Retailers failing to unlock the potential of 'postboxed' products

Retailers are failing to court customers frustrated with missed parcel deliveries by highlighting the portion of their product range that can fit through a post-box.

Postboxed.co.uk, the go-to hub for postboxed gifts, launches this week and plans to work with traditional retailers to showcase their postboxed products in the run-up to Christmas - which it predicts at over a quarter (28%) of retailers' existing product range1.

All the gifts on its website measure less than 7 inches (17.5cm) by 1.4 inches (3.5cm) including packaging, which are guaranteed to fit through 99% of post-boxes/ letterboxes in the UK2. It launches at a time when over 10m parcels3 are expected to fail in this first delivery this Christmas, leaving customers with a 'Sorry we missed you' card from Royal Mail, which requires them to travel to their local delivery office to collect it.

The situation is worsened this year as Royal Mail has been granted an exception to its universal service agreement, meaning all delivery offices will be closed from December 24-28.

Markus Polleichtner and Liza Mirelman, co-founders of Postboxed.co.uk, said: "We founded the company after getting completely sick of travelling to our local delivery office to collect parcels, and we are among millions of customers who are frustrated with this situation. As delivery companies trial increasingly complex ways of delivering parcels - including the use of drones - we believe there is a simpler solution. Retailers should be marketing those gifts that can be delivered straight to shoppers' homes, bypassing failed deliveries and the need for delivery offices. The opportunity is there - retailers just need to avail of it."

Postboxed.co.uk aims to help retailers unlock the potential of their postboxed product range, since 28% of shoppers in 2014 received a package that was so big it prevented the item going through the post-box/letterbox when it otherwise would have4. The founders believe there is untapped opportunity within the retail sector for offering postboxed gifts: 40% of shoppers still say delivery is a barrier to shopping online with the major concern being 'the risk of no-one being at home to receive the order'5.

The positive benefits are that 70% of UK shoppers have confirmed a good delivery experience will help keep them loyal to a particular retailer6.

Postboxed.co.uk offers affordable, high-quality, out-of-the-ordinary British products, 80% of which are sourced from small- to medium-sized enterprises. It specialises in fashion accessories, beauty products, stationary and chocolates – in addition to out-of-the-ordinary gifts, including mini plant houses, solar powered night lights, moustache combs and beard brushes.

The founders have granular knowledge of the retail sector: Markus Polleichtner comes from the investment banking sector where he had a special interest in the retail sector; Liza Mirelman comes from the family that founded the gift wholesale empire Rex International, creators of the retail website Dotcomgiftshop.

Notes:

1 Based on analysis of Postboxed.co.uk's existing brands and (IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Report 2014).
2 Even though there is no legal requirement in the UK to follow the specifications set out in the current European Standard covering private letter boxes, more than 95% of UK letter boxes measure 7 inches x 1.4 inches or more. Some UK letter boxes measure 6 inches by 1 inch, but these are extremely rare (and 80% of our product range fits this size). This means that our deliveries fit through more than 99% of UK letterboxes.
3 Based on 330m total parcel deliveries across all providers in 2014. As approximately 80% of all deliveries are destined for a home address (Triangle, October 2015) and approximately 3.5% of parcels delivered in December 2014 were 'carded' (IMRG, January 2015), this means over 9m (9.24m) parcels needed to be collected from a Royal Mail delivery office in December 2014. As package deliveries are expected to grow by 13% this year (IMRG, January 2015), the number of delivery office collections is likely to surpass 10m (10.4m) this December.
4 (IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Report 2014).
5 (IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2015).
6 (IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2015).

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