Survey: More Than a Third of Consumers Prefer Drone Delivery

Courtesy of Clutch

The popularity of drone delivery is changing consumer preferences according to a new survey of 528 online shoppers by a B2B review platform.

The report by Clutch found 36 percent of online shoppers say they would be more likely to purchase an item if it were delivered by drone.

However, 39 percent say a drone delivery option wouldn’t affect their purchasing decision and 25 percent would be less likely to trust a drone.

Millie Radovic, a market analyst with Drone Industry Insights says drone delivery may not meet consumer expectations at first in terms of cost and speed.

“Vans are still far cheaper and more effective means of delivery than using a drone,” she said, adding that, over time, “drones will improve those delivery times further, bypassing traffic congestion or queues of deliveries.”

Online shoppers worry about drones damaging packages during delivery (20 percent), getting stolen or hacked (19 percent) or replacing jobs (18 percent).

Dan Khasis, CEO of Route4Me, a route optimization software, said strong winds or severe weather could curtail a drone’s effectiveness in making deliveries.

“How do you incorporate a headwind?” Khasis said. “Is it going to reduce the possible efficiency [of the drone] by 40-50 percent on that specific date? Will you have to go back because it’s too windy, rainy, or snowy?”

However, if 2020 mirrors this past year, drone delivery technology will continue to grow and maybe become the “new normal:”

  • UPS Flight Forward has partnered with drug-store chain CVS to complete the first-ever American commercial drone delivery of a prescription to a customer’s home.
  • Walgreens also announced a partnership with Alphabet UAV spinoff Wing after they launched a non-prescription drone delivery service to select customers in Christianburg, Va.
  • Chinese drone company XAG teamed up with Airbus to launch delivery trials. Drones carry food deliveries from a noodle shop to select customers in Guangzhou via the Drone Cargo WeChat app. The maiden voyage saw one of XAG’s plant-protection drones, the P30, deliver a meal on a pre-determined, one-mile route to a rooftop landing pad in under 5 minutes.
  • Uber Elevate unveiled a new food-delivery drone at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit. With a range of 18 miles and an 18-minute flight time, the six-rotor aircraft can carry “enough food to feed two adults.” The company expects the program to roll out in San Diego where Uber Elevate has been testing urban aerial delivery via the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

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