Citizens of Delhi NCR can start getting their products from e-commerce sites delivered to certain metro stations in the city, starting next month, reports NDTV. Citizens will also get payment options like credit/debit cards at the Automated Parcel Delivery Terminals at the 10 stations of: MG Road, HUDA City Centre, Noida Sector 18, Laxmi Nagar, Vaishali, Nehru Place, Dwarka Sector 9, Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk and GTB Nagar.
Interestingly, last week, Smartbox, a Delhi based company introduced a network of automated parcel delivery terminals for online shoppers. It installed 12 terminals at metro stations and business centres in Delhi NCR, with plans to expand to 1,000 locations in 8 major cities by the end of this year. It’s not clear if both the DMRC’s and Smartbox’s initiatives are coincidental or part of the same plan. We’ve reached out to Smartbox and will update this when we hear from them.
The Postandparcel report states that users will receive an OTP when the parcel arrives, which they can provide to officials to receive their parcel. Smartbox claims that it will facilitate 24/7 terminals for online shoppers to collect their parcels. It uses a cloud based system to store, track, notify and deliver parcels, and partners with ecommerce companies for this service.
The availability of boxes at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will provide some kind of revenue generation for the DMRC, but it unclear which companies it has tied up with or what the revenue sharing model will be. Apparently, customers will get the option to get their parcels delivered at metro stations while they shop on ecommerce portals, according to the NDTV report.
Qikpod’s similar offering
Interestingly, last month, QikPod, a startup which aims to set up a network of fully automated self serve lockers in residential buildings, offices, cafes and kirana stores for delivery of goods ordered from e-commerce companies, raised a little over $9 million from multiple investors. The company aims to set up an IoT logistics platform for last mile delivery, especially for returning products ordered from ecommerce sites. It also planned to buils a parcel locker network of 50,000 across metros in the country.
Offline stores from ecommerce portals
Earlier this month, Yepme launched a brick and mortar store in Delhi NCR, following the footsteps of Flipkart who launched 20 centres in 10 cities and Snapdeal, who introduced Janus, a multi channel platform where users could discover, buy, get same day local delivery and value added services at a store near them. In August 2015, Pepperfry also set up six offline stores, whereas prescription eyeglasses e-tailer Lenskart said that it was planning to add 500 physical stores across the country.
We imagine this move is going to come incredibly handy to users who live in areas which are difficult to access for delivery personnel (I know because I’m one of them), office goers whose offices place restrictions on getting stuff delivered there, and people from gated communities. It’s also likely to reduce the travel time of personnel, some traffic on the road while also making it super convenient for users. And as this dude hilariously sings, ‘Metro se delhi me bahar aayi hai’.
Our Delhi Metro coverage here.