Ireland’s Nightline to offer consumers control of their e-commerce delivery
Irish parcel carrier Nightline has launched a new platform to give consumers more control over their e-commerce deliveries.
Parcel Pilot has been a year in the making, developed in partnership with Irish software house Xpreso, and after successful trials will now be rolled out across the company’s 450 drivers and 11 depots over the next six months.
The result of a EUR 1m investment, the platform brings together Nightline’s existing central operational software system, Smartship, with its national network of parcel locker terminals, Parcel Motel.
It means consumers will be offered more specific information about when their e-commerce parcel will arrive, and will be able to redirect items during shipment, to alternative addresses, a safe place at home, or their local Parcel Motel location for 24-hour access.
A Parcel Pilot app will allow Nightline drivers to contact recipients directly if deliveries run into unexpected delay.
Nightline said it is already in talks with “several” major UK retailers about adopting the Parcel Pilot service for their customers.
John Tuohy, the Nightline chief executive, said the system will reduce the cost and environmental impact of failed deliveries, and will close the gap between the experience of shopping at a high street store and shopping online.
“Until now, most consumers have had little or no involvement once they have paid for their purchases at the online checkout,” he explained.
“They may have nominated a home delivery slot but only have fairly broad information about when goods will arrive. If circumstances change on the scheduled day of receipt, there has been no way of contacting a courier in real time to redirect parcels.
“That, of course, results in the hassle of their organising another delivery or going to a depot to collect items. That is bad for shoppers but retailers and carriers too not only because it can mean making another delivery but there is the potential for unhappy consumers to take their custom elsewhere next time,” continued Tuohy.
“Parcel Pilot changes all that. It provides retailers and their customers with up to the minute information, optimised routing and the ability to amend delivery instructions even when packages are en route.”
Nightline said through the Parcel Pilot service, consumers will have free access to their local Parcel Motel locker site without having to register separately, as they would normally have to do to have items delivered to a parcel locker. Around 150,000 people are already registered and using the parcel locker network, two years after launch.
Retailers will be able to customise delivery messages to recipients with their own branding and marketing information.
Tuohy said Parcel Pilot was part of his firm’s effort to make e-commerce delivery as “complete and as convenient as possible”.
“Many deliveries have an element of uncertainty in the final mile, especially in a country like Ireland which will not have its own national postcode system until later this year,” he said.
“We are confident that we have come up with a method of improving that situation by making consumers feel more involved in the critical last element of the e-commerce process. Making them feel engaged means a better chance of keeping them satisfied and encourages them to shop again and again, something which surely every retailer wants.”