Your best friend’s birthday party begins in two hours, you’ve had a hellacious week and you forgot to buy a present. It’s too late to make a trip to the store and you can’t order online because the package will take too long to deliver. Or will it?
Instead of going to the party empty-handed, you peruse Amazon for the game she’s been wanting for weeks, Cards against Humanity. Once purchased, you hop in the shower to start getting ready. Thirty minutes after you hit “pay”, an automated air delivery drone drops the present at your front door. Problem averted.
Amazon could bring instant gratification to the next level. Last night on 60 minutes, Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon has been testing new automated air delivery drones which could deliver packages to your door within 30 minutes. It’s like the Jimmy John’s of the web.
This calculated announcement was delivered on the eve of one of the greatest E-commerce shopping days: Cyber Monday. Not only was this message appropriately timed, it was unpaid on-air primetime television. Dollars saved, impressions made.
The majority of Amazon’s shipped products weigh 5 pounds or less, making automated delivery by drone practical. “FAA chief Michael Huerta said he expects some 7,500 small unmanned aircraft buzzing in the US skies in the next five years.” However, drones can be hazardous sky bugs and the Wall Street Journal reports that the FAA wouldn’t actually certify commercial drones until 2020.
So, was this just a timely PR stunt to create buzz about Amazon before Cyber Monday, or is this truly the future of E-commerce? Although Amazon Prime Air would meet customer’s needs and keep Amazon at the forefront of retail, instant gratification by way of automated delivery drones is still far off.
Read here for Doug Aamoth’s five predictions about Amazon Prime Air.