How we helped deliver Yodel's first ever customer app



Executive Summary

For parcel carrier Yodel, delivery – both literally and figuratively – is the name of the game. They deliver millions of parcels every week through their nationwide network of service centres. At every stage, their business model relies upon delivering an experience that is efficient, pleasant and agile.

Illustration shows a lime green parcel pointing to the Yodel app user interface, showing how the parcel is tracked by the app

The end consumer’s experience is continually monitored through their award-winning ‘Have Your Say’ survey, which receives around 4,000 responses a day, providing valuable first-hand customer insight.

It was this primary research at the heart of Yodel’s business that led them to Calvium.

The right information at the right time

As Lynsey Aston, Head of Digital UX, Product and Design at Yodel, explains: “We use our ‘Have Your Say’ survey to assess shoppers’ views on new ideas, technologies, and products to make sure we’re continually delivering what the market wants.”

Yodel surveyed its retail clients’ customers to assess the appetite for a free mobile tracking app. At the time, 57% said that they would favour an app as their preferred method of tracking parcels – a sizeable majority, but not quite compelling enough to embark on a large-scale project. Fast forward a year and a half, and an overwhelming majority of 73% said that they would download a mobile app.

“The survey clearly showed there was significant customer appetite for an app, in line with trends throughout the service industry towards a personalised delivery experience,” Lynsey says.

Apart from the survey results, the business case for building an app was solid from the outset. Previously, customers were notified of parcel tracking via SMS alerts, which – apart from lacking the smooth UX, detailed personalisation, and overall grace of a mobile app – had some significant cost implications for Yodel.

As Lynsey explains: “The high-level business case will attribute the saving from moving customer SMS alerts to free push notifications as a cost recovery within a 12-month period – providing the investment required to build and release the first phase of the app.”

While virtually free to run, in-app push notifications do come with their caveats – but Yodel’s extensive consumer research meant they knew exactly what information their customers wanted to receive, and when.

The proposal was put through Yodel’s internal pitch process; but with a clear mandate from their customers, and a compelling business case, they were given the green light to embark on their inaugural app journey.

Laid against a lime green background, multiple screenshots of the Yodel app user interface are stitched together to show how the app works
Screenshots of the Yodel app


The delivery process

For Yodel, trust was a huge deciding factor in choosing the right partners to bring their first ever customer app to market. Having collaborated on various projects together before, this sense of trust brought Yodel, Bristol-based digital marketing agency e3 Media (now known as Great State), and Calvium together in partnership.

Working in a cross-company, co-creational team, meetings were lively and productive.

The whole team is highly professional and knowledgeable, with a good sense of humour, adding an all-important fun factor to our interactions.

Lynsey Aston, Head of Digital UX, Product and Design at Yodel

The brief was simple: to enhance the experience of Yodel’s parcel delivery service for its end customers. Customers want to receive their parcel on time, in good condition, with effective communication along the way.

Throughout the build process, we ensured our own process was just as timely, exemplary, and transparent. Yodel worked closely with our Client Services Director, Tom Melamed, who Lynsey said: “showed amazing commitment throughout: from managing expectations, to generating ideas and running the team sessions – he was always available and on hand with knowledge and expertise.”

Although Yodel knew that speed was of the essence, so was getting it right – the app was to become one of the main faces and customer touch points of the Yodel experience.

What impressed us most was how you understood the deliverables of our business, and how everything comes back to customer experience. Most importantly, you knew exactly how to translate that into practice - from push notifications, to getting it into the app store. The team has a great work ethic, with bags of personality.

Lynsey Aston, Head of Digital UX, Product and Design at Yodel

From start to finish, the entire project took four months. Lynsey praised our responsiveness to this timescale, saying “It was a really speedy project from end to end. Working with you was great because whenever we came across an issue – which is going to happen on a project of this size – you were really proactive, and ‘on it’ straight away.”


Up close screenshot of the Yodel app - showing how the parcel is tracked against a map, with estimated delivery time, how many stops the driver has to make and where the safe place to leave the parcel is. At the bottom of the screenshot there are also buttons for 'Webchat' and 'customer services'Yodel’s app has now launched, but – as Lynsey is keen to point out, and as Calvium know all too well – app development is rarely a finite process. Understanding this, Yodel is already implementing UX interviews to make sure the app continues to meet customer demand, and intend to add more innovative features in the future.

I would be absolutely happy to recommend Calvium. They work with you, deliver on their promises, and work really well at supporting our business’s third parties, not just our business. We look forward to continuing our work together to grow our app into something really special.

Lynsey Aston, Head of Digital UX, Product and Design at Yodel

Whatever your deliverables, we will work collaboratively with you to see them through. Get in touch for a chat: 0117 226 2000 /

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