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Postal deliveries in evening trialled by Royal Mail

04 November 2010 - 13:51 by Simon Crisp

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Online shoppers across the country can rejoice as the Royal Mail has initiated the first trials that will see it making deliveries in the evenings.

For the time being the trial is only available to eligible customers who live inside the M25 and who shop online with e-commerce firms taking part in this initiative. But if it is successful, it could become the norm for a wider audience.

The first retailer to get onboard with this project was House of Fraser, while those who want their beauty treatments in a hurry can also get evening deliveries from L'Occitane.

Discussions between the Royal Mail and other unnamed mainstream retailers are taking place, so many more firms could jump on the bandwagon and widen the spectrum of products which you can order and get delivered in the evening.

Earlier in the year, the Royal Mail announced that late opening times would be applied on Wednesdays so that busy consumers who are always off to work in the morning before the post arrives can grab any parcels that could not be delivered. They have since delivered on this promise and 600 hubs will be kept open later midweek in the busiest areas.

The Royal Mail's Mike Brown said that pumping cash into expanding the functions and services offered by the organisation, was helping both consumers and retailers to enjoy a better experience when carrying out safe shopping online.

Mr Brown explained that those living in areas covered by the trial should be able to pick a delivery time somewhere between six and 10pm. In some scenarios this could be hugely convenient, allowing consumers to get products quickly even after the shops have closed.

It will be interesting to see whether this trial will eventually expand to encompass most e-commerce firms who offer safe shopping online in the UK.