Delivery Disruptions: Giving Shipping a Facelift

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Let’s face it: e-commerce isn’t just growing – it’s getting the limelight.

Social media sites like Pinterest and WANELO are changing the way that we shop. Online marketplaces are cropping up on retail websites other than Amazon and eBay. And big players like Alibaba are priming themselves for a Wall Street debut.

With the e-commerce industry in a shakeup, the delivery sector (that fuels it) is ripe for disruption as well.

Take it from a compulsive tinkerer (who’s always on the hunt for new ways to improve fulfillment) – the time for shipping’s facelift is right now.

Prepare to see creative startups introduce new shipping services to get things from point A to point B – at the greatest convenience to consumers.

As for where this disruption will occur, it will happen in two key areas:

1. Drone Delivery

It’s no secret that the delivery cycle is shrinking. People are no longer willing to wait a week for their products. Instead, two-day delivery (popularized by shopping services such as Amazon Prime) is becoming the norm.

But while same-day shipping services are popping up left and right, there’s no better technology that exemplifies “the need for speed” than the delivery drone.

Amazon gave us a glimpse of its Prime Air service in November, and Domino’s unveiled its DomiCopter even earlier than that. Needless to say, a 30-minute delivery window is certainly beguiling (if not – realistically – a long way off).

But while drones have been touted as a way to relieve urban congestion, their real sweet spot is in delivering to hard-to-reach areas – such as rural locations inaccessible by road. Granted, this may cut into the 30-minute turnaround window, but it would certainly be a value-add for delivery.

2. Mobile Shipping

Consumers are spending an increasing amount of time on their phones. They’re shopping, reading emails, tweeting and … shipping?

Startups in this space mainly target consumers, but could also be utilized by marketplace sellers looking to get their storefront off the ground.

Shyp, for example, allows consumers to take a photo of what they plan to send, and then picks up the product to complete the shipment through the USPS and other couriers.

The way of the future is this: couriers like the USPS, FedEx and UPS will work with these kinds of cutting-edge technologies to drastically change the face of shipping. It’s all just a matter of time.

For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.

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