With recent data showing a significant growth in click and collect sales over the past year, it’s no surprise that innovative technology like smart locker systems has gained momentum as a convenient solution for both customers and businesses alike.
Not only are quick service restaurants rolling out food lockers at their locations, but Amazon has been offering customers a secure place for packages to be delivered for years now with its Amazon Hub Locker program.
With companies focused on nurturing the customer experience as well as mitigating labor and cost challenges, smart locker systems will be a solution on a growing number of business strategies.
What is a Smart Locker System?
Smart lockers are an electronic storage and distribution solution with built-in technology that automates the purchase, notification, and retrieval process. While popular in the QSR space, they also provide benefits to other industries, including retail, hospitality, cannabis, education, and more.
Using an electronic locker system is simple.
In most use cases, customers place an order through a register, mobile device, or kiosk, and the order is immediately communicated with a business’s back-end system. Once complete, the order is assigned a locker, and through text or email, the locker’s software application alerts the customer it’s ready. A unique PIN or QR code allows the patron to then open the corresponding locker door and retrieve the order.
Watch a short video detailing the process in a QSR setting.
Key Benefits of Smart Locker Solutions for Customers
While self-service’s adoption rate before 2020 was already steadily growing, the pandemic only sped up its acceptance as customers sought out contactless shopping experiences for safety.
Smart lockers offer shoppers and patrons the convenience synonymous with self-service. Without relying on an employee, customers can place an order, skip the line, and simply pick up their items when notified. This seamless process not only minimizes face-to-face interaction but reduces the chance of a stolen order or mix up.
In addition, lockers are favorable for programs like equipment rental, package delivery, grocery pickup, and more.
Further, lockers can also provide a safe storage solution, which makes them beneficial for places like theme parks or malls where people want to store valuables in a secure location.
Advantages of Smart Locker Systems for Businesses
While customers can benefit from their convenience and safety, businesses also profit from contactless lockers included in their operations plans.
As quick-service restaurants and retailers struggle to fill labor gaps, smart lockers provide a solution to save on costs and reassign current employees to other important tasks.
“With businesses struggling to hire employees to fill entry level jobs today, locker systems paired with mobile and self-service kiosk options can substitute for many responsibilities once covered by staff,” says Dave Loyda, Strategic Business Development Manager at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. “They reduce labor overhead and redeploy employees to higher-level duties.”
Additionally, lockers also offer patrons an efficient transaction process that removes customer experience destroyers like long lines, increased wait times, and order inaccuracies.
Adding Lockers to Your Business Strategy
Smart locker systems have created a lot of buzz, with self-service solutions topping businesses’ to-do lists as a result of encouraging customer response toward new technology as well as heightened safety concerns during the pandemic.
With locker systems helping restaurants and retailers focus on customer satisfaction and addressing operational challenges, now might be the right time to learn how a locker system could advance your business, too.