Cyber Monday sales this year hit record highs of over $6 billion— and all that stuff has to get delivered. But despite your protests of too-much-holiday-food fatigue, you still have to go to work and can’t sit around waiting for your packages to show up. The rise in e-commerce is leading to another growing trend — that of packages stolen right outside your front door.
Approximately 11 million packages are stolen each year, the majority (74 percent) during the day when homeowners are out. Boxlock solves this problem — it’s a connected padlock that locks a storage receptacle on your porch. The smart lock only opens when a delivery driver scans a tracking number on a package addressed to you. As soon as the package is in the locked storage container, you get a notification. No guesswork, no more tracking.
The company is already working with major delivery names like Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Their Kickstarter campaign has already generated more than double the amount of orders they need to start production. For a $99 base fee you get the smart lock, which anticipates arrival in August 2018.
BoxLock is founder Brad Ruffkess’ second startup; for the past eight years he’s been a leader on the marketing team at Coca-Cola. As retail shifts towards e-commerce and delivery, he began to identify the challenges inherent in that shift.
“Much of that work was focused on the ways marketing strategies and techniques change in a world where more and more things are being delivered,” says Ruffkess.
But, he says the problem really came to a head when he moved from a doorman-manned condo to a house.
“I spent some time researching package theft solutions and was disappointed with what I found. Then, about three weeks after we moved in, we had two packages stolen off our front stoop and we immediately joined the 23 million victims of package theft in the United States,” says Ruffkess. “I became motivated to find a solution to this problem and began to realize that the idea for BoxLock is much more flexible and elegant than any of the other potential solutions.”
He drew inspiration from the electronic locks that realtors access homes with, which work through a smartphone-driven unlocking system. Similarly, BoxLock is designed to be as seamless as possible. It’s charged from the built-in USB port, with a 30-day battery life.
The app even enables you to share your unique barcode so family or friends can retrieve your packages should you be traveling or held up.
Ruffkess says that, while they’re focused on the package theft problem for now, that doesn’t rule out additional related products in the future.
“We’re also working on solutions that are integrated with at-home delivery services (like Instacart and Postmates) to enable a wide range of deliveries beyond just packages that can be secured.”