Package Volume Increase Means Greater Need for Automated Lockers

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Whether you are a retailer who ships orders to customers, or a multi-family property receiving those packages for your residents, you can attest to the continued increase in the amount of packages being sent.

According to the recently released Pitney Bowes Shipping Index Report for 2017, the United States has had an 8% increase in package volume from the previous year. What does that look like? A total of 11.9 BILLION packages sent in 2017. . .or an average of 37 packages per person! Multiply that number by your total residents and suddenly you have a number that can easily require a full-time job to manage. And, with that growth being attributed to the continued rise of eCommerce, retailers are also feeling the pressure to meet customer delivery demands.

Both retailers and multi-family property owners are meeting this challenge head on by utilizing automated locker systems as part of their solution. With a secure location for packages that can be accessed 24/7, automated locker users appreciate the convenience of retrieving their packages on their own schedule. But how do you determine how many automated lockers are needed per delivery?

A good rule of thumb is 1.75 lockers multiplied by the number of packages per day. So for instance, if you are managing 50 packages per day that would mean you would need to provide a minimum 88 lockers (1.75 x 50 = 88). Of course this just provides for an average delivery day and doesn’t take into account seasonality, like back-to-school or the holidays, where more lockers would most likely be needed.

Our product experts would be happy to help you determine the number of automated lockers appropriate for your situation. Simply contact us and see how easy it would be to add Package Concierge® locker systems into your location.

University Mailrooms Are Making Room for Lockers

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As students start arriving back on campus, university mailrooms are preparing for the rush of textbooks that will soon be arriving as well. In the age of ecommerce, it is no surprise that many students choose to skip the line in the campus bookstore and order their textbooks online instead. Websites such as Amazon, eCampus, and Chegg offer textbooks at significant savings- giving students yet another reason to order online. But while ordering a textbook is one thing, receiving it is another.

Although many websites offer speedy delivery, the journey a package takes across campus before arriving in a student’s hands can be lengthy. Mailroom staff must manually sort through the abundance of packages they receive each day, slowing down delivery time. This process can be stressful for the mailroom staff managing packages as well as students who have time-sensitive shipments.

Automated, self-service Package Concierge® locker systems offer a solution to these package management problems. Student housing communities equipped with package lockers and package rooms make it easy for their students and staff alike. Lockers relieve stress on mail center staff and allow students to retrieve their packages when it is convenient for them – whether that is between classes or late at night; their packages remain secure until they are able to pick them up.

The Package Concierge® system is designed to be “carrier agnostic.” Whether your Campus Mail Services organization exclusively delivers packages across campus – or if carriers such as UPS, FedEx and USPS deliver their own packages – our package management solution will work for you.

If your university mailroom is swimming in packages and in need of a solution, click here to learn how Package Concierge® can be the management solution for you or contact us directly to discuss your immediate needs!

Lockers are the Icing on the Cake for Your BOPIS Strategy!

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As ecommerce continues to grow, more and more consumers are choosing to do their shopping online. “Buy online/pick-up in store” (BOPIS) is becoming a favored option for both consumers and retailers alike. The convenience of shopping from the home, office, etc. and avoiding shipping costs has made this method a popular addition to the standard brick and mortar shopping experience. But how do retailers take this increasingly popular trend to the next level in order to provide the seamless experience customers demand?

One way that retailers are evolving with the trend is by incorporating automated locker systems, such as Package Concierge®, into their stores for order fulfillment process. Package Concierge® automated locker systems are a time and cost friendly solution on both ends of the spectrum. Lockers draw customers into the brick and mortar location, giving them the opportunity to make additional purchases and retailers can leverage the store for inventory and fulfillment. The Package Concierge® cloud-based proprietary software is designed to easily integrate with existing retail systems and if the locker is placed outside it offers 24/7 accessibility for order pickup. This accessibility increases customer satisfaction while providing a process that is efficient for customers and employees alike.

