Drone Delivery Perceptions Remain Mixed

Survey reveals consumers’ positive and negative views regarding autonomous deliveries.

January 23, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The possibility of drone delivery comes with both positive and negative perceptions for consumers, according to a recent survey of 528 online shoppers conducted by the platform Clutch, reports Chain Store Age.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said they were excited about the increased speed of drone delivery, along with 21% who responded that they were looking forward to cheaper delivery rates. However, the price of drone delivery will likely not be inexpensive, at least not at first. “Drone delivery will likely be a more expensive option until companies can scale their programs, although consumers may be willing to pay more for faster deliveries,” said Millie Radovic, a market analyst at Drone Industry Insights.

Meanwhile, consumers also have concerns about drones, including arrival of damaged goods (20%) and stolen goods (19%). About 18% also worry that drones will end up replacing jobs. Still, it doesn’t seem like this is enough to deter interest in drone delivery. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed stated they would be more likely to purchase items delivered by drone, while 25% of those surveyed said they would be less likely to favor drone deliveries.

Radovic stated, “Drones will offer a higher-end … option for deliveries [and] will improve those delivery times further, bypassing traffic congestion or queues of deliveries.”

In October of 2019, UPS received the first approval for a retailer to use unmanned aircraft (drones) for commercial delivery services from the Federal Aviation Administration, showing the continued interest of retailers in the use of drones. The shipping company will begin its work with drones via pilot-training programs and ground-based technologies to oversee drone routes.