The Future of Shipping and Delivery
Is your delivery process enhancing feelings of excitement or is it making customers feel worried, frustrated and/or upset?
How and when products are received has a strong impact on the overall experience a customer has with your brand. An order that arrives late or damaged, is incorrect, goes missing or stolen, or is handled by a disgruntled driver, creates negative brand associations – which could cause customers to consider a return, post negative reviews, or vow to never buy from you again.
On the other hand, delivery is also an opportunity to delight and impress your customers with your speed of service, seamlessness, and fun unboxing experience.
In the past, it was often enough to simply receive a product undamaged. Now, higher standards have been set by major players such as Amazon and shifted customer expectations. To remain competitive and meet the rising e-commerce demand, improving shipping services needs to be a priority.
It is a difficult challenge – shipping is a complicated process with many steps and chances for mistakes. However, innovation in recent years shows that progress is being made. The following trends in shipping and delivery give an overview of new opportunities to consider incorporating into your own delivery strategy.
While still not fully realized, prototypes of delivery drones, self-driving delivery vehicles, and autonomous ships are being tested. As it gains momentum, this trend is important to watch as it could mean greater efficiencies, speed of delivery, and flexibility.
Though the legalities and implications of such are still hotly disputed, this technology will heavily disrupt the shipping and delivery industry in the years ahead as consumers increasingly demand same-day and instant delivery. In fact, a McKinsey report finds that autonomous vehicles will deliver 80 percent of parcels within the next 10 years.
For When You’re Not Home
Now there are more options than ever when it comes to the busy consumer who isn’t home. There is the option to use services such as lockers or click-and-collect, allowing users to make their orders online and then schedule pick up on their own time. Alternatively, access can be provided by the user to allow delivery staff to unlock internet-connected locks of garages or front doors and place their parcels in the safety of their homes. This innovation has been largely popularized by Amazon Key, which is rolling out through the United States and further expanding into in-car delivery as well.
With the rise of the gig economy, it’s no surprise that crowdsourced delivery is becoming another quickly-adapted norm. The convenience of services such as Postmates and Uber Eats allows users to be near-instantly gratified while ensuring the user is home, preventing failed delivery attempts or stolen goods. The capability of real-time tracking also contributes to eager users wanting to be in-the-know of what their order progress is. With this multitude of benefits to the user, 90 percent of retailers expect to use crowdsourcing delivery by 2028, as it draws in more consumers and allows more options and flexibility of access to product.
At the end of the day, the ultimate challenge is fast and effective shipping and delivery. Technological advances will bolster the industry into the future as the vision of instant delivery inches closer to becoming realized.