The are lots of published articles in regards to drone delivery and the massive potential of drones for parcel delivery. Essentially, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones are tools that are faster, less expensive and more eco-friendly than the traditional delivery modes such as trucks and vans.
Even though they are still not in commercial use, drones have attracted a lot of companies including the names of Amazon and Google, mostly because of their potential to become common in the near future.
A new study submitted by three authors at the College of Business and the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Korea, there are a lot of factors affecting the attitudes to drone delivery service and the intention to adopt. The study actually takes them into account – specifically among 296 consumers in an online survey.
The Growth of E-Commerce and its Link to Drone Delivery
The first point that the authors of the paper show is the growth of e-commerce as a trend. Displaying stats from Statista (2017), the accent is put on the fact that global e-commerce sales in 2016 reached $1.86 trillion – a number which is likely to increase to $4.5 trillion by 2021.
The delivery market is growing in line with e-commerce because of the expanding market for online shopping. In fact, delivery is a segment that is growing so much that the annual parcel volume can be doubled and reach 25 billion over the next 10 years.
If such thing happens, innovation is crucial for delivery services – not only to reduce costs but to also save time and be able to satisfy the changing needs of the customers. This is where drones can come in as the perfect solution that offers efficient, cost-friendly and faster delivery times.
“E-commerce firms are adopting innovation technologies for delivery services, not only to reduce costs and time but also to satisfy customer expectations for delivery service quality. Among the various innovation methods being considered, many e-commerce firms and retail companies—such as Amazon, Google, and Walmart—are preparing to offer delivery service by drone (Wu and Lin, 2018). Drone delivery could offer several advantages over traditional parcel delivery, such as faster delivery time, lower maintenance costs, and environmental friendliness.”
As the results of the survey show, the relative advantage of speed and environmental friendliness, along with the performance risk, complexity and privacy risk affect the drone delivery adoption.
Drone Delivery and Customer Behavior
The paper also shows stats from Temando (2016) which directly refer to the use of drones in delivery services. In that way, 51% of the US citizens are willing to accept drone delivery – and in another survey even 44% said that they like the drone delivery concept, with only 34% disliking it.
It’s now clear that many consumers perceive the risks and are unable to accept this new technology. Hence, the focus should now be put on firms and companies and their investigation about which attributes of drone delivery influence the consumer behavior and resistance.
“Given the strong potential for parcel delivery, many e-commerce firms and retail companies such as Amazon, Google, and Walmart are preparing to offer delivery services by drone (Alphabet, 2017; Rose, 2013; Vanian, 2017). In 2013, Amazon announced Prime Air drone projects for delivering packages to customers and conducted a successful pilot test on December 7, 2016 (Amazon, 2017; Rose, 2013).”
Advantages, Complexity and Compatibility
In the final part, the paper also outlines the relative advantages of drones and their usage, citing Rogers (1983) and his suggestion that the main attributes of innovation are relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability.
Therefore, the primary advantage that drones have right now is the wide acceptance from the public – and the fact that they can provide a better service in terms of costs and time. Not to mention the environmentally-friendly approach of drones and their ability to recreate the delivery infrastructure.
“The parcel delivery market is growing rapidly as the e-commerce market expands. To reduce delivery costs and satisfy customer expectations for delivery service quality, many firms are considering drone delivery as an innovative technology. However, it is unknown whether customers are willing to adopt it in spite of its advantages such as delivery speed and environmental friendliness over traditional delivery system. This empirical study explored potential customers’ attitude toward drone delivery and adoption intention.”
What’s certain is that the parcel delivery market is growing fast as the e-commerce market expands. With the main advantage of drone delivery being fast delivery times, we won’t be amazed to see these things flying out soon and increasing the customer satisfaction rate – one parcel delivery at a time.
Citation: ‘Drone delivery: Factors affecting the public’s attitude and intention to adopt‘, bny Wonsang Yoo, Eun Yu, Jaemin Jung, Telematics and Informatics, Volume 35, Issue 6, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2018.04.014. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736585318300388)