retailciooutlook

Here's How Drones are All Set to Transform the Retail Industry

By Retail CIO Outlook | Thursday, January 31, 2019

DronesThe idea of receiving the ordered products within hours sounds interesting right. Businesses are welcoming the drone in the retail realm as the technology is redefining the retail industry and considering a more agile era as the drones are all set to transform the last-mile services. Not only in the retail, but drones are changing the face of other sectors as well.

Drones, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are going beyond its traditional offerings of finding widespread commercial usage. As the regulatory bodies in many advanced nations are developing rules on the usage and ownership of drones, commercial application of this innovation such as agriculture, transportation, construction, photography is on the rise. Hence, drones are revolutionizing the functioning of traditional businesses, but they are also creating new opportunities for them.

The retail sector is drawing towards the adoption of drones and exploring the new means to use them in their operations; this technology plays a significant role in the expansion of this sector. However, the growing competition is forcing the retailers to develop new means to improve their supply chain and carry out operations more efficiently.

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• Delivery drones

The first thing that strikes one when they hear drones in retail is the – product delivery. Customer’s demand for faster delivery is compelling retailers to adopt drones for quick delivery services. Both offline and online retailers are considering drones for the same-day deliveries. However, online retailers may be the early adopters of drones for product delivery. Businesses are finding it as ideally suited for essential deliveries, be it in metropolitan cities, small towns or rural areas. The main benefit of using drones is that the process doesn’t need third-party delivery service providers, thus enabling retailers to save money. 

• Beyond Delivery

Apart from the delivery processes, retailers are using technology for daily operations. For instance, drones are used for monitoring areas of facilities that cannot be covered by guards. Also, added advantages is, in the case of product theft, drones can follow the offender and alert the concerned authorities.

Other potential applications are checking the warehouse stock and securing it, and buying new products when they are running low on shelves. Drones observe the customer movement when in-store, helping retailers to understand their buying traits.

Although retailers are primarily focused on optimizing customers’ product delivery experiences using drone technology, they need to surpass specific regulations related to drone regulations, traffic control systems and customer acceptance.

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