Pelipod research finds 39 percent of British Black Friday delivery-related Twitter traffic is negative

An analysis of UK social media conversations around parcel deliveries shows that in the week since Black Friday more than 39% of 65,500 Twitter conversations about parcel deliveries are negative. Less than one percent of conversations analysed were positive or sharing experiences of good parcel delivery.

The analysis was run by Pelipod, which plans to revolutionise parcel delivery and returns with its smart home-delivery box with built-in proof-of-delivery that saves time, money and worry for consumers, couriers and retailers.

Key findings from UK Twitter analysis running from Wednesday 27 November to Wednesday 3 December found:

– 39% of the week’s 65,500 tweets sent by British consumers were negative including:

– 16% of negative social media conversations were complaints of not having received an expected parcel

– 6% were unhappy with the condition of the parcel received and the customer service offered

– 5% had missed an expected parcel delivery

– 4% of negative social media commentary singled out Yodel

– 6% complained about problems relating to planning to return parcels

– 2% used social media to complain about packages being left in strange, inappropriate or irrelevant places

Top hashtags included #blackfriday, #christmas and #delivery. The top Twitter handle mention was @yodelonline. Other top delivery services mentioned were @dpd_uk and @royalmail. Top retail mentions were @asosheretohelp, followed by @missguided_help then @amazonuk.

Karl Wills, CEO of the London-based Pelipod team said: “This analysis reaffirms what we already know – delivery is the weakest link in the ecommerce fulfilment chain. We’re seeing greater innovation with talk of drone deliveries and smart technology within stores and there’s promising dialogue about omnichannel retailing, but we still have a basic flaw in the delivery chain – parcels failing to reach the consumer. With an estimated 930 million parcels delivered in the UK in 2014, redelivery rates during peak periods run up to 20 perce. The bottom line is that consumers want their parcels at their homes when they need them, and this has to be fixed.”

Designed and funded in Britain using English and Welsh manufacturers, Pelipod is the first home delivery pod of its kind. Each secure 61cm x 61cm x 70cm pod uses an in-built electronic keypad to communicate to a central system, so that only authorised users have access, while smart sensors and a camera provide all parties with proof of delivery (POD). When buying online, Pelipod users simply add an easy-to-generate unique parcel code to their address. The courier then uses this code to open the Pelipod and place the parcel inside before securely closing it. A camera provides POD delivery audits with photographic evidence of the opening, parcel placement and lid closure. Each shopper then receives an email to let them know that their delivery has arrived, with details and times. When they return home they simply open the pod with their unique user code. The pod can also be used to leave parcels for return, eliminating further consumer hassle and wasted time.

As part of its UK roll-out, Pelipod is now offering pods on a free 60-day trial, followed by £9.99 a month on a subscription basis with no upfront delivery or installation charges. UK consumers can sign up for a trial or register interest today.

Seven reasons you need a Pelipod:

1. Get parcels faster because they are delivered first time
2. Never miss a parcel delivery or collection again
3. Your parcels are safe, secure and protected from the elements
4. Life’s too short to …wait in for a courier
5. Save the stress of parking at the courier depot or post office
6. You need never visit a click and collect bay ever again
7. Less delivery attempts—good for the environment

UK Innovation: a Secret Too Good to Keep

I spent Guy Fawkes Day in London helping to plot an explosive and exciting future by joining cabinet ministers, civil servants, business managers, academics and financiers at Innovate UK 2014.

This event was put together by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Innovate UK (previously the Technology Strategy Board). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but my main reason for attending was to listen to a number of talks about ‘Smart Cities’, and to assess how I might discuss Pelipod’s inclusion as part of the Smart City agenda.

Any scepticism I may have had ahead of this excellent spotlight on UK innovation was completely unfounded. Firstly, the location was a great choice; Old Billingsgate. This Victorian building was London’s main fish market until 1980 and has now been refurbished into an architecturally interesting, light, airy, cool exhibition centre. So much better than a stuffy basement in a central London hotel. It also made for a stunning counterpoint to the 21st century products being showcased.

