We at nello started out five years ago with the mission to simplify urban life. The most important pillar to achieve that for our customers is through unattended delivery. It allows our customers to do whatever they want without having to be restricted by delivery time slots.

Two unattended delivery options are typically available: unattended hallway / porch and in-home delivery. For hallway / porch access, customers only need to be able to grant access to the communal area. For in-home access, customers need to grant access to their most private area. The devices to grant access to the different spaces are now readily available. nello one being the enabler for access to the communal area which is needed for both unattended hallway and in-home delivery.

In 2018, we started to work with leading retailers and couriers to test all the different options. In total, we worked with 4 different companies in Germany and the Netherlands and learned the following 5 things:

  1. People living in apartments have the biggest pain 

    Adoption, customer satisfaction and love for the unattended delivery option is significantly higher for households living in apartments. Single family homes already benefit from unofficial unattended delivery options such as the porch or some place that the home dweller and courier (unofficially) agreed upon. In apartments, the situation is very different. If apartment dwellers miss a delivery, the delivery has to be picked up at some distant parcel shop or post office with very restrictive opening hours. The only guaranteed delivery options these customers have, is to stay at home and wait for the courier to show up or pay for costly on-demand deliveries.

  2. Hallway is going to win over in-home, at least over the next 5 years

    Customers are very concerned about letting couriers into their actual home as trust in drivers is very low. We are convinced that technology and changing customer behavior will alter that view. As companies are looking to scale options quickly though, we are convinced that focussing on unattended hallway delivery options will be the best way to go. Hallway is considered safe by customers and granting access to the communal area is typically not considered to be very sensitive.

  3. Forget about in-fridge delivery

    In-fridge delivery sounds very promising given that it can take away much of the packaging hassle to make sure groceries stay in the appropriate temperature level until customers get hold of the groceries. In real life operations though we learned that customers forget to clear out their fridge and filling up the fridge is operationally cumbersome and time consuming. Therefore we believe the future of unattended grocery delivery will have to rely on appropriate cooling. Players such as Amazon Fresh, HelloFresh and Marley Spoon have already figured that bit out, we expect every grocery company to support appropriate cooling soon.

  4. Night delivery will actually be a thing

    Cities look for solutions to reduce traffic. Couriers look for ways to increase their delivery capacity without having to invest more into their infrastructure. By moving operations to the night, congestion in cities can be significantly improved and courier capacity can be unlocked. Besides city and operator requirements though, this model also appeals to customers as night delivery is more sustainable and allows for faster delivery times. At night, the only delivery option is the hallway though as neither direct delivery nor in-home delivery is possible as the customer is sleeping and obviously does not want to be disturbed.

  5. The experience has to be seamless

    People want to automate access for deliveries. Close to 100% of participants in our projects stated that access to either hallway or home should be managed by the courier without a transactional approval by the recipient. People that use unattended delivery options are typically busy during the day and therefore do not want to be interrupted. Therefore the only way to really execute on unattended delivery options is by integrating the access into the courier handhelds.

Based on these findings, we at nello are now focussing on bringing unattended hallway deliveries to our customers (at night). We believe that this is the most successful model to build up installed base as quickly as possible as customers appreciate the efficiency, sustainability and speed of that offering. If you want to learn more, have a look at our current website.