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How did Got-it Box come to be?

Many ideas form when someone has a problem, or hears about a common problem. These ideas are often thought about for a long time and then sometimes developed. This was the case with Got-it Box.

We were hearing stories from frustrated friends and family members. They were annoyed with delivery companies for leaving failed delivery notices at their homes when there was no one home to receive packages.  When they arrived home to find these notices they’d then have to commute to various depots to pick up their packages. In some cases, depending on the delivery company, they’d have to commute for over an hour.

The first factor: we had to come up with something convenient.

Then we heard stories about stolen packages. This is very frustrating for people who've experienced it. Having a package stolen is unfortunate, unsettling and infuriating. In some cases there are very expensive items being delivered to front porches. The items can sit on a porches for most of the day, depending on when the delivery company drops them off.  

The second factor: we had to develop something that was secure.

Both of these factors lend to the reality that the problems will only increase with the growing popularity of online shopping. With this in mind we knew something had to be developed. At first we were thinking about consumers, everyday people who were dealing with frustrating delivery problems.  But once we had some research under our belts we realized that many people could benefit from something solving the problems of inconvenience and lack of security, not just consumers. We quickly recognized that delivery companies were also in need of something to make things more convenient and secure, not to mention efficient.

Some delivery companies make one attempt at delivering your package, if you’re not home to receive it they stick one of those failed delivery notices on your door. Other companies say they’ll try three times and only after the third failed attempt will they leave a notice. There are some very skeptical people out there who think delivery companies actually try three times. We trust that they’re trying to get your packages to you and we want to help with this task.

If delivery companies deliver packages to Got-it Boxes then they can guarantee first time deliveries! Who wouldn’t love that? Retailers would love it because they wouldn’t receive emails from customers who were victims of package theft. Delivery companies would love it because they don’t have to make more than one trip to each home expecting a package . Consumers would love it because they wouldn’t have to commute to retrieve packages or worry about their items sitting on their front porches all day.
Win! Win! Win!

And Porch Pirates would hate it, which is completely ok! Another Win! 

 

Shipping instructions in the address. Here's how!

We've been working on this for a while now and it's proving successful! 

If you're shopping a retail website that doesn't have special shipping instructions, add your Got-it Box PIN# to the second address line when placing your order. 

It turns out that this isn't a new concept. While attending trade shows and events we heard from Got-it Box admirers that have been adding notes to the second address line for a while. Some said they use a few words to inform the delivery person of the best place to leave a package; "behind the back gate," "under the chair" etc. Others leave complete sentences if they have the room.  

We realized we were on to something after these conversations. 

To access a Got-it Box you have to push the FACTO button after you enter the PIN# (or code). The FACTO button is needed to lock it up as well. You can see from the image below that we inform users how to use the lock with a handy sticker on every Got-it Box. 

Don't forget that if your packages are on the thinner side they can be delivered to your Got-it Box via the mail slot above the door!

Got-it Box provides options, not just for what can be delivered to it but how things can be delivered to it. 

If you have any special tips for informing your delivery folks of shipping instructions please let us know!

Special shipping instructions and retailers

When shopping online we don't usually worry about shipping and delivery options until after we've chosen the items we're buying. Once we're ready we take a few seconds to review our orders and decide what shipping method best suits our needs. It seems simple enough but what if we need to give the delivery person a special instruction on where to leave the package? 

Some retail websites offer this option and some don't. In today's market, with so many shopping options and a very high number of delivery complaints, we're shocked to see how many online retailers don't offer special shipping instructions.

Adding special shipping instructions to websites can make things easier for the customers as well as the delivery folks. Allowing customers to include messages on their packaging to the courier gives them a sense of security. Some consumers only shop from online retailers who offer special shipping instructions because they've had packages stolen in the past. There are negative stories all over the internet about bad shipping/delivery experiences. Customers get upset with the delivery companies while others are frustrated because retailers say they can't do anything to help them if something goes wrong in the final steps of their experience. Adding a special shipping instructions section, special delivery section or a comments section could eliminate potential problems.

We've been looking at many websites, determining who has special shipping instructions and who doesn't. Rather than make a list we've decided to contact the companies and ask them about adding this feature to their retail websites. Change takes time though, so the more people who reach out to online companies the better. If online retail stores start to notice that people are asking for this option then they'll make the switch. Let's not forget that it benefits everyone including them. If delivery problems lessen because their customers had the chance to include special instructions then it's a win-win! 

