Prime Mover Magazine


Courier specialist declares retail market changed forever

An emerging delivery company has seen an unprecedented spike in its delivery volumes across the country as a result of increasing consumer reliance on online orders.

CouriersPlease confirmed it had received more first time deliveries as restrictions from government enforced lock-ins and social distancing practices took effect on buyer behaviour.

CouriersPlease Chief Commercial Officer Paul Roper said COVID-19 had been instrumental in ushering in major changes to the marketplace with a flurry of activity occuring in the eCommerce space.

"Physical distancing restrictions, travel bans, and business closures have really forced the hand of traditional shoppers who have been historically wary of venturing online, as their concerns shifted towards a fear of physical contact from visits to public spaces," he said.

"We saw an unprecedented spike in delivery volumes across the country during this time; so much so, that we put on extra staff and extended our trading to handle the overflow ensuring customers could receive their orders with minimal delay," Roper said.

As a result of the shutdowns the increased rate in online shopping despite incomes generally dropping suggested that the traditional weekly shopping of Australians shifted online CouriersPlease reported in a recent statement.

Under-30s shopped online more than any other age group while 66 per cent of consumers shopped online at least three times a month during the shutdowns. 

The findings come from an independent survey of a nationally representative panel of 1002 Australian shoppers commissioned by CouriersPlease.

To gauge new online shopping behaviours that Aussies formed during the coronavirus restrictions, respondents were asked when and why they shopped online, how often they shopped, and which items they purchased most.

Meanwhile, 86 per cent of Aussies increased the frequency of their online shopping to avoid going in store.

Nearly a quarter of those sureveyed said they did most of their online shopping on a Saturday, the most popular day for online shopping.

Not only did this minimise the chances of any potential infections from visiting a physical store, but it also eliminated the need to queue up.

During this time, retailers had restrictions on in store numbers and adhered to social distancing measures.

Formerly with Toll and TNT Express, Roper was appointed to the newly created role of Chief Commercial Officer in April.

His experience in designing efficient supply chain models to maximise customer value part of the skillset CouriersPlease has leveraged as it aligns what it has called "company outputs to create more cohesion".

He said the company was thrilled to achieve more first-time deliveries, as consumers began working from home and staying in.

"Based on the operational adjustments made, our on-time performance and customer satisfaction excelled, as was our approach to stringent hygiene measures we mandated to reduce the risk of infection amongst our customers, network and community," he said.

"While new behaviours were formed by shoppers during this period of restrictions, the retail market has changed forever," said Roper.

"It will be interesting for us to see over the coming months and years, what changes are here to stay and how retailers can rise to the new challenges and era.”

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