The world’s leading retailers continue setting themselves apart from their e-retail competition by utilizing their physical stores as micro-distribution centers for the buy online, pick up in store experience.
Research suggested that 76 percent of online shoppers will be using click-and-collect services in 2017. That number only continues to grow. But, despite the increase in click-and-collect usage, shoppers are becoming increasingly frustrated with their pickup experience, with many citing long waiting times and a lack of in-store employees to help them get their packages.
To combat this, innovative retailers are turning to automated self-service solutions that seamlessly link their e-commerce experience to their physical locations.
Rise of the Machine
Using smart locker technology, several brick-and-mortar stores are enhancing their customers’ overall shopping experience by saving them time and offering them the convenience of coming into a store to pick up their online orders in a matter of seconds.
Imagine purchasing an item online and then being able to walk up to an automated vending machine when you arrive at the store, and getting your package almost instantaneously.
That’s exactly what the PackRobot does — a 16-foot tall automated package terminal that allows customers to pick up their online order in a matter of seconds. Once items are ready for pickup, the customer is sent an email or text notification with a code. They then simply walk up to the PackRobot when it is most convenient for them, scan their code and retrieve their order. This simplified approach to online order pickup reduces the time it takes a consumer to retrieve an online order from 15 minutes or more, to less than 15 seconds.
The PackRobot is designed for high-package delivery thanks to smart robotics technology and cloud-based software.
What started as a pilot program by Bell and Howell and Estonia-based Cleveron in 2016, has since grown to more than 100 locations featuring the automated package retrieval wonder in 2017. Both companies recently announced the successful installation of the 100th PackRobot in the U.S. with plans to scale to nearly 1,000 additional units in 2018.
Bell and Howell is Cleveron’s exclusive distributor in North America, and provides the installation, remote monitoring and preventative maintenance for all customers in the region.
The PackRobot can be used in both indoors and outdoors environments thanks to adjustable internal climate control.
The Wonders of the PackRobot
Unlike traditional smart lockers that use a fixed number of preset locker sizes, the PackRobot uses a 3D-lift system, which measures each package’s dimensions and dynamically configures a locker slot to optimally secure it. As a result, it can hold up to 520 packages simultaneously, and only requires 72 square feet of floor space. It can be used in both indoors and outdoors environments thanks to adjustable internal climate control.
Watch the PackRobot in action.