Sending and receiving packages was never supposed to be complicated. Twenty years ago, you wrapped up an item, wrote the delivery and return address, and then sent it off at the post office. Problem is, twenty years ago, nobody had any idea how e-commerce would completely shift the way people think about buying.
Now, more people prefer shopping online to buying in person, and most of those online purchases come with a shipping request. This means billions of packages being delivered each year and billions of packages shipped as returns.
It should also be noted that e-commerce is still a growing market. This means the number of billions of packages that are being served up each year is going to increase. To stay ahead of the curve, businesses need to recreate this locker model in order to offer the same reliability and convenience as their competitors. To do this, the first step is determining what your business needs.
What Are Parcel Lockers?
In today’s e-commerce world, Parcel Lockers provide a whole new offering for industries of all kinds. At its core, a smart locker is a type of storage solution that uses integrated technology to automate package notification, delivery, and distribution. Retailers, grocery stores, and other e-commerce shops can use these lockers as a safe and secure pickup point. Once the package has been delivered, the recipient will receive a notification of the location along with detailed instructions. All the recipient has to do is enter in their verification information and then they will be able to access their delivery.
Why Are Parcel Lockers so Successful?
The key to understanding parcel lockers’ success is its simplistic delivery and return system. The idea itself is straightforward. It is an easy delivery and pickup system for both the store and the consumer.
- Delivery – When a consumer purchases an item from an online retailer, they’re given a choice of where to ship the package. They can include a home address, a workplace address, or send it to a locker at any of their locations.
- Returns – Was the item damaged? Was the real product nothing like the image online? Not a problem. With parcel lockers, you can place your returns back where you received them.
Great For Consumers
It’s hard to say who benefits more from having lockers set up around cities, the businesses or the consumers. Businesses gain peace of mind, knowing that package delivery is one less problem they have to deal with. And consumers benefit in all sorts of ways:
- Convenience – It’s hard to overstate the convenience of using parcel lockers. Consumers can walk up to the lockers any time (assuming the building they’re housed in is still open), punch in a code on the screen or scan their phone, and the appropriate locker pops open. Apart from it being convenient, there’s something satisfying about this process.
- Multiple locations – Whether you want to pick up the package on the way to work, pick it up near home, or send it close to a friend’s house as a gift, having multiple locations to choose from helps consumers ship their packages to their convenience.
- Text Notifications – Instead of wondering when your package will arrive, smart lockers send notifications directly to your phone. The locker code is included in the text message, so all you have to do is walk up with your phone, and voila!
- Package theft – Porch pirates have been known to swipe packages off of people’s doorsteps. Unfortunately, this is more common in some areas than in others. If this is a possibility in your neighborhood, the ability to pick up the package at a safe, reliable location makes buying online stress-free.
How They Can Benefit Your Industry
If you own a housing complex or are part of an HOA and want to provide your residents with a safe mailbox, Parcel Pending lockers can help. Here are some things to consider for multifamily homes.
- Lockers can hold packages larger than a mailbox.
- Residents won’t complain about lost or stolen packages.
- Parcel lockers are compact and can easily fit within a narrow entrance hallway.
- Parcel Pending ensures delivery with 24/7 customer service.
If you live in a single-family home, there’s a Parcel Pending locker for this too. Individualized smart lockers come with three different sizes for packages, and they can be set up right next to your front door.
It can be tricky to adapt to the changing retail landscape. If you own or manage a retail business, the limits of using smart lockers for retail depend on your creativity. Different sectors within retail have created personalized strategies fit for their business. Here are some common uses of Parcel Pending lockers:
- BOPIS – Buy online and pick up in-store. This is the newest craze to hit shoppers, especially around the holidays. Customers want the convenience of buying online combined with the benefits that come from shopping in person. With smart lockers set up inside the building, customers can:
- Return an item before bringing it home
- View and hold a product to confirm they want it
- Avoid checkout lines and busy hours
- Pick up on their schedule, using their phone to collect their purchase
- Drive micro shoppers to your business – Micro shopping is defined as shopping done in five minutes or less. These short trips make up a good percentage of a retailer’s profits and can’t be underestimated. By setting up lockers inside your store, you’re inviting customers to make an additional purchase while grabbing their packages. Perfect for:
- Convenience stores – 7-Eleven and other convenience stores thrive on micro shopping. After installing smart lockers, many stores boast higher sales due to increased foot traffic. Customers come in to pick up their package and see the snack and drink aisle, making their stomachs growl.
