Shoppers now have access to kiosks to help them ship and pick up packages at a variety of retail locations in North Virginia. The U.S. Postal Service has deployed seven kiosks since February in malls, grocery stores and pharmacies throughout the area as part of a pilot study. The first self-automated electronic parcel locker, dubbed the gopost, was unveiled at the Ballston Mall in Arlington, Va. Designed for anyone with an on-the-go lifestyle, gopost offers a new way to drop off, pick-up and ship your packages, said Kelly Sigmon, vice president of channel access for the United States Postal Service
"Shipping a package isn't a new concept — how you do it is — and gopost is the answer," she said. "Why wait for a package when it can wait for you? With gopost you can pick-up, ship out and get going."
How it works
Each gopost kiosk contains dozens of individual lockers that can be used to receive or ship packages. After registering for gopost, users receive an account number/access card and PIN that allows them to access the kiosk. The customer won't be assigned a specific locker; rather, a package is placed in an available locker that accommodates its size. If the customer uses gopost as his shipping address, his packages arrives there. Or, he may also use the gopost unit to ship a prepaid package. Once the user registers and begins using the kiosks, he will receive communication through email or text notifications.
For example, when USPS delivers a package to a gopost unit, a user will receive an email or text notification that the package is ready for pick up.
"Initial test phase results are encouraging, and we are finding more and more customers are registering to use gopost," said Darleen Reid, senor public relations representative, USPS Corporate Communications.
Although the pilot study is currently only in the Northern Virginia area, Reid said the post office hopes to soon expand it to other areas of the country, but exact locations remain undetermined.
What's in it for retailers?
Gopost should help drive traffic to its store locations, and retailers aren't paying any type of rent or fee to host them, Reid said. The USPS will work with each of its retailers to determine the best placement to ensure accessibility and convenience to as many customers as possible.
"Gopost is one part of a broader strategy to improve and strengthen the way we serve our customers," she said.
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Cherryh Butler has been a reporter for nearly 10 years, writing on a variety of topics ranging from the restaurant industry to business and health and fitness news. Before joining FastCasual.com as editor, she oversaw KioskMarketplace.com and PizzaMarketplace.com and contributed to RetailCustomerExperience.com. She's also written for several daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine.