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Among the many ways that drones can transform business operations, few have received as much attention as delivering packages to consumers’ homes. Drones could allow companies to bypass the many challenges involved with the "last mile" of delivery — the last leg of the journey when a package arrives at the customer’s doorstep.
This last mile is the most expensive and inefficient part of parcel delivery, and a wide range of companies are exploring how drones can speed up the last mile and cut costs. E-commerce companies want to cut delivery times and costs to improve their customer satisfaction and loyalty, while legacy retailers seek the same advantages to grow their online sales.
Meanwhile, logistics providers are experimenting with drone delivery to cut costs and ward off new competition from startups and technology companies, which have latched on to drone delivery as a potential path to disrupt (or partner with) legacy logistics firms.
However, delivering packages by drones to consumers’ doorsteps is still years away from becoming a common occurrence. Important obstacles still need to be overcome relating to drone regulations, the development of autonomous flight and traffic control systems for drones, and consumer acceptance.
In a new report, BI Intelligence examines the benefits drone delivery can provide as an e-commerce fulfillment method, and explains the different approaches companies are taking as they experiment with the nascent technology. In addition, we detail the key players working in the space and discuss the challenges drone delivery faces in reaching mainstream adoption.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
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