MARLOW, England, December 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
NetDespatch, whose web-based software helps retailers despatch parcels for orders placed on-line, is reporting a 50 per cent increase in online traffic compared with the same two weeks before Christmas last year. Providing evidence that people are spending less in the shops and more online, the company's Internet servers are being accessed up to twenty million times an hour in the run up to Christmas.
NetDespatch estimates that around 50,000 retailers worldwide are now using its web technology for booking and tracking parcel deliveries through a wide range of postal and parcel carriers. Although NetDespatch also manages transactions from conventional catalogue sales and in-store orders requiring delivery, many are orders picked up directly from website shopping carts. In December 2011 a record 400 new businesses have signed up to use the service.
NetDespatch makes sure that correctly addressed and routed labels are attached to parcels by providing software tools that connect warehouse and sales order processing systems directly to the NetDespatch servers. The same data is then forwarded to the postal or parcel carrier in their required format, ensuring that information such as the delivery address is entered just once and error checked to help ensure parcels arrive reliably on time. Working in partnership with carriers such as Yodel, UK Mail, Royal Mail and DHL Sameday in the UK, NetDespatch enables retailers and carriers to process much higher volumes of parcels at peak times, without increased operational costs.
Evidence of the boom in online sales also comes from APC Overnight, where more than 100 depots rely on customers booking parcel collections and deliveries online using NetDespatch. The next day delivery company recently reported that volumes are up by 10,000 parcels a night compared with last year. The Christmas rush has seen over 100,000 parcels a night being sorted at the company's West Midlands hub.
Another beneficiary of the online boom is Collect+. On-line shoppers need to be offered an easy way to return unwanted items. Collect+ offers a service to over 100 retailers, including ASOS, JD Sports, Asda Direct, Argos as well as eBay, that allows parcels to be simply returned through 4500 participating convenience stores nationwide. The innovative delivery and returns service has doubled its parcel volumes in the last 12 months and is now handling over four million parcels a year.