While most e-Commerce retailers have made faster delivery options available for a price, 70 percent of the customers are price sensitive in nature and prefer to wait out the delivery period. While an option for faster delivery is suitable to the customers willing to pay extra, it only adds on to the pressure and costs borne by the retailer
Fremont, CA: The very concept of a drone, robot, or autonomous car delivering your product at your doorstep is exciting, after all, it does give you a Jetsons-like experience. Like it or not, human contact-free delivery is the future of the e-commerce business. Companies like Amazon, Uber, and UPS have invested heavily to make this technology available for the future. Physical internet is most likely going to be the commonplace of the future.
One of the most significant expenses that companies face is the last mile delivery costs. For most deliveries, the last mile delivery cost makes up almost 30 percent of the total delivery cost, sometimes even 50 percent. The last-mile delivery cost is the most expensive aspect of the e-Commerce industry, which is why companies are continuously in search of a solution to cut down these expenses. 2019 has been the year of e-Commerce, with global sales reaching nearly USD 4.9 trillion. The increasing volume of transactions makes it even more challenging to tackle the delivery issue.
While most e-Commerce retailers have made faster delivery options available for a price, 70 percent of the customers are price sensitive in nature and prefer to wait out the delivery period. While an option for faster delivery is suitable to the customers willing to pay extra, it only adds on to the pressure and costs borne by the retailer. Getting a product delivered faster always results in an increase in the last mile delivery cost as well as the overall delivery cost. This is where drones, robots, and autonomous cars come into play.
However, the availability of this technology doesn't mean these are more feasible options. There is still the problem of lack of infrastructure. Autonomous cars are highly dependent on the 5G network and advanced artificial intelligence. One is yet to become widely available, while the latter does not come cheap. While robots can handle small obstacles like curbs and steps, an awkward bump in the road or a pothole can cause trouble. If it tumbles over, who would pick it up? Despite drones and robots being more efficient than humans, they often take more time to move from one place to another.
Without a doubt, humans are expensive when it comes to last-mile delivery costs. However, they also pose a lot of advantages. The problem with drones and autonomous cars is, they lack intuitive judgment that can prove handy when a last-mile delivery problem occurs. For instance, if the customer is unavailable at the given address at the time of delivery, what would a drone or a robot do? Would it be able to think outside the box and come up with a suitable solution? Despite all the worries that the machines are here to take over the human race, it is unlikely they can survive without human participation. The best way to step into the future would be through a suitable collaboration between humans and robots, where they complement each other. At the end of the day, the aim should be to increase the standard of living and make a societal impact with the help of technological advances.
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