Just a tip for anyone wondering- when we order from websites that have special shipping instructions we can expect to see our packages arrive with the instructions on the side of the box.
Like this:
                             

David'sTea has special shipping instructions and the delivery person put the package in a Got-it Box!  

It's pretty simple.

                                           

                                                 

It can also be fun! Check out some funny examples of people who decided to try out the special instructions section for things other than shipping and delivery notes:

                               

And in case you would like to add some special instructions to your pizza order:


                                                                                             

We've talked about this in another blog post, We're all working toward the same end goal, but with this post we decided to focus more on the retailers. As consumers we have the power to ask for our favourite retailers to make these simple changes to their websites. Easy! 

Reach out to retailers on their websites and through social media. Tag Got-it Box so we know who you've contacted and we'll contact them too! 

If you're a retailer and you like this idea, check out our retailer page to see why we think you should embrace special shipping instructions and Got-it Box for your customers! 

University life & Got-it Box

Post-secondary students are some of the busiest people around. Whether attending school full time or part time, working while studying, living on campus or in a group-situation, every student has a different story.

If attending college or university means that you’re living away from home than receiving care-packages from loved ones can be tricky. Chances are you’re living in residence or with a group of people in off-campus housing. You probably have many people crossing your threshold in the run of a day. If there’s a package sitting outside with your name on it you hope that a kind person will put it somewhere for you to find, but that’s not always the case.

The last thing you want to deal with is a stolen package. Porch Pirates! You especially don’t want to hear that a package from home was stolen. They’re the best packages and everyone knows it! Parents have a keen sense for including special things in those deliveries: your favourite baked goods, books, things you forgot during the move, notes from siblings or grandparents. Receiving these packages can be very exciting but securing these deliveries is an important thing to think about as well.

One of the biggest complaints heard when I was in University was from students living in residence who were expecting packages. Even though they lived on campus they would receive missed delivery notices because the mail room wasn’t big enough to store multiple students’ packages. If their packages didn't make the cut they’d have to commute 30-mins to retrieve them. This was not always an easy task if they didn't have a vehicle while living at school. For students dealing with a packed course-load it was even harder to manage their package pick-up. It was common to hear people arranging drives to the post office; it was also common to hear how annoying the whole process was for them. 

We've been thinking a lot about this and how Got-it Box can make things easier for students. For those living in group-settings like sororities and fraternities package delivery could be very simple with a Got-it Box. If your house is in a busy area you may feel better about having packages locked up until you (or someone) gets home. If you're ordering a lot of things or you like to do group orders with your house-mates then Got-it Box is great because it can hold many packages in all different sizes! 

You probably won't be surprised to read that "Millennials, those consumers aged 18 to 34, remain the key age demographic for online commerce, spending more money online in a given year than any other age group," according to Cooper Smith with Business Insider

Most post-secondary students would fall between the 18-34 age bracket and especially those living in sororities and fraternities. If the people who are spending the most money online are also the ones most likely to live with a group then having a Got-it Box only makes sense! 

                             

 

 

 

If you live on a campus, in a sorority/fraternity, or any type of off-campus group housing and think you could benefit from having a Got-it Box please let us know!                          

                                     

Sources:

Business Insider 

Shop online to save money

Saving money is a huge variable for many people when shopping. Even those of us that love shopping still have to think about how much we’re spending and whether or not we’re making smart choices. Most people look for sales, special promotions, store memberships (most retailers offer member-cards now, don’t they?) and anything else that will help them to limit their spending. For some it’s necessity and for others it’s simply the thrill of knowing they saved a few dollars.

With online shopping increasing across the board, the internet has become a great place to score some deals! In many situations you can find things cheaper online than in a bricks and mortar locations. For consumers who like to window-shop, it's become common to look at items online with smartphones while browsing in person. Instead of shopping in the physical stores they're just checking things out, like quality and size.

There are things that are always cheaper online (eyeglasses/contact lenses) and others that are sometimes cheaper online (clothes/shoes). But you’ll definitely find deals on things if you keep an eye out. That's the great thing about the internet, there are so many websites to search!

When looking online, it’s not just the cheaper prices incentivizing you to shop. You can also find websites that offer cheap shipping and sometimes free shipping! It's more common these days to find retailers enticing shoppers to use the internet instead of bricks and mortar locations. If you can find what you’re looking for online at a cheaper price and the shipping is free, why would you waste the time and gas-money going to a store?

