Instant delivery? Cynicism sets in

Written by on October 30, 2015 in Opinion with 0 Comments

Damaged droneThere is a battleground developing in the delivery world. It seems to be a slightly false one, based on the argument that ‘our company can do it faster than anyone else.’ But surely delivery is actually about improving the customer experience.

Drones seem to be a big part of the debate, but like everything new, they will be grounded and delayed by issues such as safety and privacy. Already they are causing concern on flight paths and over celebrities’ properties.

Instant delivery does not seem the right approach in the short-term. Imagine you are having a supper party. You realise that you need a bigger pan than anything you have. It is 4.00 p.m. Your guests are arriving at 7.30 p.m. Do you risk it? Do you go online and buy the pan in the hope that you will get the delivery in time?

No. At least not yet. Not until the instant delivery model has been proved to work.

In the short-term, other delivery options seem better bets when it comes to the customer experience battle. Free delivery for the festive season seems a better option. Of all the times of the year, surely shopping before the Holidays is something that most people plan. At least to the extent of being comfortable with a delivery coming in the next two to three days?

Another, better, short-term solution seems to be the ‘click and collect’ idea. Argos has teamed up with eBay and other chains in order to provide this kind of service and this must surely appeal to many.

Another is the personalised delivery for more valuable, or technical items. How appealing is it when a delivery guy arrives and helps set up the TV, microwave or (scarily connected) toaster?

In this debate about delivery, which we are being lead to believe is the battle that will determine who will win in the world of e-commerce, take a step back. Breathe.

The winners will be the ones that concentrate on customer experience, not just speed. In fact, the cynic in this office thinks that drones will be embroiled in all sorts of privacy, safety and security issues and may not get off the ground when it comes to delivery. At least for a while.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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