German online retailer Zalando has teamed up with the Belgian postal service bpost to trial in-home deliveries, in which delivery personnel are granted access to customers’ homes.
The trial saw participating homes equipped with a “smart” doorlock and doorbell.
The bpost courier would ring the smart doorbell, which sent a smartphone notification to the customer’s smartphone.
Customers could then remotely open their door to provide access to the delivery company and watch via a video stream as the courier placed the parcel inside. The same technology can be used for returning items to the retailer.
The findings of the test were positive, with 90% of participants saying they would continue using the technology even after the test.
The companies also carried out a survey of 750 online shoppers, with 50% of respondents saying they would be comfortable trying the delivery method.
Jan Bartels, VP Customer Fulfilment and Logistics at Zalando, said the test was an effort to rethink “services to offer our customers more flexibility and variety.”
“In-home delivery could be an interesting new option for our service portfolio. Technology opens an array of possibilities but we also see that customers demand transparency and detailed information on the service.”
Patrick Leysen, VP Future Lab at bpost, said: “Every customer has their own needs and delivery preferences.
“Our two companies share the same objective: make the lives of our customers as easy as possible.”
In October Waitrose & Partners announced it would be the UK’s first supermarket to trial the delivery of groceries to customers’ homes while they are out.
The trial uses Yale’s smart lock technology, enabling the customer to grant access to a Waitrose delivery driver by setting a temporary access code for the lock which is then sent to Waitrose via a secure app. The code is then sent to the driver’s device at the time the customer has booked for the delivery and is deleted once the delivery is complete.