Different retailers offer different deals when it comes to shipping. Some will offer cheaper shipping when you increase your order, others offer free shipping no matter what. Either way, online retailers want your business so they’ll offer deals to get it. It’s a win-win for you because you get deals along with the convenience of not having to go to the stores. Awesome!

                           

                            

                             

If you're inclined to shop online for Christmas gifts, or any other gifts for that matter, you're doing it right! There are so many things that go along with shopping in stores: travelling to get there in traffic, jostling for position in crowded parking lots, scouring stores for gifts, waiting in long lineups, and any other added stressors that seem to peak during the holidays. You really don't have to deal with any of this stuff, just shop online from the comfort of your home. Easy!

With Christmas right around the corner you'll want to think of tricks to save money and time when buying gifts. We've got you covered:

Shopping at Christmas can be stressful so having items sent to your home is much easier. We know everyone loves getting packages delivered so it's also more fun this way! 

Once you’re finished ordering all those gifts online you’ll obviously be expecting more packages. To keep them secure until you get home from work or any other daily chore, have them shipped to a Got-it Box! It’s easy. When setting up your shipping information on the site you’re ordering from, include some info about your Got-it Box in the special shipping/comment section.

Have a look at the Got-it Box Twitter account to see which companies have delivered to Got-it Boxes so far! Shop from them, they’re great :) 

For more info on buying or renting a Got-it Box click here. And remember, Christmas will be here before you know it! 

p.s. Shopping online is also a greener way to shop. If this idea makes you happy check out our blog post, Let's all be greener together. Think before you buy. 

Sources:
Globe and Mail
Real Simple
Good Housekeeping
Forbes
Clearly Contacts
Indigo 
David's Tea

Let's all be greener together! Think before you buy.

With the UN Climate Summit currently in the news we can't help but think about the impact regular shopping can have on the environment. 

Everything we do impacts the environment some how but what we do to offset our impact has to count for something. So, let's talk about regular shopping versus online shopping. 

When we say regular shopping we mean the old fashioned way- physically going to stores to purchase things. There's a good chance you use a vehicle to transport yourself to the various shops, compare items in different stores (which may require a bit more driving), then drive home. If you forget anything you'll find yourself making another trip in your vehicle (very common!).  

Some say that regular shopping keeps their costs down because they are frequently aware of their purchases. We'd be surprised to hear if people were factoring in the cost of transportation when thinking about this. Bonus points if you do think about your impact and choose public transit or cycling!

Really, we think the justification is split equally between people who say they're saving money by shopping the regular way and those that save by shopping online.  When shopping the regular way transportation is a factor, when shopping online shipping can be a factor. The key word here is 'can'. For many retail websites shipping is discounted or even free (Note: our next blog post will feature tips on how to save money by shopping online). So, shipping charges aren't always a problem. 

                               

Getting back to the green conversation- you're definitely right if you're thinking that the packages you order online have to get to you somehow. And that somehow is usually airplanes and trucks. While completing a study at the University of Washington engineers found that, "Delivery service trucks produced 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide than the corresponding personal vehicles driven to and from a grocery store."

Similar studies have been conducted all over the world, Per Square Mile (www.persquaremile.com) highlights interesting stats from a comprehensive study organized in the U.K. They say, "If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, their results were unequivocal: Shop online. If you drove to the store, you’d have to buy 24 items to make the trip equal to the carbon footprint of just one item ordered online. If you took the bus, you’d have to buy eight." That puts things into perspective. 

                             

Some articles talk about reducing carbon footprint with grocery delivery specifically (Amazon Fresh, Google Shopping Express, Fresh Direct, PeaPod, Spud, etc.). When a fleet of trucks is delivering groceries to many homes, it cuts down on all those people driving to and from grocery stores, much like the online shopping example given above. It adds up when you start to think about it. Delivery companies are very conscious about their environmental impact and costs these days, so they're taking measures to cut back on both. Most delivery companies have sustainability reports on their websites detailing what they've done to contribute to the fight against climate change- UPS, FedEx, Purolator, Canada Post.

Next time you think about buying something, stop and consider whether or not it would be better to purchase it online. Save time, carbon footprint, and even money (think about the gas you're saving and deals you can find online). And when you're considering this also think about the delivery companies that have a mandate to return to your home or office two or three times to avoid missed deliveries. Instead of having them make those extra carbon-emission filled trips, use a Got-it Box so everyone can guarantee a first time delivery! 

You, Delivery Companies, and Got-it Box working together to make things greener!

