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Australia Post’s next-day delivery helps Myer, Adore and Rebel take on Amazon

Millions of Australians will have access to next-day delivery from their favourite online retailers ahead of Christmas, after Australia Post begins ultra-fast services.

In the biggest shake-up to the taxpayer-owned postie’s delivery network in years, customers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be able to order online and receive their products within 24 hours, with the service to expand to other capitals before Christmas.

Initial retailers set to offer the service include Myer, Adore Beauty and Super Retail Group’s stable of Rebel, BCF, Supercheap Auto and Macpac.

Billions of dollars invested in improving the capacity of Australia Post’s parcel delivery facilities during COVID have underpinned the move, bringing the company into line with rival Amazon, which has quickly become a dominant player in Australia with its lightning-fast systems.

Australia Post boss Paul Graham said next-day delivery is increasingly important to Australians, with one in three retail dollars projected to be spent online over the next decade.

“We’ve been listening to our customers, and know they expect more certainty, simplicity and speed when ordering online,” he said on Tuesday.

“This new service provides a more agile, flexible delivery option as we head into our busiest time of year.”

Faster delivery

University of Tasmania professor and retail expert Louise Grimmer predicts customers will adopt the new service in droves before Christmas, with the November shopping holidays coming.

Research shows that one of the top two reasons people abandon online shopping carts is because estimated delivery times are too long, she said.

“Convenience is the No.1 driver for online shopping,” Dr Grimmer said.

“We are seeing many retailers who have really invested in technology and their logistics and supply chains, and they have been very successful at fast delivery including next day.

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The move is set to take on Amazon. Photo: AAP

“But for other retailers that have struggled with super-fast delivery this could be a game changer.”

Myer is one big-name retailer that is set to take advantage of the service, with the department store’s supply chain boss Tony Carr welcoming the move.

“[It] will be particularly important to shoppers as we head into our busiest trading months of the year in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.

Price is key 

What’s unknown, however, is whether customers will have to pay a premium for faster parcels, Dr Grimmer said.

“The cost of the service will be fundamental in ensuring its success,” Dr Grimmer said.

“If it’s too costly, shoppers may choose a slower and cheaper delivery method, or shop with another retailer.

“While speed is important for many Australian consumers, the cost of delivery is really important too.”

Amazon, the other major Australian e-commerce player offering next-day delivery in major cities, does charge for faster delivery – either upfront or through membership of its loyalty scheme.

The American e-commerce giant, which launched Down Under in 2017, has leveraged its delivery speeds to rapidly gain market share, putting Australia Post under pressure.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said a recent consultation found that improvements to delivery speeds were a top priority for Australians, dubbing the move a “modernisation”.

“Improvements to the parcels business including increased frequency and choice was a strong area of feedback, and it is pleasing to see Australia Post continuing to innovate to meet the needs of customers,” Ms Rowland said.

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