Profits from Parcels Amid the Pandemic
Published 23 June, 2021
Since the discovery of COVID, life has changed for people all over the world. We’ve seen entertainment businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cinemas struggle with the restrictions that were put in place and the nationwide shutdowns.
Other businesses managed to make fundamental changes to how they operated, taking businesses that were usually face to face, like fitness training and using technology and software such as zoom to be able to offer services from the comfort of their own home.
With lockdowns that occurred and the general unease that people have going back to their “normal” life due to fears of catching the virus, a lot of people have changed their shopping habits.
Supermarkets that offer food deliveries saw an increase in people having their food delivered. The demand is so much that delivery slots at peak times were booked up within minutes.
A lot of the elderly took a turn to embrace technology, as there was an increase in the number of people in the over 55-group turning to shop online. The report states that in that age group the number of people doing online shopping went from 8% to nearly a quarter.
With shops being shut, companies had to become reliant on courier services to ship out their goods. And with the high demand for items that needed to be delivered, it was important that services that compare courier quotes were used by companies to make sure that they are able to get the best price. As it has been reported that the price of courier services has increased due to COVID.
In the UK, the Royal Mail saw the busiest Christmas quarter ever in 2020, delivering almost 500 million parcels. They did their best to keep their service going whilst dealing with COVID-19 absences.
They reported that they had to keep on 10,000 of their seasonal staff so they could deal with the increasing demand for parcels that needed to be delivered due to changes in customer habits. The number of letters being delivered had dropped by 14% but the number of parcels had increased by 30%. This presented a challenge as more parcels meant more space was taken up in vehicles, resulting in more staff being needed to meet the higher demand.
Last month the Royal Mail reported that in the latest financial year, profits had quadrupled. Compared to last year where pre-tax profit was reported as £180m, this financial year, which ended on the 28th of March had a profit of £726m.
With the future unknown to all of us, it is unclear how COVID will continue to impact customer behaviour and how businesses operate. With people getting used to shopping online for their daily and weekly goods, and the anxieties people have developed for not wanting to leave their homes, this could be a permanent shift in customer behaviour. What is certain is that being able to prepare for anything is a requirement for businesses to make sure that they survive and profit in this potentially new era of life.