Title: Unattended reception – a business opportunity?

Authors: Vesa Kamarainen, Mikko Punakivi

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 9500, FIN-02015 TKK, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 9500, FIN-02015 TKK, Finland

Abstract: The reception of goods is a major challenge in the home delivery business. Most of the home delivery models require the customer to be at home to receive the order during the agreed timeframe. This increases the delivery costs and waiting is inconvenient for the customer. Some e-grocers, such as Peapod in the USA and SOK in Finland, tried to solve the problem by offering reception boxes to some of their customers. This paper assesses the business opportunities offered by different unattended reception concepts. The e-grocery business has shown that investment in unattended reception would be a means of reducing the current operational cost level. However, it seems that no company has found a successful revenue model to make unattended reception profitable. In this paper, we identify and examine different concepts and revenue models of unattended reception. These are evaluated based on experiences from an e-grocery pilot in the Helsinki metropolitan area and on interviews with catering kitchens. In addition, concrete examples of different revenue models are given, both in the B2C and B2B environment.

Keywords: unattended reception; reception box; home delivery box; home delivery; delivery service; electronic grocery shopping; grocery business; logistics, Finland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2004.004059

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2004 Vol.5 No.2, pp.206 - 220

Available online: 29 Mar 2004 *

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