In this space more than 120 companies chose to show their wares at Innovate UK 2014. The majority were focused on B2B products although there were a few B2C focused companies there, my favourite being Agility Global, the creators of the effortlessly cool Saietta R electric motorbike. I signed-up for a test ride!  Many of the themes were perhaps more predictable – defence, environment, sustainability, engineering. But there was also a sizeable body of attendees happy to provide information about how the UK government will look to support innovation, both financially and with advice.

What is abundantly clear is that the UK certainly does not lack innovators. Delegates were told that per capita, we are now one of the leading countries for innovation. You could almost say it is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. This then begs the question: if the UK is so good at innovation then why don’t we see major technology companies succeeding and expanding at the rates of similar businesses in the USA, China, South Korea or Germany? From my perspective I believe one major factor holding our innovators back is a gap in the support necessary to help our companies grow from promising innovators into sustainable, viable and influential businesses.

There is a fair amount of support available at an early stage, for example to help young companies to build an idea out through to a prototype. Generally those innovators must be prepared to slow down and work at the pace of funding bodies and put up with extensive auditing and reporting requirements. Dr Vince Cable’s announcement of a further £67 million to be invested in this area still only covers the early stage. But some support is certainly in place early on the innovation journey. The more damaging gap is in a lack of provision of any framework to support those early stage businesses that have proven they have a commercial product, but need working capital to support the growth.

For too many early stage businesses, the commercial ‘Valley of Death’ is post launch. New businesses are in most need of financial support and domain expertise (e.g. marketing and production) once they have actually begun trying to sell the product. Success demands additional investment to fund expansion and meet new demand. Without that cash, smaller enterprises are doomed to grow painfully slowly at rates sustained solely by internal cash flow.

Compare this situation to alternative models supported elsewhere, where governments will underwrite and support investment in order to allow promising companies to grow. Without similar trust and confidence in the UK, there is a danger that our innovators will continue to produce brilliant ideas, only to see them either sold to large overseas companies to the detriment of the UK economy or, worse, see an overseas competitor with more cash copy ideas before stealing away new markets.

Is Innovation the UK’s best kept secret? Definitely. Why? Because right now we seem to be doing everything possible to keep it that way.

‘Is home delivery dead?’ – Retail Week says maybe, Pelipod says no

In a recent Retail Week feature, the future of parcel delivery was debated. The question was ‘Is click-and-collect killing home delivery?’ and the answer seemed to be ‘Almost’.

The article quotes research from Opinion Matters which found that 51% of users feel that home delivery is fundamentally inconvenient. In the hopes of receiving parcels on your own terms, many are taking advantage of click-and-collect services. In fact, fashion retailer Next reported that last year, 45% of online sales were delivered via click-and-collect channels. But 26% of people admitted that they did not order something because they did not want to wait for a home delivery, while 22% said they had not completed an order because they could not specify a delivery time of their choice.

Consumers shop online as it saves time and effort, a click of a mouse or swipe of a touchscreen beats hunting down a parking spot and waiting in a queue hands down. But where things get tricky is the connecting the parcel to the person. At present all of the current solutions focus on getting the person to the parcel and not the other way around. Home delivery currently is still linked to when the customer is there. As Doddle CEO Peter Louden puts it: “Home delivery is still the number one fulfillment method with customers, when it works,”

Our view at Pelipod is that home delivery should work ALL the time and our smart home-parcel boxes give today’s consumer the power to shop online, and the freedom to go about their days as they please – because, after all, online shopping is all about convenience.

Pelipod sits outside your home, ready to receive parcels at any time. Users simply provide a one-time secure code to any retailer at the online checkout, allowing couriers access to the pod upon delivery. Its in-built technology provides proof-of-delivery (with photographic evidence) and connects with the Pelipod Portal – a web and smartphone application – at all times to provide tracking updates, pick-up status and more.

The best part? Pelipod is available for a 60-day free trial. Sign up here.

Love at first pod: Pelipod meets its first consumers

Last night the Pelipod team welcomed more than 30 online shoppers to get their first glimpse of the Pelipod over wine and canapés.

Pelipod team member Trudy Capaldo kindly offered her house to show Pelipod in its natural habitat – the home. Alongside the two demo models inside, we had Pelipods in an array of colours lit up in the garden and one ready for action at the front of the house.

