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E-commerce in Europe is expected to reach US$392 million in revenue by the end of this year. As the market for online shopping grows, consumers’ expectations of their shopping and delivery experience are also evolving; to cater to a variety of consumer preferences, retailers and logistics providers are also exploring different alternatives to adapt to these rising expectations and provide the best possible delivery experience.
One such instance is the use of collection points as a delivery alternative. Collection points are becoming increasingly popular in Europe where consumers can choose when and where to pick up their packages. We have seen across the world that consumers appreciate those delivery options because not everyone is at home or wants to deal with every delivery individually. In our France and Poland studies, we noticed a rising trend in the use of collection points in 2019, and here, we delve into the numbers for other countries in the European region to examine usage trends over the past year.
Here’s what we found:
From our findings, French consumers’ usage of parcel lockers grew from 20.8% in 2019 to 22.6% in the first half of 2020. Referencing our study on France’s State of E-Commerce, collection points are emerging as a popular alternative for consumers. In fact, according to a study done in 2018, it seems like collection points were already a popular delivery alternative amongst European shoppers before 2020; especially in France.
Our data shows that the usage of parcel lockers in Germany has increased from 9.8% in 2019 to 13.3% in the first half of 2020.
According to major logistics player Deutsche Post DHL, there has been a surge of new consumers registering to use their Packstations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in March 2020. Consumers are using this contactless option for returns and pre-franked shipments via the Packstation.
Collection points are widely used in Germany, and DHL plans to expand its network to 7,000 lockers by 2021. n June this year, DHL celebrated the opening of their 5,000th parcel locker station. DHL also plans to expand its network to 7,000 lockers by 2021 in Germany.
According to our data, the usage of collection points grew the most in Denmark amongst the other countries; from 13.4% in 2019 to 17.3% in the first half of 2020.
With retail stores closing and consumers shifting to online shopping because of the pandemic, the usage of parcel lockers in Denmark has skyrocketed. Delivery volume is now equal to that of the Black Friday period; the busiest time of the year in retail.
“Locally, we have seen the utilization of the parcel lockers being twice as high as normal in the weeks since the government made regulations due to COVID-19 in Denmark.”
– Allan Kaczmarek, CEO of SwipBox
Following a successful pilot in 2019, PostNord Denmark and Swipbox (through a co-owned company; Nordic Infrastructure) rolled out 2,000 parcel lockers across the country; out of which 800 were fully operational as of May this year. An eventual roll-out of 10,000 lockers is planned by the end of 2020. ,
Based on our findings, the usage of parcel lockers in Switzerland grew the least amongst the other countries; from 9.1% to just 10.8%. Switzerland has 162 parcel lockers and the Swiss Post has plans to open its 200th locker in 2021.
The growing popularity of collection points reflects consumer’s preference to have more control and flexibility in their delivery experience and a shift towards contactless delivery.
Instead of waiting for deliveries or even risk losing their parcels, collection points allow consumers to pick up parcels at their convenience. This saves consumers the hassle of having to contact the carrier to reschedule any missed deliveries.
As retailers and logistics providers look for fresh ways to satisfy the growing needs of the new urban consumer, we’re excited to see what other delivery innovations emerge in the near future.