As ecommerce takes an ever bigger chunk of spending in America, the journey from warehouse to the customer has become more seamless with perks like 2-day shipping.
Still, there are problems to be solved in the chain. The biggest of which is how to deliver products to consumers without having to leave them on the front porch unattended. This is an issue because items left outside are at risk of being stolen or damaged by the weather. And as ecommerce continues to grow, the cost to replace items ruined this way eats away at already thin margins.
Amazon is creating a smart doorbell and lock device to tackle this problem, according to CNBC. The device would allow delivery people to use a one-time code to enter a home and drop off a package.
In September, Walmart announced a partnership with smart lock company August to deliver packages into customer’s homes, and groceries directly into refrigerators.
Walmart’s subsidiary, Jet.com, has a partnership with the startup latch that makes smart devices for apartment buildings. If an apartment building has a Latch lock, delivery people can gain access to the lobby to drop off a package there without getting let in by a tenant.
The CNBC report also says Amazon is looking into partnering with Phrame, the maker of a box that fits around the licence plate, to deliver packages into car trunks. A smartphone releases a key hidden in the licence plate to the trunk, granting access to package-toting delivery people.
Amazon previously launched Amazon Lockers for urban customers. Lockers are automated delivery machines for customers to use instead of their home address. They can sometimes be inefficient Business Insider reported, however, and fill up quickly if customers don’t come to pick up their packages. Amazon also tested delivery of packages to some Audi cars last year.
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