Throughout the world, robots are changing how products and goods are delivered to customers’ doorsteps. Through the use of automated technology, robots are improving in their capabilities and becoming highly effective at navigating heavily trafficked urban centers.
For merchants, switching to automated delivery robots can be incredibly beneficial. In many cases, brands are implementing a hybrid delivery system in which a specific type of delivery is handled by a human driver while other delivery types are taken care of by an automated robot. For companies willing to innovate their delivery system, the opportunity for improving delivery efficiencies is immense. Take a look at the top five ways delivery robots are poised to benefit merchants going forward.
1. Merchants Can Ramp Up Delivery Speed
One of the number one concerns of customers when they order delivery is how quickly their food or product will arrive. In fact, an incredible 65% of customers have indicated that they would be willing to pay more for faster delivery, showcasing just how important speed is in increasing customer satisfaction.
Automated robots could be the perfect solution for merchants looking to speed up their delivery services. Robots are capable of delivering faster due to a few key reasons:
- There is no need to wait around for the next available delivery driver. The moment a product or meal is ready to go, a robot can head out to make the delivery.
- There is no downtime. While delivery drivers need breaks, a robot can work around the clock without stopping. There is no lag between when an item leaves a merchant and heads to a customer’s doorstep.
- Robots can travel in congested areas. Often peak delivery demand coincides with the worst traffic and congestion in urban settings. This means that a delivery driver might be stuck in traffic while a customer’s food turns soggy. Unlike vehicles, automated delivery robots are not confined to the roadways. These robots can traverse any terrain, resulting in faster, more optimized routes.
Increased delivery speed will allow merchants to earn higher profits. Merchants can either tack on an upcharge for faster delivery or use this as a key brand differentiator. Either way, as customers begin to place higher expectations on delivery speeds, robots can help answer that demand.
2. Smaller Orders Can Become Profitable
In the past, when an order amount was too small, it was difficult for a business to make a profit on that order after factoring in delivery costs. According to numbers published by Restaurant Dive, it typically costs a company around $5 to deliver a product. Through the use of an automated delivery robot, this cost can be cut down to as little as $1.
With this dramatic decrease in delivery costs, brands can begin to open up menu items and product choices to delivery that were previously unprofitable. This allows customers to access the items they want the moment they want them without requiring a hefty delivery fee.
For some merchants, this might be the method for prioritizing which orders are delivered by a human driver and which are delivered by a robot. Small orders that would have been too costly in the past can be assigned to a fleet of robots.
3. Businesses Can Lower Overall Delivery Costs
Not only do the above numbers showcase how small orders could become profitable when delivered by robots, but these lowered costs also mean businesses can cut down on their delivery spending.
The high cost of using third-party delivery services has become a large point of contention for brands that are dealing with tight profit margins. This is particularly felt in the restaurant sector, where profit margins are already in the 6% range.
Merchants can lower their delivery costs by using automated delivery robots, increasing their overall profits. Not only that but these savings can also be passed on to their customers.
4. Brands Can Continue To Meet the Demand for Contactless Delivery
During the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless delivery became foundational to the success of many restaurants and businesses. In fact, more than 50% of consumers said that they used a delivery service to help keep themselves or their families safe during the pandemic.
While many people are returning to pre-pandemic activities, the demand for contactless delivery remains. According to data released by NACS, around 80% of Americans would like local businesses to continue offering contactless solutions, such as curbside pickup, food and grocery delivery, and contactless payments.
For some, the preference is simply personal. Many customers found the convenience of contactless delivery appealing, regardless of health concerns. For many, it is simply easier to order an item through their mobile device and grab it off their doorstep at their convenience.
Using automated delivery robots, merchants can offer the ultimate contactless experience. With people becoming increasingly accustomed to interacting with brands in a fully digital manner, robots will be a natural evolution in the delivery process.
#5: Carbon Impacts Will Be Lowered
In the years ahead, consumers will continue to place an increasing demand on the sustainability of delivery practices. In a consumer survey, 40% of customers stated that they expect to see more eco-friendly delivery options in the future, and nearly half of respondents said they are open to seeing new technology used for last-mile delivery options.
Through the use of automated delivery robots, merchants can meet this demand. All-electric vehicles that can be recharged with renewable energy will significantly lower the carbon footprint of delivery fleets. This will help attract new customers and build customer loyalty with existing clients while allowing organizations to contribute to a healthier planet. As the pressure for businesses to respond to climate change concerns mounts, the use of automated delivery robots will help to mitigate one of the worst contributions to pollution.
Learn More About RoRi, the Ally Rover
Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms paired with highly accurate sensors and cameras are turning robots into powerful delivery tools. Ally, a delivery solution innovator, recently developed the Ally Rover. This automated smart delivery vehicle is designed to increase efficiency and lower operational costs. Learn more about the Ally Rover and find out how Ally can transform your delivery system by signing up to utilize the Ally delivery platform today.