“Smart lockers” is the business idea that local startup Freshlime has successfully floated into a new network for distributing online orders.
The company founded by Vassilis and Yiannis Papoulias used to install personal item storage spaces at concert venues and waterparks. Now these lockers, with the development of the right software, have shifted into retail commerce, becoming automatic pickup points where consumers can collect products ordered online.
While this facilitates e-commerce, the Freshlime founders believe it is an extension of brick-and-mortar stores, as their significance is enhanced instead of diminished.
“With smart lockers, enterprises create a new distribution channel for their products, and they themselves can directly oversee the entire management of orders through the installation of the software we have developed,” says Vassilis Papoulias.
The retailer receives each order, prepares it and places it in a smart locker. The customer receives an email or SMS notification with a code number, goes to the retailer’s pickup point and uses the code number to open the locker and collect the order, allowing for contactless delivery 24 hours per day, seven days a week, he adds.