Since online shopping began, customers have been frustrated by the difficulty of receiving packages on their own schedule. Since most deliveries are made during working hours, packages are sometimes left on porches with the hope that they won’t be stolen. Even worse, if a package requires a signature, the customer must then find a way to get to a dedicated pickup location, where hours are also matched exactly to the hours most Americans work.
Amazon is well aware of this issue and has been working to find a remedy. They’ve already rolled out Sunday delivery and set up lockers for after-hours pickups. But a pilot project in Munich, Germany (in partnership with Audi) has the company taking delivery to a whole new level – to your trunk, to be specific.
The Car Delivery Program
As of now, the “trunk delivery” program is designed to work specifically with Audi’s Connect system. The process is simple – at checkout, the Amazon Prime customer provides the location of the car, along with a time window that the car will be in that location.
Using a one-time-use code provided by the Audi owner, the Amazon delivery person can then pop the trunk and slide the package inside. This would be perfect for workers whose employers won’t allow personal packages to be delivered at the office.
While the convenience of this program may attract certain consumers, there are still some barriers to adoption. One of the biggest problems with this program is its limitations. Even if trunk delivery expands beyond Germany and Audi, it will only work with customers who can set up one-time-use codes on their trunks. As automobile technology evolves, however, the program could appeal to a larger segment of the population.
But, even if the technology eventually makes its way to trunks everywhere, it doesn’t guarantee the safety of your packages. Thieves can easily break open a trunk, especially if they personally witness packages being locked inside. Customers may also worry about handing access to their cars over to an Amazon delivery person. Despite assurances that this practice is safe, customers may still hesitate.
Upping the Ante for Online Businesses
In the end, Amazon’s various innovations will up the ante for online businesses. Customers’ expectations for convenient delivery options will continue to grow. So regardless of whether the trunk delivery program is a success or not, the search for innovative technology to improve package delivery will continue.
While “trunk delivery” is still questionable, one possible solution that Amazon seems determined to push through is delivery through drones. The company is still battling the FAA on the procedure, but if it eventually goes through, packages of less than 55 pounds may soon be delivered by drones.
Amazon is leading the way on Internet retail, making the process of shopping online more convenient than ever. While its new pilot program has its flaws, for Audi owners with Connect technology on board, convenient delivery may be just around the corner.
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