Although Amazon has stolen a lot of thunder from other online merchants by actively testing their ‘drone’ delivery service in urban areas, there are a number of ways that online merchants are shrinking costs and delivery lead time for online clients.
Here are some of the trends that should impact your future as a customer when it comes to online delivery services:
Hitching A Ride:
Part of the problem with shortening the time that it takes to deliver goods in a metropolitan area is that it is difficult to schedule multiple deliveries each day with one fleet of vehicles that is doing nothing but delivering- without wasting fuel on returning to the hub to pick up packages. To combat this, several companies like Uber, which have burned through a lot of venture capital, decided that it was natural for their drivers to augment their cab driving work with delivery services. The logistics are intriguing for many companies because Uber drivers are spread all over many cities- and are at such disparate points, that their will always likely be someone near a package hub that can pickup a package and deliver it without compromising their schedule.
By ‘hitching a ride’ with an existing transportation network, many companies will be able to achieve their dream of same-day delivery throughout a metropolitan area.
Despite potential problems like Enrique Iglesias slicing his hand on a drone and shippers of illegal substances hijacking drones for delivery, the concept of using an autonomous drone network to make deliveries to homes at a low cost continues to move forward at companies like Amazon. They have created custom drones that can carry the weight necessary for them to be successful financially. In the future, sophisticated AI will be added to the logistic scheduling and delivery service in order to help the ordering process be seamless.
Of course along with the upgraded delivery service, Amazon and other companies that are strictly ‘in stock’ and ‘out of stock’ when it comes to products, will likely shift to providing specific details of the products that they do have on hand at a neighborhood hub- making the user experience a little more like shopping at a neighborhood store. The concept of localizing hubs should also give frequent users more power in the marketplace. If you buy coffee ice cream every few days, chances are, Amazon’s computers will figure out that they need to stock coffee ice cream at your local pick-up and delivery hub, shortening your delivery time.
At retail giants like Sears and Walmart, the online systems are setup to allow people to make same day pickup at their local store for certain items and same day shipping from stores for other items. They currently use mainstream package delivery companies to send your goods to you when you ask for delivery. In the future, the largest likely change will be that 3rd party entrepreneurs similar to the ones that are already moving forward in the San Francisco market will offer a personal shopping and delivery service from these stores for a compelling price. Togle in London is doing the same thing. The difference will be that instead of going into the store to pickup your completed order- or waiting a day or two for the package delivery service, you will receive the order the same day.
It will then be up to you to ensure that you are able to receive orders right after you place them. Here again, however, the future looks bright. If your home has an advanced camera and door lock, you can use a smartphone application to grant access to delivery people. Even better, you could use two locks and not give them access to the inner interior. They could just leave their packages in the foyer. For stores that have already evolved to a similar system like Safeway Groceries, the changes should give them a chance to review their own service for cost efficiency while providing it with the opportunity of expanding to compete and provide even more products in categories that Safeway is not currently in.
Online delivery scheduling has become a popular way to shop for all age groups. The advent of another round of delivery improvements may allow for even more synergistic relations between contractors and companies, giving people a greater opportunity to make money- and you a larger set of delivery options.