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Flying high: Consumer attitudes rising over drone delivery

43 percent fear the drone will break down and they will not get their items.

Retail rivals Walmart and Amazon are turning to aerial drones to quickly and efficiently get online orders to customers. - © AFP/File Behrouz MEHRI
Retail rivals Walmart and Amazon are turning to aerial drones to quickly and efficiently get online orders to customers. - © AFP/File Behrouz MEHRI

U.S. parcel volume grew 6 percent in 2021 reaching a record 21.5 billion. This delivery metric comes in conjunction with an increasing commercial drone market, projected to reach $21.69 billion in 2030.

Based on a new report “2022 Consumer Attitudes on Drone Delivery”, from the firm Auterion, U.S. consumer attitudes on home drone delivery of goods and food are rising. This is borne out by 64 percent of the survey population saying they are “comfortable” knowing drones will soon deliver items to their homes and businesses. The survey was based on a poll of more than 1,000 consumers across the U.S.

Of those in favour, 29 percent say they are curious to experience drone deliveries and 11 percent indicate they will try it to determine if it works for their lifestyle.

In terms of when this rise in drone activity is to occur, many consumers are of the view that this will take off within the next one to two years.

A sizable proportion of the survey, at 36 percent, have their doubts about the use of droned for delivery services. Of this segment, 20 percent think the general public or governments will not approve of large-scale drone adoption for delivery. Furthermore, 16 percent straight-out prefer that the use of drones of the distribution of everyday goods simply does not happen.

When it comes to the biggest concerns about drone deliveries, 43 percent fear the drone will break down and they will not get their items, and 19 percent are distressed about not having human interaction with their delivery person.

However, the current trajectory is that drone deliveries is likely to become a big thing. One of these drivers is the need to help the economy recovery post-pandemic. Another driver is the vast number of deliveries that are taking place:

  • 13% receive packages daily.
  • 41 percent receive packages weekly.
  • 33 percent receive packages monthly.

The most common types of home package deliveries reported by consumers today, mostly via trucks, vans and cars, are:

  • 39 percent – groceries,
  • 34 percent – clothing,
  • 33 percent – household items,
  • 31 percent – meals,
  • 27 percent – medicine
  • 11 percent – baby food/needs.

And consumers are expecting faster and faster delivery times (such as same-day delivery). The use of aerial vehicles is on means to achieve this. One area of application that could prove popular is with conveniently delivering small and last-minute sundries.

Hence, the possibility arises that retailers who adopt and scale drone delivery programs will find themselves ahead of the curve.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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