- Cafes – What’s better than receiving a package? Receiving a package with a cup of coffee in hand, of course. At least, this is the logic behind smart lockers inside coffee shops. And it works! Because cafes, juice shops, and other similar business models survive on micro shopping, they’re the perfect place for setting up lockers.
- Grocery Stores – Whole Foods have implemented grocery-specific lockers to their repertoire. If your business is trying to compete, Parcel Pending offers specialty lockers fit for anything a grocery store sells. Refrigerated lockers are perfect for frozen food, cold items, flowers, and produce, while standard lockers can store other groceries.
- Pharmacies – Because Parcel Pending lockers are secure and can only be opened with a user’s phone, pharmacies are better able to regulate patients’ needs. Because pharmacies will often close down sooner than the rest of the store, patients can use lockers as a way to pick up medication on their schedule. And with all the convenient locations, patients won’t have to travel as far to fill their prescription.
Around the holiday season, American workers will spend almost two hours per day shopping online. While this number isn’t as large the rest of the year, it still does speak to the freedom people have to shop while at work. With most e-commerce sites taking as little as a few minutes to make a purchase, buying a friend’s birthday gift between meetings is doable.
Also, as a result of doorstep theft, employees are having packages sent to their work address. Which means the entire shopping cycle is happening in and around commercial businesses. Some employers look unfavorably on employees who use work hours to shop, but with the rising convenience of e-commerce, this habit is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Instead of changing employee behaviors, it’s better to streamline their processes to make them efficient. Having a locker set up in your commercial business will eliminate the time needed to accept, sort, log, and distribute packages. Employees can walk over to the lockers during their breaks or at the end of the day and pick up the packages themselves. This way, they can return to work as soon as possible.
Students account for a large percentage of products sent and delivered each year. With the number of textbooks each course requires, one semester can average around fifteen packages for books alone. On top of this, there are care packages, clothes, decorations, and everything else students need for university life.
Inserting smart lockers into dorms can be an easy way to make mail delivery service reliable and cost-effective.
Benefits of Using Parcel Pending Lockers For Your Business
For all of your business’ needs, smart lockers are a tool that’s there to help. From streamlining the shopping process to making delivery efficient, Parcel Pending can work with your business to increase revenue and decrease headaches. Mentioned above are all the benefits for consumers. For companies, smart lockers offer just as much:
- Increased revenue – When a customer uses your lockers, they’re going to be frequenting the store. This will turn into micro shopping trips that will generate revenue for the company.
- Data analytics – With Parcel Pending, businesses receive information on how consumers are utilizing these smart lockers. With the full range of analytics, companies can better streamline their delivery systems and optimize where necessary.
- Eliminate inventory errors – By removing the middleman from the equation, lockers help companies keep track of their inventory. As soon as an item is purchased online, mark it off, and leave the package in the locker.
- Customer Loyalty – With convenience, comes customer loyalty. Consumers are happy with the customer experience and happy to revisit stores that make picking up purchases hassle-free.
Why They Are Great For All Consumers
parcel lockers changed the way businesses and consumers think about delivery and returns. Now, a buyer expects these processes to be done seamlessly and efficiently. And companies who don’t have the infrastructure set up are lagging behind. To avoid losing customers, businesses are utilizing parcel locker strategies.
Parcel Pending offers convenience, along with data analytics and specialty lockers, to fit any business’ needs. When you streamline the shopping experience and provide free locker pickup, you save money on shipping costs and don’t have to worry about stolen packages. For customers and businesses, smart lockers are a win-win.