So Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has applied for permission to test out delivery by drone. This would include home delivery and customer curbside pick-up at a warehouse. Amazon started the same program earlier in the year. Looks like this will become the future of deliver.
What does this mean for the future of shopping? How will this affect companies like UPS and DHL or Federal Express and the good ol’ U.S. Postal Service? Considering the lousy service I get from my U.S. Postal carrier and the big fat zero response to my myriad complaints of not receiving my mail, receiving my neighbor’s mail, having my mail returned to sender by my carrier, blah, blah, blah, I, for one, would welcome another competitor. Perhaps now the U.S. Postal Service can enter its place in the annals of history since they obviously no longer can compete with quality of service and work ethics. I have never been happier than when I opted out of U.S. Postal Service and rely solely on private companies like my neighborhood UPS store that knows how to deliver, stay competitive and treat customers right.
But, am I ready to take the next step and trade my friendly UPS clerks for the buzz and hum of a drone at my door? Am I ready to take yet one more step into the emerging culture of non-human contact for ordering my goods online and having them delivered by a flying robot?
I don’t expect my Christmas shopping to be any different this year, but my 2016 shopping experience could be something out of the cartoon “The Jetson’s”. Although progress is exhilarating, I have to remind myself of the screaming fits I had when acclimating to my new smartphone and laptop. Change can forebode a time of dramatic emotional upheaval in my home. Is my husband prepared for the mad woman I may become? Will my children forgive me if their Christmas gifts end up landing on the doorstep of a home one GPS digit off?
What about pizza delivery? Do I still have to tip? And how far and how fast can a drone deliver? Wal-Mart spokespersons talk about home delivery involving a drone deployed from a truck within a residential neighborhood that would then deliver to the door. So, delivery drivers will also serve as drone pilots. The drones don’t begin their route from the warehouse, they just shave a little time and effort off the delivery person’s workload. As a housewife I’m not sure how I feel about that. I mean, what about the stereotypical hunky Fed Ex guy all us women drool over when he bends over in his tight little shorts to pick up our package off the pile on his little hand truck. I won’t have that to look forward to anymore. I think, perhaps, if the drones can be programmed to recognize a woman on the receiving end and shower her with flattery and compliments, then, and only then, I might just be all in.