It’s a long time since you had to visit the high street to make that purchase you so desperately need.

Yet the eCommerce experience is not always as convenient as it could be.

Many of you will recognise the sinking feeling of coming home to a ‘missed delivery’ card in your letterbox or finding parcels left squatting outside your front door in plain view.

London-based Parcelly is looking to solve the problem with its network of drop-off locations, which range from convenience stores to bars and gyms.

With over 1,600 locations in more than 50 towns and cities across the UK, the company’s managing director Sebastian Steinhauser believes the app is the future.

“I was struggling with deliveries over the years to the extent that I thought there must be a better way of doing it,” he told BusinessCloud.

“There were already multiple other solutions out there, other carriers operating their different models, but there didn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all solution.

“When you want to shop online you don’t want to worry about who the carrier is or which retailer is sending it, you just want to have certainty over where the parcel arrives.”

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Users choose convenient locations close to their home or work via the app and are given a dedicated Parcelly address, which can be used on any retailer website instead of a home address.

They are notified when the parcel arrives and bring their six-digit personal ID to the collection point to ensure it arrives in the right hands.

“The digital and connected consumer is transforming the industry,” said Steinhauser. “They expect a seamless, personalised, cross-device experience of ‘whatever, whenever, wherever’.”

Looking to the future, he expects to see retail and logistics continue to converge through technology.

“A seamless end-to-end experience, from the website to the shopping basket to the final mile delivery, is today available to retailers of all kinds,” he said.

“Technology has narrowed the gap between small and large retailers. Delivery options are a great example of services that consumers expect and that have been revolutionised by omni-channel innovators.”

Aside from making users’ lives easier, they can rest safe in the knowledge they are also having a positive social impact.

“Environmentally we are cutting down on failed deliveries and making them more efficient as we can drop up to 50 parcels to one location, while also driving footfall to the businesses themselves,” said Steinhauser.

He also believes back-end technology will increasingly support agile retail organisations, resulting in a shift from a traditional supply chain to digital supply networks.

This, says Steinhauser, will be facilitated through breakthrough technologies like blockchain, Big Data and the Internet of Things. 

However, for the company the next step is to make the most out of the infrastructure it already has in place. For example, turning its partners into hubs for returns and ideas for how its set-up could be used for other services.

“We’ve started with… allowing Airbnb hosts to exchange keys through our network,” said Steinhauser.

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