                                                    

 


Sources:

University of Washington

Per Square Mile

UN Climate Summit 2014

Interior design, Landscape design, Got-it Box

If you're ever given the opportunity to learn about interior design, take that opportunity! It is such an interesting field. We were lucky enough to hear an interior designer speak in a lecture-series type of event recently and it was eye-opening. One of the first things explained was the difference between interior designers and interior decorators. Apparently people in both careers have to answer that question quite a bit. As Lauren Flanagan put it, for About.com, "Both interior designers and interior decorators create beautiful and functional spaces, but they are separate professions." 

We're blogging about interior design and decorating because we think Got-it Box offers function to interior space, whether in a home or an office. And in some cases home offices. 


Designers and decorators are looking for unique pieces. It's probably considered a bonus if these pieces have an interesting look and can then add function to a space. 

While exhibiting Got-it Box at different events we've had people ask if it could be used in a home. Some have suggested using it for sensitive documents, others have asked if anyone has used one for a gun-safe. One lady mentioned that she deals with precious gems for her jewelry business and could see a Got-it Box securing them nicely. We have plenty of these examples and we think it comes down to this: if you want to lock something up in your home or office but the look of a traditional safe isn't for you, Got-it Box can get the job done! 

It can also get the job done outside the home or office. 

Just because Got-it Box can add function to your home doesn't mean it can't add that neat look you were also trying to achieve. Is the front of your home a little boring? Maybe you're considering hiring a landscape designer to mix things up a bit. When thinking about what you want your front yard and deck to look like, keep Got-it Box in mind. 
Aside from collecting packages, mail and other items dropped off when you're not home, Got-it Box can be quite the conversation piece. Your neighbours will be very curious about the new addition to your yard decor. We suspect they'll ask you about it and then realize that they too could use this functional, decorative piece. 

 

*special thanks to The Commons Calgary for the use of their space to capture Got-it Box in a work environment. 

Is this the future of shopping?

If the malls are slowly on the way out (see blog post Death of the mall), then what's the next big thing in shopping? 

How about a point-and-shoot app for your phone that allows you to instantly find your most coveted items online...and then purchase them! 

Welcome to the future. Amazon recently announced that they have created an app to do exactly that. Point. Shoot. Purchase.

Firefly, the app, is available on Amazon's new Fire Phone through a dedicated button. The premise is this: when you see something you want, use Firefly to take a photo of the bar-code and purchase the item(s) on Amazon when they appear on the screen. But, it doesn't stop there. You can use Firefly's audio-recognition capabilities to pinpoint specific music, TV shows and movies. The app can even narrow a TV show down to not only a specific episode but the scene it can hear. The point of this feature is that you can be directed to purchase the episode or season of the TV show you inquired about. Same goes for music, you'll be directed to digital downloads. 

This blog isn't about whether or not you'd give up your iPhone or Android for the Amazon Fire Phone with Firefly. It's an example of the direction society is moving with consuming. Online shopping is pretty easy, but someone at Amazon decided that it should be easier.

How long before Amazon's competitors announce something similar? We'd be surprised if Apple and Google didn't introduce an idea related to this for their phones soon.  

There are other apps, though not as sophisticated as Firefly, offering a similar experience to their users.They seem to be predominantly found in the fashion industry.  

Asap54 is a popular one. If you see a celebrity in a magazine wearing a skirt you love then simply take a photo of the skirt and the app will try to match it. You'll either be given the exact match from the retailer who sells it, or a few similar items that you can choose from. It also lets you take photos of items you own to help find matching accessories. It's pretty neat! You can't purchase directly from the app but it acts as a gateway to the retailer.

Slyce is a Canadian company about to launch. According to their website, "Slyce is revolutionizing retail and consumer engagement by allowing shoppers to search for and purchase the things they want simply by snapping a photo with their smartphone or scanning and image on their desktop." It's exciting to hear that this company is in a few cities across Canada and getting lots of attention in the media! If their website is any indication of how good their app will be, it's looking pretty exciting!  

These are just a couple examples showcasing a new way to purchase your wares. Before we know it this could be the most efficient way to shop...maybe? 

If you're prone to shop online and you think that will increase in the future, you may want to consider a Got-it Box. Keep those items secure once they're delivered to your home or the office.

 

                

 

                

        

Subscription shopping and monthly packages

There's a new way to shop and it seems pretty fun! 

Here's the gist: look for subscription boxes online, find the ones that fit your style, place your order and then get ready to receive awesome packages each month!

