The pressure to increase the success rate of first-time deliveries is unlikely to diminish any time soon, least of all with 1 billion parcels expected to be shipped out by retailers this year.
While click and collect is growing in popularity, as demonstrated by recent news from John Lewis, a London-based firm has an alternative solution – the Pelipod.
Following a series of trials, the home-delivery box, that contains a camera and a 2G mobile connection, is now available to consumers across the UK.
Karl Wills, Pelipod CEO said: “Research tells us that over half of all UK consumers will avoid shopping online due to the current home delivery experience often being poor. At Pelipod we feel that home delivery should work without forcing the consumer to wait in for an online order or trek to a collection point if they missed the delivery. With a Pelipod, shoppers will never miss a home delivery of an online order again. Pelipod can even manage parcel collections from your home “
The durable box is secured outside a customer’s house to prevent theft and automatically emails the owner when a parcel has been delivered or a return collected. A unique parcel code is generated, in the form of a PIN, for each order by the user, who then inserts this code into the delivery address. The same is used by the courier to open the pod.
A camera is sited in the lid of the box, providing photographic evidence of a parcel having been delivered or collected.
The Pelipod won’t be for everyone, but no one expects there to be one single silver bullet that sorts out all the challenges faced in the last mile – that’s all about a combination of interventions, old and new (click and collect, lockers, boxes, flexible slots, neighbourhood collection points, the list goes on). It has a lot of things in its favour though. It’s use of PIN codes to not only secure the lid, but allow for tracking, for example. Sending notifications when deliveries and collections take place, and capturing them via in-built camera are big selling points too. Having it sitting outside your front door is, obviously a win from the point of view of convenience.
Is it big enough for most of the things people order? In the main, probably. You won’t get your new washing machine in it. But you wouldn’t want to.
There may be a job to be done in convincing people they need a box outside their front door, to take deliveries, and that they should get into the habit of generating codes to include in delivery instructions. But once the peak period kicks in, it’s quite likely this will start to feel like an idea that has come into its own.