There are many parcel delivery solutions to choose from—and Collect Plus (“Collect+”) is a long-running and reliable option, having been in business since 2009.

Learn more about how adding delivery and drop off options can improve your customer experience in the Future of Shopper Experience

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • What is Collect Plus?
  • The history of Collect Plus
  • Why drop-off locations make business sense for ecommerce retailers
  • How automated returns management can optimize your returns process

What is Collect Plus?

Collect Plus is a parcel delivery partner network that’s made up of thousands of drop-off and pick-up locations throughout the United Kingdom, facilitating streamlined package delivery and return services for ecommerce merchants and their customers.

Collect Plus’ store network consists of more than 10,000 newsstands, convenience stores, supermarkets, petrol stations, and other retailers, providing a convenient way for customers to pick up parcels from a third-party location, to send parcels to others, or to send returns back to merchants without the need to repackage them.

The company’s retailer network provides extensive coverage throughout the United Kingdom: 94% of the urban population lives within a mile of a local store, while 90% of the rural population lives within five miles of a local store.

The history of Collect Plus

Collect Plus was originally founded in 2009, as a joint venture with PayPoint and Yodel, beginning with a network of 3,400 local stores. By 2018, the brand had grown to 7,000 sites, and added eBay as a new partner. The following year, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon had all become partners within their network.

In 2020, PayPoint bought out Yodel’s ownership stake to take over the brand, and increased the network to 10,000 stores throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. In 2020, they shifted the focus from an end-to-end parcel delivery service to a network entry point for parcels, with partner couriers taking responsibility for the shipping process.

Today, Collect Plus partners with a leading network of both couriers and retailers, including Yodel, Amazon, Amazon Returns, DHL, DPD, Ebay, FedEx, HubBox, Parcel2Go, Wish, and InPost. Shoppers can find their Collect Plus local stores by entering their postcode on the website.

Why drop-off locations make business sense for ecommerce retailers

Using a parcel delivery solution that offers drop-off and pick-up services across a network of retailers is a game-changer for ecommerce merchants and their customers.

After all, returns are a common part of the ecommerce experience—as many as 30-40% of products end up getting returned. And the traditional return process is a hassle for customers, as they need to repackage the item so that it’s safe to ship back, which can be difficult with fragile items.

As a result, many customers are so frustrated by the returns experience that they simply keep the item that they don’t want, rather than requesting a refund or exchange. On the surface, that may seem like a better option as you don’t need to process the refund costs — but it also means that you’re losing the value of the entire customer relationship, as they’re not likely to give your brand another chance. That’s far more valuable than an individual product purchase.

Instead of asking customers to ship returns themselves, relying on drop-off locations in local stores makes it easy for them to simply bring the product to a convenient location, where the retailer has the responsibility of shipping back the item. The customer will immediately receive a tracking number for their return, and may see their refund processed as soon as the product return is scanned in, delivering a superior post-purchase customer experience.

Using a parcel delivery network like Collect Plus also enables merchants to save money on managing the returns process. Rather than encouraging customers to ship back each item individually, you can consolidate multiple returns into one shipment, which will result in lower reverse logistics fees. Plus, many of the drop-off locations offer next-day delivery services, ensuring that you can return high-priority products into circulation quickly, so that they can be resold for their full value.

All of this means that rather than frustrating customers with a difficult returns experience, you’ll be able to delight them with a parcel delivery and returns service that makes it easy for them to send items back and exchange them for products that will suit them better—ensuring that they maintain a strong connection to your brand.

How automated returns management can optimize your returns process

In addition to using a drop-off and pick-up service like Collect Plus to facilitate parcel delivery and returns, partnering with a returns management solution like Loop will help you take your customers’ returns experience to the next level.

Loop facilitates a seamless returns process and optimizes for exchanges: If a shopper wants to select a new item, they won’t need to return to the checkout screen and can complete the entire process from the returns portal. If the item is a different cost from the original product, a credit or debit will be instantly applied to the shopper’s account.

Helping shoppers return the products they don’t want and exchange them for items they do will help your brand to build strong customer retention, and help you retain more revenue from each transaction: Loop merchants retain up to 50% of return revenue via exchanges and upsells.

Learn more about how Loop can facilitate better returns. Get a demo now.