As discussed in our earlier blog posts it’s clear to see that we are moving towards an age of digital shopping. Today it’s very easy to get what you want to be delivered right to your doorstep. But what does the future hold for online shopping.?
As of now, it hard to predict what we may be seeing in the next 20 years. But based on research on this topic it’s clear to see that we are heading in a certain direction.
When talking about online shopping, there are 2 things retailers could seek to improve. Firstly, the delivery time, ensuring that customers get what they need as quickly as possible. Secondly, improving overall customer happiness.
Amazon I’ve been pioneers in this industry setting a high bar of what we have come to expect from online delivery systems. Although a lot could still be improved about it.
In 2015, Amazon introduced the Amazon dash button. The button allows customers to order products such as laundry detergent and baby food instantly without having to go online. Making online shopping painless and easy for the customer.
How does the Amazon dash button work?
Amazon dash buttons are made particularly for Amazon Prime members. They cost approximately £4 although upon the first purchase the user will get their money back as a credit to their Amazon account.
There are around 300 of different buttons for different household items ranging from food products, shop, batteries and so on. Amazon dash buttons are a pretty simple and straightforward to use, all the customer need to do is set up the dash button to Amazon account and click away. The user pushes the button which uses the home wifi to alert Amazon to deliver the product. This product can save customers time as they don’t need to visit stores or the Amazon website.
There are many safeguards in place to
ensure that users don’t order items by accident. If the button is pressed multiple times it only registers one purchase. Only one order can be made between the time the order was placed and delivered therefore it and stop kids to play with the button like a toy.
I will be looking at Amazon dash button in more detail on my podcast later this month so stay tuned.
Apart from the dash button, Amazon has been making further advancements in recent times to improve delivery times. The introduction of same-day delivery for Prime members has changes how we shop. Although, this future is exclusively for prime members.
Amazon Prime Air.
Amazon is developing a service to use drones to safely deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less, it called Prime Air. This service is still in its testing stages and might take a while before we see them flying above us. On the 7th December 2016, the first fully autonomous drone delivery was made. they started a private trial in Cambridge (United Kingdom). Amazon is currently working with a few customers in that area to ensure that when Prime Air is officially realised it will work well.
Customers will get to select from a whole range of products to get delivered, although there are a few restrictions. For starters, the drones can only carry a maximum weight limit of 5-pound. Guess you can’t get your new 55 inches TV delivered just yet.
In the future, deliveries will come from different Amazon Fulfilment Centers that will be scattered in different areas all over the world. These centres will contain Prime Air technology. When the closest centre receives a delivery request from a customer, Amazon employees will package the parcel and send it down to the drone. The drone will then deliver the package using GPS within cruising and bellow 400 feet the drone should deliver the package within 30 minutes.
This is a very exciting prospect, the idea that users can get their products within minutes of ordering it. Although, I have my concerns about Amazon Air and other similar products. Is it safe? Can the drones be hacked or accessed by someone else? All we know for now is that the technology is still being developed and drone technology might be the future.
What further developments can be made?
I think retail stores should focus on trying to get online shopping to the 2 billion people in parts of Asia and Africa that don’t have access to such platforms, this is a huge market that has not yet be tapped into yet.
As for now, nobody knows for certain what the future holds for e-shopping but it is definitely looking bright.
Stay tuned for the next post on “Can retail stores fight back?”