How to offer parcel collection and returns services efficiently for your convenience store

Online shopping may have seemed a threat to traditional convenience stores, but in fact it has served to turn them into key players in the supply chain, by offering Pick Up Drop Off (PUDO) parcel services for customers. But with online deliveries ever increasing, some convenience store owners may be feeling snowed under by the sheer volume of deliveries and grappling with the space they take up. But there are some simple ways to capitalise on the benefits that offering a PUDO parcel service can bring without enduring the drawbacks – read on to find out more.

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

There are many advantages of offering Pick Up Drop Off parcel services within your convenience store, which together drive increased footfall and sales and an improved bottom line.

  • Regular visitors: Your store will become even more central to the community, a place considered ‘safe’ for precious parcels. E-commerce is growing by the day, in fact, it is expected to make up 22% of global retail sales by 2023! With both volume and frequency of online shopping only set to increase, your store could benefit greatly by being a hub for parcel pick-ups. 
  • New visitors: You could also attract a whole new set of customers through your doors without having to invest in marketing or costly sales promotions to attract them.
  • Increased sales: When all of those new visitors pick up their parcels, it is likely they will also grab a pint of milk or a loaf of bread, adding to your bottom line in more ways than one. Everyone is happy to receive their parcels, and a friendly exchange at the till-point gives you a perfect chance to upsell. 
  • Be a valued part of your community: By creating this rapport and relationship with PUDO customers, you build a new network within the local community. Face-to-face interaction is a key part of our everyday lives and something which we all value greatly, so be the happy face that hands out the parcels and become an even more integral part of your community. 
  • For the future: As unpredictable as the past two years have been, it is a sure thing that e-commerce is a huge part of the future. The shopping habits adopted during the pandemic are going nowhere – they have become a part of our everyday. Shopping online and the convenience this affords is now an expectation, not a luxury.
  • Help the planet: The PUDO parcel delivery model is not just convenient, it’s an eco-friendlier way to shop online. More e-commerce businesses will be likely to encourage online shoppers to select Pick Up Drop Off options, rather than delivery to their own homes, as the industry attempts to reduce last-mile carbon emissions, which increase by 15% with each failed delivery.

By offering the parcel collection/drop-off service, you and your store become the physical link to the vast choice of the online world. Benefit from the shift in the way we shop and drive an additional income stream within your business.

Potential pitfalls of offering a Pick Up Drop Off service

  • The volume of parcels in your shop: This is a common problem that many convenience  stores face. Space is tight in any convenience store, where every inch matters. But if an influx of deliveries and returns means that you can hardly see above the till-point or your customers can’t get around your store easily, you may be driven to despair. This is especially true if the parcels start to limit display space or become a hazard for customers as they browse your store. 
  • Your liability: As with any items in your shop, there is always a risk of theft. Parcels stored in plain sight of the general public open you up to a higher risk of parcel theft. Parcel thieves are highly active and could nab your customers’ parcels if they get any opportunity!

The perfect solution for convenience stores offering Pick Up Drop Off parcel services

So, we have discussed the many benefits which the PUDO service could bring to your business, as well as the pitfalls, so how do you go about taking advantage of this commercial opportunity without the associated risks? One way to mitigate all the problems listed above is a parcel delivery box. High-quality designs, such as the Penn Parcel Box, offer all the design features you need to  ensure you avoid the disadvantages of offering a PUDO service:

  • Tidy, secure storage for the parcels until the recipient or courier arrives to collect them. The Penn Parcel Box is designed by internationally renowned steel manufacturer, Penn Elcom. It features an effective two-stage security system to prevent opportunistic thieves from snatching parcels while they are your responsibility.
  • Effective storage: The generous storage compartments of both the PBX1 and the larger PBX2 mean multiple packages can be stored out of sight, not all over your shop. Keep the interior of your store looking spacious and organised to encourage customers to stay and shop for longer!
  • Space-saving: To maximise in-store space, the Penn Parcel Box can be installed outside your shop, freeing floor space for stock and customers and reducing the number of couriers who need to come inside. This makes the Penn Parcel Box a highly effective way to keep your shop for PUDO and paying customers only, as well as reducing staff distractions and time spent directing couriers yourself!
  • Weatherproof: The Penn Parcel Box’s weatherproof features, such as the powder coating and seals to prevent water ingress, will keep your customers’ parcels safe and dry.  

A secure parcel box allows you to limit disruption and clutter in your store, so you can continue to serve long-standing customers and simultaneously offer this new service. Maintain your existing standards, space and time whilst also maximising your income with the perfect PUDO / Penn Parcel Box combination. 

So why not take the plunge and become the parcel hub of your local community by joining the Pick Up Drop Off revolution! Find out how the Penn Parcel Box can help you and your staff to manage incoming deliveries with efficiency and ease, by contacting our friendly team on 01424 429 641.

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