Myths and truth about pickup points: how to open a pick-up point in 2022 and not burn out

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In general, there are quite a lot of myths and misconceptions around the subject of pickup points – and therefore let’s figure it out together how to open a pickup point in 2022? And in general, how much can you earn at your point of issue of orders? 

It should be recognized that even in the current turbulent economic situation, there are some areas of business that not only “remain afloat”, but are also rapidly developing. Can such a direction as the opening of a pick-up point for online stores (or abbreviated PVZ) be attributed to the latter?

At first glance, the pandemic has only played into the hands of many online stores. Due to the fact that shopping centers have been closed for a long time, the delivery of online orders has become the only opportunity for the population to purchase completely different groups of goods – from children’s toys to digital electronics and wardrobe items. Now most of the restrictions have been lifted, but people have retained the habit of ordering goods online, and a significant proportion of customers prefer to pick up their order at the pickup point on their own. 

The result is impressive growth for many online retailers despite a decline in purchasing power. 

The business of issuing orders also looks very attractive for start-up entrepreneurs in terms of initial investment – you can start a small pickup point with a rather modest amount of 200,000 rubles.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the following queries are not uncommon in search engines: “How to open an order pickup point? What does a PVZ business plan look like? How to open the Wildberries pickup point. With the latter, by the way, the situation is generally funny – a well-known online retailer has not yet worked with partners and franchisees, developing exclusively its own network of pick-up points. However, many ignorant in this matter believe that Wildberries has such a network, and for some reason they are even sure that you can make good money on it.

In general, there are quite a lot of myths and misconceptions around the subject of pickup points – and therefore let’s figure it out together how to open a pickup point in 2022? And in general, how much can you earn at your point of issue of orders? 

PVZ classification

So, you have decided to open your own pick-up point. First you need to define the concept. 

Automated and non-automated. Let’s start with the fact that pickup points are divided into automated (the so-called post-amates) and non-automated (that is, those in which employees who issue orders to customers work).

Monobrand and multibrand. Further, the points of issue of orders can be classified into mono-brand and multi-brand. That is, some of them provide services for the issuance of parcels of a particular online store, and some work immediately with many online trading platforms. Which option to choose is up to you. In the case of working for one specific online retailer, on the one hand, there will be fewer orders, but on the other hand, you will be paid more for them. For example, the same Ozon pays monobrand pickup points more than those who “spray” on others. True, only 10 rubles, but when the number of orders issued is in the hundreds and thousands, there is already reason to think.

Work with online stores and delivery services. It should also be borne in mind that pickup points can work with both online stores and transport companies (delivery services). In 2021, Ozon and Wildberries took on the most dense development of points for issuing orders from online stores, and PickPoint and Boxberry delivery services share the palm among logistics providers in terms of the number of open pickup points. 

By the way, another misconception about pickup points – many people think that it is profitable to open an AliExpress pickup point, but in fact the Chinese online giant … does not have its own pickup points in Russia. So, startup theorists will not be able to “raise the dough on Alik”. The issuance of orders from the AliExpress online store in Russia is handled by the same PickPoint, which is the general partner of the trading platform from the Middle Kingdom.

By the way, it is the opening of a point of issue of orders for a delivery service franchise, in our opinion, is the most rational option. The most popular providers of such services in Russia are Boxberry, Hermes, PickPoint, Maxima Express, DPD and CDEK. Their advantage is the huge number of E-commerce players that each of these delivery services works with. And that means a good amount of work is guaranteed.

Business registration

To register a PVZ, you will need to register a legal entity. Still, it is better to open an individual entrepreneur at the initial stage of starting a business , but an LLC is justified only if you plan to carry out courier delivery to the address in parallel.

True, no one prevents you from opening a pickup point in addition to the main business (and many do, you will understand why later). OKVED codes for registering a pickup point will need the following:

  • 47.91 Retail trade by mail or via the Internet information and communication network; 
  • 47.99 Other retail trade outside shops, stalls, markets; 
  • 52.10 Warehousing and storage activities; 
  • 82.92 Packing activities; 
  • 82.99 Other business support service activities, n.e.c. 

