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Smart Lockers Are Here To Stay

By FedEx | October 24, 2023

Get ready to see more and more smart lockers in a town near you. These handy last-mile logistics solutions are meeting customer demand for more secure, convenient, and personal e-commerce experiences.

Do you prefer packages delivered to your door, or do you find it easier to grab them from a safe, nearby location - at a time that suits your schedule?

Why smart lockers are becoming more popular

When it comes to online shopping, delivery is an integral part of the user experience. It can make or break a sale or influence a repeat purchase. The rise in e-commerce has led to a greater demand for courier services, and the need to deliver parcels at a lower cost is increasing pressure on retailers, delivery providers, and their wider supply chain.

Meanwhile, security is a rising concern for deliveries. 1 in 5 consumers are anxious about parcel theft, and 11% of people globally say they are reluctant to order online because of it. On the other side of the equation sits convenience, as 77% of customers have abandoned purchases because they didn’t like their delivery options.
Male Asian FedEx courier carries parcel outside brown gates

Beyond shopping, the way we work has also shifted. Since the pandemic, only 42% of people have returned to the office full-time. With a mix of remote and hybrid working as well as office attendance, everyone’s schedule is different – and subject to change. There are no longer set times when we might expect a customer to be home. And depending on where you live or what you’ve ordered, you might not want parcels sitting on the doorstep for long periods of time.

In recent years, smart lockers have become a more popular solution to these missed deliveries, changing the way parcels are reaching consumers. Logistics companies are offering new delivery options, with better security and convenience for e-commerce buyers and sellers.

RELATED: Small Businesses Are Hyper Personalizing Delivery

Smart lockers are changing the delivery game

Smart lockers offer a wide range of benefits. These include prompt, contactless delivery, complete chain of custody, 24/7 self-service access, integration with digital tools like mobile apps for tracking, improved customer experience, and more.

There are also benefits for the logistics provider. Lockers at commercial and residential addresses means fewer stops and in-person deliveries required.

It also makes last mile delivery cheaper for logistics companies. Meanwhile, end customers benefit because they can pick up their parcels at lockers whenever they’re free. Couriers no longer have to make multiple delivery attempts.

Using smart lockers is better for sustainability too, as it ultimately reduces traffic congestion and reduces roadside emissions, decreasing the number of trips needed to deliver.

RELATED: Our Goal: Carbon Neutral By 2040

Some markets in Southeast Asia have increased adoption of smart lockers as delivery methods, with over 80% of SEA consumers surveyed opting for alternative delivery methods such as in-store pick-ups, smart lockers or collection points.

Adding more smart lockers and retail touchpoints in AMEA

At FedEx, we’re listening to what customers want and how businesses want to run their deliveries. We’ve been busy building out a network of smart lockers and retail outlets, amassing a whopping 260,984 total pick-up locations (retail outlets and lockers) available for our customers across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region.
Male FedEx courier drops parcel from van to yellow lockers

To create more convenience and efficiency where it’s needed most, we switched up our retail network strategy to focus on markets with higher first and last-mile delivery costs, integrating leading retail brands in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore. Most touchpoints are located in urban areas with a well-established e-commerce infrastructure.

The adoption and prevalence of such touchpoints varies from market to market. In Singapore, the popularity of smart lockers has risen steadily. We now deliver 1,000 packages weekly to just one smart locker partner, Pick Lockers. In Taiwan, our partner Hi-Life is just one provider amongst a growing network of 10,000 pick-up points.

Growth has been booming in China, an early adopter of smart locker technology. China remains the global e-commerce leader with 52.1% of retail sales worldwide and a leading market for smart locker use.

Markets like Korea are also on the up. And we’ve recently rolled out new retail partners in growing markets like Hong Kong and Taiwan, where our FedEx Delivery Manager pick-up service has expanded to include 2,408 terminals in the country. This makes it more convenient for consumers to pick up their international online shipments.

Across the region, we also offer services like FedEx International Connect Plus, which allows recipients to change the location of a delivery locker to suit their schedule, even when the package is in transit.

Smarter ways to deliver to your door

Still prefer your package shipped to your door? We’ve got you covered.

Our latest mobile app has been updated with new digital and contactless capabilities to make sending and tracking packages even more simple. Customers can use the app to make international shipping easier, getting real-time notifications and GPS street views to keep an eye on deliveries.
Delivery courier takes photo of parcel on doormat with mobile

And for peace of mind, we’ve recently launched Picture Proof Of Delivery – a super-handy way of letting your customers know exactly when and where your goods have been left. The service is completely free and allows your online buyers to shop and ship with confidence.

The e-commerce industry is indeed evolving. Customer expectations are transforming along with how they are shopping. We recognize that new demands require new solutions, and we continue to offer more value, convenience, and peace of mind to SMEs and their customers across the region.

Want to keep up with the latest trends in e-commerce? Head over to our e-commerce page for more stories.
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