Smart lockers are technology-based integrated storage systems designed to manage an organization’s assets or inventory. In the context of the retail industry, smart lockers were meant to address the last mile problems of online retailers.
Retail businesses like gadget stores want a more efficient and cost-effective alternative way of delivering their products to customers. This article will discuss four benefits of smart lockers that can make that happen.
Better Inventory Management
Instant customer gratification places heavy expectations on many eCommerce and brick-and-mortar businesses. If their customers don’t get what they want, their loyalty to a brand wanes. Because of this, retailers like gadget shop owners need immediate access to stock to meet these heightened expectations.
Smart lockers with an IT asset management system facilitate instant access to transport and product availability time frames, so stores can better manage their in-house stock levels. Suppliers can benefit from this, too, because they can better plan for deliveries and storage.
The RFID tagging feature of smart lockers with smart asset management allows businesses to find items faster and more efficiently, making inventory control easier to manage. Staff can instantly track and locate items and relay this information to suppliers, delivery teams, or even customers. The result is more streamlined in-store and virtual inventory, allowing retailers to understand their current stocks properly.
Smart asset and inventory management integrate every facet of the retail process, giving retailers a more comprehensive overview of their stock management and sales. This comes as the result of real-time data collection and consolidation across multiple sales points. This then automates inventory management and frees up staff to focus on more critical tasks.
Highly Secured Deliveries
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) works very similarly to barcodes and barcode scanners in retail stores. The only difference is that RFID has a broader range of capabilities. An RFID microchip or tag contains a unique identifying code and location on every item, giving each piece of merchandise a geolocation tag.
Smart lockers with an asset tracking solution use this type of hardware asset tagging so retailers can track every unique item of their stock in storage. Staff can easily find an item even in a warehouse or storage unit containing thousands of like items.
Gadget shops would then be able to track the items they ship in real-time with a tracking number, while customers receive up-to-date information about their order shipment status. Moreover, smart lockers like Teqube are both physically and virtually secure. They are built using high-security standard models and are made of high-quality material, securing them from vandalism or identity theft.
Faster Shipping Than Last Mile
Shipping carriers increase their rates every year, and many shoppers find shipping costs too high. According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey in 2018, 39% of consumers expect brands to offer free two-day shipping. 29% back out of a purchase if the retailer doesn’t offer free two-day shipping.
Because of this, retailers need to find mile delivery solutions that can reduce costs for everybody. Smart lockers solve this problem because instead of shipping thousands of small orders one by one to every customer, you can simply deliver all orders for that day to the on-site smart locker station in one go. It’s even better if the locker is located in-store or just outside the store.
Another problem that many online shoppers face with last-mile delivery options is that sometimes, they won’t be at home to collect parcels at their doorstep, resulting in missed and delayed deliveries or even parcel theft. With smart lockers, customers will be able to collect their orders at their most convenient time. This means 24/7 deliveries are made possible. It will be a quick in and out experience for customers because they don’t have to wait in line. Moreover, with the foot traffic smart lockers generate, retailers can also get another chance to cross-sell when their customers enter the store to pick up their orders.
The vast capabilities of smart lockers solve many logistics challenges, enabling retailers to ship products with an even shorter turnaround time than last-mile deliveries. This then creates a value-based service that goes beyond customer expectations while reducing shipping costs, making it a great alternative to last-mile delivery.
Smoother Return Process
Shoppers don’t only crave convenience with delivery. You also have to consider that some might want to return items the same way, and many customers find returning items a hassle.
Smart lockers offer a more convenient alternative to the burdensome process of returning items. If you want to return an item, you simply put it back in its original packaging, stick a return label, and then place the parcel inside the designated return locker, using the code that you’ll receive via SMS or email.
With smart lockers, customers would be able to return their items whenever it’s convenient for them. Meanwhile, retailers can cut down on return shipping costs and process return orders much faster, so customers will receive refunds quicker.
Overall, smart lockers with an effective smart asset management system like Teqtivity provide many benefits to retailers and customers. They are a faster, more secure, and more affordable delivery option for online purchases.