In anticipation of the holiday crowds and increased e-commerce orders, Pitney Bowes has partnered with Luxer One on a new locker system for order pick-ups. The venture is Pitney Bowes’ first buy-online, pickup-in-store service, and it will target consumers who have time-sensitive packages to pick up.
“Today’s consumers are demanding expedited delivery performance with over 30% of orders directed to in-store pick up,” said Jason Dies, EVP and vice president of sending technology solutions at Pitney Bowes. “Intelligent lockers provide a physical solution to help retailers satisfy this online demand.”
The aptly named Intelligent Lockers solution combines the Luxer One locker product with Pitney Bowes’ SendSuite Tracking Online technology. When a customer places an order and opts to pick up in-store at a locker, SendSuite communicates notifications, parcel location details and secure digital passcodes or barcodes to recipients via their mobile phone.
Once at the locker, customers use the touchscreen to login and access their order. Security is provided through a camera check-in that confirms the identity of the consumer, protecting the chain of custody. Real-time updates are shared with any mailroom managers or retail supervisors, but the lockers are designed to free up employees that might otherwise use time to check in customers and locate orders.
The partnership with Luxer One comes after a recent Pitney Bowes study that showed in 2018, 87 billion parcels were shipped in the world’s 13 major markets; this is forecast to increase to 200 billion by 2025. While the locker application can be used for all retail markets, Pitney Bowes believes it is particularly suited to the shopping habits of students.
“This generation [has shifted] to online commerce and the desire to interact with apps and smartphones,” said Dies. “They opt for text over emails and prefer the convenience of user interfaces and kiosks over manned centers. Colleges [and] universities lack space in their mail center; our intelligent locker helps colleges and universities become more productive, removes long wait times for students and accounts for all packages received and delivered.”
For retailers, the in-store pickup option can drive digital traffic to the physical store and create opportunities for additional sales. It is also a way for smaller retailers, who might not be able to compete with next-day shipping guarantees, to provide a fast — even same-day — alternative for their consumers, without the delivery fee.
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