Have you ever had to stay home waiting for the delivery of groceries ordered online or wanted to order online but couldn’t do it because nobody would be home to receive the groceries? Occurring to online shoppers globally, the problems are the very reasons why generally online shopping cannot expand their businesses. In the final analysis, customers prefer to go to the stores/shops to buy groceries/goods when they are free and convenient to pick them up in person. Despite better offers and promotional discounts, these online shops are considered as the second, lesser choice simply on account of such basic problems. In Sweden, a new type of delivery has emerged, especially with regards to fresh food or groceries which are delivered right to the kitchen cabinets or even refrigerator in the customer’s home and even when the owner is away! Yes, you heard right. It’s in-home delivery, down to the syllables.
PostNord AB, a Scandinavian logistics company, is collaborating with the ICA AB retailing (supermarket) corporate group in initiating the new type of delivery mentioned above which is being tested among 20 households in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. In conducting the test, they promise that “the delivery staff will take off their shoes and put the groceries away in order even when the customer is not at home.”
Of course, for them to have such close access to the customer’s home, property safety is the first thing that comes to mind. Solution? Grocery delivery service directly to the kitchen comes with a new add-on door lock manufactured by the Swedish startup Glue AB. The customer is required to have the lock installed on his/her door, which can be unlocked only with the delivery staff’s smartphone. Besides, an option is provided on the lock for the customer to decide (despite his/her absence) whether or not he/she would allow the deliver staff to enter.
Ms. Kiku Mlosch, a 29-year-old German and Product Manager living in Stockholm, participated in the testing of this delivery system. Touching on her experience as service user, she said: “I am satisfied because I don’t have to personally wait for the delivery at home. As for the safety system, I am not too worried because I am not the kind of person who would leave a diamond ring lying around the house anyway. At any rate, there are other people including the house-cleaner who enter the house when I am away. So, it appears to be a risk under control.” In addition, a logistics expert from Massachusetts Institute of Technology was of the opinion that the project was effective, could actually be converted into reality and would take less time to implement than delivery and pick-up by drones, which was a future option and concept.
The test was a part of the effort to solve the annoying problems which are core problems facing retail business as well as logistics service providers/companies who have to cope with diverse customer demands and have no need to tackle the schedule of customers who are unwilling to wait for delivery at home. Solutions by logistics service providers, be they in the form of points collected through purchase or delivery lockers, have proved unsuitable when it comes to delivery of fresh food. In the end, customers still prefer to personally buy goods at the stores/shops. But through in-home grocery delivery, PostNord is expected to be able to more effectively manage the cycles of delivery while reducing operating and other costs.
In-home in absentia delivery helps enable logistics service providers/companies to handle the ever increasing volume of online retail business as found out by e-Marketer; a digital marketing research company that demonstrated how 2016 online retail business will amount to approx. 8.6 percent of all global retail business that is worth over USD 200 billion; a 23 percent increase from the previous year. At the same time, a survey based on over 1,000 US online shoppers shows that more than 50 percent experience problems from receiving goods from stores/shops, which means logistics service providers/companies are burdened by costs incurred in the storage and care of goods ordered online. (The government-owned corporation Australia Post increased storage fees by 9 AUD last May.) Asin-home in absentia delivery is still in a testing stage. No additional service charge had been imposed on customers but it definitely will be in the future.
Costing 277 USD each, Glue Smart Lock is a small-sized electronic motor that is mounted on the inner side of the door. The user can carry the key everywhere and can also specify the time of entry into the house by outsiders, family members or delivery staff through smartphone app. At the same time, he can find out the position of the lock via a built-in sensor. There are system-related issues to be improved such as the number of persons allowed to enter the house by unlocking the smart lock. In the U.S., like in Sweden, August Home Inc. is conducting a system test on unlocking the door with one-time-use digital-access codes.
Likewise, the Swedish automobile giant Volvo on its part is conducting a test on delivery of goods/parcels in the boot of the customer’s Volvo which is linked with the internet system for the customer’s convenience. Yet, to PostNord, not everybody owns a Volvo but everyone’s house definitely has a door. If the grocery delivery model is realized, logistics service providers’/companies’ business opportunity will definitely be tremendous.
Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics
Reference and picture credits: wsj.com, pixabay.com,telegraph.co.uk