Alexa: Can You Tell Me About Online Shopping?


Logistics innovations

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years or so you’ve certainly been aware of a major paradigm shift in how consumers shop for goods and have them delivered. Not only has the internet made the world a much smaller place, it’s also given the consumer the upper hand when it comes to comparative shopping, ultimately helping you decide which brands you’re going to give your hard earned money to.

‍Charting the changes

Graph showing the increase in eCommerce sales in the U.S.

Since 2010 sales conducted exclusively online in North America have tripled to a 2017 forecast of 660 billion and while pure online sales currently account for a single digit percentage of overall retail sales, (in Canada, double digit in the US) the number will continue to rise well into 2018 and beyond. In fact, in 2018 it’s forecast that 22.5 million of us here in the Great White North will be shopping regularly online for not only “now and again” purchases but for replenishable household items.

‍Methods to the madness

The meteoric rise of online shopping has spurred some ingenious and not so ingenious methods of getting your orders delivered to you. Imagine thousands of drones flying across the city delivering parcels in a matter of minutes, or handing the keys to your house over to a parcel delivery driver that will restock your fridge with your online order from the grocery store. Whatever the eventual outcome will be, the fact is that online will be intrinsically linked to how we go about the daily business of living, for good or bad. You also need to take into consideration that we won’t necessarily be shopping more, just that more of our shopping will be conducted both on digital devices (mobile in particular) and through online stores.

‍A Voice is a Powerful Thing

2017 has seen a quantum leap in the sales of voice activated “smart” devices for the home (in some areas triple digital increases…voice activated searches now account for 30% off all searches on google)). While these devices initially are being used to turn off/on lights, tune to your favourite TV show and tell you the weather, they’re also being increasingly used to shop for products.

Google Home and Amazon Alexa’s respective voice recognition software have come a very long way and now represent a true viable alternative to creating emails and text messages as well as understanding and returning relevant search results. Because of this, major retailers have already begun to face off in the race to be the “go to” provider of voice activated product searches. Google has teamed up with Walmart and the Amazon Alexa device has Amazons seemingly endless database of consumer products to choose from. Also given that Amazon now owns Wholefoods, grocery delivery is surely not far away.

Soon enough the phrase “Alexa, turn off the lights on the porch” will be replaced with “Alexa, please order a 20 pack of diapers that are on sale”

‍Delivering the goods

So, online shopping numbers in all areas have risen dramatically, voice activated searches will drive those numbers even higher as we get used to replenishing normal household items on a regular basis, if you strip away all the charts, the reports, the media hype that’s out there each and every holiday season, what’s the reason for the massive increases? At the end of the day it’s all about convenience, the convenience to shop when you want to shop, the ability to have every conceivable retailer vying for your business 24/7 is a very attractive proposition for sure.

However, the last piece of the online puzzle has been traditionally the hardest to solve, it’s all about delivering the goods. While there have been huge advances in online technology the fact remains that the online experience is not just about ordering the product at a great price, it’s equally important that you get your order on time and in the most convenient way possible.

‍The ParcelPort Solution

At Parcel Port we’ve come up with solutions that we think complete the entire order process and provides the most convenient way for you to receive your online parcel, when you want and where you want to.

Imagine, when you complete your online order, select Parcel Port instead of your home address and then choose from hundreds of locations that you can pick up your parcel from. No longer will you worry about a parcel being left on your porch unattended, having to leave work early to make sure you’re home when the courier says he’ll deliver and then driving back to a depot if you miss the delivery. We’ve all had that happen.

We’ll send you up the minute information on where you parcel is, and send you a message when it has arrived so you know for sure it’s there at one of our secure locations of your choosing. Even better, you can choose a locker close to where you work or even where you will be, not just near where you live.

In fact, we’ve also made it even easier and more cost effective to ship your parcels and presents to family and friends anywhere in the world, and even return that Christmas sweater you thought would be a big hit but wasn’t. It really is that easy.

At Parcel Port ultimately we’re online shoppers as well and because of this have created a smart parcel pick up and ship solution that would satisfy us as consumers, we’re hoping you’ll agree as well.

If you’d like to learn more, have questions or want us to keep you up to date on when a Parcel Port Smart Locker Solution Centre is launched in your area, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you.