How and why
Box by Posti was created

Box by Posti is so much more than just the largest parcel locker in the world. Box plays a key role in developing Posti’s future business.

article-image

Facing a new era

Posti has been part of people’s daily life for centuries. But daily life has changed. This is also reflected in Posti’s core business. Letter volumes continue to decline. The number of parcels ordered online keeps growing.

The increase in parcel numbers can be seen in the competition. It has grown fiercer and more global. In the future, it is not enough to be Finland’s best in the parcel business. The standard is set by international players, such as Amazon. Hundreds of years of history do not mean that Posti will be the obvious choice for consumers in the future. Posti must develop its current and new services.

The purpose of Box by Posti is to help Posti respond to the needs of consumers and entrepreneurs, including in the future. Box is a development platform for Posti’s future core businesses.

 

envelope
-47,5  %

The number of addressed letters has decreased by 570 million letters since 2008.

box
+146,6  %

The number of sent parcels has increased by almost half since 2008.

How does Box by Posti work?

Box by Posti is so much more than just the largest parcel locker in the world in Helsinki city center. Box is a place that connects e-commerce and customers in a physical space. It is a test laboratory where future services and concepts can be developed and piloted cost-effectively – before taking them to consumers throughout Finland.

 

article-icon-1

In addition to sending and receiving parcels, CUSTOMERS CAN open and try on their online shopping. At the same time, customers can leave all of the packaging material at Box to be recycled or reused by other customers.

article-icon-2

RETAILERS CAN bring their online stores to a physical environment in a top location in Helsinki. Box enables piloting a brick-and-mortar store, setting up a seasonal shop or presence during a campaign in Helsinki city center, for instance.

article-icon-3

POSTI CAN test and develop its future services close to the customer. Box hosts the working facilities of Posti’s service design team, and a crucial part of their job is meeting customers and gaining insights on customer needs. Box grants Posti a presence among consumers and pioneer customers.

article-image-2

Sustainability

The growth in parcel traffic creates a burden on the environment. This is a challenge that Posti aims to solve by investing in the sustainability of its business. All Posti shipments are carbon neutral. In addition, Posti offers its customers the chance to make their shipment carbon negative in cooperation with the Compensate service. The only way to build a lasting future is to participate in the change and try to have a positive impact. That is why Posti wants to develop more sustainable solutions for e-commerce – an example of this being the possibility to try out clothes that are ordered online – which decreases the unnecessary traffic between homes and the postal outlet.

article-icon-4
10 %

For instance, a tenth of the emissions of a T-shirt is created when the parcel is delivered home.

article-image-3

Box helps incorporate ideas into daily life

Developing new business is always operating outside of your comfort zone. Customer needs and preferences change quickly. That is why the best way to develop services is to try them lightly and fast in a genuine customer environment. Ideas that work can be scaled to the entire country. That way, money and time are saved when no large development investments are made into projects that do not eventually work or respond to customer needs properly. A true customer focus comes from a culture of experimenting, developing together with customers.

article-graph

The point of an agile operating model is to turn an idea into practice as soon as possible and receive feedback on the functionality of the idea.

How was Box by Posti created?

The concept of Box by Posti was created from customer insight, with an agile and experimenting operating model. Posti’s businesses, service designers, designers, interior design architects and those carrying out the project sat around the same table during the entire project. This saved us time and money. The planning and execution of the project lasted six months, which is relatively short.

As with the agile procedure, the idea was to create the first version of the Box concept as soon as possible. That way, ideas can be tested in reality, and the concept can be refined based on the insights from the experiment.

Customer insight was utilized in the decision-making already in the planning phase. For instance, it was discovered in interviews with online retailers that Box would be useful for them if it was in a central location. On the other hand, customers would value personal service also on a self-service kiosk – which will be piloted in connection with Box. If necessary, kiosks can be used to contact customer service.

Questions and answers

Box is a space dedicated to Posti’s customers – both consumers and online retailers – on Keskuskatu in Helsinki.

Box is a brick-and-mortar store in accordance with Posti’s new concept on Keskuskatu in Helsinki. As a space, it is a combination of the world’s largest parcel locker, online retailers’ brick-and-mortar store and Posti’s new digital services.  Above all, Box is an e-commerce space where we serve our customers and pilot new ideas.

Box responds to the growth of e-commerce and to the new buying habits of the Finnish people. We are shedding our skin and rethinking our role between our customers: between online retailers and consumers and also between consumers in C2C commerce. At Box, we pilot and experiment with new things.

Posti is looking for significant growth opportunities in parcels, e-commerce and logistics services. The number of parcels delivered by Posti has increased annually. Shifting the focus of the business has succeeded since the parcel and e-commerce as well as logistics already amount to over half of Posti’s net sales.

This change can be seen everywhere, including at our Posti outlets. Today, more than 80 percent of our customers visit outlets to pick up a parcel. Posti’s services must be aligned with this change. The new space helps us test how we can service online retailers and their customers in a new way.

Yes, Box is preparing for the growth of e-commerce. In Finland, households receive around 10 parcels per year. In Central Europe, however, the figure is twice as high and, in the US, it is three times as high. As the e-commerce sector grows, the volume of parcels is also expected to increase. The change is now visible also on Keskuskatu. Many traditional retailers are also accumulating a growing share of their net sales from e-commerce.

We provide fitting rooms and the opportunity to return products at Box by Posti.  This makes it easy to return clothing that does not fit. This reduces emissions.

Finns return a smaller share of online purchases than consumers in other countries. The share of returns strongly depends on the product group. For example, up to 50% of clothing is returned, whereas the share of returns for electronics is only 1–2%.

We do not believe there is a conflict. Quite  the opposite. Contrary to popular belief, emissions from e-commerce transport do not significantly differ from those generated by other types of retail.

Consumers can influence things by making sustainable purchasing decisions and choosing the right delivery type. Regardless of whether the consumer buys the product from an online store or a physical store, the transport route of products from the country of origin to Finland is essentially the same.

From the climate perspective, it makes sense to favor low-emission means of transport for picking up parcels or pick up parcels when going grocery shopping, for example. That is why Box by Posti is in the city center, on the pedestrian street, close to the routes that people take on a daily basis. Emissions can be reduced by routing deliveries to destinations along one’s commute or other shopping routes using the Oma Posti application.

Box by Posti is a new opening with the purpose of helping Posti to develop future operations. Box is a combination of the world’s largest parcel locker, online retailers’ brick-and-mortar store and Posti’s new digital services. Above all, Box is an e-commerce space where we serve our customers and pilot new ideas.

At Helsinki city center, there were very few parcel lockers before Box in relation to the customer volume. As a result, we would have to increase the number of parcel lockers significantly in any case.

Box has our regular parcel lockers and Omaposti kiosks that are created for all of our outlets with the same partners. This means that they do not accumulate additional costs.

It has been very difficult to find suitable premises in the area because grocery stores, for instance, that often have a parcel locker on their premises, are often small brick-and-mortar stores in the city center. This is why we rented our own premises with a fixed-term lease.

Sustainability and recycling have also been taken into account in Box’s furnishing. For instance, furniture no longer used at Posti is reused at Box.

No, because, at Box, we are testing several services that we will bring to consumers throughout Finland. Examples of these include the OmaPosti kiosk and OmaPosti app.