Recently, 60 Minutes broke a story that featured Amazon’s new Prime Air system (aka drone delivery). Now, this system is not yet in place and actually won’t be for a few more years. But knowing Jeff Bezos, that process could be sped up pretty quickly. Amazon’s progressive delivery system deserves points for its forward thinking, but is it a realistic option?
Why It Could Work
1. Customer Convenience: doorstep deliver is a plus. Think groceries, holiday shopping or surprise birthday deliveries.
2. Appeal/Publicity: Bottom line, it’s cool. There is natural appeal to this system and seeing it take place, especially if you they setup a system where surprise gifts can be delivered to others when they are home.
3. The Brand: Amazon is a solid brand with majority-favored positive sentiment. They may not be Zappos level yet, but they are well-branded enough it could help this train move down the track.
Why It Couldn’t Work
1. Territory: The big question everyone is asking, what ground will this process cover? According to Bezos, this should not be too much of a hurdle, as major cities will be covered along with certain mileage outside of these areas. Now, realistically I am not sure how well this will work out on various levels. Even with major cities being covered, that still leaves a lot of open territory not being covered which will end up in angry [potential] customers, thus driving negative sentiment.
2. Various Moving Pieces: This is a highly technical process that will probably require heavy staff and maintenance/management. That in itself is a stressful situation, and one that could equal potential breakdowns, missed deliveries and possibly drones crashing into houses!
3. Is It Genuinely Helpful (Or Just Cool)? This is the question I have been asking myself: is this actually a helpful system? Maybe for hyper-digital locals, but I just can’t see it being that much different than regular delivery or fast-tracked delivery. Yes, it has appeal, but is it really needed? This is the first we are hearing of this from Amazon so it is hard to understand a value proposition just yet. But my mind does wander.