The problem with retail delivery is still being fine-tuned, especially in Australia where geographical problems have led to Australia Post and others investing in types of digital lockers. Getting products to their buyers is harder than it looks – and even then, the method isn’t necessarily ideal. Lugging around packages during a commute is hard work.
Which is why Amazon said yesterday it would launch a new type of delivery method: drones. For customers who live within 10 minutes of a distribution centre, and order a product weighing under five pounds, a drone will be able to carry their purchase to them within just 30 minutes.
But while there are plenty of arguments as to why drones won’t constitute a realistic delivery method – at least for the next few years – the move highlights yet another problem with retail delivery.
With consumers having become so used to downloading software and other digital products so easily, there is still a frustration with waiting for physical goods. What Amazon Prime Air represents is not only a step forward in commercial drone use, but also a realisation retail delivery still has plenty of opportunity for change.
eBay has even toyed with this concept by introducing a type of courier service in New York, (although the program is only in testing). Users buy a product then wait for it to be delivered to them, wherever they are, by a courier on a bike. It’s yet another example of digital delivery expectations are seeping through into real-world retail.
And with Amazon confirming it may be at least five years before the program gets off the ground, there’s still plenty of time for anything to happen. One thing is for sure – physical delivery is ripe for disruption.
Getting rid of passwords
Password are increasingly gaining a reputation for being unreliable. A string of digits and letters is fairly easy to crack for most amateur hackers, and many online security systems leave a lot to be desired
Most of the available data shows passwords such as “1234” or even the word “password” are the most common.
There’s clearly room for disruption. A new Forbes report suggests Google is working on a new type of product which would eliminate passwords altogether. Instead, users will have a USB dongle that can be plugged into a computer to add a second layer of security.
There has already been more activity in this space, with Apple having already introduced fingerprint technology for its phones. With more companies offering dual-layer security and products such as SMS backups, not only will the way we use passwords begin to change – but consumer expectations of digital security will too.
Paying for trending content
Introducing advertising to social networks is often problematic and can turn users away. Implementing advertising in social faces two challenges – creating effective advertising and ensuring users aren’t having a negative response.
Tumblr has started experimenting with new forms of advertising, and new reports show sponsored blogs are just the start. Under the new program, advertising clients will be able to purchase the ability to have their blogs in the “trending” section of the website.
With so much emphasis placed on social discovery of content, harnessing advertising within the “trending” area of the website is likely to continue. For businesses working with social advertising, it stands to reason this area is one they should focus on.
However, it remains to be seen whether consumers reject this approach entirely. “Trending” content is usually popular because of its organic nature – disrupting that model with advertising could result in backlash.