Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Inside the major changes coming to Australia Post stores

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Change rooms are set to be introduced into Australia Post stores as the organisation transforms the customer shopping experience amid the rise of eCommerce. 

Australia Post this week revealed its post offices are “being reimagined to provide digitally led in-store experiences”, starting in the New South Wales central west. 

The new Community Hub@Post initiative will first be rolled out in July at the Orange Post Office.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Parcel, Post and e-commerce services Gary Starr told News Corp the organisation was “testing a whole lot of new concepts”.

“For example, there’s a change room, so I can order online and have it delivered to that community hub post, try it on and if it’s great, you can take it home,” Mr Starr said.

“If not, then I can hand it straight back over the counter and it goes back to the retailer and I can get my money back quicker.”

Australia Post will also enhance its self-service options and returns process, while offering dedicated products from small businesses local to a store’s area. 

“Post Offices are also being reimagined to provide digitally led in-store experiences, better self-service options and an optimised returns process with onsite change rooms,” Australia Post’s Inside Australian Online Shopping report said. 

“Launching at the Orange Post Office in NSW this July, the Community Hub@Post initiative sees this reimagination come to life.

“Post Offices will have a distinct focus on supporting businesses, particularly local small businesses by offering dedicated products and services and a new platform to sell their own product direct to consumers.”

The move comes amid new data released by Australia Post on Wednesday revealing $63.8 billion was spent on online goods last year across 9.4 million Australian households. 

Online shopping now accounts for more than 18 per cent of all retail sales, according to the Australia Post data. 

Australians splashed out the most on home and garden at $18.7 billion, while spending at food and liquor stores was up 11.4 per cent on the previous year to $13.1 billion, and spending at variety stores up 8.6 per cent to $11.6 billion. 

Mr Starr said that “Aussies’ love affair with online shopping has not waned” even after the removal of COVID-19 restrictions.  

“One million more households are now shopping online compared to 2019, and 5.6 million households made an online purchase every month during the past year,” he said. 

“Australians are shopping online more often, with 37 per cent shopping fortnightly compared to 20 per cent pre-COVID.

“The growth trend in online was steady prior to COVID-19 but spiked during restrictions, now it’s showing a return to normal trend growth. By 2033, we expect around one in three dollars will be spent online.” 

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