With a free membership and a delivery PIN, consumers can now pick up deliveries at their convenience. BufferBox brings an alternative solution to potential digital consumers who have non-secured or undeliverable addresses.

Delivery lockers: new links in the e-commerce innovation chain


One effect of the rise of e-commerce is that more people are getting packages delivered, a process which has not seen nearly as much innovation. Many consumers have dealt with the frustration of missed packages, the additional costs of redelivery or even the alternative of the P.O. Box. A demand for a simpler delivery solution has prompted Amazon to open delivery lockers in various locations in the US, but an Ontario-based startup was offering this concept up to students in Waterloo beginning in 2011. BufferBox is now launching in Toronto, which gives consumers a free alternative to their own mailbox.

An alternative shipping option for consumers…

The consumer signs up for an account and receives an address, which she can use as her new shipping option. It lets them send to BufferBoxes for a small fee, and accepts deliveries from all delivery services. When a shipment arrives, she receives a PIN to enter at the kiosk and take the package home. BufferBox takes a portion of the shipping costs through their system, and their shipping option appears on “integrated” retailer e-commerce sites. The customer does not pay extra when purchasing from these sites and opting for BufferBox shipping, but through other retailers they pay $3 per parcel.

…Creating an open delivery platform for the majority of e-commerce traffic

Amazon’s Locker Delivery received mixed responses within BufferBox. The founders were disheartened, as they told the Wall Street Journal, but founder Mike McCauley says that the development put “credibility behind the technology.” Since Amazon controls 30 percent of the e-commerce market, this leaves possibilities open for all the other vendors who may want to diversify their delivery offerings. Partnered vendors make up some of the delivery traffic, but other vendors and consumers can use the service as well, which makes BufferBox an open platform. The startup plans to open more of their kiosks in other major Canadian cities, as well as in the US.

By Ivory King