While parcel lockers may not be a new thing, the demand for their technologically advanced counterparts such as intelligent, electronic, and smart locker systems have significantly increased during the COVID pandemic.
Especially after the global Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, intelligent lockers and smart locker systems have become an integral component to many businesses; these include e-commerce businesses, multi-unit housing complexes, physical stores supporting BOPIS and BOPIL shopping techniques, offices and commercial workplaces, and schools, universities, and colleges. These industries account for only a few of the many places that are increasingly adopting and heavily relying on the use of technologically advanced solutions to regulate their parcel management and delivery system.
This article presents a comprehensive analysis of the growth factors and key reasons behind the surge in demand for intelligent, electronic parcel lockers.
So, let’s begin.
Synopsis of the smart parcel locker systems industry’s year-on-year growth rate from 2020 to 2028
In terms of numbers, an analysis conducted by ‘Fortune Business Insights’ reveals staggering figures. As such, it anticipates a rapidly accelerated growth during the years 2021 to 2028.
According to their recent report, the size of the global smart parcel locker market stood at USD 644.8 million in 2020. This figure rose to USD 718.0 million in 2021, considering an annual growth rate of 11.1%.
While this growth rate wasn’t impressive at all as it was even lower than the average growth rate between the years 2017-2020, the period from 2021 to 2028 is likely to experience exponential growth.
Based on a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 12.4 percent, the global smart locker parcel market is forecasted to reach USD 1,630.2 million in 2028.
During the Covid-19 peak months, complete lockdowns and social distancing protocols became mandatory SOPs almost everywhere around the world. However, this imposition became a hurdle in the way of the masses to acquire the necessary items such as food, medicine, clothing, etc. As a result, the trend of online shopping and home delivery gained massive popularity.
Despite this solution, the main challenge that still existed was to avoid encountering the Covid-19 disease from the other person while delivering online ordered items, goods, and parcels. This meant that a better solution was still required.
Hence, the adoption of smart locker systems technology in the form of contactless lockers proved to be the ultimate solution in this situation.
The adoption of contactless lockers has played a pivotal role in helping normalize the situation for buying and selling goods and other merchandise.
Without the need for any person to get involved in unnecessary physical interaction, contactless lockers help in the safe and secure transfer of goods and other valuable items from one source to another.
More and more buyers in the US are switching towards buying their groceries and other items online. This rapidly growing trend suggests the need for more technologically advanced solutions for the exchange of goods between sources with minimum to zero physical interaction.
Contactless delivery is paving the way for making this convenience a possibility and expanding to serve the public at large. Smart locker system facilities aren’t just reliable, safe, and secure, but they also offer a temperature-controlled environment for holding perishable items.
For instance, through contactless delivery, parcel delivery companies can easily place a recipient’s parcel in a secure intelligent locker facility. This step generates a notification on the recipient’s smartphone app, and he/she could collect the parcel at any time of their convenience from the smart locker facility.
Quite like the above example is a new way of shopping called BOPIL which stands for ‘Buy Online, Pick-up in Locker’.
In this, an online buyer rather than physically visiting the store, orders goods online through the store’s app and/or e-commerce website. Upon order confirmation, the store packs the ordered items and places them in a smart locker system facility at their premises. Next, the buyer receives a notification and has the freedom to collect its order whenever convenient.
While the Covid-19 pandemic and technological advancements in the fields of intelligent lockers and smart locker systems can be seen as a driving factor causing a surge in demand for intelligent electronic parcel locker facilities, they aren’t the primary reasons that contributed to this trend.
The primary reason behind the massive growth and acceleration of the trend for using smart locker systems can easily be attributed to the increase in online shopping, e-commerce solutions, free delivery, and home delivery services.
Overall, the rapid increase in online retail sales and the need for technologically advanced solutions to counter issues such as the ever-increasing demand for logistics and warehousing facilities have all encouraged and aggravated the need for intelligent electronic parcel lockers.
How smart lockers are transforming parcel and asset management?
Smart lockers through their innovative approach and efficient solutions are completely transforming the parcel and asset management industry.
For example, to accelerate the growth in online sales, e-commerce enabled businesses are giving end-users the incentive of free shipping. By far, this offer alone led to an increase in package shipping volume by 17 percent in 2020.
And even though the physical stores and retail shops are opening again, and buyers can roam freely in their aisles to pick up their stuff, the trend of online sales isn’t showing any signs of slowing down its pace.
In simple words, factors like reliability, convenience, safety, security, and contactless delivery are a combined reason behind the massive technological transformation that the parcel and asset management industry has started to experience after the Covid-19 pandemic.