With Amazon and Walmart competing to offer the highest customer experience, we’ve seen the delivery industry undergo dramatic change in the last few months. Expected shipping times have decreased from 5-7 business days to 2-day, same-day, and even 1-hour delivery. And while the speed of delivery has taken center stage in the modern shopping experience, the how and where packages are getting delivered has undergone equal change as well.
Amazon’s recent announcement of their in-home delivery program, Amazon Key, quickly follows Walmart’s announcement of a similar in-home delivery pilot program. Using smart locks, cloud technology, and mobile tracking, these programs aim to remove the pain points of delivery for consumers: inconvenience, monitoring, and package theft.
The fundamental change here is that consumers are no longer tethered to their traditional delivery addresses. New devices and software have created an ecosystem that makes deliveries far more dynamic, keeping processes seamless and consumers’ goods safe.
Packages aren’t simply dropped off to set addresses anymore, but rather to phones and homes and other places that are made accessible from the delivery ecosystem. This network of devices and the software that connects them, the DeliveryOS, has enabled numerous new ways to deliver items. Here are a few of the destinations made available by this operating system of connected devices.
Because people are always on the go, the delivery industry has gotten creative with ways to work around busy schedules. Daimler, a deliver-to-trunk smart lock company, uses smart trunk technology to allow delivery companies to drop off a shoppers’ goods safely into their car trunk.
Having the ability to give delivery companies brief access to safe storage units helps alleviate shoppers’ anxiety of package theft or damage in inclement weather. Dropping off at the traditional places—the porches of homes or front doors of businesses—has never been completely trustworthy. An August Home Inc study found that 11 million homes suffered from package theft in 2016. That’s 11 million reasons to find a safer solution, and trunks have become a popular first option.
Amazon, after leading the way in expedited delivery, has been working on other ways to make trunk delivery a reality. CNBC reported that the e-commerce giant has been in talks with Phrame, a smart license plate frame manufacturer, that would allow delivery drivers to access car keys from a safe compartment stored in the license plate cover to deliver items to the trunk.
2. In Homes and In Offices
Delivery directly into the homes of consumers means less work and greater convenience. August Home Inc and Walmart, for example, launched a program for in-home grocery delivery. If a customer is not home, the driver can enter a one-time passcode into the door’s smart lock. The customer is then notified and can watch the delivery through a video live stream on their phone as their fridge is stocked or their packages are dropped off just inside the front door.
Amazon’s Key offering is their version of in-home delivery powered by smart locks and mobile tracking. Using locks from Yale and Kwikset, ‘Key delivery’ notifies Amazon customers that a delivery driver is dropping off a package. Customers can check via a live stream video to see who’s at the door, and swipe up to unlock the door long enough for a driver to place a package inside.
Even with these security measures in place, there can be skepticism around allowing strangers access to customers’ homes. The adaptability of smart locks, however, means that in-home deliveries can just as easily be deliveries to garages or offices. The connected items of the DeliveryOS are being created to give consumers the options that make them comfortable and make their lives easier.
3. Wherever You Are
From a consumer’s perspective, the most important part of the shopping process is accessibility. The phone can now contain the complete 360-degree experience; consumers can discover, buy, try, exchange, and return all from their smartphone. Whether that be ordering items whenever you want or having them delivered to wherever you are, having that GPS computer in your pocket can go a long way in making the process simpler and more accurate.
In the same way that our mobile phones have enabled ride sharing, e-commerce retailers have found ways to leverage that information to make the consumer experience as convenient as possible. Your GPS location can become your new address, as is evident from companies that deliver rental cars to meal delivery services.
This idea of circumventing the traditional address has been used in a number of ways. For instance,what3words.com has undertaken the ambitious project of assigning a three-word phrase to 3×3 meter blocks on a grid across the globe. Instead of having a Mercedes dropped off to your phone’s location, you can have it delivered to larger.wool.watching (if you’re in Budapest, that is).
At its core, the innovations around dynamic delivery come down to allowing safe, convenient access to make delivery more efficient and consumers’ lives easier. The ever-expanding network of devices and software that make up the DeliveryOS are quickly changing the way we think about how packages are delivered. Whether it’s a car delivered to a phrase-assigned space or groceries loaded directly into the fridge in your kitchen, it’s clear that packages won’t be left out on your porch for much longer.
Deliv provides retailers with a same-day delivery service for online orders.