ShopperBox Networks Launches E-Commerce Delivery Solution

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ShopperBox Networks Inc., Tacoma, WA, has launched an e-commerce delivery solution designed to help alleviate the problem of missed deliveries in multifamily apartment complexes.


The solution, called the ShopperBox, is an Internet-connected, multiple-compartment secure delivery station that is located in multifamily apartment complexes, condominium communities, gated neighborhoods and commercial complexes.


The free service enables package carriers such as United Parcel Service, FedEx Corp. and the U.S. Postal Service -- along with major online grocery companies -- to deliver goods to complex residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The expanded delivery window will make e-commerce deliveries more convenient for online shoppers and will reduce costs for package delivery companies due to missed deliveries.


When the ShopperBox is deployed, residents will be able to use it after they sign up for it on the company's Web site, www.ShopperBox.com. When residents order products online, they can designate that the product be shipped directly to the box, because each ShopperBox will have a ship-to-address designation for it. Before accepting a delivery, the Web site may tell residents that the box is full and that they must reschedule the delivery. For example, if a consumer wants a product to be delivered on Tuesday, but the box is not free, the delivery can be rescheduled for Wednesday.


"All of the scheduling information will be in our database so that if rescheduling happens often, it will trigger us to look at installing more boxes in that particular location," said Rob Greenlee, director of marketing at ShopperBox Networks.


When the delivery is made, the resident is notified through an e-mail or voice mail message. Each member is given an access code which, when entered into the box, will open the box's doors providing the resident with access to her delivery.


"A lot of the higher-end, multifamily complexes are secure from entry, so a lot of the delivery companies can't get access into the building," Greenlee said. "When this happens, they leave a sticky on the door, and then try to contact the resident. UPS and FedEx oftentimes have to make repeated trips to the buildings and try to arrange for a time when the resident is there."


Eli Morenos, CEO of ShopperBox Networks, said he thinks this solution is "a dream come true for anyone who has waited for hours at home for a delivery from one of the major package carriers. The ShopperBox will also increase online purchases because consumers will actually be able to receive the delivery without being home to physically accept it."


Indeed, as e-commerce grows, so does the problem of missed deliveries. A Forrester Research study found that the number of missed e-commerce deliveries to multifamily residential communities will double from 80 million in 1999 to 160 million by 2001.


ShopperBox Networks is launching a beta-test installation in Tacoma, with expansion throughout the Tacoma-Seattle area and select U.S. cities to follow.


While the initial focus of the ShopperBox is to alleviate the problem of missed deliveries, the company's larger goal is to implement a worldwide ShopperBox Network that will revolutionize the package carrier delivery infrastructure and enable carriers to see improvements in the efficiencies of their delivery operations.


"Each trip back to a complex costs them time and money, and it affects the level of customer service that they have with their clients," Greenlee said. "Our service helps alleviate that."


In addition, Greenlee said the company plans to work with online retailers in the future "to establish some sort of data exchange between them and us, so that a resident can designate that they want their package shipped to the ShopperBox Network from the online retailer's Web site."
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