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Logistics & Fulfilment

Online delivery services targeting students

The typical college care package is now more likely to come from an online retailer than mum and dad.

In the US, a large population of students living on campus combined with Amazon’s delivery services is causing headaches in university mailrooms.

According to the University of Connecticut’s campus newspaper, The Daily Campus, 3000 packages are arriving daily, leading to staffing and space issues.

A population of millennials living on campus, rapid delivery services and mailrooms designed for letters have thrown up logistical challenges. Internationally, parcel services are popping up which specifically target university students.

In the UK parcel service, Doddle, has opened six new university stores to enable students and staff to send and receive parcels. Since launching the university offering at the start of September, more than 3000 students have signed up to use the Doddle service.

Doddle, which recently celebrated its first birthday, has 43 purple stores, mostly located near railway stations and commuter hubs across the UK and a staff of 300 ‘parcelistas’ to handle deliveries and returns for online shoppers.

“Students are habitual online shoppers, with an overwhelming 96.8 per cent browsing online,” said Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO. “Our own research also found that many students had previously skipped a lecture to wait in for a delivery.

“That’s why university campuses are prime locations for Doddle with thousands of students and staff who can’t afford to sit in all day to wait for deliveries. We believe Doddle’s mix of parcel services and our affiliation with retailers loved by students, will make these stores a welcome addition to UK universities.”

Doddle currently has 22 retail partners including Asos, Missguided, River Island and New Look. It is also wooing students with discounts, including ‘student pay as you go’ for just 99 pence per collection (normally £1.95).

The store openings come after Amazon opened its first staffed customer order pick-up and drop-off location based at a US college campus in February at Purdue University. More campus stores are set to open in California and Cincinnati as the e-commerce giant increases its visibility among a key demographic.

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