The stay-at-home order put in place during lockdown meant buyers could not travel to stores with the same ease anymore. That, in turn, prompted yet another boost in online shopping. During peak periods, the numbers showed a whopping three quarters of Canadian consumers shopped online. This was when Smart Parcel Delivery Lockers started to become a critical improvement for online retailers.
With items from all aisles, from groceries to pet supplies, cleaning products and apparel, being sold online, the demand for easier and more convenient delivery systems has increased accordingly. Touchless Parcel Delivery Lockers fit the bill perfectly and, as such, are fulfilling this need across the country.
The traditional way of bringing items to buyers was direct delivery to their doors or mailrooms. But with the recent volume of products, the process became overwhelming, parcel theft was increasing and an alternative solution had to be found. This was especially important for sprawling communities and large suburbs where last-mile delivery could become expensive, less than efficient due to mis-delivery, or simply took too long. The solution? Intelligent Lockers in Vancouver, for example, which are virtually ubiquitous now – and the trend is rapidly spreading across Canada.
Put in simple terms, they are the middle-ground solution between home delivery and in-store pickup. This solution is elegant and easy to implement. Parcels are delivered and stored in secure lockers situated in easy-to-reach locations. The buyers can access their parcels in the locker via a single-use code sent directly to their smartphones. Once a package is picked up from one of the Parcel Delivery Lockers, the compartment can then be used once again for the next parcel in line. A smart monitoring system tracks the status of each deposit and collection and new, secure access codes are generated for each and every delivery.
This creates a streamlined process where the lockers are used to their full potential because the individual compartments do not have a permanent designation. Buyers benefit by having items delivered to an easily reached, secure location and sellers save a lot on delivery costs, passing some of those savings onto the buyers, making the arrangement a perfect win-win scenario.
What began as an experiment in innovation quickly became an exercise in prudent business practices and it is now without a doubt an option most businesses should offer their customers.
While it may seem to be just a variation on the buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) solution, there is in fact a significant difference. BOPIS lockers are situated at or very near the retail locations, whereas community access locker installations tend to be in far more convenient locations and are shared by multiple retailers and carriers, making it significantly more convenient for consumers to make use of them.
We fully expect Intelligent Lockers in Vancouver and across Canada to be one of the widely used last-mile delivery options, well into the post-pandemic world. And we also expect that industry leading manufacturer and distributor of this technology, Snaile – Canada’s Parcel Locker Company – to lead us into this future.