The strong competition in the e-commerce industry means online retailers have to continually update and optimize their shop offerings to stand out among the many players. In addition, customers want even faster, more reliable, and more sustainable delivery. One current trend catching the attention of the e-commerce world is out-of-home (OOH) delivery and returns for its ability to tackle both these issues.
"To stay ahead of the competition, online stores need to offer many delivery options." That's according to Tim Rudolph, Vice President of Product at Seven Senders. Rudolph has many years of experience in online retail, last mile logistics, and software development. At Seven Senders, his responsibilities include innovative and flexible approaches that help e-tailers become more successful and sustainable.
In an interview, the e-commerce and supply chain management expert reveals why out-of-home options should be on every e-tailer's radar.
Tim, Seven Senders has developed a new product, the PUDO Locator. Could you tell us how that came about and give us more insight into the "out-of-home" concept?
Delivery and parcel service providers want to consolidate their last mile volumes more strongly. At the same time, there is a growing focus on customers’ wants and needs. The retailers that know how to meet consumer expectations best will gain the all-important competitive edge. So it’s valuable for online shops to offer an additional service such as out-of-home. If given the option to choose a PUDO (pickup/drop-off) location close to their home, they experience greater flexibility and freedom. They can then have parcels sent to different places in their neighborhood, such as a locker, kiosk, or parcel store, and drop them off there, too, if they want to return the goods.
From searching for products in the online shop to the purchase and choosing the nearest parcel locker for delivery, the customer journey should function as seamlessly and effectively as possible. However, adding an out-of-home option isn’t always so straightforward. In some cases, it requires additional services and information from several carriers. We’ve developed the new PUDO Locator service to make this process much easier.
You’ve mentioned plenty of advantages for customers – especially in terms of convenience. What are the main benefits of out-of-home delivery for online stores?
First and foremost, e-tailers enjoy more satisfied customers, which leads to an increase in their NPS (net promoter score). With OOH, the customer is in control; they choose where and how a parcel is delivered. So, if you have fewer customers contacting customer service to say that they haven't received their order yet, that's a win-win.
And that’s not all – PUDO solutions also help cut last mile emissions by up to 300 g of CO2 per parcel. If online retailers offer a more sustainable delivery option at check-out, they can anticipate that most consumers will prefer it. Not to mention significant cost savings of 5 to 25 percent for out-of-home compared to home delivery. Since many OOH carrier services offer better rates for returns, online retailers can also save costs on reverse logistics with this option.
“Our PUDO Locator enables online stores to access all relevant European PUDO providers for delivery and returns via a single API.”
What specific support can Seven Senders offer online retailers who want to expand out-of-home option and integrate them into their offerings?
Our delivery platform already serves as a one-stop solution, providing access to the best local carriers in Europe and all additional shipping services that e-commerce retailers need to streamline their operations, like tracking and notifications, labels, and more.
And now, we have extended the service of our single API to offer the PUDO Locator, enabling online stores to access all relevant European PUDO providers via one connection. This is extremely valuable as, typically, adding or switching carriers, especially in the area of OOH services, can be costly and often lead to complex IT projects. Our PUDO Locator ultimately reduces the complexity of integrating OOH options into a shop’s checkout.
Thank you for sharing your insights with us!
Would you like to find out more about the PUDO Locator service from Seven Senders? Get in touch and we’ll provide you with a custom quote.