Scheduled deliveries by default: How Paack is redefining customer experience in ecommerce courier services
Time to read: 4 minutes
With a credit card and an internet connection, nearly anyone can purchase goods online in just a few clicks — securing the timely delivery of those goods, however, is often significantly less convenient.
Enter Paack: a Spain-based ecommerce delivery solution that champions scheduled deliveries “by default,” giving consumers more control over when their packages arrive and optimizing the way drivers operate to create sustainable, customer-centric delivery experiences.
Since its founding in 2015, the company has achieved 3.5x growth year-over-year and managed more than 27 million deliveries. But rapid growth doesn’t come without growing pains: Paack quickly realized the need for a unified communications platform designed for heightened customer engagement.
“We’ve been working backwards from the customer experience to operations,” Chief Product and Technology Officer Olivier Colinet said. “And this is important because for us, customers are central to everything we do.”
Paack’s mission is to become the market leader in sustainable ecommerce deliveries, and Twilio is helping to support that goal — the company currently operates in Spain, Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom, serving more than 70 cities across Europe with plans for further expansion.
Ensuring deliveries are on time, every time
When it comes to shipping options, consumers typically have few options in terms of delivery speed and security, leaving much room for missed deliveries and poor customer experience.
Paack’s commitment to customer-driven delivery times presents the complex logistical challenge of coordinating driver routes with predetermined delivery timelines.
“If you think of time slots, it brings another dimension to it,” Colinet explained. “While [two customers] may be close by, because one picked delivery in the morning and one in the evening, we can’t get the driver to wait in between. So it really forces us to think about things differently from start to end.”
Paack leverages geospatial data to cluster deliveries based on a driver’s location, as well as to ensure packages are delivered to the right destination within the designated time slot. Customers receive SMS updates at several points throughout the delivery process, giving them the option to modify their delivery address or time slot, notifying them when their delivery is in close proximity, and prompting them to confirm that their parcel was delivered.
This is where Twilio’s Verify and Programmable Messaging APIs give Paack a competitive edge, not only giving customers the ability to choose specific time windows for delivery, but also the flexibility to edit that window to accommodate last minute schedule changes, all through SMS. Text messages prompt customers with a link to confirm their addresses and choose their preferred time window. Customers also receive ETA notifications via SMS when the driver is approaching their home. After the delivery, customers receive an additional text to allow them to score the quality of Paack’s service.
These added communication features mean customers are not only conveniently receiving their packages while they’re home, they’re also getting personalized text messages from brands they trust, enhancing the overall customer experience. With Twilio, Paack facilitates successful deliveries by sending 600 thousand texts per month with averages four times that amount during the busy holiday season.
Colinet explained that before integrating Twilio Verify, Paack did not have a digitally traceable way to provide end-to-end delivery verification in a way that allows for flexibility while maintaining security. Twilio Verify enables proof of delivery (PoD), which streamlines the customer experience with convenient delivery notifications via text, as well as reduces the risk of non-delivery. Up to 20% of Paack’s customer support cases are related to PoD investigations, and about 40% of low customer satisfaction scores are directly tied to unreceived parcels or issues with third party delivery. With Twilio Verify, Paack is on track to reduce PoD these customer support cases by 80% and boost customer satisfaction scores in turn.
“It’s important that this is done without any disruptions,” he added. “There could be many reasons why customers may not be home, and may want someone to act as a middleman and pick up the parcel on their behalf. We’re trying to handle change management with the drivers to make sure they don’t feel this is going to slow down their productivity.”
Paack is planning to explore Twilio Flex and Voice to build out even more seamless customer service features and establish a single, comprehensive view of customer interactions.
Keeping retailers, drivers, and customers in the loop
How do you check that the right parcel made it to the right destination, and into the hands of the right customer?
Without a centralized communications platform, it’s difficult to track these crucial components of the delivery and gain insight into any errors, Colinet said, Paack needed a scalable solution that would enable them to experiment with new types of customer interactions, such as the ability to confirm a customer’s location, which is why they decided to partner with Twilio.
“We realized we were probably missing a communication layer for us to provide syndication across these needs, but also explore what could be of value,” Colinet said.
Seamless communication between retailers, drivers, and end customers through SMS was an important first step, but Paack will soon adopt Twilio’s multichannel integration with WhatsApp and other platforms to bring engagement to the next level.
“These kinds of capabilities were not even thinkable before,” he added. “Twilio gives us a single umbrella from which to expand from one country to another.”
Starting the conversation
As the company expands to new European markets — including several cities in France and the UK — Paack sees the integration of two-way communication features into its driver app as one of the most exciting areas for growth.
One example is already in development — an application built with Twilio’s Programmable Voice API that allows drivers to use OTP verification and initiate in-app phone calls with the customer to ensure parcels are delivered to the right person.
In the future, customers will have the ability to ask questions, troubleshoot issues, and check the status of their deliveries, Colinet said.
“I think what we’re doing so far is providing an unexpected set of capabilities, and starting to explore the beyond,” Colinet said. “Yes, we answered the communications layer one-way, but could there be more dialogue?”