Amazon has plans to deliver packages to car trunks
Where will they deliver online orders to next? Walmart recently announced it is testing deliveries directly to refrigerators located in customers’ homes. Now, Amazon.com is in talks that would allow it to put packages in the trunks of customers’ cars or drop them inside of homes instead of outside where they can be stolen by “porch pirates.”
CNBC reports that Amazon is negotiating with Phrame, which makes smart license plates that enable deliveries to car trunks. The Phrame device fits around a license plate and holds the car’s keys in a secure box. Users or delivery drivers, in the case of Amazon, unlock the box with their smartphones. According to Phrame’s website, couriers receive one-time and time-limited access to open a car’s trunk to make a delivery.
Amazon, according to CNBC, has experimented with in-trunk deliveries before. It tested a program with Audi and Daimler car owners in Germany in 2015.
Like Walmart, Amazon is also interested in making in-home deliveries. While Walmart is working with the smart lock company, August Home, to gain one-time access for deliveries, Amazon is reportedly developing its own smart home doorbell to do the same.
The new initiatives are part of Amazon’s plan to reduce theft of packages dropped off at customers’ homes. A survey of 1,000 consumers by Shorr Packaging Corp. found that 31 percent have had a package stolen. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they do not buy certain products over concerns that they will be stolen.
“Unattended delivery is the least desirable of last-mile fulfillment options as it leaves the package exposed to all kinds of risk,” Natalie Berg, an analyst at Planet Retail RNG, told CNBC. “It’s not just the financial cost but also the impact that a failed delivery can have on brand reputation and customer loyalty. Nothing makes shoppers more irate than missing a delivery.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How big a problem are porch pirates for retailers selling online? Do you think that in-home, in-trunk or other forms of more secure deliveries will replace the current system of leaving packages unattended?