Room selection

The right choice of premises is extremely important when opening an order pick-up point – after all, it is its location that will indirectly affect the number of orders issued. Successful options for business will be premises in close proximity to shopping centers and large chain grocery retailers, small premises with good pedestrian and car traffic in the center of the metropolis (the main thing is that the rent is low), and vice versa – premises for commerce on the first floors of high-rise buildings in remote sleeping areas (in this case, the factor of the absence of competitors nearby will play a plus).

However, each major representative of the e-commerce segment usually has a clearly defined list of requirements for the premises of franchisee partners, which may vary. For example, CDEK requires partners to have at least 35 square meters, and Boxberry’s appetites are more modest – 20 “squares” will be enough for a pickup point.

Accessibility for customers plays an important role – and therefore it is important to provide for the proximity of parking for cars, as well as public transport stops.

It is also important to create conditions in the premises that ensure the safety of goods and money – you cannot do without video surveillance and alarms, but most likely, for your own peace of mind, you will also have to conclude an agreement for remote security with the nearest private security company.

In addition, the choice of premises will also be affected by the specifics of the goods that you plan to issue. For example, when cooperating with a large online clothing store, you cannot do without several fitting rooms, and when distributing digital equipment, you will need several additional sockets in the client area for the convenience of checking the gadgets’ performance.

Purchase of furniture and equipment

The cost of purchasing furniture and equipment for the pickup point is minimal. This is primarily a rack for issuing and unpacking parcels, a cash register, a computer (or laptop), as well as a printer and scanner. At first, it is quite possible to meet the 50,000 rubles.

Another expense item is the purchase of racks for storing parcels (10,000 rubles), video surveillance cameras for the client area (5,000 rubles). You will also need to conduct the Internet to the point of issue and organize Wi-Fi in the client area using a router (plus 2,000 rubles).

It is not worth investing a lot of money in decorating the premises – it will be enough that your pickup point will always be clean and tidy. As practice shows, customers of the point of issue pay much more attention to the level of service than to the presence of expensive repairs. To maintain order in the pickup point, take care of hiring a cleaning lady or a cleaning service (3000 rubles per month).

To summarize, the purchase of furniture and office equipment with everything you need will require a rather modest amount of 70,000 rubles.

Marketing and sales

Marketing activities when launching a pick-up point are divided into online and offline. With the latter, everything is quite simple – an outdoor advertising sign is made (30,000 rubles), leaflets are distributed in the entrances of the nearest apartment buildings (15,000 rubles). 

But with online everything is much more complicated and interesting at the same time. On the one hand, a certain influx of visitors will be given to you directly by the franchise partner by posting information about your point of issue on their website. 

The problem is that in the immediate vicinity of you there may be a dozen other points, and therefore a certain internal competition for the client is already included. And it is on what first impression customers leave about working in you that their further revisiting of your pickup point will depend. To do this, we recommend introducing the identification of the level of customer satisfaction (or as many call it NPS) – after a visit, you can collect feedback by sending an SMS message with a link to the survey.

In addition, social networks can be developed, with particular emphasis on promotion in groups in the nearby area. Customers will be able to find out more information about promotions taking place in online stores through you, which will create additional traffic.

Staff

With the staff at the pickup point, everything is usually quite difficult. The reason is banal – finding responsible and decent employees for the payroll that is laid down in the business model is usually quite difficult. There is simply nowhere to get big salaries, especially at first, in this niche, is it not at a loss to work for yourself? 

Therefore, special attention should be paid to the training of personnel, their careful selection and security checks. The thing is that orders worth tens and hundreds of thousands of rubles pass through parcel delivery points every day, and some unscrupulous employees sometimes try to “swindle” with money or steal expensive goods, for which the entrepreneur himself is primarily responsible. Therefore, we repeat – cameras and cameras again. The bigger, the better.

Difficulties with personnel also arise due to the rather high moral burden on the employees of the customer hall of the pickup point, because not every client is satisfied with the parcel received. Sometimes conflict situations are possible, which not every hired employee (and even for a small financial reward) is ready to constantly level out. You don’t need to look far for examples, it’s enough to recall not only the pickup point, but also larger “analogues” – for example, Russian Post offices or the issuance of parcels at bus stations.

