By Georgianna W. Oliver (MultiFamilyExecutive.com Article) — Consumers spent $850 billion this past holiday season, including $110.5 billion online, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. As a result, shipping also saw a big boost:UPS estimated it delivered 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up 5% from the same holiday period the previous year. This shipping increase has significantly impacted multifamily communities, which spent more time this year managing the onslaught of packages to ensure they reached their residents in a timely manner.
2018 was the tipping point for automating the process of package management. Automated package locker systems have become a critical component of apartment buildings, as they mitigate package clutter and increase security for resident delivery. This solution goes a step further in meeting the substantial demand for “self-service,” particularly among the Millennial and Gen Z populations. Easy and secure access for receiving their online orders has become an expected need for this growing generation of renters.
For apartment buildings looking to enrich their residents’ experience by integrating an automated locker system in 2019, there are a few strategies that must be taken into consideration to be successful:
1. Location, location, location: Location truly matters – installations should be visible, easy to access, and ideally available for 24/7 access to ensure residents can retrieve their packages on their own schedule. Utilizing an automated locker that provides a common platform for both indoor/outdoor installations provides for greater installation location flexibility within the residential community. New Package Concierge data shows that 83% of users would prefer 24/7 access to the locker in order to increase utilization of the solution. Installing automated lockers in common areas or near the mailroom allows residents and carriers alike easy access.
2. Go BIG or go home: Don’t limit your potential for using these systems now or in the future – especially since package volume will only continue to rise. On average, today’s apartment buildings receive up to 50 packages a day, which increases during the holidays, so including plenty of available space to manage this volume is important.
Having sufficient locker capacity and multiple-sized compartments available in your automated locker system is extremely critical to accommodate the most common package sizes. Online orders can range from packages sized for jewelry and running shoes to large bags of dog food or even a king-size comforter! Ensuring a sufficient number and option of different-sized locker compartments is vital to satisfying today’s savvy residents and their online buying behavior.
3. Future-proofing: To adjust to seasonal trends and shifts in package volume, it pays for apartment buildings to seek out automated locker partners that can help manage this changing volume with their solutions. Package Concierge solves this issue with lockers that have compartments that can change sizes after installation, and with the addition of their Package Concierge Room. Incorporating both solutions into a community provides all the coverage an apartment community should need, especially for any package overflow.
Partnering with a provider that understands changes to the technology landscape ensures your investment in automated lockers and package rooms will continue to pay off for years to come. As handheld devices and smartphones become more sophisticated, so too must the technology in the automated locker systems. Package Concierge is continually working to ensure that its systems are able to communicate with mobile devices, and that the apps residents use are always up-to-date with current technology and user experience trends.
Just like a mailbox, package lockers are an expected amenity for apartment residents. In order to keep up with the continued growth of e-commerce and the needs of Gen Z renters, apartment buildings must make automated locker systems part of their 2019 strategy.