Nowadays, it has become so easy to get anything and everything delivered right to your door. The rise of drone technology has automated the process and provided instant gratification to the masses.
With automated delivery expected to grow by 14.6% in the retail sector alone, according to a report by Grand View Research, this will significantly change the way you do business in the future. More brands will join the ranks of shuttered retailers as consumers reduce their dependency on brick-and-mortar locations, making it imperative to develop a strategy that incorporates the technology now.
Ten members of Forbes Communications Council weigh in on how automated delivery will affect their industries. Here’s what they had to say:
1. It will shift the focus to order fulfillment KPIs.
Automated delivery means a future e-commerce experience with significantly faster delivery times and more affordable delivery service. In the order fulfillment industry, this exceptionally faster parcel delivery will shift the onus on fulfillment warehouses to minimize their “click to ship” times, or the amount of time it takes an order to be picked, packed and handed off to the carriers. – Jake Rheude, Red Stag Fulfillment
2. It will emphasize the need for enhanced security.
Automated delivery means more software in more places, which means more opportunities for hackers. Drones are no different from other internet-connected devices. They are made by companies that haven’t had to design much security into their product software. We don’t want rogue drones. So, automated delivery means the cybersecurity industry must expand to help us deal with this growing risk. – Erica Vener, RedSeal
3. It will increase the use of real-time data.
Consumers may want home delivery one day, work delivery the next and hotel delivery on vacation. They may also change their minds at the last minute about what they actually want. This is going to put tremendous pressure on data infrastructures to keep up. Retailers and delivery companies need to design their data infrastructures with the right-now economy in mind. – Eric Brown, DataStax
4. It spells even more demise for brick-and-mortar stores.
One of the main benefits of brick-and-mortar retail is immediate gratification. Instead of having to wait to receive products in the mail, consumers can go out to stores. If this is eliminated you will see even more stores shutter their doors. The one way stores can avoid this is by creating amazing experiences so that consumers want to take the trip not just for the product. – Edward Bourelly, OMNI-CULTURE MARKETING, INC.
5. It will level the playing field with Amazon.
Right now we are seeing many top brands struggle to compete with the customer experience provided by Amazon, to the point of questioning whether building out a branded site is even worth it. Clients often ask how to compete with Amazon and improve conversions on their own sites. My usual reply is that loyalty and rewards programs go a long way, but drones and competitive delivery capabilities (and price points) will certainly help as well. – Courtney Dale, ICM Consulting and Media Corporation
6. It will put in-store experiences in the spotlight.
Drone delivery is yet another reason shoppers won’t need to go to physical retail locations. This will put even more pressure on retailers to truly understand what their shoppers crave and to deliver an unrivaled, enjoyable in-store experience that will have shoppers knocking down the doors to get in. – Patrick Niersbach, InContext Solutions
7. It will streamline communications.
Drones have several uses in the supply network, such as tracking warehouse inventories, managing trailer yard security, etc. The industry is still a few years out from making last-mile deliveries using drones, simply because of safety and airspace issues, but many companies are looking into it. From a communications and marketing perspective, this means that our communications need to be streamlined accordingly so information will be received in real time. – MaryAnn Holder-Browne, One Network Enterprises
8. It will pave the way for a super-skilled workforce.
In my opinion, it is never going to be a case of “lights-out” automation where robots replace human beings. Yes, automation will replace repetitive, inept and error-prone processes. Some jobs will be lost. But it will pave the way for a super-skilled workforce that will leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence to deliver proactive, personalized and seamless omnichannel customer experiences. – Vimal Abraham, Servion Global Solutions
9. It will provide an experience beyond ‘I want it now.’
Businesses with goods to ship will need to find that balance between being realistic about how fast they can move and the experience they provide. If they can’t compete on shipping, they need to amp up the emotional experience. For example, one makeup brand ships its goods in standard times, but for every purchase, donates an equal item to a woman in need. As much as we’re about the “now” these days, we’re also clamoring for more meaning and something deeper to guide our choices. – Jeannie Ruesch, Xero Accounting Software
10. It will improve metrics and increase predictability.
Drones would be a positive game changer for us. Our business model is based on delivering parts to customers within 24 hours, in many cases two to four hours, around the world. We would be able to improve our SLA metrics and increase predictability and visibility for us and customers. Oftentimes, deliveries are held back by issues with roads — drones eliminate that challenge. – Ryan Miller, Flash Global