For the second part of this 3 series article about what we like to call “Lockernomics” or the most economics-related field of the implementation of package lockers, we would like to touch on some customer experience facts.
Lockernomics has everything to do with customer experience.
While economics is the social science that studies how people interact with value, customer experience concerns everything that affects a customer’s perception and feelings about a product or service.
In this second Lockernomics article, we shall review how and why customers perceive the value they are getting out of the use of lockers, and why lockers again excel.
Depending on the product or service, different features or considerations should be taken into account as more meaningful to customer experience.
In the case of package lockers, and parcel distribution at large, some of the most commonly mentioned attributes that are taken into account when considering customer choice and therefore are part of the overall customer experience are Price, Reliability, and Convenience.
On top of these attributes, we could also add a few more, like Sustainability, Safety, Social Considerations, or Customer Service, as well as others, but, for the matter of explaining how the overall experience is achieved, we will limit the discussion to the previously mentioned ones.
Package Locker Price
One of the deciding factors for customers when choosing the delivery method is price. While many customers choose package lockers solely due to this reason, all others also perceive the price as important and judge it against the value they are receiving in return for it.
Subscription services are now available in an increasing number of geographies, along with free delivery. In these cases, price becomes less important in terms of customer perception and lockers mostly tend to differentiate from the alternatives in terms of the other attributes.
Nevertheless, cost concerns remain of the utmost importance for logistics operators and eCommerce players, but especially to the customers if they need to support it.
Package Locker Reliability
Customer experience in parcel distribution has a lot to do with managing customer expectations and anxiety being this attribute in many cases more important than speed of delivery. By depending mostly on technology rather than on human interaction to provide the last quarter-mile stretch, package lockers increase overall network and systems reliability.
When comparing lockers with to-door delivery the metrics make it clear. The average success rate for a first delivery attempt is only around 90%, compared to package lockers that provide almost 100% successful deliveries.
Lockers are available 24/7 and allow for delivery and access capability in contrast to just around a 12-hour delivery window provided by to-door couriers.
Smart lockers are also a real-time saver as clients can be certain there will be no queues or time lost for parcel retrievals or returns. They also provide more reliable up-to-date information regarding the service, in addition to offering more consistency of delivery within the requested time frame.
But clients truly come across one of the most important reliability factors provided by lockers during peak periods.
When network capacity is pushed to the limit and to-door delivery fails, lockers prove their worth by giving clients the consistency they expect. By not depending (as much) on the number of vans and manpower available, and by educating customers to retrieve their parcels in the shortest time frame possible.
Locker capacity can be greatly leveraged with little investment, providing a more scalable delivery solution.
Package Locker Convenience
When talking about convenience in terms of any retail business or service, location is the first idea that comes to mind, and rightfully so!
Concerning parcel lockers, this is also paramount, with a recent study in a European country concluding that location is the most important factor when choosing a parcel service provider, outweighing the delivery time and price of the service for about 45% of respondents.
But how come location plays such an important role in terms of convenience concerning the package locker distribution model?
Maximum distance to a locker is a fundamental benchmark for convenience.
Being able to provide a dense locker network that places clients at proximity of up to 400 meters or 5 min walking distance, is thus imperative. In this regard, package lockers can only match to-door parcel delivery by being located at the clients’ premises.
This solution is already being attempted in condominiums and new upscale apartment buildings where this type of convenience is valued as an important amenity to its residents.
This solution can furthermore allow for proximity services such as laundering, groceries to be received or even be used for storing and sharing personal items.
Besides distance, location is also important in terms of the best sites where to place the lockers, especially if they are en route or at specific locations. Supermarket stores, shopping centers, and (public) transport hubs offer the best potential, but office buildings, retail stores, Universities, curbside, parking garages, and gas stations also provide feasible alternatives.
In addition to the above, the ability to offer proper visibility and access to the locker, within a secure environment, preferably with easy or available parking with yet again 24/7 availability, are further enhancements that are valued by customers.
Convenience is further enhanced through the provision of services through a customer-centric easy to use interface.
It is also sustained through in-depth use of IoT, mobile, and cloud technology that provides package lockers the ability to render value-added services such as the ability to re-route the package to other location, delay delivery, no labeling requirement to send parcels, but most importantly the ability to send returns effortlessly as these account for around 25% for items bought online.
Finally, convenience is also guaranteed by the contactless experience and the absence of the need to find other alternative solutions if there is no one at the requested delivery site to receive the parcel, as well as to the short delivery time they provide if properly managed by logistics operators.
Customer experience is mostly about emotions, feelings, perceptions, and cognitive evaluations, and these affect the assessment of quality and value received by customers when buying a product or service.
By providing a low-cost, highly reliable, convenient, and flexible delivery option, lockers offer an outstanding service.
Customer preference is confirmed by the satisfaction ratings, as several surveys and studies attest parcel lockers as showing the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) when compared to the other alternatives.
What’s next for the Package Locker Industry?
After having covered the economics of the package locker distribution model in terms of overall value and customer experience, the next article will focus on externalities and the impact that the last mile has on our health, urban living, and the environment and how it can help us achieve decarbonization targets.
How can Bloq.it help you and your business?
At Bloq.it we are at the forefront of locker systems integration and development, besides providing our lockers custom-made for several uses. Our solutions are already being used by many companies that have already proven their worth across several European countries.
Want to discuss more how Bloq.it can help you and your business? Reach out to one of our specialists
Content written by Miguel Neves.