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Thu Dec 8 2011 14:24:30

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is testing a new approach to package delivery - it's testing delivery lockers where shoppers can go to a local store to pick up their purchases rather than having them delivered to their door step. And on Thursday, EcommerceBytes wrote about a company called Kinek that has been testing a similar approach for the past two years by recruiting brick-and-mortar facilities, such as UPS stores, hardware stores and pharmacies, into its network.

The KinekPoints serve as receiving depots where consumers can pick up merchandise that they have ordered online. Kinek offers a free API that online merchants can use to integrate the service into their checkout process.

Kinek says in many cases, the KinekPoints do not charge consumers for the service, but when I signed up and selected the closest KinekPoint to me, it indicated I would have to pay $3 to receive a package weighing up to 10 pounds, and even more for heavier packages. I was also surprised that the store's hours were 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on most days and closed on Sunday. I would have preferred a store that was open later in the evenings. (Amazon lockers are located at convenience stores with longer hours of operation.)

It would seem giving consumers the choice of delivery method makes sense. But what about identity thieves - could fraudsters use someone else's credit card to place an order and have it delivered to a KinekPoint near them?

A spokesperson for the company said, "While Kinek can't stop fraudsters from making an order, they can prevent it from being picked up." It is Kinek's policy that the consumer have 2 forms of government ID and a printed copy of the order confirmation with the matching name, she explained. Kinek does allow someone else to pick up your package, but it's typically limited to family members with the same last name.

Kinek allows users to receive tracking and delivery notifications via email and text messages, which could be a positive for the merchant since shoppers like to know the status of their orders.

Using a delivery point provides proof that the shopper has received the package - it could reduce "Items Not Received" claims. On the other hand, if the consumer doesn't get around to picking up their item at the KinekPoint (or other retail locker) right away, shoppers could blame their own delay on the online merchant.

Amazon lockers work quite differently, but the idea is the same - the consumer goes to a nearby location to pick up their package rather than receiving the item at home. You can see information on the Amazon.com website and read about one shopper's experience using the Amazon locker on Geekwire.com.

It's interesting to think about how the package pickup trend could affect online sellers - is it better to have a package delivered to the consumer's home, or is it better to have packages sent to a local store where the consumer can come in and pick up the package at their convenience?




Comments (10) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Dec 8 15:21:55 2011

Amazon today, Amazon dittohead Ho tomorrow. Another ebay seller's WORST nightmares!

Given ebay's decreasing IQ and increasing criminal oriented buyer base, the number of problems I can think of offhand are astronomical.

"I couldn't figure out how to open the drawer" Stars are dinged.

"They put the wrong item in my box and my item is someone else's." Stars are dinged.

"Seller should pay for my time and gas to drive there and pick it up." Stars are dinged.

"They wouldn't accept my ID for the item." Stars are dinged.

And so on.

Anytime more steps (or hands) are injected into the selling process is a reason for grave concern.

With ebay's small seller extermination policies in place, I wouldn't touch this with a 1000 foot pole if ebay were to offer such a disaster waiting to happen.

Don't even think about it, Ho!

OCCUPY SAN JOSE EBAY.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 9 02:47:57 2011

it all depends on when the item is considered "delivered"  when it reaches the locker?  or when it is in the customers hand?  if it is when it reaches the locker it could be a good thing for sellers.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: Mary Jasso

Fri Dec 9 03:43:51 2011

Just what we all need, another middleman. All I can see is negatives and dings on the Stars, but I guess since the Post Office is going out of business in about 1/3 of the Nation, in January, it may be the only way to get a package delivered to a rural area. Something to think about for sure. Congressman McClintock stated at a recent meeting that he expected private enterprise to pick up the slack, including local markets, cafes, hardware stores or other retail outlets, including local taverns. Now who is going to be checking in the delivery confirmations and how many packages will disappear by employees, delivery people, teens on their way through to the bathroom, etc.?
I think if all goes as Congress, has planned, we will probably see 1 out of 10 packages disappear, unless we are willing or the buyer is willing to pay UPS or FEDEX prices for guaranteed delivery. I think that has been the plan all along. More money for the big sellers, who get huge discounts from UPS and FEDEX, and get rid of all the rest of the competition, i.e., small individual sellers. I have already been trying to figure out how to compete. At $6 to $8 shipping for a 3 ounce package by UPS or FEDEX, I am out of business.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri Dec 9 09:22:29 2011

I've been using a mailbox at the UPS store in this fashion for years. I got tired of packages being left on my doorstep in the rain, out in full view where thieves can be tempted to steal them. The UPS store has a physical street address and isn't a PO box, so it takes deliveries from all services (well, mine doesn't have a loading dock, so freight deliveries would be out, but everything else is accepted). It's a great convenience to have the packages waiting in a secured location like that.

