What Are Smart Parcel Lockers and How Are They Useful?

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Even with the effects of the global pandemic gradually being forgotten and the world returning to normal, it has changed the way people shop forever. Online shopping has only soared and will continue to rise in popularity due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness.

With so many people ordering online, companies started looking for reliable and faster solutions. This is where smart lockers come in.

Outdoor parcel units provide buyers with the advantage of picking up their ordered items at their convenience instead of waiting around for the delivery man.

Let’s take a closer look at the notable features of a smart parcel locker unit and how they work exactly.

How Do Smart Parcel Lockers Work?

Smart or electronic parcel lockers turn the concept of traditional lockers into a lot more convenient and safer by functioning digitally. The security of an outdoor locker is typically in the form of smart locks or digital keypads on a specifically made app or portal.

When an online customer wants to choose a smart parcel locker as a delivery option, they will need to follow these steps:

  1. Pick the item you want to buy, and proceed to checkout on the supplier’s online store. In the delivery options, choose the “Pick Up at Locker” option.
  2. The facility where the locker is located will receive notice of this through their online system or portal.
  3. The facility staff will find a free locker and place the item in there. They will also create a one-time password for its smart lock.
  4. The exact locker and passcode will be sent to the customer, with a notification that their order has arrived.
  5. The customer will go to the parcel locker at whatever time is convenient for them and pick up the order.
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Popular Types of Parcel Lockers

Cluster Box 

Also known as the community boxes, these parcel lockers are right next to the collection box units. The term is commonly used by the USPS. People who live in condos and apartments where the communal area for packages isn’t secure or big enough to store heavier or larger packages often use this option.

The cluster box parcel locker is provided by USPS for customers. Each user has their own specific key which they don’t need to pay the company for.

Will Call DropBox

Will Call Dropbox has unique keycodes for every locker that goes with every order. As compared to the B2C models, these are mostly used for industrial purposes where there is a lot of construction involved.

To simplify the receiving and fulfillment process for supply chain professionals, distributors, and electrical wholesalers, they are used. With this parcel locker, you have 24-hour access to your packages.

Retail Locker

Nowadays people rarely use lockers because everything purchased online can be delivered at home, but sometimes it’s not the case. if you have to claim a larger order at a counter, it can give you hours of standing in a queue and missing out on other essential stuff to do but an electronic retail locker can help ease the process.

As a retailer, if you want to give your customers a seamless experience, it’s time to invest in retail pickup lockers. The lockers are frictionless with a store access code sent to the receiver’s phone which only stays valid for 24 hours.

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BOPIL Locker

BOPIL is an acronym for Buy Online, Pick Up Later, and it’s exactly what the name suggests. Stores that let their customers have online access to all of their products use such parcel lockers for delivering products and order fulfillment.

This electronic locker is frictionless and offers a more convenient shopping experience. BOPIL is often confused with BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up in Store) while there is a big difference between the two.

The reason many retailers lean toward the BOPIL option rather than BOPIS is that it’s less costly. Customers have the convenience of being notified when their package is ready to be picked up at the retail store

Features of Smart Parcel Lockers

24/7 Accessibility

The convenience provided by intellectual parcel locker systems for both residents and property managers is outstanding. Residents can conveniently and safely retrieve their packages at any time of the day. 

They are also provided tracking information throughout the process. Property managers won’t have to coordinate and assist with package deliveries either.

Contact-Free Delivery

In times of crises, like a global pandemic that spreads disease through germs, many customers prefer contactless delivery.

Smart parcel lockers have features that can make it safer for residents to access their packages, including self-sanitation and using a barcode or wireless connection-based app to open the locker without touching it.

Monitored Package Delivery

A major problem with package delivery in most countries is theft or scamming. Electronic outdoor lockers completely eliminate this issue as they monitor and verify every delivery and customer pick-up.

Their infrared sensors and built-in cameras ensure the packages are delivered and received without problems.

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