Australian Post develops cloud-based app for retailers

Australian Post develops cloud-based app for retailers

Merchants will be able to manage delivery process from order to customer pickup via the cloud

Australia Post has teamed up with NetSuite to develop a cloud-based app called SuiteApp, which is aimed at businesses that use its parcel business.

SuiteApp will allow businesses to manage the delivery process from when the customer orders an item through to the delivery of the parcel. A retailer can track the parcel’s journey via the app from their smartphone, tablet or PC.

In addition, businesses that use SuiteApp will no longer need to visit the Australia Post website to create the parcel order and pay for it.

According to Australia Post's CIO and executive general manager of information, digital and technology, Andrew Walduck, the organisation has invested in partnerships to beef up its digital capabilities.

“Change is reliant on our ability to adapt to our customers wants and needs. NetSuite provides us with a great partnership which will deliver on our commitment to provide services and products that our customers want,” he said in a statement.

Australia Post services that will be available through NetSuite include:

  • Parcel lockers. Customers can collect their parcel from thousands of lockers around Australia 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Parcel collect. This links a merchant to Parcel Lockers and Australia Post retail stores to send the correct parcels to a particular locker for customer retrieval.

  • Parcel rates. Merchants are provided with information about shipping/delivery costs.

  • Track and trace. This provides the receiver with a tracking number to track the product on the Australia Post website.

  • Dispatch parcel. This allows merchants to send a parcel with Australia Post.

Kitchenware Direct has signed up to pilot the SuiteApp and launched an Australia Post parcel locker widget this week. The widget will notify Kitchenware Direct customers that they can collect their parcel from an Australia Post locker.

"As an online business with 10 branded e-commerce sites under our umbrella, we are always looking for new ways to provide convenience to our customers and we jumped at the opportunity to leverage Australia Post's parcel lockers through the NetSuite platform," said Kitchenware Direct's managing director, Peter Macaulay.

He pointed out that many of its customers are not home during the week when their parcels arrive and don’t have time to go to the post office to collect them.

“This new service takes that pain away for our customers and gives them the guarantee to receive goods purchased at a time and place convenient to them,” he said.

In June 2014, Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour said the organisation is trying to avoid the fate of photography company Kodak by offering services such as digital mailboxes, parcel delivery and two-speed letter deliveries.

At the time, he said its letter business was expected to lose $300 million in 2014.

“Beyond that, we are projecting an annual loss of $1 billion per annum. That is a hole that is far too big to be filled by profitability from our parcels business,” he said.

According to Fahour, Australia Post has had an 8-10 per cent growth in parcels volumes over the past few years, all driven by online shopping.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags netsuiteKitchenware DirectSuiteAppaustralia postecommercecloud computingparcel tracking

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