Peak season is fast approaching and, with restrictions coming back into force around the UK, it seems likely that the run up to this year’s festive season will be the biggest yet in terms of consumers shopping online. But for sellers, in being able to take advantage of the projected increased demand, it’s more important than ever to be able to keep up.

As the UK’s national postal service, Royal Mail is trusted and relied upon by thousands of online retailers and their customers. Between 2018 and 2019, more than a billion parcels were shipped using Royal Mail and Parcelforce, which works out at more than 40 parcels every second. Royal Mail is one of the most cost-effective solutions for small and lightweight parcels less than 2kg and its prices are also exempt from VAT.

In September 2020, Royal Mail announced that parcel volumes had grown 34% between June and September alone, an additional 177 million parcels as a result of a surge in online orders during lockdown in the UK. And in 2019, Black Friday sales in Britain jumped 16.5% compared with 2018 – with the volume of transactions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday up 7.2% and 6.9% respectively year-on-year – with 2020 set to increase that percentage even further.

This increase in demand is both an opportunity and a risk – it’s an opportunity for businesses that are well-placed to take advantage of it, including ecommerce sellers already set up for online order fulfilment, as well as brick-and-mortar retailers that have been able to pivot to fulfil orders through their websites.

But it’s also a risk for both sellers and retailers that lack the capacity to supply that demand. And, for some, it may be that that inability to meet customer demand ultimately results in a loss of business, despite the current online gold rush. Being able to scale your business during this time therefore is a challenge, part of which is being able to make sure that shipments can reach customers from workplaces or warehouses.

You can now use your own Royal Mail Online Business Account (OBA) or Parcelforce account with myCCL, helping your business scale to meet customer demand and customer expectations during the peak season.

myCCL gives you a clear, easy-to-use, responsive user interface, while booking and tracking orders, saving time and minimising frustrations.

With Royal Mail, you need to create an end-of-day manifest of all orders booked, then you need to print and hand it over either at collection or when dropping off at a Post Office. myCCL creates this manifest file, and with a single click passes it to your Royal Mail OBA to trigger billing.

And if you’re currently using a franking machine for Royal Mail shipments or uploading a spreadsheet to your OBA, you’ll also know that tracking shipments can be hard.

myCCL helps improve the delivery experience for your customer with the ability to track parcels to your customer’s doorstep using barcoded shipping labels and Royal Mail Tracked services. This cuts down the number of parcels lost and the time, effort and cost to you of sending replacement items.

You’ll see your Royal Mail shipments on a central dashboard with links to Royal Mail tracking that help your customer service team to answer any WISMO calls quickly and easily. A simple traffic light system for shipping statuses lets you see delayed shipments at-a-glance and resolve any problems.

With domestic shipping available now, we’ll also be adding Royal Mail and Parcelforce international shipping options to myCCL in line with paperless invoicing.

myCCL brings Royal Mail and Parcelforce together with other carriers for a streamlined order fulfilment process that can satisfy customer demand, meet customer expectations in terms of delivery experience and make sure that your business is well-placed to take advantage during this year's peak season.