Ready to give lockers a try? Put us to the test! If you are ready to explore a pilot program we can have an automated Package Concierge® locker solution in your location, ready to use in as little as four weeks.

With an *NPS of 87, customers have spoken and they love using lockers!

Contact us today to learn more about our no-cost pilot program at (888) 388-6680 or retail@packageconcierge.com.

*Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric that measures customers’ willingness to… return for another purchase or service or recommend to their family, friends or colleagues. NPS is a number from ‐100 from 100. Scores higher than 0 are typically considered to be good and scores above 50 are considered to be excellent. Reference: Ikea ‐9; Costco 79. Source: Customer Guru 2018.

Buy Online & Pickup In-Store, Back to School Edition: Package Concierge® Reveals Top Tips for Retailers

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Innovator in Automated Locker System Helps Retailers Make the Most of Second Busiest Shopping Season of the Year

Boston–August 7, 2018—The back to school shopping season drives over $27 billion in retail sales, according to a new Deloitte report. And while the online channel continues to grow, consumers are exploring new ways to make shopping even more convenient. Research shows the Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) option is now responsible for nearly 30 percent of online retail revenue. That’s why today, Package Concierge, the innovator of the automated locker system, is revealing its top tips to help retailers maximize this movement and propel back to school sales this season and beyond.

“With the dominance of Amazon, and the continued growth of online shopping in general, retailers are pursuing innovation around fulfillment options,” said Penny Lasater of Package Concierge Retail.  “The popularity of BOPIS is the perfect way for today’s retailers to marry the best of both the online and in-store experiences to engage with customers, and the right BOPIS fulfillment system can make the difference between success and setback.”

Amazon has a reported 2,000+ digital lockers and it is estimated that by the end of this year, 40 percent of the U.S. population will have access to a Walmart pick-up locker.  Package Concierge is the creator of the leading digital locker management solution, with more than 20 million package transactions processed nationwide.

“We have a proven system that is focused on delivering the highest quality experience in the market, and because our system easily integrates with ecommerce platforms, Package Concierge delivers seamless BOPIS fulfillment for retailers and their customers,” added Lasater.

Package Concierge has identified five areas for retailers to focus on when it comes to BOPIS:

  1. Convenience is king: In our world where instant gratification tops all else, today’s consumers expect a new kind of convenience when shopping, so progressive omnichannel retailers must adopt BOPIS to accommodate changing demands. A recent study shows two-thirds of shoppers say multiple fulfillment options influence their willingness to complete a purchase.
  1. Cost cutting: BOPIS allows consumers (and retailers) to save shipping fees, while also expediting last mile fulfillment. Avoiding shipping fees was listed as the top reason customers like BOPIS, so it’s critical for retailers to offer a frictionless customer experience that also helps them save money.
  1. Vision quest: Retailers need to ensure customers can view store-level inventory when making an item selection. Shoppers today want their merchandise ASAP, and they’ll likely only consider items that are in-stock and ready for pickup, otherwise they’ll go to another retailer to find it.
  1. Don’t forget fulfillment: BOPIS doesn’t work if retailers don’t have a clearly stated fulfillment promise that they can consistently deliver on. Many retailers are meeting the expectation of availability within two hours for items in stock. Retailers must make their BOPIS process convenient AND quick. BOPIS falls short if consumers experience friction with fulfillment—standing in line to retrieve an order is a satisfaction killer. 
  1. Lock it up: Automated locker systems, like the one from Package Concierge, provide simple and secure fulfillment to ensure a positive BOPIS experience for consumers and retailers.  During the busy back to school season, it’s crucial that retailers capitalize on the increased traffic by providing shoppers with a seamless and pleasant transaction process. Research shows nearly 80 percent of BOPIS shoppers will make an additional purchase while at the store, and a happy customer buys more.

With the Package Concierge system, customers purchase items online and receive a secure authentication code via email and text that confirms the purchase is ready for pick-up. Once at the store, consumers scan their code at the locker system and retrieve their items. It’s simple, and it’s seamless and takes just seconds to complete. For more information about Package Concierge and its solution, please visit www.packageconcierge.com/retail.

