Here in the world of sourcing, we are always looking for suppliers that bring innovation to a company's supply chain processes. There have been a number of technological advances over the last 20 years in warehousing management, distribution, logistical tracking systems, RFID, and others that have increased overall efficiency in the supply chain. However, on the consumer side, we have long suffered due the inability to be home during working hours for a delivery. Businesses are open during normal shipping hours so they do not have this issue, but what happens when your work doesn't allow personal deliveries and you aren't home to receive the package?
We've all been through the annoying process, you get a tag on the door that says they will be back again tomorrow. Tomorrow, of course, you will be at work again. Then you have to call to have the package held or make other arrangements.
Enter Bufferbox, based out of Ontario, Canada. Bufferbox is a sort of scalable, modern PO box for the digital age. You register online for a Bufferbox, and then use that address to ship goods to that you buy from the internet. Instead of occupying a costly brick and mortar space, these low-cost, nimble boxes can be placed in grocery stores much like their Coinstar and Redbox cousins.
Bufferbox has been around for some time, but they recently sparked Google's interest as Google tries to grow their e-commerce segment. So much interest in fact, that Google has decided to purchase Bufferbox.
Google is focusing on e-commerce after announcing earlier this year it would transition its product- search feature to a paid commercial model in the U.S., requiring retailers to purchase space on its new Google Shopping service. Amazon beware, Google is coming for you.