future of ecommerce

Ecommerce is growing and changing at a startling rate.

From voice search to social media shopping and live chat robots taking on our customer service responsibilities, the ecommerce industry is becoming easier to navigate for business owners and more engaging and personalised for customers shopping online. 

However, what we don’t often hear about are the shipping and delivery innovations happening all around us. What’s next for ecommerce shipping in Australia?

In this blog, we share four up and coming shipping innovations to keep an eye on. Read on!

#1. Automated alternatives: drones and robots

In 2016, Jeff Bezos announced Amazon Prime Air – a delivery automation system using drones and robots to manage same-day delivery. Bezos said automation presents the “biggest cost reduction” opportunity for Amazon, estimating around 80% in savings in the shipment between the warehouse and the customer’s home. 

Businesses around the world have started trialing this new delivery system – and reaping the benefits. For example, Google has been testing drone delivery in Canberra via their sister business, Wing. 

Since 2018, Wing has been delivering coffee, burritos, and even medication to customers throughout Canberra. However, the demand for their services has grown 500% during the COVID-19 lockdown and Wing has now expanded to Queensland, serving “thousands” of customers over the last few months.

For same-day delivery, drones could be the future of ecommerce shipping. Around 40% of customers would consider drone delivery to speed up the process… but we’ll need to iron out the kinks before we see drone usage across the ecommerce industry.

drone crash

Image: giphy

#2. Same day delivery – and beyond

In the same vein as drone delivery, same-day delivery is becoming more and more common in big cities around the world. 

In the world of ecommerce, customers value immediacy, and around 88% of customers are willing to pay more for their items to be delivered ASAP.

Multiple businesses have started introducing same-day delivery to make their shopping experience almost instantaneous. For example, ASOS UK has launched “ASOS Instant” just in case you need a designer jacket or watch now. 

In Australia, fashion retailers like the ICONIC, Glue Store, Platypus Shoes, David Jones, and Glassons have also introduced same-day delivery – or if you fancy a cocktail, Dan Murphy’s can deliver drinks to your door before knock-off time, Monday to Friday.

While customers love having the option to choose when and where their items are delivered, same-day delivery has its limitations. ASOS UK, for example, is based in Camden Town and can only deliver to specific postcodes in Birmingham, London, Leeds, and Manchester. 

In Australia, same-day delivery is also limited to bigger cities like Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. 

Same day delivery can also be expensive for ecommerce business owners. You have to cover rapid fulfillment, processing, dispatching, and delivery, and the sooner the delivery date, the pricier shipping can be. 

This can translate into higher shipping costs for customers – so it’s important to consider whether same-day delivery is worth it for your business specifically.

#3. Last mile services including autonomous vehicles

While same-day delivery can be pricey, it would be unwise to ignore the growing trend.

McKinsey & Co, a global counselor to some of the world’s biggest and most influential businesses, completed a survey of customers in the US, China, and Germany regarding same-day delivery. They discovered around 27% of customers prefer not to purchase some items online due to long delivery times


items taking too long graph

Image: McKinsey

To combat this, large ecommerce companies and even start-ups have said “last mile” services are a key differentiator to their competitors. “Last mile” refers to same-day or instant delivery using autonomous vehicles like drones and even self-driven cars. 

Businesses will pack and prep the item, then the droids will go the “last mile” from the shop, office, or warehouse to the customer.

It’s early days and autonomous vehicles will need to be regulated (i.e. crashes or item drops, if it’s a drone), but same-day delivery is expected to reach 15% of the market share in 2020 and become even more common over the next decade.

Soon, we’ll be working with robots, droids, and drones – the future is now!

#4. Carbon neutral shipping options

In 2020, customers want brands and businesses to share their values.

Around 88% of customers are more loyal to businesses who support social or environmental issues, and 87% of customers will have a more positive image of your business if you do.

However, aligning your business with a social cause is no longer enough. 

Your customers want to see real change – green manufacturing practices, reduced waste, sustainable packaging, and eco-friendly supply chains. Your customers need to know what steps you’re taking to reduce your carbon footprint and lessen your impact on the natural environment.

In 2019, we became carbon neutral certified – meaning we’ve partnered with the Carbon Reduction Institute to offset the emissions of our freight services. We were audited and determined how much carbon we were creating, then offset our emissions through the Carbon Reduction Institute’s certified program.

We are also audited each month to ensure all emissions are offset. 

We’ve neutralised our footprint so our customers can continue to feel good about their deliveries and shipping, but also to ensure we’re doing our part to protect the environment and our world’s future.

The future is green. It’s time to make a change and show your customers you care with carbon-neutral shipping and eco-friendly practices.

Take on the latest ecommerce shipping innovations with Transdirect

From same-day delivery to carbon neutral shipping options, we’re committed to keeping up with the latest ecommerce shipping trends and innovations.

Discover how we can help upgrade, streamline, and simplify your shipping practices and improve the customer experience on your website. Become a member of Transdirect now!