German e-commerce company Zalando SE partnered with Belgian courier company bpost SA/NV to test a new technology that allows Belgian customers to remotely give couriers access to their home to drop off and pick up packages.
When a bpost courier rings the "smart doorbell" connected to the customer's phone, the customer identifies the courier and remotely unlocks the door. The courier drops off the package and closes the door. Customers can also stream the delivery process remotely, interact with the courier or deny access to their home at any time.
The test found that 50% of the 750 participants said they would feel comfortable trying the in-home delivery service, and 90% of participants whose homes were equipped with a "smart doorlock" and "smart doorbell" said they would continue using the technology after the test. The experiment also found that once the technology was installed and customers experienced the service, they favored the convenience of the technology over their concerns.
"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 (to) engaging in close dialogue with our customers," Vice President of Customer Fulfilment and Logistics Jan Bartels said.