Friday, February 08, 2008

Cyphermint to provide in-store shipping tech for Walgreens

I don't know if the systems are going to be customer-facing (and self-service) or just used by store personnel, but one thing I do know is that in-store shipping is becoming the new replacement for in-store photo development. Office supply companies like OfficeMax have offered in-store shipping service for a while now (and of course, the bigges like the UPS Store and FedEx/Kinkos have been making it the focal point for even longer), but DHL is definitely ratcheting up their presence by putting shipping points in 6,500 Walgreens locations across the US. From this press release:
Cyphermint designed a Windows based software solution which is the operating system for the DHL Shipping Spots. At Walgreens and OfficeMax retail locations, The DHL Shipping Spots are staffed by fully trained associates to weigh, label and ship customer packages to US and international destinations.

The user-friendly interface within the DHL Shipping Spots feature intuitive screen prompts which help retail associates quickly prepare a customer shipment. After the associate selects the destination, weighs the package, attaches the label and collects payment, the package is secured and available for DHL pick up. Associates working with customers that already have a DHL account can also enter the customer account number and have the remaining information auto-filled for their convenience. Cyphermint utilized the strengths and experience gained from the transactional and financial application of 7-Eleven's Vcom project and the customer service usability of the recent AAA kiosk to implement the functionality that was essential for the DHL Shipping Spot.
From the "user-friendly interface" comment, I had assumed that this might evolve into a customer-facing application, but after a second reading it's clearly geared towards being staff-assisted. Still, shipping packages seems like one of those things where a self-service solution could probably address 95% of customer needs. If these Shipping Spots prove to be popular, I wouldn't be surprised to see a self-service enabled version 2.0 roll out in the future.

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