Posti will open new premises focused on e-commerce for Posti’s consumer customers and online retailers on Keskuskatu in Helsinki. Box will be opened on November 1, 2019. Posti’s new initiative aims at more growth in e-commerce. The new premises are equipped with fitting rooms, a giant parcel locker and a digital kiosk. Box is also a physical store for online retailers and a testing space for Posti’s new digital services.
E-commerce is growing rapidly. Finnish consumers estimate that they will make more online purchases in the future than they do now. According to a survey conducted by Posti, almost one fifth of the respondents estimate that they will buy everything or almost everything online in 2025.
“The new space on Keskuskatu is an accurate illustration of the historically quick change of e-commerce and Posti. Due to the growth in online and C2C sales, a significant share of the consumers’ visits to Posti have to do with collecting or sending parcels. This is why we need to change. Box is our response to the growth of e-commerce and to the new consumer habits of the Finnish people. Box is a great example of how Posti is reforming,” says Posti’s Head of Customer Experience and Channels Kaisa Ilola.
The Finnish way of consuming is changing: physical stores are disappearing while online stores are growing. Finns shop online for electronics and information technology, for example. Finns also buy more and more clothes both online and via C2C channels.
Any customer of Posti can have their order delivered to Box and pick it up, for instance, on their way to work or in-between a shopping spree in the city center. The purpose of Box is to make it as easy as possible to pick up and send online orders.
“If a customer has placed an order for clothes online, they can try on the clothes straight away. If the clothes fit, that’s great. If they don’t fit, the customer can return them immediately without having to go home first. Other kinds of orders can also be opened at Box straight away. The customers can leave the packaging materials here to be recycled or used by other customers. The consumer behavior of the Finnish people has changed significantly. Before, there was a piece missing between the online store and home. Box was created to fill in the missing piece,” Ilola says.
Contrary to popular belief, emissions from e-commerce transport do not significantly differ from those generated by other types of retail. Regardless of whether the consumer buys the product from an online store or a physical store, the transport route of products from the country of origin to Finland is essentially the same. All of Posti’s delivery, transport, freight and warehousing services in Finland are carbon neutral Posti Green services for our customers – without additional fees.
“Box has also been designed to be as climate-friendly as possible. Online shoppers can reduce their CO2 emissions by up to 70% by routing their parcels along their everyday routes. The location of Box on Keskuskatu is close to many of our customers’ daily routes. Box cannot be reached by car – it is located along excellent public transportation connections. In addition, special attention has been paid to the packaging materials and their recyclability”, Kaisa Ilola says.
Box is a space for trying out new things for Posti and its customers. Online retailers can use Box for organizing their own events and use it as a display window for their products.
“Box is a space for both consumers and online retailers. Box will become a physical store in the heart of Helsinki for many of the domestic and foreign online retailers. Online retailers can organize their own events, pop up events and sell their own products at Box. Our display windows are also available for their use”.
Posti’s own digital services are also tried out at Box. For instance, parcels and letters can be sent via the new self-service terminal, where the customer can pay for shipping and speak to Posti’s customer service team via a video connection, if necessary. The self-service terminals are currently being tested, as they will be used in the OmaPosti kiosks that will be opened in the future.
Posti’s service designers are continuously working on the premises. They design and try out the digital services of Posti together with the customers, such as the OmaPosti application.
Posti’s strategy is to add significant growth in the sectors of parcel and online store and logistics. The ongoing structural change is the biggest in the history of Posti: the consumers’ needs are changing, digitalization is increasing, the use of paper mail is declining more and more, the number of sent parcels is growing and the operating environment is increasingly more competitive.
Box is an accurate illustration of this change: customers are making online and C2C purchases more and more.
“As we build the future of Posti, we have to seek growth increasingly more in the e-commerce and logistics sectors. To us, it is important to make sure that our services are flexible and better respond to the rapidly changing needs of our customers,” Ilola says.
Posti’s change can also be seen in its profit performance. During the first half of 2019, the number of parcels grew at a record-breaking rate. A historical shift could also be seen during the first half of the year: Parcels, e-commerce and logistics amounted to over half of Posti’s total net sales.