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Delivering from A to B, the integration of Robo-couriers

Posted 17 June Josef Hoccom

With McDonald’s testing drone delivery capabilities with Uber Eats in San Diego, we thought we would have a look what impact robo-couriers will have on the industry as we know it.  (Find out more here)

With the influx of new technologies into the retail and hospitality environment like kiosks, kitchen management screens and interactive technologies. We have become very used to handling technology every single day and companies are always on the prowl and looking to adopt new technologies to give themselves a competitive edge and deliver that extraordinary customer service.

We have seen a shift to consumers using online retailers which has meant that highstreets retail outlets and restaurants have had to adapt to secure sales within the online sector due to the development of smartphone technology and the emergence of the App purchasing culture.

In retail, we have noticed companies like Asda, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s offering shopping online with both delivery and Click & Collect services. Similarly, this has meant shopping for groceries has become much easier to suit customer busy lifestyles.

We have also seen restaurants start to embrace home delivery services as it’s now easy to process and has proven very lucrative. Restaurants, some which had never previously considered home delivery as a viable revenue stream, are benefitting from these types of services and the takeaway choice is rife with options to suit anyone’s culinary preferences.

Alongside brands diversifying the services they offer; we have also seen companies sprout up across the world offering courier services to meet this home delivery demand. We have seen companies like Deliveroo and Uber Eats become iconic food courier brands for our favourite restaurants. It’s now commonplace on a Saturday night to order in your favourite high street food brand and see the light-blue branded cyclist whizz around city centres.

Although the idea of going to your favourite restaurant and picking up your food is not a new concept, with many companies offering this since the dawn of time. What’s great about these services is that they offer a much biggest selection of more healthy, wholesome foods. As consumers, we are now not restricted by conventional takeaway options of deep fried, high-fat foods. We can opt for more healthier options from brands that really invest in a quality menu and this influences that decision on whether to cook ourselves or get takeout. (read our blog here about our shifting attitudes in food consumption has influenced the tech we use in restaurants)

Because it’s also so easy, with the tap of a few buttons and a wait of half an hour, ping it’s at your door, why wouldn’t you use this service?

At Celestra in the industry, we have noticed a change in the way consumers interact with business and this has led us to work with our partners to deliver solutions that interact with app technology and systems that can support restaurants deliver in a takeaway format through kitchen management systems. 

As well as conventional courier services which deliver by vans, cars, and bicycles, we have also noticed a few companies are taking a more futurist approach. Firstly, something which seems like it’s been taken out of science fiction and something which has always been scoffed at as something that won’t happen in our lifetime is Robot Delivery.

Starship Robots have started to be introduced into a few places in the UK including Milton Keynes just a stone throws away from our head office at Celestra. These delightful little robots can be seen going about their business come rain or shine and have proven very popular with the community.

This is a safe and secure green delivery platform which can be used for a large variety of deployments. In comparison to more traditional delivery services, things such as groceries, packages, and food can be delivered for a fraction of the cost. It’s safe to predict that we shall see bots deployed across more areas over the coming millennia. As robots start to replace the task humans find arduous, it seems like they will soon be the preferred delivery platform of choice for many companies.

We can also see there has been a lot of hype within the industry around drone technology and its usage within the retail and hospitality market. Online retail companies like Amazon have been investing heavily in bringing this to a more commercial and user-friendly service. From their first launch in 2016 of their Prime Air services, their vision is to be able to deliver packages as early as 30 minutes after a customer places an order.

Amazon is working with regulators and the industry to design an air traffic management system that will recognize who is flying what drone, where they are flying, and whether they are adhering to operating requirements. Because of the potential for strict operating guidelines, there could be a delay in this type of technology becoming more cost-effective and commercially a viable solution for companies in the short term.

We have also seen examples of companies, most recently at the RBTE Expo in London. We visited the World Pay stand where they exhibited a service called Drone Pay. They are experimenting with using card information to every recipient’s identity and how this could be used to release products from delivery drones.

Because of the huge investment from many different avenues to get this solution up and running it looks like the future of home delivery is going to take to the skies.   

Get in touch today to see how Celestra can transform your customer experience, email or call 01908 889 500

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