Can this be the future of Amazon not only domestically but internationally as well?
The idea of the juggernaut internet retailer Amazon experimenting with a new delivery system different from the conventional mailing service is an intriguing one. Aside from the obvious issues of dealing with the FAA in America, how would this idea of being able to receive your order within 30 minutes or less of ordering it transfer over into their international market?
While the idea itself is tremendously innovative and will certainly appeal to those who are willing to pay a higher price for this particular service, it brings up the issue of how will foreign countries perceive this new form of delivery? One main concern in foreign countries is the idea of privacy and especially when an American company is producing essentially machines with the ability to spy on others. Even in America, it’s only a matter of time because the public starts accusing the government of using the drone’s to spy on them.
Looking into the technology of these machines, each drone is mounted with a camera and GPS which allows them to properly locate their delivery address and to make sure no problems occur along the way. Assuming Amazon sees the potential of this idea transferring over to their international markets, how should they market it to those who already view America has intrusive and non-respectful of their privacy? For example, let’s focus on the country of China. Amazon has over 4 fulfillment centers in China including Guangzhou, Suzhou, Beijing, and Chengdu. These are all highly populated and economically important cities to China. The idea itself would work out properly but how would Chinese citizens react knowing that their product was being delivered from an American company that has had issues in the past with China with spy drones? Doing further research into matter, I came across a company in China that is currently experimenting with this idea already.
Because China already has commercial regulations about unmanned aerial vehicles, this company, InCake, already has the technology set up and ready to go. Similarly, another Chinese retailer, SF Express, is currently experimenting with these drones as well. If this delivery service were to take off in China, Amazon would lose this part of their strategy before they even started in this particular market. Fortunately, Amazon still has such a strong following that despite them not being the first mover in this aspect of their business, they can still compete against others based on their brand alone. Conducting further research on SF Express, they do not seem to pose a threat to an online retailer such as Amazon. However, in the future, other competitors may acquire this drone delivery technology and implement it in their own business model which may challenge Amazon in the future.
Because of Amazon’s strong presence throughout the world, I do not foresee them struggling to make this part of their business model in the future. While it might need to be marketed differently in countries abroad, the representation of Amazon’s brand will allow them to operate successful without too much controversy over these drones. Assuming the price is reasonable, I can’t wait to further upgrade my prime account and have my clothes or shoes delivered nearly immediately.