3 month door drop monitor

by Graham Dodd on 22/04/2020

Well the first three months of an eventful new year have passed, but how has door drop as a medium performed and has Covid 19 affected the industry?

2019’s weekly volume was 4.9, so for the first quarter of 2020 to achieve an average of 4.2 suggests the industry weathered well despite the major concerns resulting in formal lockdown on March 23rd.

Royal Mail door to door contributed 32.7% of the volume received, with local solus/shares making up the 67.3% balance.

Little change in market sector usage, with retail leading the way with 40% share, charities (all clothes bags!) 20%, direct response 18.2%, local businesses 14.5% and public sector the balance.

But, in the first two weeks of April, life has become much tougher and we have received just 3 items in 2 weeks, all through Royal Mail.

That provokes some interesting thoughts.

Most local eateries in Cheshunt already offered home delivery services and more have jumped on the band wagon in the last month, but none are promoting through leaflets to a stay at home audience. Perhaps historical providers believe their business levels will remain the same (or increase?) and there is no need to advertise?

Our favourite eatery has however only just started delivery (we have used it three times already!), but we only found out through a shared Facebook posting and a WhatsApp group message.

Our local farm is now offering an order and collect service which we have again availed ourselves of, but we only knew because we visited their website to see if they were even open!

And there are some surprises when looking at active national clients late March/early April.

Royal Mail D2D were to be commended for changing their T & C’s so that clients could postpone activity to a later date without charge, an opportunity a number of our clients took advantage of. Solus and shared team distributions were also “furloughed”.

But Harveys and DFS allowed their activity to take place despite their stores being closed. A pop up on the Harveys site also confirmed that order deliveries were also on hold, but both sites were obviously accepting online orders.

It would be interesting to know how their website traffic increased at a time when we were all in lockdown, in comparison to hits whenever they normally door drop? And what levels of sales were generated.

Checkatrade also dropped which we were similarly surprised at given that suggests workmen entering the home, but we suppose that must be happening in cases of emergency at least. And presumably some outside work may also still be taking place?

Papa Johns was understandable given they stopped the store collection option, but modelled their delivery service.

We were unsure however of Dignity’s decision to drop in late March. Is promoting funeral plans at a time when hundreds of people are dying on a daily basis the right thing to do, or is it in bad taste? Personal opinion we suppose.

This all assumes of course these clients were made aware by their suppliers that their Royal Mail D2D plans could be postponed and re-booked for some time in the future at no charge? It simply required your providers input and time to complete the process.

None of these items appear to have time limitations and even if they did, would you not expect the sales offers not to be honoured when the business world clicks into revive mode?

With lockdown now set until mid May, we suspect volumes will be low in the coming weeks.

But for those offering any form of delivery or collection service, online retailers etc., door drop still provides a perfect platform to engage with your target market when you can be pretty sure they will be at home at the point of delivery.

And if you are a retailer or business that could be at the front end of the re-opening programme, which may reasonably be June or July, should you not at least be talking to us now about creating the distribution plan, so its just then a question of pressing the go button at the  appropriate time?

This article was written by...

– who has written 86 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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