The news that UPS is to roll out its partnership with Latch – the keyless delivery provider – from pilots in New York and San Francisco, to 10 markets across the US, provides another indication yet that keyless delivery is set to go mainstream in the next couple of years.
Hot on the heels of Amazon’s $1bn acquisition of Ring in 2018, this initiative enables UPS drivers to receive a unique notification on their device once they scan packages for a Latch-enabled building. Notification gives them instant access to common areas of multi unit residences, without the need for anyone to let them in.
The benefits are clear:
For retailers it cuts down on the huge costs of missed deliveries – in the UK 5.6% of orders don’t get to their destination at an average cost of £14.35 per missed delivery (IMRG C&C Report 2018, p36)
And for consumers it takes away a major source of frustration – 84% of consumers find waiting for a delivery infuriating while 21% have missed five parcels or more in the last 12 months (Zebra: The Journey to Efficiency)
The market potential is mind blowing, particularly in the US where there are over 20 million multi-family residential units.
And even in the UK, where multi-family buildings are less common outside cities, it’s easy to see demand for the service, particularly in the grocery sector. Waitrose’s ‘While You’re Away’ service is set to roll out to 1000 customers this Spring following a pilot in South London last year.
However, it’ll be interesting to see how this trend sits with the growing consumer awareness of the environmental impact of regular home deliveries. Will convenience or sustainability win the day?
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