Which delivery method suits your ecommerce business best?

New and revamped delivery methods have featured in the ecommerce world over the last few months:

• Last week’s blog post featured ‘The Mole‘ , the underground delivery capsule.
• Amazon in the US announced they are trialling a drone delivery service.
• The Pelipod, a smart box delivery service, which utilises unique codes to deliver and retrieve products was launched.

Alongside the innovative delivery methods are the more traditional delivery types using couriers, who will attempt to deliver your products in a number of ways:
• Delivery in person, in a finite slot, which the customer can change if they wish to.
• Leaving the product in a previously agreed safe place on the customer’s property.
• Leaving with a neighbour.
• Speculative delivery, where delivery of the product can be reorganised if the customer is out.

All of these delivery methods have advantages and disadvantages; here are a few of them to help you decide which one is best for your ecommerce business

The Mole and drone delivery are still in their testing phase and the relative advantages and disadvantages of these two systems are yet to be proved. Both offer a way of reducing traditional traffic congestion caused by numerous couriers delivering goods via road. The drone system, which is being tested in the US, will have to satisfy the regulator of air space before it can be widely adopted. The Mole delivers using an underground network and is promising for B2B deliveries but may not be suitable for B2C deliveries.

The Pelipod favours individual delivers and offers a secure service. This system uses unique codes. One for the couriers contained in the delivery address and the other for the customer recipient allowing them to access the box. This service favours smaller ecommerce as well as larger corporations because they are relatively cheap to hire.

Traditional delivery methods’ greatest drawback is failed delivery with the resultant on cost of redelivery for the courier and ultimately your ecommerce business. There may also be security issues, where goods are not delivered directly to the purchaser. The main advantage of this system is that it doesn’t require special technology.

Traditional delivery methods and security boxes form the mainstay of couriered deliveries in the UK at present. It is interesting to speculate whether underground delivery methods or airborne drones will be the couriers of the future.

Image credit: Richard Unten

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