How would you like to receive your purchases online without having to be at home? You can do it! Today we interviewed the company that makes this possible, and one of our Friend Brands: Citibox.
To tell you everything you need to know about them, we talked to Iván García, Director of the Marketing Department of Citibox (thanks Iván!). So let’s get down to business because it’s very interesting what he has to tell us:
Where did Citibox come from? What is your story?
David Bernabeu, CEO of Citibox, before creating this company had another one and, one day he was waiting for a part he had ordered online and needed for one of the machines they used. In that process, he realized that, when ordering online, it created a dependency: you had to be present at home, at the office or wherever you were going to receive it.
At that moment, David saw a clear unmet need that needed to be addressed. This is how Citibox was born, trying to solve a problem that he himself had suffered at one point and that seemed to have an easy solution.
Currently, apart from David, a team of 100 people work at Citibox, although David is still the only founding partner.
How does Citibox work, Ivan?
It’s very simple! Citibox installs mailboxes in the common area of your building and, once they are installed, you can place your orders online as usual. The difference is that, this time, Citibox takes care that the order is received in those mailboxes or lockers instead of the door of your house. It couldn’t be more comfortable!
What if your building doesn’t have a doorman? Well, for the future, in Citibox we are working on a software that allows the courier to open the door of the portal to access the mailboxes and leave your package, without the need to disturb any neighbor or the help of a doorman.
Which cities is Citibox in and where do you plan to go? Do you plan to work throughout Spain?
Currently we are mainly based in Madrid, although, to a lesser extent, we also work in Barcelona and we are starting in Paris.
As for Spain, this will always depend on how e-commerce develops in our country. That is, if the penetration of Ecommerce in different areas of Spain begins to rise considerably, then Citibox will be present in them.
Regarding Covid, is it being positive for you?
Yes, absolutely. Something curious that has happened to us is that our system allows you to have no contact with the courier, since, with the usual system, this courier would have to come to your door and deliver the package by hand. Thanks to Citibox there is zero contact, which protects both the recipient and the courier. These benefits have certainly been a plus for Citibox! From a bad situation that no one expected, our service has benefited and offers greater security in terms of social distancing.
What system do these mailboxes use?
Very simple! Each mailbox has a lock, but these mailboxes are not unipersonal or single-family, that is, in a building with 25 neighbours you could have a module with 5 mailboxes, or the number of mailboxes that from Citibox we consider necessary for that building.
From then on, as soon as you receive a package in the mailbox assigned by Citibox to the courier, that mailbox will be only yours while your package is inside. In this way, only you will be able to access it with a password, which you will have in the application and that only you will know.
How does the courier then access each mailbox? The application tells you which locker it is and generates a code for it. This code is different each time, so the courier deposits your package and this locker is not opened until you pick up your order.
When one of the mailboxes is busy, that mailbox cannot receive any more packages until it is emptied.
What is the cost of the Citibox mailbox system for the neighbours of the building?
Well, zero! Citibox subsidises the total cost of the mailboxes and their installation, so there is no cost to residents.
In the end, Citibox makes money on the other side, from the costs that courier and delivery companies save thanks to our system.
For example, it costs a delivery company to carry a parcel, but this cost is higher if the person is not at home. In addition to the time it takes to go house to house, as with Citibox all packages are left in the same mailboxes without the need to go house to house.
So how does Citibox compete with collection points like Correos?
In the end it is the convenience, with Citibox your package is at your home. On the other hand, in the case of Correos, you have to go to the office where it was left to pick it up, and that also takes time!
What’s more, these deliveries can also take place at night! With its door opening system, couriers do not need to be present at the door.
to be able to drop the packet at its destination. This would save time in the whole process.
At Designable we think that solutions like Citibox are very interesting for everyone, especially in the situation we are in! We also appreciate the time that Iván gave us to do this interview and we hope that very soon we can count on Citibox in Valencia!
Do you want to know some contactless technologies? Visit our post Non-contact technologies: advances against the virus.