When it comes to shopping, New Zealanders are becoming increasingly digital. In fact, two-thirds of Kiwis say they have shopped online in the last 12 months – up from 37 percent in 2006. And, with this number expected to hit 83 percent by 2026, it’s more important than ever for retailers and their partners to ensure they understand their customers’ online shopping needs.
“In any service business, meeting the expectations of the customer is essential,” explains Devon Buckingham, General Manager at New Zealand Couriers. “When it comes to ecommerce, this means providing an awesome end-to-end experience – from when a customer browses items on their mobile to their purchase being delivered. Courier companies obviously play a big part in this process and are seeing the industry move in quite a new direction.”
When couriers first started in New Zealand, they were essentially for businesses delivering to other businesses. The unprecedented growth in ecommerce is rapidly increasing the amount of deliveries to residential addresses – something that’s a challenge for courier companies around the world.
“The increase in home deliveries are a challenge for couriers, as delivery destinations frequently lie outside of main centres, sometimes in out-of-the way locations,” says Buckingham. “People are often out during the day when their parcel arrives. On top of that, customers’ expectations around speed of delivery have risen.”
Buckingham says there are a few simple things that Kiwi businesses can do right now that will make the online purchase and delivery process much smoother for their customers.
“One simple suggestion is prompting customers to arrange an Authority to Leave (ATL) for their home address. ATL ensures people get their items delivered first time. It’s simple to do – for New Zealand Couriers, they just go to www.leavemydelivery.co.nz and fill out the online form. A barcode is then installed at the chosen delivery location on their property, which is scanned when parcels are left at the location to provide confirmation of delivery and peace of mind.”
“Alternatively, encourage customers to get their items delivered to an address that will be occupied during the day – such as their workplace.”
Another idea for retailers is to utilise agent/drop-off networks offered by courier companies. By nominating agents or drop off points across the country, retailers allow their customers to choose to collect their purchases from a nearby store or somewhere else that’s convenient to them.
At the end of the day though, consumers’ desire for home deliveries is only going to exponentially increase. For the courier industry, this means adjusting business models to manage the extra workload and costs of delivering to non-business areas.
“It’s crucial that we all adapt to the growing e-commerce demand from customers. Freight companies around the world are assessing how they manage these costs, and it’s an area that New Zealand Couriers, as part of Freightways, is firmly committed to. In fact, plans are in place to address this while ensuring the very best service for our customers. Watch this space!”
Contact: www.nzcouriers.co.nz / 0800 800 841