- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 12 December 2012 05:42, Updated 13 December 2012 04:13
Some businesses risk having their reception or mailroom buried under a mountain of personal parcels. Photo: Quentin Jones
Have you seen your receptionist lately? I guess not. It’s close to Christmas and the front office is probably a sea of brown boxes.
This is the other side of the internet shopping revolution. While local retailers are under the impression that we are no longer spending, people like me are curled up on the couch at night, after the rest of the family has gone to bed, “window shopping” – or, if you don’t have a Mac, “Windows shopping”.
Late at night, there’s no-one to cast a disapproving eye when you buy another pair of shoes via Amazon. At half the price of what they would fetch in Australian stores, I could go broke saving money.
And there’s no way I can have these, or any of the Christmas presents I’ve bought, delivered home. I never know where I am going to be from one hour to the next on my days off and I don’t have a day to waste sitting at home waiting for a delivery man.
So, it is off to the office mail room they go. The Sydney Fairfax mail room is huge, cavernous, in fact (if they take the vehicles out) and they’ll need it this year to fit all our shopping in, as well as all the gifts (bribes) of chocolate sent out by hopeful public relations operatives.
The managing director of same-day delivery courier company, Want It Now, Fiona Pearse, says she understands the frustrations of building managers and logistics people who had mail rooms set up for envelopes and small parcels.
“I imagine they get quite frustrated, there’s a lot of grumpy warehouse managers,” she says. “I’ve heard of mini bars being delivered through the front door and bicycles bought online. Offices are not set up to take these items.
“I recently walked into an office and there was a huge pile of boxes next to the receptionist’s desk. The volume the boxes took up was actually larger than her desk.”
She says she expects employers to come up with new policies and procedures to deal with the ever-increasing number of non work-related deliveries.
Pearse, whose company operates in Sydney and Melbourne, says there is an intriguing difference between shopping habits in the two cities.
“We’ve seen quite a stark difference ... Sydney seems a lot more online shopping savvy and we deliver more into the office blocks,” she says.
“In Melbourne, it is more residential. It is really interesting, we thought Melbourne would be an online hub of shopping, but they are more relaxed and more likely to wait for it at home.”
Sydney, it seems, is more about instant gratification.
The company, a division of Mail Call Couriers, will start doing deliveries in Brisbane in January.
Your typical online shopper is between 25 years and 35 years and is female. However, I’m not sure that counts all the boxes of wine from GraysOnline because I am sure that just my husband’s spending would skew that average somewhat.