Marek Różycki, Last Mile Experts, and Ian Kerr, Postal Hub Podcast, look at how Posten Norge is rolling out its in-home parcel delivery service, powered by smart locks and mobile tech for drivers.
Posten Norge (Norway Post) now offers in-home delivery – all customers need is a smart lock on their door. The new service, called Innafor, is part of Posten’s commitment to offering customers greater freedom of choice.
Unlike many other European markets, the standard delivery option in Norway is ‘out of home’ (PUDOs or lockers). The proportion of home delivery B2C is very low since it generally costs more and, even with time windows, the recipient is put under ‘house arrest’ to be home to receive the parcel. Surveys show that more people would like their parcels delivered to home if they didn’t need to sit at home and wait for them. Norway Post therefore launched an in-home service, which enables packages to be delivered safely inside a locked home.
The solution has been tested through several pilots in 2018 and 2019, first with Posten employees and later with customers. Dedicated apps have been created for in-home delivery supporting both the consignee and driver. Importantly, there is no restriction regarding type of smart lock.
So how does it work? Upon delivery, the postie first checks to see if anyone is home, before the door is opened with a temporary code that the consignee has shared in the ‘Posten In Home’ app, and the package is then put inside the home. The code given to Posten is deleted when the delivery is completed, and the door is locked again. If the lock can only be unlocked remotely, the driver will call the recipient upon arrival for delivery to unlock the door (this appears to be the only clunky part of the process).
Built on Posten´s trust
In the preparation phase, Posten conducted a representative survey showing that the population has high confidence in Posten as a provider of services to the home. One in three is positive about letting the postie inside their home when they are away – of course, we must note that the Nordics are known to be quite open-minded in these matters. Alternatives in less ‘trusting’ geographies would include access to a closed garage, porch or shed (without access to your main home) or smart locks supported by cameras, which track the courier’s activity while on your premises.
“Confidence in Posten becomes an important competitive advantage when we, with ‘Posten In Home’, can take the parcels over the doorstep so that the recipient can have it delivered even if they are not home. It provides fast and secure delivery, while the recipients do not have to spend time waiting,” says CEO Tone Wille at Posten Norge.
Over 66% in Posten’s survey say that good reputation is ‘very important’ for players that provide services to the home.
“From the test period we also see that our offer is particularly popular with families with children, who often have a busy day. It is convenient when you can have your parcel delivered at home instead of picking up a package at the store,” adds Wille.
Integrating with lock providers
Around 18% of the Norwegian population has already installed a smart lock on their front door at home. Posten’s survey shows that a further 38% plan to have one installed.
Innafor has now been launched across the whole of Norway. Moving forward, the focus will be integrating with different smart locks to improve the user experience. First up in Norway is Assa Abloy’s lock ‘Yale Doorman’, and a first pilot has already been conducted. In Sweden, an integration with Glue has been completed and in-home delivery can now be offered to all Glue-owners in Stockholm.
Safe spot outside your home
Customers without a smart lock can specify where the package can be placed, for example in the garage or a storage room. Many postal operators offer a similar ‘leave safe’ option.
“If you have a safe spot outside the house, we can deliver your packages there on request. Our goal is that our service should be as easy to use as possible for the customers,” says Wille. “It’s important for us to give customers who shop online a more convenient life.”
Smart lock technology is set to revolutionize home delivery. Security and trust issues aside, it offers the ultimate customer delivery experience. It also enables home delivery for large items such as fridges or washing machines. And while PUDOs/lockers have more parcels per drop, in-home’s virtually 100% first-time delivery rate means this solution is green, in that wasteful failed first-time deliveries are avoided.
The Nordics are a great place to test this technology due to the locals’ open-minded nature, but we are convinced that this will spread to other geographies, and fast!
Ian Kerr is the founder and host of the Postal Hub Podcast, the weekly podcast for the postal and delivery sectors.
Marek Różycki is managing partner at Last Mile Experts, specializing in CEP and e-commerce last-mile advisory.