Royal Mail Parcels

Introduction

Our ongoing campaign for Royal Mail Parcels ‘Click and Drop’ is working to change the UK public’s postage behaviour through digital transformation.

Challenge

With the UK’s burgeoning etail and ‘marketplace seller’ phenomenon (being further enhanced throughout the pandemic), parcels is a growing focus for Royal Mail. They are the default carrier for most, but the younger competition is sometimes perceived as the more obvious option when buying online.

The task is to switch postage buying behaviour – ingrained for generations – to Royal Mail’s app or website. The “Click and Drop” product enables everyone, including marketplace sellers and SMEs, to be free to pay for postage and print labels at home or in their office before taking their parcel(s) to one of 14,000 drop-off locations (including a growing network of Parcel Postboxes). There is also now the option to get parcels picked-up by the new ‘Parcel Collect’ service.

Strategy and approach

The desire to grow faced substantial challenges.

Royal Mail has an online postage product – available via the website and app – called Click & Drop. Royal Mail wanted to drive significant revenue growth via this channel to capitalise on the organic growth in parcels and the general march to digital everything.

However, awareness (28%) lagged nearly 20pp behind competitors such as My Hermes (47%). Royal Mail was not perceived as favourably as these competitors for ‘digital’ e.g. supporting eCommerce.

Visiting the Post Office to send parcels is a highly entrenched behaviour. To grow revenue, there would need to be a fundamental disruption of what people have been doing for decades.

And simply pointing out that there is an online payment postage option isn’t enough. Once aware of the fact, questions are triggered as to precisely how it works which research showed were barriers to action.

Where do I drop the parcel off? What happens if I don’t have a printer? How do I make sure I’ve paid the right amount (getting both the size and weight dimensions correct)? How does this work with my eBay and Amazon marketplaces?

The campaign focussed on the audiences for whom the existing behaviour is the most taxing i.e. those who are sending lots of parcels, but not at sufficient volumes to qualify for a Royal Mail account (which brings volume discounts and individual collection etc.) This meant a focus on relevant SMEs and particularly MPSs. The campaign would also reach the broader UK public too, but that was a much lower priority.

Solution

A multi-media campaign was created – anchored in the creative idea of “Postage that fits around you” – which spans targeted digital and social channels as well as TV, VOD, audio and print.

Digital display and social channels gives the targeting precision and frequency to tell many aspects of the story – picking off one at a time. Focussing on sites like eBay puts Royal Mail in front of regular parcel posters.

Phase 1 activity focused on showing how Click & Drop brings ease. Showing the basics of the product in different scenarios bought it to life for the different audiences. Subsequent phases delve into more product detail – showing how it works and being more specific for different audiences’ needs. One of the many ways to engender behaviour change is to show how easy an alternative way is. The first wave of the campaign focussed on this simplicity and ease with executions including a simple mnemonic – click, drop, done and also a simple diagram of the process required. Parcel senders couldn’t help but feel this was a better way – another digital advance adding convenience to their lives.

Moving away from the traditional ‘postman and delivery vans’ approach represents a ‘digital transformation’ for Royal Mail. A contemporary approach showcases key features including parcel postboxes.

Audio also gives the campaign extended reach with the increased listenership. The creative idea is bought to life representing how posting parcels can fit into a busy day.

Results

The behavioural changes associated with the pandemic led to huge growth. During the pandemic period, before the launch of the campaign, Click & Drop saw YOY revenue growth of 160%. This can be considered the baseline for growth that would have happened anyway, incorporating both the organic and the pandemic impact.

Once the campaign launched, consecutive trading periods saw YOY revenue growth of 240%, 280% and 269% - an average of 263%. Subtracting the baseline growth of 160% results in the increase in revenue attributable to the campaign being c. 100% growth.

The campaign doubled the revenue in the digital postage channels.


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Royal Mail Parcels

Changing the UK public’s postage behaviour through digital transformation.

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MBAstack

020 7309 7200 james.middlehurst@mba.co.uk