The news that the Royal Mail will be piloting Sunday deliveries had everyone in the industry talking last week. The trial period will see around 100 Royal Mail delivery offices open on Sunday afternoons and Parcelforce (owned by Royal Mail) will also begin Sunday deliveries next month.
This is a significant step for the organisation as consumers now have greater expectations from ecommerce retailers. Consumer appetite for online shopping continues to rise as does the demand for faster delivery.
I think this it is both a smart and necessary move from Royal Mail as there are many courier services out there that plan to deliver on Sundays as well as having other convenient factors such as specific tracking systems - making the delivery as convenient as possible for the customer. Plenty of services also allow the customer to fit deliveries around their day instead, centring the process around them.
People choose to shop online because it’s generally more convenient than travelling to the closest store, which is why extending the current service is a crucial step for Royal Mail in regard to the ecommerce industry.
Due to the Universal Service Licence, Royal Mail is legally required to deliver to the whole of the UK under its universal service obligation. It is so important that this service exists but the danger for Royal Mail was that if they weren’t able to provide convenience and reliability, the organisation might end up suffering against the increased competition.
Although this service won’t allow customers to specify which day they’d like a delivery to be made, it provides convenience by giving a larger window of when they can expect their parcel over the weekend. Before now, if a customer wanted to receive a parcel at the weekend through Royal Mail, they would have to order the parcel and simply hope the delivery would arrive on time. They would also have to be extra vigilant to ensure they were in at the right time as collection offices were closed on Sundays. In this way the decision Royal Mail has taken is great news for the consumer.
This is also great news for many retailers, big and small. Sunday deliveries will enable all customers across the country to receive a package at their convenience yet at Royal Mail price. This means that any customers who might previously have been put off making an order either because of the inconvenient times available from Royal Mail or because of the unaffordable alternatives offered by premium services, may now decide to make the order from the retailer.
In short, Royal Mail extending deliveries across the whole weekend means that all businesses can provide their customers with a better delivery service and a more satisfactory shopping experience overall. This is certainly good news all round.