BANTRY is one of just three towns nationwide to pilot a new service from An Post, aimed at local business.
The pilot scheme, according to An Post, combines the power of online commerce with the regular mails network.
The service, ‘eLocal.ie’ is a combined e-commerce and home delivery service giving local business the edge over national and international online operators, by connecting retailers with their customers both online and in person. The service is being piloted in Bantry and will be tested here before an expected national roll-out later this year.
The simple business proposition is that An Post will provide a next-day delivery service for businesses and merchants to local customers. A key feature of the eLocal.ie service will involve An Post giving each retailer an online presence, displaying their goods and services, and enabling online orders.
The new service kicked off in Bantry recently with a number of local firms taking part. Based on its success in Bantry, and in two other locations around the country, An Post will test the service, assess the business and then begin to roll out eLocal.ie nationwide.
It will enable customers to shop online wherever they see the eLocal.ie logo; click and order, via the retailer’s eLocal.ie page; have purchases delivered locally within 24 hours/nationally within 48 hours, or order online and collect in-store.
For example, a customer in Bantry will contact a participating business and order items to be delivered to their home a couple of miles outside the town. The items are gathered, boxed and picked up that afternoon by the local mail office and delivered to the customer by their regular postperson as part of the usual mail delivery on the following day. Customer pays a fee for the delivery or the retailer absorbs the fee in whole or in part.
Charges for the service are €7.50 for delivery or €3.50 for ‘click and collect’ and these are the only costs or charges involved.
Recent research conducted by An Post indicated an increasing level of shopping by Irish shoppers being done online with almost half of survey respondents (48%) saying they shop online at least once a month.
Speaking on the new initiative local junior minister Daly said: ‘I welcome An Post’s new service after raising a similar service, being offered in Kilbrittain Post Office, with An Post CEO David McRedmond. This service will now offer businesses in rural Ireland a viable way of transporting products to local customers.’