How accessing customers’ homes for deliveries when they are out will “soon be a reality”

Is this the end of undelivered parcels?

Online retail giant Amazon is working with tech companies to gain secure access to customers’ cars and houses when they are out. According to homedelivery expert ParcelHero, the e-tailer is set to announce it has ‘cracked the problem of how to deliver groceries to busy customers’ fridges or car boots thanks to smart access technology.’

Amazon is working with an automotive tech company to enable access using a ‘smart doorbell’ that gives one-time access to consumers’ homes for deliveries as well as a small security box containing a spare car key.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research David Jinks says: “The worry over how to take delivery of items when you are busy at work has never been properly solved. Parcel lockers aren’t always the most convenient solution. How much better if your items were just delivered into your hall or into your car, hassle free?”

And British shoppers are likely to get smart entry deliveries soon as the UK is frequently used as a test bed for new Amazon services: “UK cities such as London and Birmingham are ideal for testing new tech in high density living areas,” says Jinks.

Sources familiar with the project revealed to US broadcaster CNBC that Amazon’s plans are underway with a company called Phrame, which makes smart car number plates that have a small security box attached. This box contains a spare key to your car and is accessed by a code sent from the Amazon courier’s smart phone. Jinks says: “It sounds revolutionary,but in fact Audi, Volvo and delivery company DHL are all already working on their own version of this pioneering tech as well.”

Smart doorbells that let people into your home are already gaining in popularity both in the US and the UK: “It sounds risky, letting a complete stranger into your house. But this tech would give a one-off entry code, enabling secure delivery of items into your home. Smart doorbell systems are already becoming very popular, and most are also connected to the consumer’s phone camera – so they can see exactly who is gaining access and let them in remotely. Again, this isn’t just pie in the sky; Walmart announced a couple of weeks ago they were trialling something very similar.”

Jinks is delivering a speech to leading logistics professionals on the impact of home delivery technology at the Richmond Supply Chain Forum in Luton on Tuesday 17 October. He says Amazon’s latest smart entry plans are the tip of the iceberg for home deliveries and the way we consume goods. “We have yet to come to terms with near instant consumer gratification possible through 3D printing, for example. Amazon is even developing vans to print goods en route to the consumer. By 2030 e-commerce will have transformed the way we shop entirely and Amazon looks set to be leading that charge.”

ParcelHero’s recent report, Amazon’s Prime Ambition, reveals how the company intends to become the pipe through which all goods and services can be provided.