Just last month, Dutch logistics startup Sesam Solutions launched the Parcer: a safe way to not only receive packages, but also to send them. When you are not there. Not there at all! Last week I sat down with Sesam Solutions’ CEO Hans van Nikkelen Kuijper to talk about their innovation, which will make missed deliveries a thing of the past.
I regularly order things online. I like the ease and I’m there reading about what I want to order anyway. I must say that I don’t miss many deliveries, but that is due to the fact of our street and the ease with which parcel carriers can leave packages at one my neighbors. It’s not because I’m always there. Usually during the day (when most deliveries are done) I’m away, as are most people. “Missed deliveries are on the top of the list when it comes to online shopping mishaps, both for consumers as well as for carriers”, says Hans, “Parcer takes this irritation away completely.”
How Does it Work?
The Parcer is a box (and a nice looking one at that, as you can see on the picture on the right) which you attach to the wall of your house, or install at your gate. You put a sticker in a place where any delivery person can see it, explaining that you’d like your shipment to be placed in your Parcer if you’re not at home. After registering your Parcer via the Parcer website a browser plugin is installed, and you are ready to go! When you buy something online a code gets put behind your last name at the close of the order process, which then will automatically be printed on the shipping label. The delivery person can then use this code to open the Parcer and leave the parcel inside. Different parcels get different unique codes, and as long as there is enough room in the Parcer, shipments can be added.
But is it Safe?
The Parcer is very safe. Several safety measures have been installed and implemented to keep your shipment inside. It’s just as hard to break into a car as it is to break into a Parcer, but a Parcer will immediately warn its owner by sending an alert message once somebody tries doing so. The Parcer also has an internal scale, so you know immediately if a shipment is incomplete, or if delivery person number two decided to take the shipment that was dropped off earlier by delivery person one with him.
How do I know which Webshop or Transportation Company offers Parcer-compatible service?
Because the Parcer uses a code that is printed on the shipping label after your name there are no limitations as to which shops or carriers are compatible. “This is what sets Parcer apart from other similar startups with delivery lockers. Our system doesn’t need to be integrated with the systems of retailers or transportation company”, Hans explains. This is important for consumers, as it means that they don’t have to check whether a web-shop, or parcel shipper is compatible.
Return Shipment? No Problem!
Because the Parcer is set up the way it is, it can also be used to create a return shipment. You register your return at parcer.nl and a notification with a unique code to open the Parcer is sent to the transportation company that will come to pick it up. When the driver opens the Parcer and picks up the shipment, it then sends a message to its owner that it has been picked up. It can also alert the web-shop that the shipment is on its way back. A lot of web-shops currently have no or little view of their return flow; a lot of returns simply show up. With this system the webshop can be pre-alerted to the return and can take steps to prepare.
Cool. But What Does it Cost?
“We wanted the Parcer to be both fashionable and affordable. You install it on your doorstep, so it needs to be both functionally as well as aesthetically sound”. And I think they achieved both goals. The introductory price is EUR 139 (this will be EUR 239) for the Parcer Basic and EUR 169 (this will be EUR 279) for the Parcer Food.
Food? Did you say Parcer Food?
Yes. Parcer Food. Sesam Solutions developed a fully insulated unit as well, which will keep your delivery warm (if it is a meal) or cold (in case of medicine or maybe chilled wine). You can check the temperature in your Parcer Food real time and have it send you a message if it gets to cold, or to warm in the Parcer (depending on what’s in there).
I think it is a great idea. Parcer has combined design with functionality and have solved one of the biggest irritations of online shoppers: the missed delivery. The fact that they have been able to create a solution that will work with any webshop and any shipper makes it easy to install and use for consumers and small businesses alike. Hans has told me about several other logistics challenges the Sesam Solutions technology behind the Parcer can solve. I will have another coffee with him soon and tell you more about that in a future post.
Their tagline makes sense: Parcer. Always at Home. Please check out Parcer.nl for more information and / or to order one. Currently the Parcer is only available in the Netherlands.
Check out the video below to see how it works (the voice over is in Dutch).