Meeting the surge in online shopping with smart delivery solutions:
Amid the uncertainty of living through a pandemic, more and more Africans, and South Africans particularly, are shopping online – from groceries and medication to gadgets and books. In order to minimise the disruption COVID-19 has caused on how consumers can gain access to their essentials, shopping online has become a saving grace.
However, while online shopping offers a relatively safer buying experience, it’s not always affordable or convenient when it comes to delivery costs and times. Customers are now facing the issue of having to wait for their groceries to be delivered—delaying meal times—and possibly having incomplete orders. Some retail stores still require waybills to be signed which increases the possibility of contracting the virus for both customer and driver. Orders can only be delivered at certain times meaning customers have to be home to receive their parcels or re-deliveries have to be scheduled.
As retail traffic moves online, businesses experience an increasing constraint on their courier capacities, resulting in extended delivery times and disgruntled customers. The closure of borders has meant that access to regular stock is diminished or halted completely. In 2019, the e-commerce market in Africa was worth $27.6 billion and in the last 6 years, Africa’s online shoppers have steadily grown by 18% (accounting for $431 million of the e-commerce revenue in2019).
However, this booming industry, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, has been afflicted with challenges such as unclear addresses, scattered delivery destinations, and inadequate IT infrastructure such as businesses not being able to track goods and share their locations with customers. How can a business offer their endusers a different experience that is far better than using traditional couriers? How will it simplify the delivery process? This calls for innovative solutions to the ‘last-mile delivery dilemma’ and the ECD smart locker is one of those solutions.
[Image by Mohamed Hassan onPxhere]
ECD Smart Lockers for a smoother delivery
The ECD (Easy Collect & Drop) smart locker offers a delivery and courier alternative that’s affordable, safe and convenient. You can now collect, send and store the smart way. The ECD locker can help you avoid unexpected or excessive delivery fees at checkout. If your budget is strained, but you still want to send your friend a gift because they spent their birthday in lockdown or you need your roommate to send you the textbooks you left in university res, the ECD can make it happen without breaking your bank. That’s because using one of these lockers starts at only R25. Could it possibly be that simple? Yes! We explain how below.
ECD is a safe compartment that allows you to receive a parcel from a business or send a parcel to someone. It can also allow you to store valuables and other items fora certain amount of time. This locker is smart because you can’t break into it with a hairpin or bolt cutters and it will require any user to have a unique pin orQR code to access it. Also, it’s bigger than a traditional locker so you can go from squeezing in your backpack to comfortably fitting in a small luggage bag.ECD can be placed in and around petrol stations, retail stores, office buildings, university campuses or gated communities like residential estates. If you’re in the Dainfern Square or Pineslopes Boulevard area, go take a peek at this versatile parcel delivery locker for yourself. And if you’re a Gautrain commuter, watch the space because ECD lockers are making their way to you soon.
[Image by And Africa LLC]
How an ECD smart locker works:
Here’s how you can get delivery savvy as soon as possible with ECD’s convenient and contactless delivery services:
- Download our mobile app (iOS or Android) or access the web app. Now, all you need to do is to register and create your profile, and voila, you’re ready to use our services.
- Are you still wondering how we can help? You can choose any of our suggested options listed below:
- Locker-to-Locker: enables you to search for and reserve two smart lockers: one for the sender to drop-off the package and the other locker for the recipient to collect the package.
- Locker-to-Door: allows you to search and reserve a single locker for the sender to drop off a parcel and select a delivery address for where the parcel should be delivered.
- Online Purchase (explained below)
- Storage (explained below)
- Receive an SMS with 6-digit pin or QR code that details the parcel drop-off and pick-up information.
- Goto the designated ECD locker and drop-off/pick-up your parcel.
1. Parcel Delivery Locker:
Handle your deliveries smartly thanks to our Parcel Delivery Locker service
AnECD locker works around your schedule. That means no more missing deliveries or having to arrange for someone to sign and receive a parcel for you. If a store is too far away from you and you can’t collect an order during their normal trading hours, a smart locker is a suitable alternative. Also, it’s easier to find parking at a petrol station than at a shopping mall and you can easily carry parcels right into your boot. During the pandemic, it’s especially convenient for eliminating human contact.
ECD can be used for your parcel to be delivered. Because this smart locker means a business doesn’t have to make door-to-door deliveries, it will reduce their delivery cost, resulting in your delivery fee being significantly reduced. At checkout, all you have to do is select the ‘smart locker’ option as a delivery method. Usually, the locker platform or online store you use will send you a notification that your order is ready for collection and you’ll have about 48hours to pick it up. You will receive an SMS or an email notification with the drop-off and pick-up information such as a 6-digit pin or QR code when you’re retrieving the parcel.
2. Pick-up Locker:
Your time is precious, save it with our Pick-up Locker service
If you’ve ordered something online and want to forego the delivery charge altogether, businesses normally give you the option of collecting your order in-store (By Online, Pick-up inStore). However, this may result in queuing or having staff inform you that they are unable to locate your package. During the pandemic, you may be wanting to limit the amount of time you spend outside your home or interacting with other people. In this case, you can select an ECD locker as your preferred delivery method directly on the shopping website then search and reserve an ECD of your choice. After making payment, all you have to do is wait to receive anSMS or email notifying you that your purchase is ready for collection at your selected store location. The smart locker will allow you to go to the chosen location and almost immediately collect your package by simply using the PIN orQR code sent to your phone or email to open the locker.
[Image by Mohamed Hassan onPxhere]
3. Storage Locker:
Store it until you need it with our Smart Storage Locker
If you’ve lost countless padlocks or can’t seem to remember the three digits to your combination lock (even though it’s probably your birthday), then using a smart locker to store your valuables could be the solution. Also, it reduces the worry that someone can break the lock and might be able to take your valuables.Whether it’s just for a few hours while you take the Gautrain for a meeting or you’re a part of over-packers anonymous and need a place to store your extra luggage (and that biltong you’re so not throwing away), renting a locker could be a saving grace. All you have to do is pay for the rental time and you’re free to use it – per hour or per day.
ECD takes full advantage of technological strengths in Asia and, having been founded inAsia, can leverage the knowledge of leading markets in that region, tailor made to address African e-commerce challenges.
If you want to learn more about this delivery method or are eager to let us knowhow you’ll be using it, check out our website and connect with us on all our socials below.