Delivery Options Set to Change the Future

May 2017

Technology is developing all the time, making many areas of our lives faster, more efficient, and easier. One area this has vastly improved has been deliveries. Advancements have made the parcel delivery options that many eCommerce and online retailers provide more convenient than ever before. From next-day delivery to precise slots, there are a plethora of choices available to both consumers and businesses. Continuing advancements mean that many more delivery options could soon become available and change the future of e-commerce.   

Importance of Delivery Choice
In order for e-commerce and online retailers to grow and retain customers, they must offer a variety of delivery options. In a survey, 50% of online shoppers claimed they have canceled a purchase due to there not being an appropriate delivery option available. The same survey reported that fixed date, click and collect, next day, same day and a two-hour delivery slot are many services customers expect.
As your competitors will be offering these services, it is important that you provide little and large parcel delivery covering them as well. Using a delivery company such as Whistl can broaden the parcel delivery options you offer, with a number of services including tracked parcel deliveries. 

Parcel Drone Deliveries
Drones are always mentioned when discussing the future of consumer and business parcel delivery. Now they are getting closer to reality than ever, with Amazon claiming two successful drone deliveries at the end of 2016 and progress has been seen even more recently in 2019 with Amazon believing drone deliveries are now a matter of months away. A TV streaming stick and bag of popcorn were delivered to two separate customers, both of who live close to a depot and have large gardens.
There are still many limitations to drone parcel delivery through:

  • Only items weighing less than 2.6kg can be delivered
  • Drones can only fly in daylight and clement weather
  • Service only available to two Amazon customers

However, it is still early days and there are bound to be future developments to cope with heavy parcel delivery, as well as improving drones to work at all times of the day. 

Parcel Delivery Robots
Recently, and on a more local level, plans have been announced by the pizza chain Domino’s to use robots as a way to revolutionise their deliveries. Working with Starship Technologies, an Estonian-based start-up, they are developing autonomous, robotic delivery units with six wheels to deliver pizza locally.

It moves at a gentle pace to avoid posing any risks on the pavement, though presumably at a fast-enough speed to avoid pizzas going cold. The robot’s movements can be tracked and the storage only opened by those with the correct permission. They are set to go on trial in Hamburg, Germany over the summer.

Again, there is plenty of scope for developments and there are sure to be issues that need improving. This could develop into a better method of heavy and large parcel delivery though, especially for non-food items which don’t need to be delivered quickly to avoid going cold.     

Parcel Tube Systems
Another ambitious parcel delivery service involves a tube network. Pneumatic tube systems have been used in the past in mailrooms, hospitals, supermarkets, and more to send documents and small items back and forth, usually in the same building or complex.

Now a system for delivering parcels through an underground network of tubes has been patented. Little is known about the idea, but it could include goods traveling through the system to set destinations, such as local shops, for little and large parcel collection and delivery.

Parcel Slots: One Hour Deliveries
Convenience is key for both a consumer and business delivery service, and the one-hour delivery system that is slowly being introduced across the UK is evidence of this. Morrisons began offering one and two-hour deliver and following a successful trial, one-hour slots, 7 days a week is now

part of their standard online shopping options.  Such action will increase competitiveness in the sector, along with seeing businesses develop more innovative delivery methods to keep up.

The future of parcel delivery options looks set to be an exciting one, and while there are a few innovative options nearing the horizon, it could still be a few years before they become commonplace. In the meantime, stick with the fast, reliable, and varied delivery services we offer here at Whistl. 

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