Tariffs for PVZ

To understand how much you can earn at the parcel pick-up point and how profitable it is, we suggest considering specific figures using the example of the tariffs of Ozon, the most promoted online retailer in Russia at the moment.

So, drum roll – for each parcel issued, PVZ receives from Ozone … 30 rubles. For compliance with the terms of service for franchisees, the online store pays extra 5 rubles per parcel. And for another 5 rubles, you can get hold of the point of issue for compliance with other requirements in accordance with the Agency Agreement. That is, 40 rubles for an issued parcel – the ceiling that can be obtained from Ozon.

However, not every buyer is ultimately satisfied with the order – and therefore sometimes parcels are returned to Ozon, and the PVZ will earn from this … another 15 rubles. Another source of income for the point of issue is the commission for accepting cash, however it is also low – and amounts to 0.3 percent of the accepted cash amount.

However, the numbers look frivolous only at first glance. It quickly becomes clear that with a large flow of parcels issued, you can earn money, that’s just the main question – how quickly you can get a good spin and reach the planned indicators. By simple calculations, we come to the conclusion that even for a daily income of 5,000 rubles per day, 125 orders will have to be issued. And we have not yet touched on the cost part. And therefore it is a high time to pass to financial indicators.

Financial indicators of the pickup point

Starting investments. Above, we have already mentioned that for the minimum equipment of the point of issue of orders, all the essentials inside will require a minimum of 70,000 – 80,000 rubles. Of the external costs – the manufacture of a sign (about 30,000 rubles) and the minimum advertising with the manufacture of POS materials – 15,000 rubles. 

However, another significant expense item at the start of this business is the rental of premises. The average cost of a conditional 20 “squares” on the first line of traffic in a passable place will be about 30,000 rubles, plus at the start, as a rule, most landlords require a deposit for the premises in the amount of one more month of rent. Total plus 60,000 rubles (and this is if you are lucky enough to do without the services of a real estate agency).

Investments in opening a pickup point

COST ITEMAMOUNT, RUB.
Equipment
A rack for issuing and unpacking parcels, a cash register, a computer (or laptop), as well as a printer and scanner50,000
Parcel storage racks10,000
Security cameras, Wi-Fi, cleaning and more20 000
Advertising
Signboard30,000
POS materials15,000
Rent
Room rental 20 squares30,000
Monthly deposit in advance30,000
Total:185 000

Total: 185,000 rubles will be enough at the start to open a pickup point. At first glance – cheap and cheerful. Let’s go ahead and move on to monthly expenses.

Monthly expenses. In addition to the aforementioned rent for the premises, you will have to spend on utility bills and the Internet (5,000 rubles) and salaries of employees in the amount of “fifty dollars” (two people with a work schedule of 2 in 2 days and an income of about 25,000 rubles each). It turns out that the monthly costs for the work of the point of issue of orders will be about 85,000 rubles. 

Monthly pickup costs

COST ITEMAMOUNT, RUB.
Rent30,000
FOT (2 employees)50,000
Public utilities5000
Total: 85 000

Revenue. By issuing about a hundred orders per day (and it will not be possible to reach such volumes immediately), the PVZ will bring the owner 4,000 rubles of profit in the best case, or 120,000 rubles per month of work seven days a week, excluding expenses.

Net profit. Thus, minus expenses, the monthly profit from the point of issue of orders will be about 35,000 rubles. 

Payback period. The payback period when calculating 100 parcels issued per day is about six months, but we would add here another 2-3 months, which will take to build up. Total – symbolic 9 months for carrying your new business.

Is the game worth the candle with such an income in the PVZ? Yes, as in the case of opening a tobacco shop (you can read about this line of business here ), the initial income from one unit of such a business is small, but it does not require large investments, it pays off quite quickly and with a high degree of probability, and most importantly, it scales easily . Having gained experience, you can always open a second, third, and so on after one point, and so on, significantly increasing the level of income.

But you can also open a pick-up point on the basis of another operating business – for example, a retail store, and in this scenario, the cost of renting a room is deleted from the list of expenses. If you already have a store that pays for itself, why not open a pickup point on its base, freeing up part of the premises? Many entrepreneurs do just that. In a word, there is scope for creativity here.

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