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‘Drone deliveries? Nah, my stuff will get nicked,’ finds study

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Still unconvinced that drone deliveries will take off in retail? Then you’re not alone, according to a new study.

Research by Give as you Live found that only 30% of British shoppers plan to get their online orders delivered by drones when the flying delivery vans become more widespread in future. An implied 70% steer clear. But it seems this is no fear of a dystopian future in which people are replaced by machines. Rather it’s the fear of an all too human impulse – that stuff will get nicked. Failing that, many think the delivery system just won’t work in practice.

So far the running on drones has been made by Amazon, which is developing logistics systems around the airborne transportation. The retailer is staffing an Amazon Prime Air division but as yet describes it as a “future delivery system” that “will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision.” As yet Amazon has won permission from the US Federal Aviation Administration only to test the drones, with the proviso that fly no higher than 400ft – and can be seen at all times by the drone operator, who may fly them only over private property.

Today’s study from charitable price comparison website Give as you Live questioned 1,000 online shoppers about drones deliveries and found that for 36% of respondents their top concern was that people would steal their orders from the drone. That assumption may be rooted in reality: 5% said they would indeed consider stealing a package from a drone, and a further 5% would be tempted to break a drone that they saw in action.

Then there were issues of confidence. Some 31% questioned whether drones could handle larger items, while 22% worry their delivery would get lost.

But the findings aren’t all negative. Some 42% expected that drones would mean faster deliveries, and 42% said they would make deliveries to isolated and remote places easier.

Asked which retailers shoppers wanted to see making deliveries by drones, 66% named Amazon, 22% Argos, 13% Tesco, 10% Boots and 10% Asda.

Greg Hallett, managing director at Give as you Live, said: “It’s clear that people are still very wary of drones delivering their online goods. The main drawback is the security of their purchases and at the moment the majority are planning not to use them despite knowing the benefits of faster and wider spread delivery.”

“This is very much a case of shoppers becoming more comfortable with the technology. As online shopping continues to grow steadily, which we see through our website data, there will continue to be innovations in delivery to deal with the demand.”

Image: © concept w

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