7 Reasons to offer pickup points when selling online

03 April 2023
Hub Box

Getting items to your customers safely and on time is a huge challenge for ecommerce retailers, but we have a solution to improving first time deliveries.

Getting items to your customers safely and on time is a huge challenge for ecommerce retailers. Customers with busy lives simply don’t want to be tied to restrictive delivery schedules. A ‘One size fits all’ delivery option at checkout simply won’t wash when it comes to meeting the demands of your regular customer, who has to fit socializing, vacations, and a full working day around waiting for a delivery. For retailers, missed deliveries are expensive. According to figures released by a major US carrier, the cost of return shipping, handling, and reprocessing can add an extra $48.28 to the cost of every delivery.

Fortunately, retailers now have options that can open up a world of flexibility for customers. Local pickup points can provide a much-needed lifeline for businesses that want to attract and retain customers. In this article, we review the benefits of providing the option of pickup points when selling online and the variety this presents to put the customer in control.


What is a pickup point?

Also known as out-of-home delivery, a pickup point lets customers choose where they collect their goods, such as nearby shops, local parcel lockers, and in-store collections. A pickup point is organized by the carrier and big hitters such as DPD, Evri, and UPS have made collection points a familiar site across the US and UK.

The whole idea of asking customers to travel or walk somewhere to collect their goods may seem the very opposite of convenience. But the reality is somewhat different for seven very compelling reasons;

1. Pickup points prevent missed deliveries & re-deliveries

When a package fails to reach its destination, it causes inconvenience for everyone involved. In the UK alone, a whopping 42% of consumers say they missed, on average, three deliveries, and one major UK carrier have shared that, 9% don’t reach their destination on the first attempt. Today, unforeseen factors can cause miscommunication and delays, causing issues all around as ecommerce firms and carriers work their hardest to deliver to customers.

Missed deliveries cause complaints, which burden the carrier and retailers as customers don’t hesitate to express their frustrations on social media and review platforms such as Trust Pilot.

From the recipient’s point of view, it’s about the inconvenience. Using a pickup point, the customer gets to take back control and gets to choose when it suits them to collect their goods, reducing time and frustration for all involved.

2. Pickup delivery points prevent porch theft

Porch piracy is on the rise. In fact, almost 1 in 7 (14%) Americans have fallen foul – some more than once. On the other side of the pond, a survey by SimpliSafe revealed that almost one-third of UK residents had a package go missing at least once from their ‘safe place’ at home.

Using a pickup point does away with the need to leave items unattended and vulnerable. Packages are held securely, out of sight from customers, and offers extra security and reassurance for all involved.

3. Pickup points offer substantial cost savings for carriers, which are passed to retailers

Consolidating deliveries to pickup points creates huge efficiencies across all aspects of logistics, from carrier to retailer and ultimately to customer:

  • For carriers: drivers only have to deliver to one address rather than multiple points, meaning less time spent ringing doorbells allowing the ability to fit more deliveries in their day. This should result in reduced rates for the retailer.
  • For ecommerce retailers: as well as benefitting from better rates, pickup points empower customers by giving them the flexibility to collect their package when it suits them, safe in the knowledge that it will be safe and looked after. The result: a better experience overall, at a lower cost.

All these factors result in a better return on investment for both carrier and retailer, which can be passed on to the shopper. This is crucial: adding expensive shipping costs at checkout can cause shoppers to abandon the cart, and never return.

4. Pickup points allow discreet deliveries to be made

We’ve all felt the eyebrow raise from our co-workers when a huge package has been delivered to our workplace. While most retailers do opt for plain outer packaging some don’t, which can lead to gift surprises being ruined. It may not be a huge problem, but sending items to a secure pickup point can avoid the issue and is an added incentive for shoppers. Moreover, the ability to collect items in a discreet manner can alleviate any fears of others getting wind of their contents, such as birthday gifts or Christmas presents.

Another useful element is that pickup points can decrease the misdelivery of age-restricted goods; alcohol for example requires the signee to a) be present and b) prove that they are over 18. This is something that often catches customers out when they inadvertently leave their 7th grader to sign for a package. With a pickup point, the customer who purchased the item and whose email has received the pickup pass will have also passed the age verification at checkout, reducing the likelihood of a missed or refused delivery.

5. Pickup point delivery is a more sustainable option

With fewer house-to-house deliveries comes reduced unloading time, less congestion in crowded streets, and reduced cars on the road. The end result is a simpler way for businesses to hit carbon emissions reduction targets, with average greenhouse gas emissions to local pickup points 81.4% lower than home deliveries. With one global carrier having a 100% success rate for first-time delivery, the impact this has on the environment makes it a viable, greener solution.

When it comes to customers, 57% of consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative environmental impact (IBM, 2020) with 88% of customers being more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues” (DaSilva, 2017). If there’s ever a better reason for retailers to start considering sustainable delivery options, this is it.

6. Pickup point delivery allows consumer flexibility

We all know the pain of knowing a delivery is (finally) on the way only to find that we ourselves aren’t going to be there to sign for it. Pickup points give the recipient a flexible window – often 7-10 days – to collect their goods, alleviating stress.

Having pickup points located in 24/7 stores or larger supermarkets for example with longer opening hours, give recipients longer to retrieve their packages, and might be safer than collection lockers, which can often be in barren car parks or tucked away leaving people vulnerable to opportunists.

7. Pickup point delivery converts higher spend shoppers

Pickup points add an extra dimension to the digital shopping experience, serving to make the whole process of online shopping convenient, simple, and safe. Because of this, the more a shopper is spending, the more certainty they need in the delivery resulting in a direct correlation between the usage of pickup points and basket value. Higher basket value = more shoppers opt for pickup points, making this essential for converting customers who would otherwise abandon checkout if a guaranteed delivery option was not available.

All these are key factors in developing trust for brands and increasing retention. As ecommerce retailers know only too well, the blame for late, missed, or stolen deliveries often unfairly lies at their door; pickup points go a long way to put the control back in the hands of customers.


How to choose an ecommerce pickup point solution

HubBox provides software that makes it easy to give retailers pickup options their customers will find easy, convenient, and flexible. With functionality designed specifically for the needs of both retailers and carriers, it is simple to set up and use. Working with the likes of UPS and DPD, it provides software for retailers to launch local pickup options at checkout. Find out more at HubBox or to see the software in action, book a demo.