To say online shopping has exploded in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic would be an understatement. Consider:
- 57% of consumers prefer to shop online.
- 63% of all shopping occasions begin online.
- Consumers spent 44% more online in 2020 than in 2019 — the highest annual growth in at least two decades.
Some call this “the Amazon Effect.” Granted, Amazon isn’t the only online retailer, but the mammoth company pioneered this space and remains at the top of the heap. In fact, 47% of all online shoppers made their first purchase on Amazon.
Think about the implications of this retail transformation. Many of your residents receive packages more often than they visit the local grocery store. Again, this was especially true during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the number of consumers who ordered groceries online doubled from a couple years prior to a new high of 42%.
There’s reason to believe that the trends accelerated by the pandemic will continue in the near future, as more consumers — especially young people — prioritize convenience over running errands at brick-and-mortar stores.
So how does this all tie back to how your property manages incoming packages? Let’s take a look at three package management issues.
Thanks to the Amazon Effect, receiving packages is now such a standard, almost daily occurrence for many people that your residents are going to notice if there are issues with package security or delivery.
Unfortunately, with the surge in online shopping has also come a surge in package theft. In 2020, 61% of people knew someone who’d had a package stolen, while 43% reported being personally victimized by package theft — both significant increases over prior years.
This is definitely the most well-known problem when it comes to package security, and methods to fight package theft include surveillance technology — such as doorbell cameras or security cameras placed around your property — or even regular patrols by hired security.
But there are other, less top-of-mind issues that are just as frustrating to your residents and could be driving them away.
As it turns out, far more common than package theft are mundane, run-of-the-mill complications with package management. How long do packages take up space in your office unclaimed? How do you keep track of who still needs to pick up their packages? How do you know if a package is in your office when a resident comes to claim it?
If you have packages piling up in your office, it could be that residents aren’t aware that they’ve arrived. You could tell residents to check the tracking on their packages, but if someone sends the resident a gift or if an item doesn’t have tracking available, they might not realize they have a package waiting for them.
The problem is finding the time to email or call residents to let them know they need to come pick up their packages.
A better alternative would be a system that easily tracks packages as soon as your office receives them. You should be able to quickly create a record of the package, scan its information, and have the system automatically notify residents via email or text message.
Then, the resident must sign for the package, ensuring packages go to the right people. This will keep you from having a pile of boxes disrupting your regular office functions while helping residents get their packages as soon as possible — a win for everyone involved.
The Amazon Effect can create headaches for your business and strain your relationship with your residents if you’re not prepared, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Implement a system to improve your package management, and your resident satisfaction will improve across the board.