National Edition

You can now get your online purchases brought to your car. Should you trust it?

Published: Friday, Feb. 28 2014 12:45 p.m. MST

2014 Volvo S60 is displayed during the media preview of the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Chicago Auto Show will be open to the public February 8 through February 17. Volvo Cars is allowing purchases to be automatically delivered to a consumer's trunk, rather than their home.

Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

You buy a product online. You're not home when it's delievered. And so begins the struggle of finding the package and procuring it from a post office or mail carrier.

But Volvo Cars, known for creating some of the safest cars on the market, is looking to lessen the struggle. The Swedish car company is allowing purchases to be automatically delivered to a consumer’s trunk, rather than their home, via their Roam Delivery system, according to the New Zealand Herald.

This new method "will allow consumers to have shopping delivered straight to their car, no matter where they are,” said the company, according to the Herald. "Via a smartphone or a tablet, the owner will be informed when a delivery company wants to drop off or pick up something from the car.”

Part of this is to help cut down on re-delivery costs, which can reach $1.65 billion, the Herald reported. The company said this new system is a way to make Volvo Cars into more than just a mode of transportation — an all-service vehicle, where consumers can grab deliveries while on the road.

But will this help consumers, or lead to more thefts? Jasper Hamill of the Register said Volvo’s latest innovation may actually have negative effects, despite what customers are saying.

“We imagine that thieves would be delighted to see an automobile packed full of gizmos,” Hamill wrote. “But we also imagine that shopophobics will be equally delighted to avoid having to trawl through shopping malls.”

Volvo isn’t the first company to try to make things easier for consumers buying online. Deseret News reported in February that Sears was starting an in-vehicle pickup system where drivers could stop by the store and retrieve the packages that they previously ordered online.

“The new service, powered by the Shop Your Way mobile app, enables customers to pick up their online purchases at any Sears store within 5 minutes of arrival, without ever leaving the car,” Sears said in a statement.

And Amazon has recently been championing the use of drones to help deliver packages, Deseret News reported in December. Called “Prime Air,” Amazon is looking to get packages and online items sent to customers through a deliver system running through drones. It’s expected to launch in late 2015, Deseret News reported.

Not everyone is sold on the idea of technology delivering goods to consumers. Internetretailing.net published an article that examined how the Volvo service will work and whether society is ready for it.

“Shoppers will need trust that this will work before they give it a go,” wrote Chloe Rigby for internetretailing.net. “It’s not only trust in the delivery driver and company that’s required. It’s also trust that having a boot full of shopping won’t make them a target. We’ll be watching with interest to see if consumer trust extends quite that far just yet, or if this is simply a bit of a gimmick that promises a lift for the car, if not the online delivery service.”

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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