When Amazon announced plans to utilize drones to delivery products, customers were intrigued and excited. However, the drones have been slow to be released due to regulations and hurdles. The technology already exists and is already capable of delivery at its current form, but more work is needed building trust with customers and ensuring safety with governments and regulatory bodies.
Drones are significantly faster and cheaper than ground delivery methods. They are able to travel up to 100 mph, carrying loads at or under 5lbs. It is estimated that delivery using drones could cost as little as $1 per delivery, making it an extremely cheap method. Over 90% of customers seek out the cheapest, or fastest, delivery method available, making drones a desirable option. Customer support for drones remains mixed, however, with safety and personal security issues being cited as common barriers to support. However, over 50% of customers say they are at least likely to use drone delivery were it available to them.
Aside from traditional e-commerce customers, drones have the potential to provide delivery of essential products to rural, or difficult to reach areas. Markets such as pharmaceutical products are expected to benefit significantly for drones, as medication could easily and securely be delivered to patients with limited mobility, or to customers who do not live near a pharmacy. Companies could also utilize drones to deliver much-needed medication to rural areas, or to areas without proper infrastructure (such as communities following a natural disaster).
While the use of drones in delivery is slow going, the popularity is increasing. As laws and regulations are established to ensure the safety of these items, consumer's trust in them will increase as well. Drones have the potential to provide many benefits to the average consumer, in a variety of ways.