Value Walk sat down with Georgianna W. Oliver, the founder of Package Concierge (full bio below), to talk about launching successful businesses. See the Q&A below.
Can you tell us about your background?
I’ve always been a serial entrepreneur. My passion for turning roadblocks into efficiencies has resulted in 19 years of building and launching successful businesses fueled by innovation. Prior to founding Package Concierge and Tour24, a new product that offers self-guided tours for apartments, I built several businesses in the apartment space including EverGreen Solutions and AptBudget both sold to RealPage, Inc. My goal has always been to make the lives of the people who live and work in multifamily communities better.
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What about your business? What products/services do you offer?
Package Concierge is the trusted provider of automated locker solutions. With over 50 million package transactions, Package Concierge combines expertise and technology to seamlessly automate processes for multifamily housing, retail and other industries. By collaborating with customers to understand and address their evolving needs, Package Concierge delivers the highest quality solutions to optimize operations and enhance user experiences across industries.
How do you differ from competitors? How do you have an advantage in the industry?
Package Concierge is currently the only vertically-integrated solution; meaning we have full control over everything from the product design, to the material that is purchased for the products, manufacturing, installation and service after the sale. Our products are designed, engineered and built in the U.S.A. and powered by proprietary software to deliver on security, design and functionality. We offer a full complement of sleek products which can be customized to fit the location needs, making them the designers preferred solution.
What are the best practices for maximizing success, including best practices for BOPIS?
There are a few key ways retailers can continually refine and improve the BOPIS customer experience:
- Evaluate your communication: Make sure you have a thorough and clear communications plan to educate consumers about BOPIS and your specific process. Visibly promote this in-demand service on your website and in email/text communication with your customer. Clearly direct customers to the proper pick-up location with signage along their entire route from the parking lot to the fulfillment location.
- Evaluate your team: Make sure your team is ready and armed with what they need to be successful. Develop an internal cross-functional group that will continually review every aspect of the business –fulfillment to IT, and ecommerce to payment processing, to ensure seamless integration with existing systems and a frictionless customer experience..
- Evaluate your inventory: The success of BOPIS lives and dies with inventory visibility. If you don’t have strong visibility into the availability of items, then your customers don’t either, which makes BOPIS a painful strategy. A fully transparent and integrated system alleviates employee and customer frustration of offering products that are out of stock or no longer available.
- Evaluate your Success Metrics: Set up reporting and key performance metrics to provide transparent insight into the return on investment of your BOPIS offering and trend information that may highlight any areas that may need additional attention. Also consider sending BOPIS satisfaction surveys to assess how you are doing. From Package Concierge’s customer satisfaction surveys, 96 percent said they would use the BOPIS automated locker again.
What are the trends you expect to see in 2020?
- While 2019 saw a lot of testing with AI, we expect that it will really begin to take hold in 2020, primarily in the form of intelligent Chatbots. This will be utilized through voice search based on pre-programmed information libraries for multifamily properties and retailers alike.
Package Concierge – Georgianna W. Oliver
Georgianna W. Oliver is the founder of Package Concierge, the trusted provider of automated locker solutions, as well as Tour24, the exciting new product that offers self-guided tours for apartments.
She is a serial entrepreneur and a corporate executive that has built several businesses in the apartment space. These innovations include EverGreen Solutions, AptBudget both sold to RealPage, Inc. (Nasdaq: RP) and Package Concierge® which sold in 2017 to Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROCK). Her passion for turning roadblocks into efficiencies has resulted in a 19-year track record of building and launching successful businesses fueled by innovation. Her impact to the multifamily industry can be measured in a variety of metrics, but the only one that matters to her is making the lives of the people who live and work in these communities better.
Georgianna also serves on the Multifamily Technology Entrepreneur Conference Advisory Board, and is an Advisory Committee member of National Multifamily Housing Council. She is also the founding board member of the National Leased Housing Association Education Fund.