Would you let a courier in your home during your absence?

Amazon has used the CES to announce the launch of delivery to garages, extending the search for alternatives to its distribution service to avoid “house arrest” while trying to limit the recent growth in porch pirating, the theft of packages left outside homes.

The concept is a minor rebranding of the Key by Amazon system, now called Amazon Key, integrating other brands’ intelligent locks and devices, providing an alternative delivery method for people with cats or dogs or who just don’t feel comfortable allowing delivery drivers entry to their homes, and offering the possibility of using a space such as the garage, which provokes less reticence.

Home delivery is one of the biggest problems facing electronic commerce: shopping online was an occasional activity even until a decade ago, but has grown to include products of all kinds being ordered with much greater frequency, which often mean an increase in coordination to avoid repeated attempts to hand goods over, and that can send logistics costs soaring.

The changed circumstances have hit logistics operators, who now no longer carry out deliveries without a contact telephone number to call the recipient to find alternatives that avoid having return to an address, as well as the development of possibilities such as leaving items at gas stations, stores, etc.

Leave the package inside the home in the absence of the recipient is another alternative that involves the need to combine a monitoring camera with an intelligent lock to allow momentary while maintaining a reasonable level of surveillance, with August, Schlage, Kwikset or Yale now among the leading competitors in the United States, a market significantly different from other countries, mainly due to the scarce abundance of armored doors and locks equipped with a certain level of security. In markets such as Spain, where most people live in apartments with doors with multiple locks that require several turns of the key, there are options such as Tesa, owned by the Swedish group Assa Abloy, part o Yale, while for garage doors I know of Garageio in the United States or HomyHub, created by former IE Business School students, which already has a proven product in the market to connect with the lock of practically any garage door, and that has a deal with Spain’s Correos (link in Spanish) to facilitate entry for its couriers.

The initial response to the idea of providing couriers with entry to a home in the absence of owners was negative or, at best, cautious, despite the possible presence of some kind of surveillance camera. Recent developments, however, indicate that this will surely become, a relatively likely solution for logistics companies. How do you see things evolving? Would you open the door of your house or garage to strangers?

(En español, aquí)