The home delivery is the most important component of the e-commerce value proposition and we are starting to see that value proposition challenged via efforts to redirect residential deliveries to retail access points for consumer pick-up.
Personally, I do not want to go to Walmart or Walgreens to pick up my online purchase as I prefer to have those items, including groceries and meals, delivered to my house, and securely released if I am not home to accept the delivery.
It is obvious to me that the solution is a personal, residential smart-box (lockbox) that is based upon an open architecture platform that can universally accept and secure, home-delivered parcels, perishable groceries and meals from any carrier or merchant. One such product is DynoSafe.
I have many questions about personal smart boxes that support the released, unattended home delivery and CEO/Founder of DynoSafe, Rebecca Romanucci, has agreed to answer those questions.
Dean Maciuba (DM): Tell us about DynoSafe and how it works?
Rebecca Romanucci, DynoSafe (RR): DynoSafe is an IoT, smart home, temperature-controlled lock-box safe that secures to your home, protecting your deliveries from theft and the elements and from exposure to organisms that can cause illness, such as the virus that causes COVID-19.
DM: You are saying that DynoSafe is also a temperature-controlled personal storage system, correct?
RR: That’s right. When you place an order, you assign a desired temperature for the order. When the delivery is made, it quickly adjusts to that preassigned setting.
DM: So then, is DynoSafe a technology or personal storage solution, or both?
RR: It’s both! DynoSafe is a smart-home IoT device, that is intended to interact with other smart devices, like smartphones, Alexa, and all smart devices. It also can interact with delivery robots, electric AI vehicles, and drones. The locking mechanism, temperature control components, and more are controlled through the app. A person can easily use DynoSafe for personal storage and access control for outgoing and incoming items. Codes can be provided to whoever wishes to make a delivery or pick up an item to be sent out.
DM: How might your average porch pirate feel about DynoSafe?
RR: The idea came about when I mailed $500 of product to a customer. She said she never received it, so of course, I pulled another $500 of product off my shelf and mailed that to her, this time with her signature required at delivery. A week later, one of my nurses received a call from the porch pirate who stole the items off of her porch. I was out over $1,000!
Porch Pirates go for the easy take, like an unattended box exposed on the porch. With DynoSafe, they don’t know if there is something inside or not. DynoSafe also secures to the porch, has a built-in alarm, similar to a car alarm, that will sound if the container is lifted or if the lock is jimmied, and an alert will be sent to the owner’s smart device, warning them. It will not be easy to lift and toss into a car.
DM: Have the major parcel carriers agreed to integrate your access technology into their delivery platforms and can smaller, last-mile delivery companies easily integrate with DynoSafe?
RR: At face level, technical integration is not a barrier for utilizing DynoSafe. DynoSafe can be functionally utilized by all major logistics/fulfillment companies without the need to directly integrate. In fact, our testing in Seattle and Scottsdale has revealed 100% success of deliveries by all major carriers, including FedEx, UPS, grocery deliveries, third-party logistics companies, restaurant food deliveries, and more. We have never needed to instruct on how to use DynoSafe. In fact, we have never even used a sign.
However, due to the functionality of our smart device, we will offer integrations that allow even more functionality and convenience for both the provider and customer. Abilities like access to delivery and recovery times, temperature logs, and the ability to pre-cool the device before delivery will all be functions that will available to providers who partner with us.
DM: Are you still in the developmental stages of the solution or are you operating in any countries/markets?
RR: We are in the final steps of software completion and are in discussion with manufacturers and distributors regarding licensing opportunities. We have been approached by non-US countries and recognize the opportunities that DynoSafe will not be limited to one market but will solve the unattended delivery problems in multiple markets such as grocery, pharmacy, restaurant food deliveries, and all e-commerce retail delivery and returns.
DM: Is it the consumer that purchases the DynoSafe solution or do the parcel carriers/e-commerce merchants offer the service?
RR: Our research and relationships with retailers have demonstrated that the grocery industry is currently the market that is most negatively affected by ‘attended delivery’. Grocery delivery logistics are inefficient, forced to accommodate ‘customer-driven’ delivery windows that have excessive fuel, labor, and truck consumption during high-peak traffic time periods. We are rolling DynoSafe out as a B2B model, licensing with manufacturers who will sell white-box DynoSafe to (grocery and other) parcel carriers and e-commerce merchants.
DM: What might a consumer expect to pay for DynoSafe and what if they do not have an electrical outlet close to where they want to place the storage unit?
RR: We are in discussion with manufacturers at this time. The cost per unit will be dependent on the final design and features that the manufacturer chooses to include. The base unit is affordable both to the retailer and the consumer. Most homes constructed after 1960 include an outlet on the porch and installing an outlet is approximately $100-$120.
DM: Consumer purchasing behavior has changed dramatically because of COVID-19. What will the impact be on DynoSafe and will consumers be less inclined to retrieve their e-commerce shipments at a retail access point?
RR: The pandemic has catapulted e-commerce, years ahead of what was predicted. Online food and beverage sales are now predicted to top $100 billion in 2021 and become $250 billion in a few years. 90% of those who currently order groceries online are expected to continue to do so, even after the pandemic. For now, it appears that customers want a mix of options, shopping in brick mortar stores, ordering online and picking up at the store, and ordering online for delivery at home.
DM: Given the temperature control capabilities of DynoSafe, the perishable products market must be a huge opportunity for DynoSafe?
RR: That’s right. Perishable items have always been more expensive to ship and deliver to customers. Grocers are eager to roll out DynoSafe to have an unattended delivery solution. Currently, grocery deliveries are completed at the grocer’s inconvenience, during high traffic time periods using inefficient logistics, and by placing the bags directly onto the porch, which is far from hygienic, and at the inconvenience of the customer, as they must be home to retrieve it immediately, and they place these bags directly onto their kitchen countertops. Unattended delivery into a DynoSafe can be delivered at the grocer’s convenience, directly inside a sanitary container, protected at the right temperature to be retrieved at the customer’s convenience.
DM: Are there numerous competitors developing their own solutions in support of the unattended delivery?
RR: Actually, the competitive landscape is in its infancy with few participants. DynoSafe is uniquely positioned to support the temperature-controlled, unattended/released home delivery for both perishable and nonperishable products.
About the author
Contributing editor Dean Maciuba is Managing Partner of Last Mile Experts, an e-commerce last mile CEP consultancy. He advises clients on e-commerce, last mile, and courier express & parcel matters in the US and Canada.