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Expert opinion

Romain BARRAUD, CEO of Welco
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In 2019, SprintProject published the barometer “ Delivery services: realities on the expectations of the French " directed by OpinionWay for SprintProject and GS1-France. This barometer compares, for the first time, consumer delivery practices on internet and in physical stores.

On this occasion, SprintProject wanted to give voice to young companies at the heart of these subjects.

What surprised you when reading the results?

To begin with, the recurrence of purchases: We already knew, more than 50% of French people consume at least once a month on the internet. Moreover, more than 20% French people order on the internet at least once a week while having new requirements. Among the latter, there is one in particular that caught our attention, that of the service around delivery. Whether additional, paid or free, the French expect much more than a simple promise of delivery.

In connection with what we have just cited, there are almost 7 out of 10 French people who have encountered at least one problem when ordering on the web; It’s alarming! In the majority of cases, the difficulty lies in the way the packages are collected; for many, it is necessary to travel to “drop-off locations” located far too far away with unsuitable time slots. This observation is all the more glaring in the countryside. Mobility problems in rural areas are even more present as residents of these regions buy more and more online.


From these observations we can detect a change in the consumption habits of the French. Indeed, in the past, when the French ordered, they were aware that delivery times remained approximate and that packages could be delivered several days late. These consumption methods were brand new and shipping was the main indicator that the French looked at. Consumer expectations were focused on the product.

Obviously, today is different. The French now want service, almost tailor-made! In the city as well as in rural areas because more and more proactive people are settling in the countryside while maintaining their consumption habits. So, the real challenges will be to recreate added value around parcel delivery. This is one of the main challenges for e-retailers in order to retain their customers. Today, the consumer, in addition to their package, wants proximity, to choose the delivery time, to be able to check the status of the order... The French want a quality service even if it means paying, rather than 'a free but limited service like that offered by Amazon. The service is valuable, the service has a price, and the shopper understands this.

How will these numbers and trends change for your business?

It has now been 2 and a half years since we imagined Welco “my parcel sooner”. At the time, with my partner, when Welco was just an idea, we knew that the quality of service was going to come back to the heart of the concerns of the French and more particularly the service around parcel delivery. If we look at the opinions noted by “60 million consumers”, no e-commerce site or carrier is spared. 75% cyber consumers hold the e-commerce site responsible for poor delivery...Yet it is not their responsibility, or even that of the driver who is only doing his job and is under daily pressure. However, this must change. To do this, we believe that a solution could come from innovative ideas and an upheaval of codes. The results presented also prove that the market has reached maturity and that the French people are fed up. These elements make us think that we can market Welco and that the French are ready to have their packages delivered in front of their homes, to their neighbors. Of course, it was painstaking work that we developed with human values and a profitable strategy that too many have forgotten due to the digital transformation of markets, that of field work. It is a job to be done daily and tirelessly. But today, we are forming a community which will, in the future, be of service to the French while creating social bonds. Due to our origins (we are two from Ardèche), we were aware of the problems encountered by residents of rural areas. Thus, we have never been afraid to meet future parcel receivers (Welkers) to explain to them our desire to provide a new service with the ambition of revitalizing their villages. Today, we get hundreds of additional registrants every month.


Finally, Welco digitalizes the relay points by bringing them together directly in the different neighborhoods; it is the link between the carrier and consumers who no longer want to chase their packages.

What will you do/do you implement to take advantage of it or protect yourself from it?

(laughing) To begin with, it's like a stretching session: 5 minutes of wakefulness every morning through keywords entered into a search database in order to monitor what is happening in our market as well as to monitor new consumer expectations. Our desire is to make Welco a general mobility solution and not just for parcel recovery. We set ourselves the ambition of reinventing the way of collecting parcels and sharing much more than that. We want to implement hyper segmentation by introducing a new network of the transport chain which will be complementary to the last mile with the aim of serving an exponential market and ever-increasing demand. We leave last mile delivery to those who know how to manage it. We will continue to implement additional solutions to those proposed today in order to make things even easier and more collaborative. Our ambition is to become the last meter solution thanks to a selected, verified community that we went to find in the field and that we convinced.


Furthermore, we believe that to take advantage of this change in consumption habits it is important to put the essentials back at the center of the table. We have a very precise idea of what we want to implement by reinventing the services that were the strength of yesterday's commerce. These services will be based around connectivity in order to respond to requests as quickly as possible and by adapting solutions for each need (parcel delivery or other additional services). We also aim to put humans back at the heart of the subject...we are talking about deliveries of the future with drones, robots or even autonomous vehicles...all this is very exciting and promising but let's not forget that nothing is more flexible, adaptable and efficient than humans. We therefore believe that the real strength to protect ourselves from a lack of service is to refocus on what a man can bring to the challenge rather than always wanting to optimize and or robotize.

We are confident that our community will do much more than collect packages via our platform on www.welcoandgo.com

To find out more about the 2019 barometer « Delivery services: realities on the expectations of the French »: contact@sprint-project.com welco

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