As if it wasn’t enough to deliver packages to millions of consumers’ homes, Amazon is now reportedly working to deliver packages to shoppers’ cars.
According to a news report in CNBC citing a source with knowledge of the deal, Amazon is in advanced discussions with Phrame, the maker of smart license places, to ink a partnership that would enable the eCommerce giant to deliver packages to customers’ trunks.
Phrame’s technology fits around a license plate and includes a secure box in which the keys to the vehicle can be placed. Users unlock the box with a mobile device and can provide access to other people, such as delivery drivers, without having to be near the vehicle. Amazon is also reportedly creating a smart doorbell device that could give delivery drivers access on a one-time basis to a recipient’s home to deliver packages.
The moves on the part of Amazon are aimed at overcoming challenges that come with the delivery of packages to people’s houses or apartments when no one is home. Packages can often be left unattended for hours, which can result in them getting stolen or ruined in bad weather. Lost packages can also be costly to Amazon, incentivizing the company to implement a solution.
“Unattended delivery is the least desirable of last-mile fulfillment options, as it leaves the package exposed to all kinds of risk,” said Natalie Berg, an analyst at Planet Retail RNG, in the report. “It’s not just the financial cost, but also the impact that a failed delivery can have on brand reputation and customer loyalty. Nothing makes shoppers more irate than missing a delivery.”
CNBC cited a survey by Shorr Packaging on “porch pirates,” which revealed that 31 percent of shoppers in the U.S. have experienced theft of a package at least once. A partnership with Phrame and its own internal smart doorbell would be ways for Amazon to alleviate the unattended packages woes, noted the report.