Do you know where your packages are?
Friday, October 28, 2016
With everyone moving to online shopping and home delivery, the retail and delivery industries are experiencing many changes. Some companies are testing different delivery options that will make them stand apart from the crowd; others are studying the delivery process to determine where they can improve.
If you're not focusing on improving delivery, you're going to be left behind.
Let's take a look at some companies who are taking the lead in advancing the package delivery service.
Amazon testing in-home delivery
Amazon is the king of online shopping, and they have already expanded their delivery service in many ways. However, they are looking to go one step further by offering in-home deliveries where they actually enter your home and place the package inside — safe, away from burglars.
"Package theft is plaguing today's consumers; nearly 11 million U.S. homeowners have had a package stolen within the past year," according to the Package Theft Report from August Homes Inc. With such a staggering number, it is no surprise that retailers like Amazon are concerned and taking action.
How will it work? "Amazon is looking to facilitate this through a partnership with a smart locks company and an IOT garage door company," according to Forbes.
While some consumers are concerned with strangers entering their homes, those who have had packages stolen might feel a little differently. Approximately "69 percent of package theft victims prefer a delivery service enter their home via an app from wherever they are versus leaving the package outside," according to the August Homes report.
Seattle-based study to improve urban deliveries
While Amazon is testing and expanding delivery services, a Seattle-based study is trying to improve the last mile of the delivery process. The University of Washington and the Seattle Department of Transportation partnered with Costco, Nordstrom and UPS to determine how businesses can improve deliveries, according to the University of Washington.
"The UW Urban Freight Lab will investigate high-impact, low-cost solutions for businesses delivering goods in urban settings and cities trying to manage limited curb and parking space where delivery trucks, bicycles, pedestrians and cars all need to coexist," according to the university.
This study isn't focused on one specific result, though. Instead, it's focused on improving the overall satisfaction of delivery customers. The study will evaluate everything from off-hours delivery to the ability for trucks to access different locations.
In addition, the study will provide housing managers and builders with information about common areas and loading spaces for deliveries. With delivery services becoming so mainstream, urban housing needs to make accommodations and this study will give those answers.
Drone delivery advancing internationally
Package delivery by drones is another concept that we've been talking about since the last holiday season. So, where are all the drones?
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on GeekWire, "We're getting really good cooperation from the British equivalent of the FAA, the CAA." But the same cannot be said for the FAA.
In order to deliver packages via drones, Amazon must follow restrictions requiring specific waivers. Despite the current delay, it seems the odds may be increasing for Amazon drone delivery in the U.S.
"The FAA added an exec from Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery operation to a new advisory committee that should give the company more of a voice in policy decisions," according to GeekWire. So for now, drone delivery isn't in the U.S., but it's just a matter of time.
Google is also jumping on the drone delivery bandwagon with a recent patent application for drones with a QR-code reader. Just like Amazon drones, Google drones will find their landing spot via printed symbols placed outside the home. In addition to the symbols, the landing spot would contain a QR code to verify the package and confirm delivery, according to the SEO by the Sea blog.
Package delivery used to be a simple, standard process, but the rise of e-commerce has flipped the industry upside down. It's a whole different ballgame, and major retailers are looking for solutions.
Amazon and Google are focusing on security and technology. Several Seattle-based organizations are studying the last mile of the delivery process. What are you doing to improve your package deliveries?
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