 About Package Concierge

Package Concierge is the innovator of the automated locker system. Made in America with design and cutting-edge technology at its core, Package Concierge is the highest-quality solution in the industry, as the only secure and seamlessly integrated system for 24/7 package management that also meets all fire and safety standards. From its intuitive mobile app to shipping and returns, Package Concierge makes package management hassle-free for residents, property managers and retailers. Package Concierge was acquired by Gibraltar Industries in 2017. For more information, visit http://packageconcierge.com/.

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 Media Contact:
Aimee Eichelberger
312-952-1528

Introducing the New www.packageconcierge.com

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By now we are sure that you have noticed our  website has a new look! As our products and markets have expanded, we wanted to make it easier for you to find information and explore solutions to automate your package management. Naturally we have all the cool features you’d expect, like mobile responsive design and plenty of ways to contact us. Some of the other cool features our new website includes:

But we’re not stopping there- the next phase of improvements is already in the planning stages. Because we are always looking for ways to improve, if you have any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please email us. Happy surfing!

Package Concierge®: Florence Built, Gibraltar Owned

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You’ve known us as a great automated locker solution for your package management issues. But since it is what’s inside that matters, here is a little bit more about our story…

Our automated locker solutions are a fusion of the best of two companies:

  • Package Concierge® – who has been innovating package management software for over a decade
  • Florence Corporation – who has been setting the pace for innovation in the centralized mail and package delivery industry since 1934

Automated Lockers solve package management issues.

Package Concierge® founder Georgianna Oliver spent a year developing a solution to the escalating problem of package management before introducing her company in 2012. We were first to market with a solution that went beyond software that could only track the growing mountain of packages, and instead went directly to the heart of the issue – storage and security.

Partnering with Florence Corporation to develop an innovative automated locker that is Made in America, Package Concierge® offers the highest-quality solution in the industry. From its intuitive mobile app to shipping and returns, we are the only secure and seamlessly integrated system for 24/7 package management that also meets all fire and safety standards.

Package Concierge® was acquired by Florence Corporation’s parent company, Gibraltar Industries in 2017. A leading manufacturer and distributor of building products for the industrial, infrastructure and residential markets, Gibraltar’s mission is to achieve best-in-class value creation and shareholder returns through a business strategy focused on operational excellence, product innovation, acquisition growth and portfolio management. As part of Gibraltar Industries, Florence Corporation and Package Concierge® have the resources and reach to be your solution provider of choice.

With more systems and users being added every week, our automated locker solutions are installed throughout North America in a variety of business types:

  • Apartments
  • Retail
  • University
  • Corporate Office

We’d love to explore locker solutions with you! Together, let’s see how Package Concierge® can help improve your package management process. Simply contact us through our website, or by calling 888-989-7225.

Digital Journal Article Highlights the Importance of Package Management

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Penny Lasater, Package Concierge®
Senior Product Manager

As eCommerce continues to grow, more and more consumers are choosing to do their shopping online. Buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) is becoming commonplace due to the convenience of shopping from your home or office, combined with free shipping and faster delivery. But how do retailers take this business imperative to the next level in order to become a true omni-channel retailer?

One way retailers are evolving with this growing trend is by incorporating automated locker systems, such as Package Concierge® into their stores for order retrieval. Package Concierge® offers a time and cost friendly solution.

Our Senior Product Manager, Penny Lasater, recently spoke with Digital Journal about Package Concierge® lockers and the future of eCommerce. In the interview, Lasater discusses the importance of last mile delivery fulfillment and the technology behind Package Concierge® lockers. Check out the full article here to learn how automated lockers can be a solution for you.

Universities Evolve With Digital Lockers

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Lockers have long played an important role in student life. If you look at movies and TV shows filmed on school campuses, students are almost always shown hanging out and socializing around their lockers. Mingling in the hallways near lockers was a huge part of school life. Fast-forward to modern day and traditional lockers no longer meet student needs.

