Jet.com is making it easier for New Yorkers to get their packages.
The eCommerce firm wants to make it easier to deliver to urban customers during the day when they are unlikely to be home. To that end, it has made a deal with smart access provider Latch that will provide about 100,000 residents of 1,000 apartment buildings in the city free access to Latch’s “R” system at their buildings’ exterior doors. Paying for the upgrade will come via a joint investment from Jet and Latch.
The “R” smart access system allows users to swap their keys for their phone — and to give anyone access to the building without walking all the way downstairs. The system is obviously also designed to allow people to have packages delivered to their building even when they aren’t there to personally let the delivery guy in. The system is also designed so that property managers can grant access through the Latch system to trusted delivery providers like USPS. According to the two firms, the 1,000 units will come out of the box ready to provide access to Jet’s delivery partners.
To be clear, this is a marketing partnership and not an operational one — meaning other than alerting delivery drivers that customers are in a Latch building, there will be no big changes to Jet’s backend to accommodate the upgrade.
But it is a partnership that will hopefully give Jet the foothold in urban areas it desires, as being unable to receive packages at home is an endemic problem for most urban residents living in a building that doesn’t either have a doorman to take deliveries or a smart access system.
The hope of the pair-up, according to reports, is to give Jet a path to crack urban sales in much the way parent firm Walmart has already sewn up the rural sales market. Reportedly, the tie-in with Latch is one of many solutions being considered internally to improve the prospects of getting packages into the hands of city dwellers. Also being considered: on-demand orders with short delivery windows and Locker-like products that can hold deliveries until users can pick them up.