In today’s fast evolving delivery landscape, customers are demanding that their products are delivered to them as soon as possible; which is why companies like Amazon and Instacart are continuously on the lookout for new and improved processes that substantially cut short the time from the time consumers order the product to the time when it is delivered to them.
Even in the more conventional retail stores such as Sams’ Club, customers are being motivated to use an app that permits them to “scan and skip the checkout line” to enhance their consumer retail experience by saving time. After a product’s barcode is scanned, it enters your virtual cart and once you’re done shopping, simply click the check-out button on your app and your receipt is generated immediately on your phone. And the inventory control employee will scan that online receipt as you exit the store. Fast and seamless. Macy’s and other retailers are soon catching on.
How technology will transform delivery services in the future
With the ever-increasing demands of younger generations wanting their products and services now, companies are constantly on the lookout for how to accelerate their delivery speeds.
- Autonomous AI-guided Robots – Dorado, which is an on-demand delivery company, is planning to take the restaurant business by storm. Jonas Karosas, one of their co-founders, explains that consumers are increasingly on the outsearch for food delivery options with easy accessibility when they are at work or even in such places as the park. So, Dorado is preparing to have autonomous AI-guided robots deliver restaurant food to places that have poor delivery service options. Their objective is to employ robots to bring down delivery costs by a staggering 80% to 90% and explore a brand spanking new method of commerce which they hope they will be able to roll out to business stores to totally revolutionise city logistics in the not too distant future.
- Self Sufficient Delivery Drones – After much hype that surrounded Amazon’s announcement of its Prime Air service, it took the giant about three years to conduct its first-ever commercial drone delivery to a customer in rural England. Only a month prior, 7-Eleven, the convenience store chain, drastically revamped its delivery services by successfully accomplishing dozens of on-demand drone deliveries of over-the-counter medications as well as pizzas to customers. Elsewhere, in Rwanda, a medical facility was conducting commercial tests of delivery drones that would reduce the time it took to source blood from four hours down to just fifteen minutes.
- Self-Driving Vehicles – Eric Horvitz, a managing director at Microsoft Research, believes that by 2020, self-driving vehicles will become increasingly popular and they will include driverless delivery trucks.
- Smart sensors – Managers will soon have access to real-time information about the company’s stock, equipment and products purchased. Smart sensors are helping enhance visibility in supply chain management by providing real-time shipping information and estimated time of arrival (ETA) data that will help managers deal with inventory management, carrier evaluation and cross-docking. In addition, with better visibility, businesses will be able to better estimate transit times and accurately plan on-time delivery accordingly. Furthermore, with real-time visibility and predictive recognition of high-risk centres, smart sensors will reduce operational disruptions and drastically decrease the risk of damage or loss to high-value goods. According to Deloitte, the smart sensor market is growing by a staggering 19% every year and by 2022 is estimated to be a $60 billion industry.
In 2016, a Deloitte study found that most consumers thought fast shipping would be within two days. A year prior, most believed it would be three to four days. Customers expectations of when they receive their goods have increased over the past couple of years, and today, they want products NOW.
From pharmacies to humanitarian services and restaurants to electronic retailers, the scope of future delivery services is limitless and will soon become an indispensable feature in any smart city around the world to effectively meet customers’ demands and deliver a better customer experience (CX) effect thereby increasing customer satisfaction. So yes, the future of delivery will definitely be modelled by customer experience as business leaders race to meet fast-changing demands.