Delivery to a Parked Car? Amazon’s New Delivery Reality – Amazon Key
In an effort to make package delivery more convenient than ever, Amazon recently announced an alternative courier method – packages delivered straight to your trunk.
The company has already expanded to expedited Amazon Prime shipments, drone shipments, local Amazon dropbox lockers and even shipments that allow couriers to unlock your front door comes. Now, those couriers will be able to unlock the trunk of your car, providing customers with the safest and most secure form of delivery.
This in-home service is called “Amazon Key” and is for Amazon Prime members.
The original “Key” delivery system allowed couriers to deliver packages inside a domicile by using a remote controlled smart lock and Amazon Cloud Cam. The camera is placed facing the customer’s door and shows a full video of the delivery to the customer.
As an Amazon spokesperson told Business Wire:
“Each time a delivery driver requests access to a customer’s home, Amazon verifies that the correct driver is at the right address, at the intended time, through an encrypted authentication process. Once this process is successfully completed, Amazon Cloud Cam starts recording and the door is then unlocked. No access codes or keys are ever provided to the delivery drivers.”
The Home Kit is currently listed at $219.99 for Prime members, which includes a security camera, smart lock for your door and a cellular app that allows you to watch the camera’s recordings.
This product also functions in conjunction with the Amazon Alexa, as you may tell Alexa to “lock the front door” or “show me who is at the door.”
In this sense, Amazon is truly attempting to provide customers with every form of electronic appliance they can as they provide separate devices and services that can be purchased separately and used in conjunction.
Expanding Amazon Key
Just six months after announcing the creation of the Amazon Key platform, Prime users in 37 select cities will be eligible for packages delivered straight to the trunk of their car.
These users must have a 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Volvo or vehicle with an active OnStar account.
Although the service is currently limited to those brands at the moment, the company suggested they will expand the service to other car makers over time.
Much like the in-home delivery system, couriers unlock cars remotely. Since cars often move and homes do not, Amazon gives customers a four-hour delivery window. Once the customer confirms that their vehicle is at the specified public delivery location, they can use their Amazon Key phone application to see exactly when the package was delivered.
These deliveries cannot happen in gated communities, underground parking garages or anywhere that Amazon’s satellite signals cannot be fully functional.
For years, Amazon has dealt with an age-old mail issue of having customers’ packages stolen off their front porch or delivered to the wrong address. Factual statistics of package theft are hard to quantify, but these so-called “porch pirates” have become more prevalent as the internet shopping craze has grown.
This program mitigates those risks and gives people piece of mind knowing that their package will be delivered through a prompt and secure system that they can even view themselves.
Since couriers are only able to unlock doors through an encrypted authorization process and the Amazon Cloud Cam starts recording every time that process is activated, customers do not have to worry about their homes being robbed or tampered with.
Limiting the access that these couriers have by not giving them an access code or key prevents them from coming back later to break into the homes they deliver to.
Many users may feel that this service is a true invasion of privacy and stay away from this service. It is hard to imagine average people trusting a stranger to let themselves into the customers’ home or vehicle, but Amazon realizes that and says this new delivery method is simply a convenient option and not an end-all be-all method of distribution.
Rohit Shrivastava, general manager of Amazon Key, addressed these concerns, saying:
“We believe in offering customers choices. This product may not be for everyone.”
While many customers may worry about leaving valuable packages in their vehicle, Shrivastava says that any damage to a car as a result of package delivery will be taken care of by the company.
“If the damage is caused by a delivery and a customer calls, we will make sure it’s right,” he says.
How Will Sellers Be Impacted?
Amazon is truly doing everything possible to take care of all of their customers’ needs so that they don’t need to buy anything from anywhere else. Prime deliveries ship food, appliances, electronics and anything you could think of and are now shipping them more conveniently than ever.
As the company continues to build up methods of convenience, they have pinpointed different issues that customers experience and tried to minimize them so that customers feel better about buying.
Limiting theft – one of the company’s biggest problems – will help customers feel much more secure about making purchases online instead of in person.
As those customers feel more comfortable, they purchase more items with greater frequency.
Applying these additional services to the Amazon Prime membership – which will soon cost $199 per year – has grown the service tremendously in recent years.
Services like Amazon Key are one of the reasons that Prime’s numbers continue to soar. The company just hit over 100 million memberships worldwide.
Though many people who have Amazon Prime may not use this in-home or in-vehicle delivery system, just having the option of that convenience can influence a customers’ decision to use Amazon or different third-party selling platform.
Giving customers this option exudes a “Wow Factor” as well since Amazon is the only company offering a similar service.
Amazon continues to weave their appliances’ functionality together in an effort to create a household filled with Amazon devices that work in sync with each other.
If a customer has an Amazon security system and has almost all of their appliances and electronics controlled verbally by an Amazon device, they are more likely to keep buying from Amazon.
It is evident that convenience and trust in delivery are at the heart of CEO Jeff Bezos’ intentions.
With more and more online shoppers committing to an Amazon Prime membership, sellers should expect their market to continue to grow.
Cyril Zackary Penn IV, writer at Rosenbaum Famularo, PC, is a soon-to-be graduate of Hofstra University with a Journalism degree from Sonoma, California. He started his own blog in high school and has been writing about sports, news and entertainment since. He is currently a staff writer at AXcess Baseball as well as the Hofstra Chronicle and formerly was the Sports Editor at Man of the Hour Magazine.