Out With The Old

The allure lockers held for earlier generations have all but vanished in this decade. Why are traditional lockers going the way of the dinosaur? The reason is pretty clear – technology. Today’s younger set loves its tech; after all, it’s all they’ve ever known. Old-school models no longer fit in the current educational setting. You figure between texting, social media and various chatting apps, students have multiple ways to communicate via technology so there is no real need to congregate and meet at lockers between classes.

In With The New: Digital lockers

One option many educational facilities are gravitating toward are digital lockers.

These locker systems offer a safe and secure way for students, staff and faculty to pick up their packages 24/7. The growing popularity of these smart lockers is not surprising considering the rapid rise and integration of smart technology and demand of expected amenities from students and staff

The locker systems are streamlining the campus mail centers and reducing labor costs by allowing all delivery carriers to access the systems. The tracking software and robust reports provided are a win-win for Universities and Colleges. The lockers have been seen across the country being installed in the spaces formerly occupied by cubbies and shelves. The students are thrilled not to have to stand in line for their mail or package delivery, and enjoy the ease of access with the swipe of a barcode from their phone or the entry of a PIN.

Technology is driving the future, and it’s not surprising school campuses are trying to adapt. For instance, today’s colleges and universities are looking at alternate solutions, which include tech-enabled classrooms and internet-ready shared spaces. Installing digital lockers decreases the logistic headaches for colleges not equipped to deal with the high demand for textbook delivery from purchases made at online bookstores.

Why Schools Should Seek Efficiency When It Comes To Lockers

Realistically, students today are all about smart technology and it’ll be increasingly important for higher education facilities to recognize this if they want to continue to draw applicants. Not only will tech add a great marketing aspect when trying to attract students, it’s also more practical for students and more cost-efficient for the schools themselves. Additionally, by integrating smart lockers, campuses better utilize their space, providing a higher level of practicality and feasibility.

Package Concierge® uses innovative technology to help college campuses gravitate toward meeting the needs of today’s faculty, staff and students. Made in America, our high-quality lockers are found on campuses across the U.S. Our 24/7 package management solutions can be sized and configured to meet the needs of any campus.

How The Digital Locker System Can Benefit Your Business

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Chances are, if you’re reading this digital article, then you’ve ordered something online. A lot of you have purchased something online within the past week. Some of us have ordered things online today and some of the packages may even be sitting in a digital locker system awaiting your retrieval.

According to a recent study from Forrester Research Inc., online retail sales in the U.S. are expected to increase 49.7 percent from $334 billion (2015) to nearly $500 billion (2019).

Today’s consumer is increasingly turning away from brick-and-mortar stores and shopping online, and with that comes an increased expectation when it comes to package delivery from retailers and e-tailers. Consequently, businesses strive to keep up in an increasingly competitive market.

To challenge big online brands like Amazon and eBay, brick-and-mortar retailers are creating their own online shops and turning to delivery and pickup alternatives to compete while also cutting costs.

 

How, then, are these smaller businesses competing with online giants? More and more online retailers and e-tailers are investing in intelligent lockers to beat the last-mile delivery problem – all while making it faster, safer and more accessible to the consumer.

A digital locker system benefits small businesses because it is a smart, secure way to store those packages, but also convenient to the consumer when they are ready to pick up their package. An added bonus: It drives foot traffic to their store. During a time when showrooming is becoming more popular (or when someone shops in-store and then actually purchases online), the added benefit of in-store foot traffic means that smaller businesses benefit from in-person sales, online sales and a decrease in the expense to package and ship the item to the consumer.

Condo and apartment complexes, dorms and school-based housing, and businesses alike are also benefiting from locker systems by improving their package delivery experience. Even traditional malls are getting in on the action. After the transformation from warehouses of retail stores to centers of experiences with game areas, fitness centers, bars and amusement arenas, malls are now becoming a location of choice for locker systems as consumers look for ideal places to enjoy their lives and still pick up their packages.