So, what kind of packages are available? All kinds! It's pretty neat to see what's out there. 

Birchbox launched in 2010. They say that they are "the best way to shop for beauty and grooming products." After you join, you'll receive a monthly delivery of beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples tailored to your profile. It seems pretty popular, as they've been getting some really positive press! 

                             

Ipsy is very similar to Birchbox, but they ship to Canada! With each monthly delivery you get five items along with a makeup bag. 

                           

In 2012, the Dollar Shave Club was formed. Depending on which razor you choose, the price can range from $4 to $10 a month. According to the testimonials on their site, being a member saves you about $100 a year in razors! They have a very entertaining ad that's definitely worth a minute and a half of your time! 

                            

The list could go on and on, really. Besides the three beauty and grooming examples, you can subscribe to monthly packages from companies offering natural food products, pet food and toys, university care packages, books, etc. The best site to help narrow your search seems to be: http://www.subscriptionboxes.com/

Some of the packages from these companies have mystery items, chosen by stylists and gurus in their fields. That seems to be the fun part for most people receiving them. If you're happy with the products and want more you can buy from the sites where you received their packages. Perfect! 

And it's not just the niche markets getting into subscription packages. Target just launched their own subscription delivery service! The difference with their subscription program is that you select the products you receive on a monthly basis. It's easy, you can choose from categories of everyday essentials: baby, grocery, health, beauty, household essentials, personal care, pets, and home & office. They even offer free shipping and discounts. This service seems to be exclusive to the United States right now but we'll keep an eye our for it to be introduced in Canada. If you live in the United States, why wouldn't you want to start subscribing for your everyday items?

                          

TOMS Roasting Club is our final example, though we could go on for days about subscription shopping!
TOMS is known for their One-for-One program. The business model is this: you buy a pair of shoes and they give a pair to a child in need. Simple as that. Since applying that model to shoes they've grown to incorporate sunglasses, household items, clothes, jewelry and even coffee! Their coffee department is where we found the subscription shopping option! And why not, really? If you're like so many other people, you need to keep your coffee stocked up; you never want to run out of your favourite brew! Once a month you can receive your fix of coffee in the mail, all while providing clean water to areas that need help.
Why water? You can read a letter from the TOMS creator here to find out about that decision. 

                          

Are you sold on subscription shopping yet?! 

Subscription shopping is even easier when you can have your items shipped to a Got-it Box. With so many new ways to shop and receive items these days, Got-it Box is the solution for keeping your packages secure.  

If you find a subscription you'd like to participate in check to see if they offer special shipping instructions. If they don't ask them to add that to their website so you can secure the monthly deliveries to your Got-it Box. They'll be happy to know you're interested in their items and want to keep them secure once they're delivered! 

Porch Pirates

A porch pirate, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is a person or persons who steal packages off of unsuspecting customers' porches or front door areas. 

This is a thing! It seems to be growing right along with online sales. 
When unattended packages are left for hours they become enticing to those who are inclined to steal. Leaving packages on porches has become an acceptable delivery practice which means more and more packages are susceptible to being stolen...or pillaged, if we're thinking in pirate terms. 

Porch pirates are such a concern that you can find news stories, videos and articles dedicated to avoiding them. In most of the examples we found, concerns seemed to spike before the holidays, naturally. However, online shopping is increasing all year round so it would be smart to consider this problem for all 12-months, not just December.  

Some porch pirates are brazen enough to follow behind delivery persons and snatch packages as soon as they're dropped off.  A day of looting packages would produce quite the haul of treasures. You wouldn't want to find out that your packages were delivered only to be stolen. Once the retailer and delivery companies have notice that the packages were in fact delivered they can't do anything to compensate you for the stolen items. 

There are families living in residential neighbourhoods who have installed security cameras on their porches. Much of the news coverage of porch pirates comes from private security footage. This example from Denver, Colorado sums up the issue pretty well. Along with this video from California posted before Christmas, last year. 

With the porch pirate news stories, the reporters offer suggestions or consult experts on how to work-around this issue. In this example you'll hear a crime stoppers coordinator listing ways to evade porch pirates. But, do you know what else can take care of this pesky problem? A Got-it Box! 

Hassle-free, guaranteed first time delivery. That's what a Got-it Box can offer all while eluding porch pirates. 

Makes sense to us! 


A few more sources:  

California porch pirate

Beware of porch pirates 

Dealing with porch pirates