26 Jul Drone Delivery System: Reinventing Retail

Would you consider to shop with a retailer that offers drone delivery to your doorstep within an hour?

Well, according to a report released by Walker Sands Communications, 80% of customers are willing to shop with a retailer that offers drone delivery to their doorstep within an hour, with 77 % of customers identifying that they would be willing to pay for this type of service.

Drones have been defined as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). They are designed to act as a flying robot. The aircraft may be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems working in conjunction with GPS.

Dave Vos, the head of Google X's Project Wing drone delivery program, stated that the sky of 2017 will be witnessing drone deliveries on a regular basis. According to fastcompany.com, in their article This is How Google's Project Wing Drone Delivery Service Could Work dated Jan 27, 2016, Google was recently granted the patent of "mobile delivery receptacles" that work hand in hand with its delivery drones. The mobile delivery receptacles are remote boxes on the ground with wheels. They communicate and guide the drones in the sky via infrared beacons or lasers. Once located, the drone flies down to ground level and transfers its package into the mobile delivery receptacle, which then secures it and scurries off to a secure holding location.

Furthermore, both retail giants, Amazon and Walmart, are racing to integrate this new technology into their business model. Amazon is working on its drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, which gives consumers the ability to receive their packages from Amazon straight in their backyard within 30 minutes (or less) of their order. On the other hand, "Walmart stated that it is only six to nine months away from starting to use drones to improve how it tracks inventory at its distribution centers" said Wahba, P. in his article Walmart Has Found a Great Way to Use Drones in Fortune Magazine, June 2, 2016.

Companies nowadays are testing various ways to enhance their customer experience and gain competitive edge. They know that the future of their business models must be reliant on emerging technologies.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to finalize the regulatory rules for flying commercial drones later this year, and requires companies to seek approval to fly a drone on a case-by-case basis. That being the case, drone delivery system is coming. But are consumers ready for this?