Shopping as we know it has changed for good. Back in the 1990s, the idea of doing all your shopping on something called “the internet” would have been a pipedream. Nowadays, it’s the done thing.
And of course, the astronomic rise of online purchases in the last few years has resulted in thousands of extra deliveries being made every week in the UK. According to data released in January 2021, the amount of packages shipped in the UK reached 2.8 billion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. That’s up by 209 million on the previous year.
In residential buildings, this means a more intense workload for site teams. Front of house staff spend a significant amount of their time accepting parcels, finding safe storage spaces, notifying residents and then finding the parcels once more when someone comes to collect them.
Online consumer trends are always changing, and this has a major impact on parcel management in BTR and PBSA. We take a look at how the biggest trends are making the most difference.
Same Day Delivery
By our very nature, we humans are hardwired to want instant gratification. The moment we take action, we want to see the end result as soon as possible. In terms of online consumer trends, this means when we make a purchase, we want it to arrive very quickly.
This is something the larger eCommerce stores often provide (rather tactfully as a premium service). So, when one courier has finished dropping off their latest delivery, the next one isn’t far behind.
There’s a great deal of psychology behind purchasing processes. Tapping into the need for immediate gratification makes buyers feel as though they’ve come out on top — even if they don’t need the item they’ve bought right away and they’ve probably had to pay extra for a speedy delivery.
But this service comes with another price for most. Vague delivery times ranging from 07:00 – 20:00 can cost people their entire day. They can’t go out of the house until their item arrives.
Residents in BTR and PBSA avoid this issue, as there’s always a receptionist on hand to take in deliveries (even though they’re not obligated to). In order to make their own lives easier, many building operators turn to parcel management systems such as package lockers or package rooms so they can cope with the huge surge in deliveries.
Much like same day deliveries, free post and packaging is one of the online consumer trends that buyers hunt for to feel like they’re getting a better deal. The idea of getting something for free in a world where everything comes at a price is hard for many to pass up.
In reality, the savings are rarely real. Free P&P often comes with a caveat. Buyers might have to spend a minimum amount before they can qualify, or maybe they need to subscribe to a premium service. In a survey conducted in the US, 80% of consumers said they would expect free shipping after they had spent a certain dollar amount.
But if consumers in the UK are willing to buy another item just because they’re £2 or so away from qualifying, it has a great impact down the line. If items are bundled in the same box, it means more space is taken up when it comes to storage. A bigger box is less likely to fit in a parcel locker or a cupboard, so a spacious parcel room is needed to keep up.
If the products are shipped separately, it means an extra locker will either be needed, or it could mean that your staff spends more time looking for parcels when the owner comes to collect them if deliveries are left at the front desk.
The Lockdown Effect
The Covid-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through every industry from hospitality to medical and from marketing to retail. Every company felt the effect in one way or another, and when non-essential shops were shut, more people than ever turned online.
You can’t blame people for buying more products over the internet. In order to discourage in-person shopping, supermarkets in Wales were even banned from selling “non-essential” items (even though the concept of an “essential” item was never accurately defined).
As a result of the UK-wide lockdown, there’s been a boom in online retail, and 29.4% of all retail sales as of April 2021 take place over the internet.
Even with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the majority of people have been swayed by the convenience of online shopping. By the end of August 2020 — when non-essential shops were allowed to reopen across the UK — consumer perception on online shopping had reached an all-time high. 55% of those surveyed said they would continue to shop more digitally in the future.
Spending habits were always going to shift online, but the pandemic accelerated all projections. The steady rise we had been seeing since 2006 skyrocketed. To give you a better idea, 19.9% of all retail sales were made online in February 2020 just before the outbreak in this country. Exactly one year later, internet sales reached 34.6%.
The more items we buy digitally, the more deliveries residential buildings will have to manage. This will lead to a great deal of lost time, and will create more problems such as:
- Lack of storage space
- More potential for package liability
- Unhappy residents (with can affect lease renewals)
Luckily, there is a solution available
How Parcel Safeplace is Impacting Online Consumer Trends
As consumer perception on online shopping grows, the greater need you’ll have for an effective parcel management system. It’s already a necessity in most residential buildings, and soon, BTR and PBSA won’t be able to cope otherwise.
Parcel Safeplace provides you with ample room to store deliveries safely and securely with minimal input from your site team. And with our electronic logging system, residents will receive push notifications to let them know exactly when their parcel has arrived, giving them the immediate gratification we know they’ll appreciate.
To stay ahead of online consumer trends in residential settings, you need the right plan and product for your parcel management system. Contact our team to learn more about how we will help you stay in control of surging deliveries.