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One hour Delivery Windows - is this the future?

By 4th September 2014

More and more consumers are buying online, with the number of parcels being sent constantly rocketing year on year.

However, although using the internet to make purchases is extremely convenient and often cheaper too, there can be a downside to e-commerce: arranging a delivery.

The single factor which deters the largest number of individuals from buying online is the hassle of being at home for a delivery. But parcel delivery companies are starting to take note and offer alternative solutions: we ask whether one hour delivery windows provide the answer.

The problem

Making a purchase online is very convenient and allows the buyer to do their shopping at whatever time of day or night which suits them.

Unfortunately when it comes to delivery, it’s nowhere near as convenient.

Because of the practicalities in arranging a whole van-load of parcels, many companies aren’t very specific about when the item will arrive. Most will be able to accurately predict the day, and may even be able to give you an idea if it’s morning or afternoon. However, very few offer any degree of accuracy about when the delivery might take place.

Many people will need to take a day off work in order to receive their delivery but this can feel like an entire waste if all you have done is sit at home and wait for the parcel.

How one hour delivery windows work

The idea of a one hour delivery window is that customers will be given notification of when their item will arrive. This allows them to make use of the rest of the day, without being forced to just wait at home hoping the parcel will arrive imminently.

In some cases the time slot can be chosen in advance, whilst in other cases the parcel delivery company notifies the client on the morning the delivery is due what time to expect their item.

Drivers typically have to electronically check in each item after delivery so the company can see they are on schedule and you can track your item should you wish to.

A one hour delivery window may not solve all mail problems.

Alternative solutions

There’s no denying that one hour delivery windows provide the potential to make hanging around for a parcel far easier, and certainly less hassle.

But unfortunately it doesn’t eradicate all of the problems entirely.

Your delivery might be scheduled for late morning, or mid-afternoon which means that you still need to take the day off work to be around for the parcel when it arrives. Having a much narrower time slot will allow you to arrange other activities before and after the arrival time, but you will be restricted to what you can fit in to the time, and will still need to return home to await the delivery.

In many cases this will mean taking a day off work which can be inconvenient and far from ideal, particularly if you have other plans for your holiday entitlement.

Another solution might be to opt for the delivery to be made to your place of work. This means you won’t need to take the day off, and as you are going to be there anyway, will be able to take receipt of your parcel straight away.

Conclusion

There’s no denying that one hour delivery windows are far more convenient, allowing recipients to plan their day enjoying other activities and just leaving a small gap. However, they can be very demanding to manage and still don’t entirely resolve the difficulties with having to take a day off in the first place.

One hour delivery windows may become increasingly popular with companies looking to attract more customers, but in reality, offering alternative solutions such as delivering to a place of work could be far more practical.

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For advice on parcel deliveries please give our friendly team a call on 01738 633220 or 08456 478479.