By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|August 14, 2012
Having packagesshipped and left at your customer’s front door comes with many logistical problems, from missed deliveries to address mix-ups and stolen or weather-damaged documents and merchandise. To solve such problems and improve customer satisfaction, Amazon has joined with the U.S. Postal Service and several large retailers in instituting a secure package delivery service that should give consumers peace of mind when ordering online.
The process of requesting such a delivery service is supported by email or text message notification during checkout. Customers are asked online to search for and select a locker location, either by inserting an address, area code or a nearby landmark. Once the package arrives at the location, an email alerts the recipient and includes a locker number and a pickup code. The customer simply enters the code on the touch-screen display at the retail location and picks up their package.
But Amazon isn’t alone in the secure package delivery game. Several rival programs, including the U.S. Postal Service’s gopost and The UPS Store, also offer options that enable customers to have their packages delivered to a secure location for easy pickup.
Here’s how the various services work:
The world’s largest online retailer is in the process of installing large cabinets called Amazon Lockers in strip malls, drugstores, convenience markets and grocery stores throughout the country. In the past year, Amazon Lockers have been placed into operation in many (mostly 24-hour) retail operations in several major cities with more on the way.
These lockers are only available for items sold or fulfilled by Amazon.com, so if you don’t sell on Amazon, you can’t ship merchandise to one of their locker locations. In addition, the lockers are limited to items weighing less than 10 pounds and measuring less than 11.8-by- 11.8-by-11.8 inches. Another restriction: Items can’t require special handling.
With the postal service’s gopost, it’s your customers who decide to go this route. Shippers can’t offer…
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