According to a McKinsey & Company report, Covid-19 was a period for retailers to focus on customer experience (CX). With that said, parcel lockers have joined the retail party! There are numerous reasons for customers to opt for parcel lockers and chief among them are convenience and low cost. Also, they help with returns. Most importantly, they encouraged a safe return to physical stores amid the pandemic. Whether a fad or not, time will tell! But for now, they are popular and practical.
What Are Parcel Lockers?
Parcel lockers are a storage solution. They use integrated technology that helps automate package notification, delivery and distribution. So, right from order placement to its collection, parcel lockers can take care of it all. Also, note commercial reputations are at stake. So who can benefit from parcel lockers? Customers are the obvious beneficiaries of this innovation. When it comes to businesses, parcel lockers are ideal for those dealing in logistics and delivery services. These include retailers, grocery stores, eCommerce shops, and others.
Why Are Parcel Lockers so Successful?
What makes parcel lockers a successful option is the simplistic delivery and return system. It is incredibly straightforward and benefits both customers and the store.
● Delivery: When a customer purchases an item online, they get a choice for shipping or delivery location. And they can include either a home or work address or send it to a locker. Once delivered, the recipient is notified of the location with detailed instructions. All the customer has to do is enter the verification information and access the delivery.
● Returns: Parcel lockers also cater to product returns. If you find the item damaged or different from its online image, you can place your returns back where you received them.
Another reason why these are effective is they appeal to all kinds of customers. So, Gen Zs and millennials, families or retired folks can all subscribe to these lockers. Apart from convenience, parcel lockers are among the fastest and inexpensive delivery options. It comes to the rescue, particularly when you are not at home to accept deliveries.
Getting down to business: Benefits of parcel lockers
A renewed customer experience
The click-and-collect mechanism through lockers enables customers to retrieve their orders at a time most convenient to them. For added convenience, customers can opt for outdoor parcel lockers. These render 24/7 access. Say that you are in the office on a client deadline. You can finish the grind and then go collect the package. Integrating parcel lockers into the retail strategy leaves the store associates to focus on customer satisfaction and sales. That is, the associates no longer need to pay attention to retrieving orders. The automated lockers take care of that.
The so-called enhanced customer service also helps improve impulse purchases from customers. They will come in-store to retrieve their orders, and in doing so, they can pick up an extra item or two in the bargain.
Provide a free, convenient delivery and returns process
It is often a challenge to overstate the convenience of parcel lockers. Nonetheless, they offer anytime access.
In today’s digital age, nothing is convenient without at least a text notification. Customers no longer need to wonder about their package arrival. The parcel lockers can send notifications to the smartphone. The message includes the locker code information. All you got to do is stroll up to the parcel locker with your phone. So, enter a one-time PIN code or QR code, and the parcel locker door opens to your order. What’s more, returning the package is just as simple.
The need for enhanced security also stems from the risks of package thefts. Parcel lockers provide a reliable avenue to collect the package from a safe and stress-free place.
When it comes to safety and reliability, there are several configurations and features available for businesses. With that said, your retail store can configure the parcel locker for each installation. Also, retailers can choose from a variety of locker sizes. The sizes vary from 3.5 x 24 inches for small to 29 x 24 inches for extra-large lockers. You can customize the extent of safety for the packages through features such as industrial touch screens, cameras, barcode readers, badge readers and tamper detection.
What’s more, you can add alarms and notification systems. You can opt for optional technology such as video area surveillance, receipt printer, siren and payment module.
Branding & Promotion
Retailer and grocery shops can also fulfil their branding and promotion endeavours at the back of parcel lockers. Businesses can imprint and incorporate their logo and colour palette onto the locker. Doing so helps to strengthen the brand. It also directs customers to their parcel.
Reduction in shipping costs
About 82 per cent of shoppers find shipping costs to be too high. And parcel lockers render an effective way of driving down these costs. Retail establishments no longer need to ship thousands of small orders to individual customers. The parcel lockers offer a bulk-delivery solution wherein the company can deliver the packages to the on-site locker station. Also, this BOPIL (buy-online-pickup-in-locker) option curbs the risks of lost or misplaced items and tackles delays in delivery.
Robust reporting to determine the return on investment
As mentioned in the beginning, parcel lockers use integrated technology, which includes reporting and metrics. The retailers now get insights on key performance indicators (or KPIs) that help with performance evaluation and ROI calculation. The reports include occupancy, turnover, pickup size, and other aspects of the parcel locker station.
The retail gamut includes convenience stores, grocery stores, cafes and pharmacies, among others. With that said, each would need personalized and fitting strategies for their business. However, with parcel lockers, customers get to view and hold products to confirm their buying decision, bypass checkout counters and peak hours, and finally, avail of any time pickup using their phones.