When online shopping really became a “thing”, it was often a waiting game for the consumer when they had placed the order as to when it would be delivered, often leaving people to just hope that their parcels would arrive on time. There was no such thing as parcel tracking or expediated delivery options, but as time moved on, couriers and businesses have become a lot more savvy in meeting the delivery needs of their customers. Now, in most cases, you can track almost all of your parcel’s delivery process; in some cases, you can even watch the journey unfold from the sender to the final destination.
Parcel tracking has developed very quickly in a short amount of time, so what does it look like for the future as more and more businesses upgrade their courier systems?
Both businesses and customers usually have access to smart devices through their phones, tablets and wearables. These are used and worn everywhere, so can be accessible pretty much all the time to check on the progress of a parcel delivery. Google Assistant and Amazon Echo are two of the largest virtual assistant systems used, and it is inevitable that many more will emerge. Through a range of voice commands, these devices can perform a variety of actions such as providing answers to all sorts of questions, weather reports, news reports, shopping lists and much more.
Such devices and commands are being updated constantly, and their ability to perform tasks increase daily. Parcel tracking solutions can be integrated to work with these smart devices so that users can ask them where their delivery is, whether it is delayed and what time it will arrive, meaning that a user won’t even need to log into an account to track parcels. These devices can be useful both in the home and within businesses to provide information on the status of a delivery almost instantly.
Most businesses offer a range of delivery services when a customer orders a product. This includes next day delivery, same day delivery and time/date specific slots to be convenient for customers.
To further increase this convenience, redirection could be a new element to be introduced, in the scenario that if a customer is not available for a delivery, redirecting it could avoid the delay of rearranging or picking up from depot. Instead, redirecting the delivery to a different address helps to make sure all deliveries are received on time, wherever the recipient would like to collect it from.
Some couriers, such as Royal Mail, do offer this service already but it is after the original delivery has been missed, so still adds a delay onto the time when the customer will receive their parcel. Some couriers will deliver to a neighbour or leave in a safe place, but not all. More flexibility in this area will be key moving forward.
Mobile Phone Tracking
We all know that smartphones are already capable of tracking deliveries worldwide and if redirecting services are introduced, then it is inevitable that it will be controlled through apps and smartphones.
However, mobile phone tracking could be improved further by developing deliveries to automatically send updates to the recipient, telling them where they are in the process of the journey. This can be done using landmarks, data signals and mapping technology to detect where the parcel is. Some businesses do provide this service in their deliveries, but it is something that will become even more prevalent among courier and delivery services in the future.
Although drone delivery seems far off at the moment, it is definitely a possibility for delivery services in the future. This will likely impact international delivery and be integrated with parcel tracking services so that recipients and senders can still keep an eye on their order. Drones should be able to provide quicker and more accurate delivery times because they can avoid traffic issues by simply flying over buildings and roads.