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Online Shopping Impacting Mail Rooms

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday August 16, 2012 )

I think Australia’s customs officers and many company mail rooms may be looking forward to a time when the Aussie dollar isn’t so strong.

The boom in online shopping, thanks in part to the exchange rate, is seeing increasing numbers of parcels being directed to the places where folks work – and some employers are getting a little miffed about it, which is certainly understandable.

According to a BusinessDay article, 60% of all courier items being received at one company were not work-related; leading to a crackdown on the practice.

Australian customs appears to be buckling under the load at times as well, with the volume of small parcels delivered to Australia from overseas doubling from 23.5 million in 2006-7 to 48 million pieces in 2010-11.

We’re a nation of some 23/24 million people – so that equates to 2 parcels for every man, woman and child in this country. I think I average just a tad more than that.

But back to the delivery side of things – delivery options are such an important part of converting browsers to buyers.

We’re very lucky here to have a pretty good mail service generally – and local merchants should be offering Australia Post delivery as an option wherever possible.

The problem with using couriers exclusively (who won’t drop off at a post office) is security – a parcel left on a doorstep is one asking to be stolen.

At the other end of the spectrum though is couriers refusing to hand over a parcel without a signature. If they turn up at a customer’s home and nobody is there or the courier’s knock isn’t heard, it’s a pain for everyone to try and reschedule that delivery.

With Australia Post, they drop off a notice in your mailbox and you then pick up the delivery at your local post office – and merchants should be mentioning that as well, as some consumers don’t realise this.

Having to pick up from a local post office if it isn’t open outside of business hours doesn’t help much of course, but I’ve noticed many more are open on Saturdays now.

As mentioned in the past, Australia Post “gets” the web. They know how much online shopping will affect their operations and has been/will continue gearing up for online shoppers and merchants with new delivery products.

By the way, most articles from overseas wind up being delivered via Australia Post after they hit our shores; but this is something merchants outside Australia should be explaining on their sites as it will help to reassure Aussie shoppers, particularly those new to purchasing from OS businesses.

I have never had issues with Australia Post, but I have with every courier company at some point. I’d go as far to say that Australia Post is probably the best postal service in the world.


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