Digital locker systems provide a safe and secure place where packages can be managed without significant amounts of time invested by management staff – a location open 24/7 for residents to retrieve their packages whenever it’s most convenient for them.

Package Concierge® offers three levels of American-made, customizable locker storage solutions. All solutions allow users to manage their accounts through an app or desktop portal, and provide reports detailing the delivery history and other data can be accessed quickly and securely.

The Premier Locker Series

The Premier lockers can be customized to fit any space, including a condo hallway, business corridor or dorm parking garage, and feature a design being lauded by online publications. Have an L-shaped location perfect for a locker system? Package Concierge® can customize the design, shape and colors, and even split the system up if needed.  To top it all off, the Premier series features an 8″ x 10″ commercial-grade touchscreen interface with RFID reader, built-in camera and barcode reader.

The Express Locker Series

With a slightly smaller touchscreen (5″ x 7″) but still featuring a built-in camera and barcode reader, the Express series has three popular colors to pick from. The modular design allows for the Linux-compatible kiosk to be used either as a standalone system or with a more extensive system.

The Package Concierge Room

What do you do when someone orders an oversized package such as tires or a custom chair? The Package Room creates that safe, secure space for oversized parcels (or when the locker system is extra full!) and can be used as a standalone product or paired with the Express or Premier systems.

Three Ways To Improve The Package Delivery Experience

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Experience is Everything

Isn’t it all about the experience? When it comes to improving package delivery service, we have learned that many e-commerce merchants simply don’t know where to start. We’ll highlight three ways any merchant can begin the process of delivering a seamless experience, which in turn improves a buyer’s package delivery experience.

Major e-commerce giants make mistakes all the time. In fact, they seem to make their worst mistakes at the worst possible times, so merchants of all sizes should be proactive when managing communications in general. As merchants develop a better package delivery experience, brand image strengthens to grow the business.

Empowering customers with different ways to receive packages

The struggle is real when e-commerce merchants try to find solutions to the problem of last-mile delivery. Getting pilfered by a porch pirate is the least concern. A smart business understands the benefit of giving customers a number of package delivery options from which to choose.

Major shipping brands offer their customers as many as eight delivery options, based on how timely customers want their deliveries. We’ve seen small, growing merchants have much success with in-store pickup service alongside a range of delivery options. A smart merchant understands which products need shipping at all and which products require a more thorough experience for the customer.

Sending frequent delivery notifications

In any context, businesses that send their customers a variety of frequent communications have an edge over their rivals. Email, text messaging and a customer order-tracking page are three easy wins; however, social media has finally turned the worm for everyone, especially for merchants.

Social media puts customers in near-constant contact with brands as users share, rate and review content. It’s all about visibility to the customer, which is why successful brands take the time to address any negative publicity online.

Emailing delivery status updates has become par for the course, so if merchants don’t want to shank a drive and double bogey, they must develop constant communications with customers.

Offering branded and eco-friendly packaging

It’s a common mistake for merchants to focus on branding before operations, but once business starts flowing, the need for better branding becomes apparent. The good news is, offering green, eco-friendly packaging kills two birds with one stone.

To qualify as eco-friendly packaging, also known as sustainable packaging, packaging material must be: reusable, recycled or biodegradable. Paper, cardboard and biodegradable plastics are three basic types of eco-friendly packaging that are both safe for the environment and recyclable.

Eco-friendly packaging demonstrates that a merchant has the customer’s lifestyle in mind. Our recommendation is to make sure your packages are as eye-catching as possible. Customers come to associate with and, best of all, promote a brand that solves a common problem after delivering a package.

After all, it’s all about the experience. Improving a customer’s package delivery experience doesn’t happen overnight. Our advice is to start with these three basic tactics before thinking about a more comprehensive package delivery strategy.

At Package Concierge, we show the benefit of combining traditional package delivery services with innovative electronic package management solutions.