"What we saw in 2020 was that four out of five Australian households -- so almost 9 million households -- were making an online purchase at some point during the year, and included in that number was more than 1.3 million households that purchased in 2020 that hadn't bought online in 2019," he said.
"That can be attributed to two key factors: Regular shoppers are buying much more frequently online … but also quite a lot of new shoppers are entering the market for the first time. People are getting more comfortable with the online channel because there weren't many choices where they might have been able to go to a store before; they've had to go online to get what they need every day.
"What that's done for us is it's really increased the volume that comes through our business, and to cope with that we've had to invest in some cloud-native solutions which are able to scale as the business grows so much more dynamically.
"Events are really the lifeblood of our business … as parcels go through our network, we scan them, that gives you a measurement point on where that parcel is actually at in its journey."
The new event platform is being built on Google Cloud and uses a variety of Google Cloud tools including Big Query, Looker, and Anthos. It replaces a legacy platform that the company has had in place for "a number of years".
"The cloud-native event management platform that we're building at the moment really allows us to connect our customers, our consumers more effectively with really low latency data … and built-in security to get much better levels of visibility, but insights and control over the journey of a parcel through our network as it's happening. We've struggled to do this in the past," Farmer said.
Farmer added that being able to gain greater visibility of the way parcels move through the network, the company can be proactive in the way it manages the customer service experience when it comes to parcel delivery.