Dean Lycett, Commercial Director at Coll-8 Logistics on the advantages of OOH delivery.

“Change, it is said, is a constant. 

 Yet for all the change within e-commerce delivery since the very first items were ordered online, one element has been more constant than any other. 

 Convenience is the single most important consideration for consumers, retailers and logistics firms alike. 

 What has evolved over time is how, when and where that convenience is expressed. 

 Consumers in different countries, for instance, have different delivery and payment preferences. Many people still insist on goods being shipped directly to their homes. 

 However, a requirement for Out Of Home (OOH) platforms – such as locker boxes, convenience stores or in-shop pick-ups – are becoming far more common these days. 

 These alternatives are arguably of more importance in countries which exhibit a growing appetite for e-commerce but have challenges such population density and even geography to contend with. 

 A new and comprehensive study by Last Mile Experts of OOH infrastructure across the UK and the 27 remaining member states in the European Union has illustrated the lengths which brands and their logistics partners are going to. 

 It underlines how the way that purchases are delivered – and, yes, returned too – is prominent in the process of deciding who to shop with. 

 Flexibility has become so important as to fuel “demand for OOH delivery”. 

 More than convenience, however, the research shows that OOH methods offer a number of other advantages to all, including delivery certainty, simplified returns and greater environmental benefits when compared to home delivery. 

 Ireland comes in for particular scrutiny, given that despite its relatively small population (just over five million people), it ranks second in terms of the rate of growth in e-commerce business since 2019 (a rise of almost 70 per cent). 

 For all that development, the new research explains that the Republic is among those countries least served by such provision. 

That was one reason reasons why Coll-8 was so keen to launch our award-winning drop2shop platform, which allows both deliveries and returns to be managed in a truly cost-effective fashion. 

 Consumers simply choose drop2shop at their favoured retailer’s online checkout and then nominate the most convenient location from a network of more than 500 premises across Ireland operating under Ireland’s most popular convenience chains. 

 Given that more than one million Irish consumers already visit convenience stores every day, we knew that consumers wouldn’t have to make lengthy additional trips just to collect or return e-commerce purchases. 

 Our drop2shop platform has been so effective, in fact, that it was at the very top of Last Mile Expert’s list of Irish OOH providers. 

 In addition to offering convenient, fast, secure and paperless deliveries and returns, we’re also recognised as the greenest e-commerce parcel system in the Republic. 

 Our partnership with BWG Foods means that we don’t need our own dedicated vehicles but can utilise their fleet of vans which visit the very drop2shop partner stores at which consumers can pick up or drop off their online orders. 

 We know that the way in which consumers buy online will doubtless continue to evolve in the years to come, however convenience will remain important – and, in that, we believe that we’re well-placed to assist our growing roster of clients and their customers.

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