Drone Delivery for Retail: Statistics and Facts

The internet evolution continues. Whether it is online shopping, ordering food, buying gifts, grocery runs or shipping packages the consumer space is increasingly relying on fast and reliable door step delivery. Drones could allow accelerated delivery times, improved accuracy and reduce human cost associated with delivery. A delivery drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used to transport packages, food or other goods. Only a few years ago, these projects were not taken very seriously. Today, operators are working hard to make them a reality for tomorrow’s deliveries.

Amazon, the largest online retailer, which generated a global net revenue of about 136 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, has been the most public in experimenting with drones for package delivery. It has already proposed the service "Amazon Prime Air", which would deliver packages via drone in just 30 minutes. According to a survey from 2015, 30 percent of U.S. consumers believe they will order their first drone-delivered package within the next five years. Drone-delivered packages may be an even bigger push toward a future where the majority of purchases are made online across multiple product categories. Current drone technology can handle packages of up to five pounds.

In today's drone technologies, consumer drones are the most accessible and cheapest to fly; however, they lack the long range capabilities of their enterprise and military counterparts. Drones will eventually be successful in delivering the last mile for both brick-and-mortar companies and large internet retailers.

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