Missed deliveries are a problem that most people will be familiar with, especially at this time of year. It happens every day – 300,000 times per day across the UK, in fact – you order something online, the friendly courier or postman attempts to deliver it, but you’re out. The result is either a parcel that gets left outside (risk it being damaged or stolen) or you face the prospect of queuing up at the Post Office to collect it.
It is clearly something that is not only a problem for customers, with Amazon even toying with the idea of using delivery drivers who can let themselves into your house. However, one new company, HubBox is aiming to solve the problem with a solution that is much simpler, and a lot less daunting.
HubBox is a Click & Collect service that has pulled together a network of thousands of convenience stores, pharmacies, dry cleaners and other local retailers. The idea is that when you shop online, instead of having parcels delivered to your empty home, they can be dropped off at a shop on your local High Street, ready for you to pick up at a time that is convenient for you.
The clever thing about HubBox is that it can be used at any online retailer. E-commerce sites do have the option to plug it into their checkout process, but customers can also sign up for their own account and then just use their HubBox ID in the delivery details when they complete a purchase.
The way to use it is that when you are ordering online, just enter your HubBox ID instead of your last name, and the Collect Point Address instead of your home address. From there, Hub Box should be able to work with your local Collect Point, and let you go and grab it.
There are plenty Collect Points available. Oxford, which is often slow to take up these services has plenty, and I have one right around the corner of my house.
The risk may come with a delivery form that may not have the ability to change your last name, or let you enter address details as the example above.
So what are the negatives? Well, as you would expect, it does come with a cost. Delivery costs are already a bugbear for many people, and we have come to expect a free option from most leading retailers. However, you may think that £1.95 is a small price to pay to be able to pick up your goodies at your convenience on your way home from work, rather than have to spend your lunch hour in a Post Office queue.
It remains to be seen if a Click & Collect network like HubBox will ever become an attractive option for the likes of Amazon, Argos or John Lewis, but if the service helps small independent retailers to compete with the High Street giants then perhaps it has a lot to offer.
The service does offer a trial package which lets you use it for up to 2 deliveries. With Christmas shopping shifting to the internet, now is probably the best time to try it out and see if it works for you.
For further information or to try HubBox Click & Collect for free for your next delivery go to www.hub-box.com