17 June 2020 Luke Goldsworthy

Contactless Delivery and Covid-19

Consumer behaviour has shifted significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, as outlined in previous Playhouse Group posts. Even as lockdown restrictions ease in Australia, businesses still need to adjust to social distancing, reduced physical contact, and the new norm of the 4 square metre rule. 

Among other areas, this has impacted the delivery of online purchases, with customers choosing to stay at home, order online and have their purchases sent to them – not just to their homes but also alternative delivery addresses.

Parcel collection point networks, such as Australia Post’s 24/7 Parcel Lockers or those from Hubbed, give customers flexibility with their deliveries in addition to providing health benefits for both the customer and the delivery worker. Collection points are available in BP service stations, 7-Eleven stores, and various news agencies and pharmacies.

For Hubbed, the crisis is bringing a boost to its business. “The March 2020 spike is a result of the COVID-19 bricks to clicks phenomenon where consumers are purchasing online rather than in-store,” said founder and CEO David McLean.

“Many small businesses are working overtime to fulfil orders, so it really helps when they can organise dispatch and delivery both after hours and on weekends. Most of the locations within the Hubbed network are queue-free, which makes it a safer option.”

It’s not just parcel delivery that is moving contactless, but even food. Services like Menulog, Deliveroo and UberEats provide the option to leave your order at your door, move away, and then call you to let you know your food has arrived.  And it isn’t just the large delivery companies doing this. Scott Assender, owner of Belles Hot Chicken and Mr Burger has shown the no-contact experience of delivery can be done exceptionally well by small businesses as well.  

“We’ve had 25% of our deliveries select this option. Our customers are showing that there’s a real need and a real want for this,” said Domino’s Australia CEO Nick Knight.

This shift in consumer behaviour is a direct result of Covid-19. A report released in late-April by Accenture found that 64% of respondents feared for their own health, and 82% were fearful for the health of others. Among other findings, 64% were worried about its impact on their personal job security, while 88% were worried about its impact on the economy.

Regardless of what goods your business sells, you will need to evolve your delivery processes to keep up with customer expectations and your competitors. As part of the online shopping experience, at checkout, you should provide your customers with a variety of fulfilment options. These can include more traditional methods such as in-store pickup and standard delivery, or the increasingly popular methods of doorstop pickup or collection points.

Retailers and some clients of The Playhouse Group, such as Bunnings, Dan Murphy’s  and Woolworths, have also evolved the “Click & Collect” option to drive-in pickup. With Google’s drone-delivery business, named Wing, currently soaring during trials in Canberra and Logan, that may be another option before too long too.

Thanks to Covid-19, this Easter was the biggest online shopping weekend in Australian history, eclipsing even Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Australian owned, Click Frenzy, has definitely helped drive online sales. The Playhouse Group has assisted a number of retailers in Australia both with their strategy and integration of technologies to take advantage of this acceleration in online retail during the pandemic. But it can be easy in doing this to forget how crucial order fulfilment options are to the shopping experience and to overall satisfaction.

Make sure your company doesn’t make that mistake.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.