The locker idea sounds good, but I suppose the devil is in the details. The costs could add up if you get a lot of deliveries, so a mailbox service like the UPS store might be a better approach. Plus, you'd need to have trustworthy people running things and good enough security so your packages go only to you or your designated representative.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: MadamH This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 9 11:46:26 2011

I've used a box address at a local mailing business for years... what I consider an inexpensive insurance policy.  I shop more via the internet than in person, and between mail thefts in our neighborhood (nice, middle-class area inundated with Section 8 apartments) and the incompetency of our local post office, a rented box has been the perfect solution.  I help support a small local business, and our merchandise doesn't get stolen.  For about $200.00 per year, a small price to pay.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: Lydia

Fri Dec 9 11:49:29 2011

Does not make sense. They could just go pick it up at a local post office. At least now, most cities have a local post office that holds packages up to 15 days at no charge. It sounds like with this idea, they may decide to charge per day leasing which is not a bad idea!
I agree, about the fraud. People use Mailboxes etc to commit fraud. When I worked at a company that had highly classified personal information, I kind of wondered how this person went to Hawaii on her low salary and had all this jewelry from eBay. Turns out they were doing exactly that with cameras and then selling them. They did get caught, point being I can see some creative criminal minds thinking about how to work this. There was a bad ebay seller that used this as her business address and when customers wanted to get their money back, they went to her address driving quite a distance and found it to be a UPS mailboxes etc store (pre-google maps).

It really doesn't solve any problems going to UPS store/mailboxes, they have inconsistent customer service and sometimes low staffing with a lot going on like notaries etc with sometimes only one employee I have found when I traveled a lot in metro areas. I can't imagine brick and mortar stores partnering with Amazon after they are encouraging people to buy items right at a brick and mortar store to save...so it looks like UPS store with charges for holding the items. What if they get lost and how many lockers are we talking about? Maybe some would find it convenient to get their mail there but they don't do mail forwarding either for all those customers that forget to change their shipping addresses on Paypal etc. Also, These would have to be in every state and town. Maybe after the post office shuts down more locations but right now it seems pointless and risky to me. What am I missing about this business model? Why would Amazon do this? To prevent go backs after 15 days? What about abandoned packages with no proof of signature and no return to sender?

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 9 13:09:05 2011

''It is Kinek's policy that the consumer have 2 forms of government ID and a printed copy of the order confirmation with the matching name ... ''

Fascinating, my buyer has to have MORE ID than is required to vote in the most stringent states or to get on a plane, plus a printer.

Drivers license or state issued ID would be the most common but what is the second? A concealed carry permit? Passport? Everybody has those! Get real.

News flash! Not everyone has a printer or two forms of gov. issued ID. Who carries the can for redelivery and/or return cost? Who bears the consequences for non delivery, the ensuing costs of refunding and the ill-will?

As a seller if this takes off I would have to obtain a list of KinekPoint locations and proactively contact the buyer to explain the requirements for them to retrieve their package and the possibility they may be charged, then process either a refund of change of delivery address. This takes time and time costs money.

Another option would be to try to find a way to block purchases to non residential addresses. More time and expense.

Any 'alternative' delivery address is only as good as the employee working there. Like Ming I see boundless new opportunities for crime.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: Tony DeLuca

Fri Dec 9 14:42:20 2011

I don't imagine many people will use this service and Kinek will go out of business shortly.

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: MR ME

Sat Dec 10 19:25:04 2011

Silly Idea , I get deliveries to my doorstep. why drive??

How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?   How Will the Package Pickup Trend Affect Online Merchants?

by: rjhammett This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 20 20:08:34 2014

I'm sure that the idea behind this has good intentions. But isn't that why people purchase things online? So they don't have to leave their house to get it? This would probably take business away from online sellers. Why pay to have an item shipped, pay to pick it up from a middleman, and pay for the gas to pick it up and bring it home. You could simply pay gas to go to the store and bring it home and save a few bucks on shipping and the middleman fees.



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