Nearly 50% of Consumers Would Pay More For 1-Hour Drone Delivery

Online shopping leader’s research shows that consumers will embrace faster, drone-based delivery experiences and are willing to pay more for convenience and package safety.


48% of Consumers Would Pay More For One-Hour Drone Delivery

Smarty, the premier online shopping destination that saves time and money on online purchases, announced results of a new consumer survey about Americans’ shopping preferences. Most notably, consumers are seeking better, faster delivery, as nearly half (48%) of consumers agree that they would pay more money for drone delivery if it meant getting their products in an hour.

The potential convenience associated with drones has strong appeal, as 43% of respondents said they were “not concerned” about drone delivery, and 51% said they would be “less concerned” about drone delivery if they were able to get products faster.


What Are Consumers Willing To Pay For?

When it comes to the essentials, consumers are willing to pay more and explore new delivery methods in order to receive their purchases quickly and in one piece. When considering the types of goods they might obtain via one-hour drone delivery, consumers chose a range of items, including:

  • Food – 40%
  • Prescriptions and medications – 38%
  • Batteries – 30%
  • A smartphone, if theirs was lost, stolen or broken – 30%
  • Clothing – 28%
  • COVID tests – 25%
  • A new credit card, if theirs was lost or stolen – 22%
  • Alcohol – 21%
  • Their paycheck – 20%
  • Baby and/or children’s products – 13%

“As technology advances in the shopping industry, delivery methods might soon change to include alternate forms of transportation like drone deliveries,” said Vipin Porwal, CEO and Founder of Smarty. “But consumers don’t seem concerned about technological advances as much as they are about receiving their purchases, especially if it means they get their products faster.”


Some Concerns About Drone Delivery

While enthusiasm for enhanced shopping services like one-hour drone delivery is obvious, consumers did express some concerns about drones. Top worries include items being ruined by drone travel (51%), the drone breaking down so consumers won’t receive their items (58%), drone delivery to the wrong address (58%), the drone breaking down and consumers not getting a refund (54%), and the drone leaving items unattended, making it easier for porch bandits to steal packages (54%), as well as the lack of human interaction with delivery people (31%).

Fears about missing, stolen or damaged packages are also key reasons why consumers are hesitant about drone delivery. Some 37% of respondents were “worried” or “extremely worried” about having packages stolen. In fact, many would be willing to pay more for delivery protection, and 63% of those surveyed say they would pay for shipping insurance, if offered, to cover theft or damage. In addition, 52% say they would pay for a service that offered product protection to ensure that packages didn’t get stolen or damaged.

According to Porwal, the new data shows that at-home deliveries and online shopping remain very important to consumers, even as the global coronavirus pandemic subsides. He describes a new shopping environment where people are more open to faster deliveries and package protection offerings at a premium price point but only if it means they will receive exceptional service. “Consumers are constantly looking for the best experience and have placed a big emphasis on effective delivery methods, including novel approaches like drone delivery – as long as they get the goods faster,” he said. “Retailers will continue to step up their efforts, looking for innovative ways to make exceptional customer service experiences happen for online shoppers.”