The UK consumer to consumer (C2C) parcel services market has grown in recent years as, in addition to traditional C2C parcels, the growth of home shopping has inevitably led to a corresponding increase in the number of items returned by consumers.
Consumer-to-consumer deliveries represent one of the biggest growth areas in the parcels market at the moment.
Marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon have become increasingly important shopping destinations. These have many small sellers who, like consumers, do not have the necessary scale to operate accounts with, and earn discounts from, established parcels carriers but who need to send parcels.
Consumers and small businesses wishing to send occasional parcels have traditionally been served by the Royal Mail with customers taking their parcel to their local Post Office and queuing up to send it. Historically, parcels carriers did not target smaller customers as this type of C2C parcels volume did not fit their business models, which rely on consolidation of pick-ups and/or deliveries to obtain superior economics.
Probably the best-known, and also one of the longest-established, is Parcel2Go, whose name has become synonymous with the delivery process for many eBay power sellers.
This is no accident; in its early days, the Parcel2Go team put in a massive effort to meet, greet and make themselves known to eBay power sellers at trade events throughout the country, and arguably they earned their place in the market by dint of sheer determination.
Alongside Parcel2Go, one of the best-established players is Interparcel. Unlike Parcel2Go, with its busy and dynamic web site and arresting corporate image, Interparcel portrays a more discreet image, but this has not stopped it gaining a major market presence.
According to some estimates, the two companies together already account for around £50 million of turnover.
The combination of market growth driven by home shopping and re-focusing of the Royal Mail has created a significant growth opportunity in this segment which looks set to continue in the future. It is not yet clear which business models or which companies will emerge as leaders in the segment as the situation presents opportunities and threats for each.
For more information on the UK C2C parcels services market, see the latest research: UK C2C Parcel Services Market
Follow us on Twitter @CandMResearch
Companiesandmarkets.com issues news updates and report summaries covering all major industries and sectors. The service provides additional client monitoring and timely alerts to breaking industry and sector news leading the day's business headlines. News articles, written by our staff, contain additional analyst insight, providing value added insight for our readers. News updates and real-time alerts on newly-released market reports are also available from our Facebook page, Twitter feed @CandMResearch and RSS links. We also welcome inquiries from business journalists and the news media.