In Focus
RETAIL, TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Shop ‘til it drops: Half of Singaporeans are ready for drone deliveries

Singapore is developing its air traffic control system for drones.

About half of consumers in Singapore said that they are comfortable with drone delivery, a study by payments provider Worldpay revealed. The country’s consumer confidence with the service is second to China (70%) in terms of global sentiments.

The survey also found that 54% of consumers are comfortable with the notion of having a drone collect unwanted items or returns.

In terms of age groups, younger consumers (55%) aged 18 to 34 say that they trust robots and drones for delivery. The same age group (31%) is also enthusiastic about using drones, as compared to 22% of shoppers over the age of 55 who said they are excited about it.

An air traffic control system for drone has been set for development under the consortium led by startup firm Garuda Robotics. Over a two-year period, the development aims to trial technologies and pilot from a centralized drone operations centre.

According to Worldpay global enterprise eCommerce general manager for Asia Pacific Phil Pomford, Singapore’s e-commerce is approaching its boom as the online retail market expected to reach $7.5b in 2025. With this, he believes the drone delivery could grab a huge potential market.

“Along with cost-cutting benefits, drones could also be the answer to reducing congestion and pollution, and enabling faster delivery times,” Phil Pomford said.

However, he thinks that there are still some downsides should the technology start to roll out.

“The weight of the package and flying distance both remain potential barriers to adoption, in addition to ensuring that parcels are delivered to the correct customer,” Pomford explained.

Worldpay also noted that delivery scams in the past including fake couriers who deliver an unexpected package and request a credit or debit payment could be partly responsible for some consumers to lose confidence when it comes to new technologies for shopping.

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