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The world is changing, and retail along with it. Convenience models such as online shopping, click-and-collect, and curbside pickup are no longer optional and no longer solely about convenience. These models previously focused on removing friction between the purchase and the product, but 2020 has introduced a new source of friction: human contact.

Starship Technologies Will Launch Thousands of Food Delivery ...

How A Tiny Delivery Robot Represents the Future of Retail

As more and more retail is pushed online, keeping stores stocked and deliveries made in timely manners is increasingly difficult. For example, some reports indicate that customers are waiting up-to two weeks for online grocery orders to be delivered during this challenging time. Moreover, the element of human contact with deliveries has added another challenge for many businesses.  Enter Starship Technologies, developer of autonomous delivery robots. Not only do these robots sidestep exposure risks with face-to-face delivery, they fulfill the need for hyperlocal delivery to connect bricks-and-mortar stores that are otherwise closed along with their local communities.

As seen on the blog earlier this year, and featured in our 2020 edition of our Global Retail Trends and Innovations eBook, these robots may just be one of the solutions to supporting businesses with reaching their customers.  

Here is an overview of how this little delivery robot is changing the “face” of delivery:

  • Parcels, groceries, and food are delivered directly from stores at the time that the customer requests it via a mobile app.
  • Once ordered, the robot’s entire journey and location can be monitored on a smartphone.
  • Once the robot arrives at the scheduled destination, the recipient will be able to unlock the robot via the app.
  • The robot then travels toward the next delivery.

Here is a user video of the robot in use on video-sharing platform TikTok. Starship robots are frequent stars on the platform, a testament to consumer approval.

Starship Technologies is one of the concepts featured in our new book Global Retail Trends and Innovations 2020, developed in partnership with Ebeltoft Group. To read about more concepts to spark your creativity, download your free copy of our Global Retail Trends and Innovations 2020 HERE.