One of our project managers, Tata Zhamharyan, was on hand to give guests a full demonstration, from generating a unique retailer code via the mobile app, through to how easy it is to open the secure pod and retrieve your delivery.

Everyone liked the look of the Pelipod, with debates over preferences between the green, red and grey pods that we on show. It was agreed that the build was sturdy – we wanted people to be able to see it, get a real feel for it and see how secure it is. The Pelipod’s built-in camera, activated when the lid is lifted as a real-time proof of delivery, was met with great enthusiasm.  As was the online portal with its easy-to-use interface. It clearly lists all scheduled and received deliveries, with guests commenting on how easy it was to navigate. Many guests remarked on the Pelipod’s range of clever security features, which include a GPS tracker and alert if the Pelipod is ever opened by means other than an authorised code.

There was much talk about who would benefit most from a Pelipod. From students and young professionals, to busy full-time mums – it was felt that across the board the Pelipod would be extremely useful. People saw that Pelipod’s uses went beyond the delivery of parcels as it is also a means to leave items for friends or neighbours when you’re out.

We got a great response to the special launch pricing of Pelipod at £5.99 a month with no installation charge. It was felt that it was a small price to pay for the peace of mind and freedom Pelipod offers. Some of our guests speculated about what impact guaranteed delivery might have on lowering retailers’ delivery charges in the future. What a great thing that would be!

The evening was a great success. The team was bowled over by our guests’ positivity, with many keen to sign up to be among the first homes kitted out with a Pelipod.

The real highlight of the evening was hearing the feedback which included:

“It answers a real need and makes internet shopping the truly hassle-free experience it should be”

“I was concerned about the security of it, but having seen it and heard more about all the security features, I feel completely reassured.”

“It’s useful for so much more than deliveries – you can leave things for friends and family to pick up, for example. That’s brilliant!”

“I probably get around six deliveries a day, and sometimes I miss them all – so I’ll definitely get one.”

“An amazing idea from an amazing company”

“A very clever product”

“I’d definitely use it for returns – it would really take the hassle out of a painful process”

“Very clever. Perfect for busy working people.”

“Great idea – no need to waste your Saturday mornings queuing at the Post Office!”

“I love it!”

Once upon a time, missing a parcel courier messed up my day….

(aka: We designed Pelipod to be always at home, so you don’t have to be)

Shopping online has never been so simple, convenient and enjoyable, with more quality and variety available to consumers than ever before. By 2018 it’s estimated that one pound in seven spent on retail will be spent online.

Sadly the slick consumer experience of selecting and purchasing items is rarely matched by the process of actually getting our hands on those parcels – or returning them. We all live busy lives, and too often that final link in the retail fulfilment chain breaks at our doorsteps. Instead of coming home to find the items we ordered safely waiting for us, we instead return to discover failed delivery cards, reschedule notices, post office depot queues and disappointment.

Fortunately with a Pelipod at home, you don’t have to be. A Pelipod is a strong, safe, smart delivery pod that securely attaches to your property and looks after all of your parcels when you’re away from home until you are ready to get them. It’s the smart, affordable and simple way to give your life more freedom, convenience, flexibility and peace-of-mind.

Any retailer or courier can use a parcel code to deliver to your Pelipod, placing the packages you’ve been waiting for safely inside, then get the proof of delivery they need. Pelipods are designed to be securely attached to either the ground or permanent structural fixtures so they won’t go missing. But even if somebody did move the earth to steal it, your Pelipod would be locked and tracked remotely by an expert support team. Multiple deliveries can be accepted in any one day. You can even put return items in your Pelipod for couriers to collect, and receive email alerts that let you know every time your pod was used, when, and who by. The Pelipod’s keypad, sensors and camera provide everybody with the peace of mind they need to know that their parcels have been securely delivered or picked up by the right parties.

Have any questions?  Watch our handy video and read our FAQ to see exactly how the Pelipod works to make your life more convenient.

We plan to revolutionise the consumer delivery and return experience.  We look forward to your support as a British business for British consumers. Interested? – simply sign up now to start your free 60-day Pelipod trial as soon as possible.

On this blog we’ll keep you updated of our views, news and successes. Thank you for reading – and be sure to keep an eye out for Pelipods in your neighbourhood!