Retailers need reliable partners for delivery all year round, but especially during peak periods. The end of year holiday period can make or break a business’s reputation and a nimble delivery partner is crucial for staying successful in an e-commerce environment.

Many posts hire additional seasonal staff in view of the peak end-of-year to make sure they can handle the increased parcel and packet traffic and ensure on—time deliveries. Some posts, including Canada Post and Royal Mail, support retailers via their expertise in aspects other than delivery only – from planning promotions to performance metrics to successful partnerships. This expertise is supported by recent consumer research in their respective markets.

Both posts recently released reports focusing on the holiday season:

Royal Mail released the “Delivery Matters Christmas 2019” report. This is based on new consumer research and provides statistics on various Christmas Shopping topics

Canada Post released the “Holiday Success Guide 2019”, which talks about five strategies for holiday success including:

This article presents insights from these two reports, plus delivery strategies to show the value of quality delivery to retailers.

Research Insights

According to Canada Post’s research, nearly 75% of Canada’s online merchants offered pre-Black Friday sales, so it becomes increasingly important to plan e-commerce sales way in advance.

The Royal Mail research showed that consumers are increasingly buying Christmas gifts online, with average online seasonal spend on Christmas gifts going up from £292 per person in 2017 to £324 in 2018. The graph below shows that 5% buy gifts online while in the physical store.

  • Certainty around product availability
  • A clear, easy-to-find answer to this question: Will my order arrive in time?
  • Shipping options to suit variable needs and budgets
  • Reassurance around returns – people want to know key details from the start

The Royal Mail research showed that low cost and free delivery were both important for over 75% of respondents, while free returns was important for 67% of them. This is outlined in this graphic:

In the UK, 73% of respondents trusted Royal Mail to deliver on time at Christmas in 2018, a 6-percentage point increase over previous year. Royal Mail is trusted the most by 44% of shoppers – more than twice that of its closest competitor.

Holiday Delivery Strategy

In their Holiday Success Guide 2019, Canada Post talks about five strategies for holiday success:

  • Timing things right
  • Giving shoppers what they want
  • Promoting smartly and strategically
  • Priming the back-end operations
  • Partnering with Canada Post

In terms of retail and delivery strategy, the Royal Mail report gives advice on:

  1. Key dates to keep in mind
  2. Click & collect and why it’s the next big thing
  3. Tracking information and its importance

Finally, these two reports provide an overview of the offering from Royal Mail and Canada Post, and why retailers in the UK and Canada should work closely with them. Highlights are provided below:

Why chose Royal Mail?

  1. Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®

    Next day by 9am or by 1pm for those last-minute purchases

  2. Royal Mail Tracked 24® and Royal Mail Tracked 48®

    Peace of mind for festive delivery next day or 2-3 days

  3. Royal Mail 24® and Royal Mail 48®

    Great value everyday delivery

  4. Royal Mail Tracked Returns®

    Make returns easy for shoppers if they change their mind

  5. Local Collect®
    Offer shoppers a click & collect option at the Post Office® or a Royal Mail Customer Service Point

Why choose Canada Post?

More staff, more wheels on the road, more planes in the sky

We hire more than 4,000 seasonal workers and double our transportation capacity across the country to help meet expectations during the holiday season.

Customer service is open late

Until 9 pm from mid-November through December every day of the week – including weekends.

Weekend deliveries

From mid-November through December, we deliver parcels on weekends in select urban markets.

Package redirection

This new, self-serve and easy-to-use commercial service gives you flexibility to redirect a package in transit. It can help you better manage fraud and operational errors over the holidays.

Expanded network

We add temporary pickup locations, extend select post office hours and use technology to reduce post office wait times.

Round-the-clock weather updates, service alerts and order updates

Throughout the holiday season, we release daily weather and service alerts (if, for example, a ferry is cancelled or a highway is closed in severe weather, we let customers know). Your customers can also get order updates on our website and mobile app, or opt for email notifications. Our detailed scans let you keep your customers informed about their order’s delivery status.

Convenient and reliable network

Whatever your needs – to induct or drop off parcels efficiently, to have us pick them up from your business or store, or to have your customers pick up or return their items easily at a post office – we have an unrivalled network. With our 21 processing plants, 480 depots and more than 6,100 post offices across Canada, we’re close – to your business and to your customers.

Best-in-class delivery experience

We offer the delivery experience Canadians prefer most, with several options that offer them convenience and control around delivery.