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Key Takeaways from the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season

The 2019 holiday season was one for the books!
In fact, Americans spent more money than ever this holiday season. Between November 1 and December 24, holiday retail sales increased 3.4 percent from last year, with online sales growing almost 19 percent. Holiday e-commerce sales made up 14.6 percent of the total retail sales.1
In addition to record-breaking sales, the 2019 holiday shopping season also generated a major influx of package deliveries. In fact, UPS delivered about 800 million holiday packages – up significantly from the 750 million packages that UPS delivered in 2018, while FedEx delivered 37 million packages following Cyber Monday alone, a 17 percent increase from 2018.
This overall increase in package deliveries had a significant impact on multifamily communities during the 2019 holiday season, and unfortunately created an even greater burden for property managers. Luckily, there is a solution to property package management problems: installing smart package lockers.
Solving the package problem helps provide peace of mind to property managers. With Parcel Pending multifamily locker solutions, property managers are no longer burdened by the time-consuming and costly process of accepting, storing and delivering resident packages. In fact, some property managers are spending as much as 24-hours a week managing residents’ packages. That’s a significant amount of time that could have been better spent on more business-critical tasks or other resident support activities.
What’s also important to note is that the number of packages a multifamily property receives increases dramatically during the holiday season. In fact, the average apartment community typically receives 150 packages per week, and that number jumps to 270 packages per week during the holidays – an 81 percent increase. The National Multifamily Housing Council reports that more than one-third of property managers say their community’s package storage solution is not adequate during high volume periods like the holiday season:
“The Parcel Pending lockers are helping us to not have as many holiday packages stacked up in our office. The packages were overwhelming, and we just didn’t have enough space for them,” stated Maria Faulkner, resident services coordinator for City Lights in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “The residents love the Parcel Pending lockers and are so thankful to be able to access their packages 24/7.”
Property managers, however, aren’t the only ones that benefit from smart parcel lockers. Residents do too! Residents like them because they no longer need to worry about missed deliveries, package theft or rushing home before the management office closes to get an important package. Unlike cameras alone, parcel lockers provide physical protection and security for packages, not just a deterrent that may or may not be effective. Parcel lockers in residential communities provide residents with 24/7 access to packages where they live, so residents don’t have to go offsite or rearrange their schedules while waiting for a courier.
Smart lockers provide these additional benefits:

  • Mobile Package Management
    By using innovative Bluetooth technology, Parcel Pending’s mobile application makes it easier and faster than ever for residents to manage and retrieve their packages. With the mobile application, a resident’s smartphone securely communicates with the Parcel Pending system, allowing them to quickly and conveniently open their locker door by simply tapping a button on their app. Residents can save valuable time by no longer having to search through their emails or text messages looking for their unique code. Residents can also receive push notifications, view their package history and set vacation mode.
  • Enhanced Resident Search and Package Management
    The “Find Resident” tool enables property managers and couriers to search all residents that have a Parcel Pending account on the system. This helps enable couriers to deliver packages to the correct resident. It also enables property managers to manage packages and open locker doors where each package is located.
  • Seamless Delivery of Multiple Oversized Packages
    Our package room enables couriers to deliver multiple, oversized packages to a single room, while still requiring residents to use a pickup code at the touchscreen. Through the authentication process on the locker touchscreen, users can access a secure room with video capture where their package has been delivered.
  • Superior User-Friendly System
    Our system features a user interface that contains helpful hints on how to operate the lockers. Additionally, the screensaver can be branded to match the brand or aesthetic needs of the property. In addition, our lockers provide cloud-based security cameras to monitor the lockers and all package pick-ups.
  • Administrative Retrieval of Packages
    Property managers have the ability to seamlessly find resident packages that may have been misplaced in one of the lockers. The property manager can then reset the notification to the resident with the correct location of their package.
  • Custom Oversized Package Options
    Property managers may customize the delivery options for oversized packages. If a package does not fit into a locker, a customized message is displayed to the courier on the touchscreen letting them know to deliver the package to the office, the package room or another designated location. After the package has been delivered to one of these locations, a notification is sent to the resident letting them know where to pick up their package.

The major takeaway from the 2019 holiday shopping season is that online and mobile shopping are continuing to gain popularity. With the rise in online and mobile shopping comes a subsequent rise in resident deliveries and packages; installing an outdoor package drop box can help avoid package theft. Property managers need to invest now in savvy solutions like Parcel Pending’s multifamily lockers to be prepared for an even greater influx of packages in the 2020 holiday shopping season.
To learn more about our Multifamily Locker Solutions, visit our website.

  1. Press Release “Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. Retail Sales Grew 3.4 Percent This Holiday Season.” Retrieved from: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191226005032/en/Mastercard-SpendingPulse-U.S.-Retail-Sales-Grew-3.4