One of the biggest problems facing both ecommerce retailers and carriers alike is failed deliveries. No one wants a failed delivery, least of all the end consumer. The trek to a delivery depot, knocking on neighbours doors or hunting around the garden for a package left in a safe (ish) place isn’t the best delivery experience.
Currently a mid way solution is local collection, this can be click and collect, parcel shops from the likes of myHermes or Collect Plus, or lockers from companies like InPost. At The Delivery Conference one new business thinks they have the solution.
Pelipod assert that most alternate parcel delivery solutions (be they lockers or collection points) don’t address the root cause of the problem. Sure they avoid a missed delivery, but it’s still a mild inconvenience. Pelipod’s solution is to provide you with your own personal theft resistant box big enough to contain multiple parcels and capable of receiving deliveries from multiple carries in one day.
This isn’t just a lock box, the Pelipod is a smart box, each parcel you receive will be assigned a unique unlock code (either from a retailer who has integrated the solution, or by the consumer). The unique code will be included in the delivery address enabling the courier to unlock the box and deposit the parcel. Of course you will use a different personal code to unlock your Pelipod to retrieve your parcels.
Once a parcel is delivered your Pelipod will email you to let you know you’ve received a delivery.
It doesn’t stop there though, there’s a full audit trail. The Pelipod takes a photo each time the box is opened so there’s a track if a parcel really was deposited or if an item is removed.
What if the box itself is stolen? It can be secured with bolts to hard standing or alternatively securely attached with theft resistant cable to a suitable point on the house or eye bolt. If the unit is stolen then the Pelipod support team will not only remotely lock it down so it can’t be opened, they’ll also track its location using the smart internal electronics.
Retailers who integrate with Pelipod will have a unique insight into their customers. No longer will deliveries be hit or miss, they’ll not only know when the item is delivered but they’ll also know what time you routinely retrieve your parcels. This could give them knowledge such as if it’s worth upgrading your delivery to a pre-midday service or if you never collect your parcels until evening allowing them to use a lower cost service.
Knowing not when an item is delivered, but when you actually receive it can also help the retailer be smarter with their marketing. If they know the precise time you received an item they could potentially trigger a customer service email offering return information, offering tech support or even requesting an online review or product recommendation.
Larger retailers will also over time be able to track collection times which can give guidance for when they may need more customer support reps for return request or tech support thus managing their staffing levels more efficiently.
If you have returns your customer will also be able to leave them in the Pelipod enabling the retailer to provide a unique code to enable the carrier to collect the return.
Small online seller benefits
If you’re a small online retailer who’s daily shipments will fit inside a Pelipod you can work with your courier to enable them to collect your day’s shipments. Simply leave them in the Pelipod and your eBay or other marketplace orders will be shipped without you needing to wait in all day for the courier. Pelipod will take a photo before and after the courier collects so you’ll have proof that your parcels really were collected as well as having the peace of mind that only the courier with the unique code can retrieve your parcels. It’s certainly more secure than what I used to do… leave them unsecured in the greenhouse or shed!
Whilst Pelipod have some introductory offers on their website, ongoing cost to the consumer for a Pelipod is likely to be around £10 per month. That’s everything even including replacement batteries being sent to you when your Pelipod reports they’re running low. If you factor in time and petrol costs in retrieving missed deliveries it seems like a pretty reasonable cost and certainly favourable compared to some locker solutions.
What do couriers think of Pelipod
Couriers apparently love the Pelipod – it makes their lives easier. However it’s still fairly new and only rolled out to a relatively small group of end users. Here at Tamebay we’ve asked to test one so hopefully we’ll be able to tell you more soon.
We want to know if it really is easy enough for couriers to use with no instructions. Will they leave tracked and scanned parcels, will they figure out the one time code on the delivery address. What about parcels which need to be signed for, will they accept leaving it in the Pelipod as proof of delivery? If we can get our hands on a Pelipod we’ll do some tests with deliveries using a number of different couriers plus the postal service and let you know the results.