop Off point, you create the perfect way to ensure you see those friendly faces more often!

Future-proof your store: The past two years has shown us that no one knows what the future holds, but we can be sure that e-commerce is here to stay! In fact, one report states that 22% of global sales will be e-commerce by 2023! Modern shopping habits, intensified by Covid-19 restrictions and subsequent lifestyle changes, are going nowhere. Online shopping and ultimate convenience have become a huge part of our day-to-day lives.

Help the environment: As we all strive to hit COP26 carbon net zero targets, it’s likely that more firms will encourage online shoppers to choose Pick Up Drop Off options, rather than delivery to their individual homes. This will be an attempt to reduce last-mile carbon emissions, which increase by 15% with each failed delivery.

When you offer the parcel collection/drop off service, you become the physical link to the online world for your customers. Take advantage of this shift in the way we shop – it’s a great opportunity to be part of this growing sector to drive an additional income stream within your business.

Potential disadvantages of becoming a Pick Up Drop Off parcel hub

Parcels piling up in your shop: This is an issue that many convenience stores face. An influx of deliveries and returns means that parcels can arrive throughout the day and add to a never-ending pile. If space is short in your shop, every inch matters and so unruly piles of packages is not ideal, especially if the parcels start to restrict the space you have available to display merchandise or prevent customers from exploring your shelves with ease.

Liability: Then there is the risk of parcels being stolen by opportunistic thieves. If your parcels are stored behind your till you may think they are secure enough, but parcel thieves are highly active and would likely take their chances if parcels are left unattended. 

The secure, safe, tidy solution for convenience stores offering Pick Up Drop Off parcel services

So how do you go about taking advantage of this great commercial opportunity efficiently, maximising your income stream whilst reducing risk? A clear solution is a parcel delivery box. Quality designs, such as the Penn Parcel Box, offer multiple design features to provide answers to all the potential disadvantages of being a parcel PUDO hub:

Secure, safe storage until the parcels are collected by your customer or the courier: Designed by internationally renowned steel manufacturers, Penn Elcom, the Penn Parcel Box features a two-stage security system to prevent opportunistic thieves from snatching parcels while they are your responsibility.

Effective storage: The large storage compartments of both the PBX1 and PBX2 means multiple packages can be stored out of sight, not all over your shop.

Space saving: Some parcel boxes, such as the Penn Parcel Box can even be installed outside your shop, freeing floor space for stock. The Penn Parcel Box’s weatherproof features, such as the powder coating and seals to prevent water ingress, mean your customers’ parcels will be protected from the elements, even if the courier isn’t arriving to pick them up for hours.

With a secure parcel box installed, you can keep the courier chaos at bay, welcoming valued customers through the doors to a calm and organised space and allowing them to pick up their parcels at their own convenience.

We hope that we have given you the confidence to take the plunge and join the parcel Pick Up Drop Off revolution! For more information on how the Penn Parcel Box can help you and your staff to manage incoming deliveries with ease, please contact our friendly team on 01424 429 641.

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