As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged India, many elderly people living alone in apartments were feeling increasingly isolated and vulnerable. With the government urging people to stay home and practice social distancing, many elderly individuals started relying on online shopping and delivery services to meet their basic needs. Even after the pandemic restriction came off, the elderly have started to depend on these services more. However, this dependence on online services has also sparked fear and anxiety among the elderly community.
One major concern is the potential for scams and fraud. Elderly individuals are often targeted by scammers, and the anonymity of online transactions can make it difficult to verify the authenticity of a website or seller. This fear has led some elderly people to avoid online shopping altogether, even if it means going without essential items. Netflix even created a web-series is based on real-life incidents around the widespread growth of phishing calls and organized cyber crimes of scamming.
Another concern is the safety of the delivery process. Many elderly people live in multi-story buildings and may not be able to go down to the lobby to receive a package. Some delivery companies offer the option of leaving packages at the door, but this can also raise security concerns as packages may be visible to anyone passing by or can be picked up by unauthorized people.
To address these concerns, some online retailers and delivery companies offer special services for elderly customers. For example, some companies offer “contactless” delivery, where the package is left at the customer’s doorstep and the delivery person rings the doorbell to alert the customer. Others offer the option of delivering to a trusted neighbor or family member. Most seniors love their independence and don’t want to bother others and this becomes a challenge for any personal touch-based solution.
While online shopping and delivery services can be a lifeline for elderly people living alone, it is important for companies to be mindful of the unique needs and fears of this population. By offering options and services that prioritize the safety and security of elderly customers, online retailers and delivery companies can help alleviate some of the fears and anxieties surrounding online shopping.
VendNGo Smart Lockers are the ideal solutions for delivery companies targeting seniors living in multi-residential complexes. Lockers can be installed in the building lobby or at the floor level and each owner will get their own box or share a box with the other floor/apartment residents. When a package is delivered, an OTP code and box number will be sent to the package recipient. VendNGo will track all deliveries and pickups and more over the entire platform and is contactless and hassle-free.