With the help of smart home technology customers can manage delivery to their homes remotely
Zalando and bpost join forces to explore the potential of in-home delivery and in-home pick-up for Zalando customers
90 percent of participants who tested the technology say they would continue using the service
BERLIN / ANTWERP, DECEMBER 13, 2018 // This autumn, bpost and Zalando launched a one-off test in Belgium to examine the potential of in-home delivery and in-home pick-up for Zalando customers. The test focused on finding out how customers interacted and responded to this new service, and how comfortable customers were with the idea of a delivery person accessing their home while they weren’t present. The collaboration also aimed to learn what it took to get customers on board with the idea.
50 percent of online shoppers in the test group would feel comfortable with in-home delivery
In the first phase of the test, 750 online shoppers were surveyed about their willingness to try the service and how they would feel about receiving a parcel, or having a parcel picked up, while not at home. The study showed that 50% of online shoppers stated they would feel comfortable trying in-home delivery by bpost. Another key finding is that people frequently receiving deliveries, e.g. online shopping, food deliveries, at their door are more open to in-home delivery and pick-up services.
In the second phase, participating homes were equipped with a so called “smart doorlock” and “smart doorbell.” With the help of this technology, customers can remotely open their door and thus give access to their homes. Customers were asked to order items on Zalando and schedule a delivery with bpost. They also scheduled pick-ups for items they wanted to return.
One key finding of the second phase of the test is that customers are really convinced. In fact, 90 percent of participants said they would continue using the technology even after the test. Another takeaway is that once the hardware is installed and people experience the service, convenience wins over concern.
“Every customer has their own needs and delivery preferences,” explains Patrick Leysen, VP Future Lab at bpost. “To adapt our products and services to these needs, bpost’s Future Lab develops and tests innovative solutions together with long-time partners like Zalando. Our two companies share the same objective: make the lives of our customers as easy as possible. Today, thanks to the bpost preference tool, our customer can already choose between various delivery solutions when they’re not at home: a safe place, with a neighbor or in a pack station known as a ‘Cubee,’ for example. Tomorrow, services such as in-home delivery and pick-up will bring the customer experience to an even higher level for Belgian customers.”
“Testing is deeply embedded in Zalando’s DNA. We continuously innovate and rethink our 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. Together with bpost, we look forward at engaging in close dialogue with our customers,” says Jan Bartels, VP Customer Fulfilment and Logistics at Zalando.
The way it works is very simple. On arrival, the bpost courier rings the “smart doorbell” which is directly connected to the customer’s phone. The customer identifies the bpost courier and remotely unlocks their door via their phone. The bpost courier slides the package in and closes the door. The delivery is streamed; customers can monitor the whole process remotely and interact with the delivery person. They are always in control to deny access for whatever reason and at any time. The aim is to give the customers full control and transparency throughout the entire process.