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Online shopping platform Smarty has announced the results of a new consumer survey about Americans’ shopping preferences.

Conducted by Propeller Insights in March 2022, the survey of over 1,000 adults found that consumers desire better, faster delivery, with 48% of respondents stating they would pay more money for drone delivery if doing so allowed them to receive their products within an hour. Additionally 43% of respondents said they were “not concerned” about drone delivery, and 51% said they would be “less concerned” about drone delivery if it enabled them to get products faster.

Consumers were found to be willing to pay more for a fast, safe delivery, and were open to new delivery methods in order to achieve this. Consumers stated they would utilize a one-hour drone delivery service for a range of items, such as food (40%), prescriptions and medications (38%), batteries (30%), a smartphone, if theirs was lost, stolen or broken (30%), clothing (28%), COVID tests (25%), a new credit card, if theirs was lost or stolen (22%), alcohol (21%), their paycheck (20%), and baby and/or children’s products (13%).

“As technology advances in the shopping industry, delivery methods might soon change to include alternate forms of transportation like drone deliveries,” said Smarty Founder and CEO Vipin Porwal. “But consumers don’t seem concerned about technological advances as much as they are about receiving their purchases, especially if it means they get their products faster.”

Despite the clear desire for such a service, many consumers expressed various concerns about drones, such as items being ruined by drone travel (51%), the drone breaking down so consumers won’t receive their items (58%), drone delivery to the wrong address (58%), the drone breaking down and consumers not getting a refund (54%), and the drone leaving items unattended, making it easier for porch bandits to steal packages (54%), as well as the lack of human interaction with delivery people (31%).

Most anxieties surrounding the prospect of drone delivery stemmed from a fear of missing, stolen or damaged packages, with 37% of respondents “worried” or “extremely worried” about having packages stolen. Consumers even expressed a willingness to pay more for delivery protection, with 63% saying they would pay for shipping insurance, and 52% saying they would pay for a service that offered product protection.

“Consumers are constantly looking for the best experience and have placed a big emphasis on effective delivery methods, including novel approaches like drone delivery – as long as they get the goods faster,” said Porwal. “Retailers will continue to step up their efforts, looking for innovative ways to make exceptional customer service experiences happen for online shoppers.”

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