Do US Consumers Want Drone Delivery?

A2Z rapid delivery systemThe holiday retail rush is heating up.  Covid-19, RSV, and the flu are still keeping some people at home: Forbes reported that online shopping on Cyber Monday was up more than 5% over last year.

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But as the rail workers threaten a strike and delivery van drivers work overtime, delivery dates are getting pushed further and further out towards Christmas.  Drone delivery is still in the trial program stage – but are US consumers ready for drone delivery to scale?

Auterion‘s report on US consumer sentiment answers the question – and tries to get at the more important issue of how drone delivery might operate profitably.

Auterion asked more than 1,000 US consumers if they were in favor of drone delivery.  “…a solid majority of Americans (58%) favor the idea of drone deliveries and even more (64%) think drones are becoming an option for home delivery now or will be in the near future,” finds the report.   “With more than 80% reporting packages delivered to their homes on a regular basis, the survey finds that Americans are generally ready to integrate drone delivery into daily life.”  As traditional means of delivery get more expensive and less efficient due to current economics, including rising fuel prices and labor shortages, 47% of US consumers surveyed say they’d choose a retailer based upon the option for drone delivery.

US consumers may be looking forward to drone delivery, but how will it work – and how much will consumers be willing to pay for it?

Online shoppers are spoiled on shipping costs now – so free drone delivery is understandably more favorably viewed, with 59% of consumers surveyed saying that free service would make drone delivery more appealing.  41% said they would not be willing to pay a fee for drone delivery, 41% said they’d be willing to pay a fee between $1 – $10, and 18% said they’d pay more than $10.  Speed counts, however: “Notably, if products arrived to the house within an hour, 4 out of 10 Americans (42%) said that they would pay more money,” says the Auterion study.

Many delivery drones don’t land, delivering goods via a tether or dropping them with protection.  But a large percentage of surveyed consumers – 44% – said they’d be willing to purchase some sort of permanent delivery fixture, like a landing pad or box, if that were required.

“In thinking about the near future, a sizable 54% of Americans were willing to consider drones as “the new corner store” for conveniently delivering small and last- minute sundries,” says the report.

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