Consumers are not yet used to delivery lockers

Online shoppers have not yet taken to deposit lockers as a delivery method, and only 12% of them would choose to receive their order in this way. Despite this, big brands, including some very big players in the logistics and delivery market, continue to believe in the development of the concept. There is nothing unusual about home delivery being the preferred delivery method in France (88%), just as it is among all European e-commerce customers, but what’s the reason behind customers’ distrust of locker systems when similar click and collect schemes have been well received?

 

Automatic instructions: learn from our failures

The fiasco involving Polish company Inpost, which promised the installation of more than 1,000 automatic lockers and had attracted many large distributors (CDiscount, Grosbill and Promod, etc.), has left its mark. It revealed two factors in particular that are key for the success of this model: firstly, the importance of the number of collection points (lockers) and secondly, the seamlessness of the technology, which must make the experience simple and efficient. The time required to collect a parcel from a locker is an estimated 10 seconds, on the condition that the locker is nearby at the time and the pick-up information reaches the online shopper’s app in good time. If the experience is seamless, the customer will undoubtedly see the advantage of being completely free to pick up their order from the locker whenever they want, with the promise of availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week being a component of this proposal.

 

So, is it worth it?

According to the partnership signed between Amazon and SNCF railway stations in France, the answer is yes. Amazon Locker, the American giant’s automatic pick-up system, is set to befor deploymented in 980 stations across France. The partnership both provides customers with additional services at the stations and also creates more traffic for the stations themselves. Amazon will fully take on the costs of this new device. However, as Jean-Sébastien Léridon (the Managing Director of the click and collect service Relais Colis) states in an interview with tech publication JDN,

‘the lockers are expensive: double that of a traditional pick-up point at a shop. You have to take into account the cost of installation, maintenance and rent for the site, which is often situated in a very busy area.’

 

The instructions seduce the big brands

For their part, major brands also use the lockers, such as the 350 installed under the name Pick-Up Station by DPD group. Similarly, Nespresso, Zalando and even Kiabi are locker enthusiasts and sometimes achieve almost 10% of their turnover via these delivery points. According to Pick-Up, which manages a mammoth 36,286 delivery points in Europe, nearly 95% of the population is within 15 minutes of a Pick-Up point! The service seems to benefit everyone, since Pick-Up promises a significant surge in traffic at each delivery point, an increase in turnover by 15% and, to top it all off, a 35-cent commission per parcel delivered.

 

Delivery: a company in full explosion

The delivery business is rapidly growing and reinventing, for example, the concept of proximity. Online Shoppers’ need to be served as quickly as possible and as close to them at any given point in their day is both paradoxical and extremely demanding in terms of logistics. Automatic and intelligent lockers could be the answer to this problem. The system has yet to win the trust of consumers and certainly depends on the quality and speed of the information transmitted.

To read also: The battle for the last mile: the challenges of getting access and building connections