If you’ve shopped online, you might know the struggle: not being around when a delivery arrives and the ensuing bother that accompanies that.
Various organisations have tried their hands at solving this, such as by setting up automated collection boxes that allow access 24/7.
Down in Singapore, they even tried out the idea of getting the good old neighbours to receive parcels on your behalf (for a fee, of course).
There’s also an estimated 30% return rate for online purchases. Though many major retailers provide a returns bag for free, you still have to endure rushing to the post office, and the subsequent waiting in line to send stuff back.
Dylan Wong wanted provide his own solution for parcel-related woes in Malaysia.
When he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in the UK, he noticed many websites using a “click and collect” model.
Essentially, the user shops online, and then heads out to a nearby partner location to get their purchase.
As a value-added service, online shoppers can also return goods for free at selected collection points, saving them a trip to a post office or post box.
Dylan wanted to bring those ideas back here, and in September 2016, Collectco soft launched in Malaysia.
“We came up with our mission because e-commerce is meant to be convenient, but that is not the case in Malaysia.”
– Dylan Wong
Collectco partners with couriers, collection points and e-commerce sellers in an attempt to bring the whole online shopping process together.
A quick search of their listed collection points revealed pharmacies, mini-markets, electronic stores and even photo shops.
More importantly, many of the collection points have opening hours that go beyond conventional post office timings, with some opening til midnight, and all day on weekends.
At the moment, the “Click & Collect” portion of Collectco is limited to five retailers.
It’s the “Returns” section that might interest regular online shoppers the most though.
Lazada, Zalora and Asos number among the partner retailers working with Collectco to simplify the return process.
Heading over to one of Collectco’s 800+ collection points across Malaysia to drop off unwanted purchases is now an alternative that’s open to customers.
You can also send parcels via Collectco.
The Collectco team believe that their service stands out thanks to their partnerships with marketplaces, logistics companies and retail chains.
And their numbers so far are encouraging.
“We are experiencing 50% Month-over-Month growth since our launch last year,” said Dylan.
The team also had a much bigger playing field that they’d like to expand to. Their end goal?
“To have a collection point within 1km to 90% of population in major cities and towns ASEAN-wide,” said Dylan.
Their model doesn’t clash with many of the established players on the market, and this is an advantage that has helped them with their partnerships thus far.
“We are not here to takeover delivery to home. Instead, we complement courier companies to offer them the infrastructure of collection points.”
– Dylan Wong
For them, it’s all about growing their partnership ecosystems, in order to keep their service expanding and relevant.
The partnering collection points also get extra foot traffic, and a commission for each parcel transaction conducted in store.
The concept sounds good for everyone all round, but when you deal with logistics, there’s very likely going to be literal and figurative bumps in the road.
Taking a quick look at their Facebook page, you can see the team is carefully monitoring and responding to their reviews, particularly the negative ones.
“We will investigate into the issue to determine the root cause,” said the team.
It’ll be in maintaining and constantly improving the quality of their services that will draw and retain customers.
With the e-commerce industry in Malaysia predicted to continue growing 23% yearly all the way to 2021, companies like Collectco would do well to effectively leverage on that growth and win out.
Feature Image Credit: Collectco