The potential of using digital lockers as a delivery and return method for online purchasing of clothes

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Sammanfattning: This thesis was written with the purpose of investigating the potential for using digital lockers as a last mile delivery method for e-commerce of clothes. Moreover, the thesis also aims at determine how online shopping of clothes and last mile deliveries affect the travel behaviour of the customers. The thesis focuses on Swedish consumers and their experience from purchasing clothes online, together with their preferred delivery methods in the future. The product category clothes was chosen for the reason that it is the largest product category of the physical product bought online in Sweden and online sales of clothes is increasing.In order to analyse the potential for digital lockers, literature was collected in the fields of last mile deliveries and customer travel behaviour, in addition a web-based survey aiming at consumers and their perceptions in regards to last mile deliveries is done by the researchers of this thesis. The survey was sent out to students at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers. In total 353 respondents replied to the survey and out of those 281 responses were complete. The survey contained 42 questions arranged in different categories according to topics and was made through a web-based program, Survey Monkey. The survey included questions for both students who had bought clothes online and students who only had bought clothes in physical stores during the twelve last months. Therefore, a logic in the program allowed the respondents to skip questions that were irrelevant to them and thus reduced the number of questions each respondent had to answer.The results from the survey and the analysis reveal that there is a potential for digital lockers to be used as a last mile delivery method, due to the advantages digital lockers have compared with other last mile delivery options. Such advantages would be less time in a queue due to the automatically retrieval and decreased demand of workforce to deliver the parcels. Another advantage is the wider time span and the possibility to collect the parcels depending on where the digital lockers are located. Furthermore, it is found that the location of the digital lockers is of great importance in order for the digital lockers to become successful. Such locations would be areas where there is a high density of people passing by, like high traffic commuting stations or shopping malls. Found from the survey, residential areas were considered as the most suitable locations to install digital lockers. The disadvantages of digital lockers are the investment and maintenance costs together with issues in regards to permission of where to locate them.In terms of how e-commerce impacts on the travel behaviour of the customers, it is concluded that there is a connection between the way customers travel and how the clothes are delivered. The way the customers travel influences how they prefer to have their parcels delivered or where they prefer to collect them. The delivery method chosen is also influenced by customers travel patterns and their daily routines. It is therefore, according to this thesis a double-directed relation between travel behaviour and delivery methods of clothes bought online.

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