Online shopping is here to stay. Despite the fact that the effects of the global pandemic are gradually receding, the convenience that e-commerce offers to consumers, coupled with the advantages and cost efficiencies experienced by retailers, mean that this method of purchase will continue to soar.
And, as with many trends that took hold during the COVID-19 lockdowns, this one too is evolving to accommodate shifting needs and to further increase efficiency and profitability. One such evolution in the world of online shopping is the increasingly prevalent use of the Touchless Outdoor Parcel Locker.
It is in essence a variation of the now-familiar BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) option where a purchase is made online but collected in a central location.
Using Outdoor Parcel Locker systems has the additional advantage of being detached from an actual retail location, making it available for buyers 24/7, allowing them to pick up purchases at their convenience without being constrained by a retailer’s hours of operation.
The advantages for the retailer making use of the Touchless Outdoor Parcel Locker system are vast. Most notable among the cost efficiencies is the elimination of shipping fees.
Many of these savings ultimately trickle down to the consumer as not having to pay for individual deliveries allows retailers to reduce prices and thereby become more competitive in the market and more appealing to customers.
The concept of outdoor lockers may cause hesitancy among those familiar with harsh Canadian weather, however, the units, such as those by Ontario-based Snaile, have been specifically manufactured to withstand these conditions.
The weather-proofing includes UV resistance, preventative measure to combat humidity and cold, and even options for full internal climate control for temperature-sensitive items. The result is a locker system resistant to heat waves, snowstorms, wind or rain, making it perfect for our often volatile weather fluctuations.
This enhanced durability makes Outdoor Parcel Locker systems especially attractive for retailers that want to offer a simplified smart pickup option to their customers. And the fact that they are contactless (enabling virtually touch-free collections) makes them even more attractive during these times when physical distancing is on everyone’s mind.
Even when you consider that retail locations are operating at or near full capacity, offering a contactless collection option is a savvy business decision. First because a significant number of shoppers will prefer it to the facing the crowds that come with in-store shopping, and second because it alleviates pressure from physical retail locations, allowing them to perform better in every respect.
In addition, Touchless Outdoor Parcel Locker systems work similarly to Smart Lockers for Office use in the sense that each deposit generates a new and unique access code and each transaction is recorded in the system’s cloud-based software.
This system can be seamlessly integrated with many other software applications used by a business or retailer for a streamlined experience. Moreover, the lockers can also accept returns, reducing reverse shipping fees and easing the burden on the staff in the stores so that they can focus on customer needs rather than returns.