Companies are constantly competing to better meet the growing needs and expectations of consumers in the retail/E-commerce space. The advent of overnight and same-day delivery service from brand name companies has molded us into a society that needs things NOW, and in the most convenient way possible.
Why it matters? Even with the worst of the pandemic appearing to be behind us, the delivery space is continuing to grow, and companies are continuing to invest in it. The latest trends and innovations in delivery services will significantly impact both businesses and consumers.
Proprietary/direct-to-consumer delivery service is becoming a must to stay relevant in today’s retail/E-commerce landscape. Even companies not directly specializing in this space are developing their own delivery service, accessible via Apps that aim to make the process easier and the offers more enticing through deals and membership programs. While 3rd party delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Deliveroo paved the way for food and grocery delivery service across the globe, brand name retailers are increasingly aiming to provide this service in-house to drive revenue.
Innovation during the online ordering process has also come a long way, enabling companies to stand out from the competition in new and fascinating ways.
- Through augmented reality (AR) – an interactive experience combining real-world and computer-generated content – home goods stores are now able to show shoppers how a certain paint may look on their wall or a couch appears in their living room as they consider an online purchase. Restaurants can provide a customer with a 3D digital rendering of what the specific food product they are considering will actually look like when it arrives.
- With AR becoming a more popular technique for showcasing products, consumers will have even less reason to leave their homes, as the divide between the in-store and online shopping experience narrows.
Personalization and AI
Layering in a touch of personalization to the customer journey has also been a growing focus for companies dealing in delivery service.
- Such personalization includes recalling customers’ past orders, recommending new products, and customizing offers based on their preferences. From grocery delivery services that suggest items based on past purchases to quick-service restaurants that recommend dishes based on a customer’s typical order during a given time of day, the aim is to now make the experience more enjoyable in addition to providing more convenience and speed.
- Recently introduced generative AI is poised to revolutionize the online shopping experience by providing a personalized experience through AI-generated content aimed at inspiring customers and introducing them to new products (e.g. if a shopper has already researched tomatoes and taco seasoning, Pico de Gallo may pop-up as a recommended purchase). As this technology becomes more prevalent, it has the potential to transform the way customers shop and order products online.
What’s next? Looking to the Future…
The delivery service industry is poised for further growth, and innovation will continue to transform the way products are ordered and delivered – major companies like Amazon and Walmart have been exploring the use of drones for last-mile delivery as an example. While it remains to be seen if such advanced technologies will replace human delivery drivers, the pressure to deliver products quickly and efficiently continues to drive the need for new solutions.
As we look to the future of retail delivery, one thing is clear: the industry will continue to evolve and push the boundaries of what is possible, and businesses will continue to require insights on this subject to stay competitive.