[Consumer study] How do consumers feel about drone delivery?

Delivery trucks drive up and down neighborhoods all the time with people shopping for everyday items, gifts and more online. That holds true even when there are supply chain concerns. But what about other ways of delivery- like by drone. How do consumers feel about drone delivery?

That’s what we asked them about in this consumer study.

"I would absolutely love my orders to be delivered via drone. I think that would be really cool and something different."

The methodology

The entire study of 100 respondents was conducted through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand consumers.

In the platform, we combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study and the results were neatly packaged for me in one dashboard.

drone delivery insights

drone delivery insights 2

On the quantitative side, we asked:

  • Do you shop online when shopping at supermarkets, department or grocery stores?
    • Yes
    • No

This question was also used as a screener with only yes answers moving forward to the next question.

  • Do you have items delivered when shopping from supermarkets, department or grocery stores?
    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you prefer delivery by car or truck or would you consider having items delivered by drone?
    • Truck delivery
    • Drone delivery

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • Would you like your orders to be delivered by drone? Why or why not?
  • What are the pros and cons you see with drone delivery?

Read next: Not sure what to ask? Check out Voxpopme’s tried and tested open-ended questions for video research.

The results

Here’s a quick highlight reel of responses:

The quant results

In the study, the majority of respondents – 93 percent – said they have items delivered when shopping online.

online shopping delivery

The majority of respondents – 61 percent – prefer delivery of online shopping items by vehicle, but 39 percent would consider drone delivery.

drone or vehicle delivery


The qual results

For the qual questions, respondents recorded a quick video message – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

In all, the automatic sentiment analysis showed that 29 percent of all statements were on the positive side, with 44 percent being negative and 27 percent were neutral.

consumer sentiment toward drone delivery

Unlike the quant questions, this sentiment analysis is pulled from what respondents actually said in their video responses.

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of what some of the most mentioned topics were.

drone delivery consumer study themes

consumer study word cloud drone

The analysis

I like to review the theme explorer first to get an idea of what trends I’m seeing. The Word Cloud is my next step. Then I like to skim through the automatic transcripts and each response. Let’s see what respondents said.

The pros of drone delivery

Consumers gave a variety of pros for drone delivery, including:

  • it could be faster.
  • being a new, fascinating technology.
  • it is cool.
  • being contact-free. You don’t have to accept a package from another person.
  • not having to deal with traffic delays.
  • being convenient.
  • cut down on fuel emissions from delivery vehicles

"Would I like my order delivered by a drone? Of course. That would be pretty cool. The kids would love it. It comes faster. There wouldn't be any worry about stuff getting caught up in traffic."

The cons (and questions)

In the study, consumers gave a variety of cons and had questions, including:

  • drone delivery potentially breaking items.
  • concerns about power supply issues of the drone. Will it be able to fly where it needs to go?
  • that it’s not mainstream.
  • the fear that the drones would drop items on people.
  • would it eliminate the number of available delivery driver jobs?
  • the question if a drone delivery can follow drop-off instructions.
  • no human interaction.
  • wondering how the weather would impact delivery.
  • privacy concerns. What can a drone see that a truck driver cannot during a delivery?
  • unsure of how reliable drones are.
  • questions on if somebody would try to shoot the done down.
  • concerns over deliveries to apartment buildings. How would the drone get in?

"I would not be interested in having my items delivered by a drone. I don't think that technology has been proven enough to do that. I'm sure that's coming very soon."

Where to next?

In all, several consumers in our study said they think drone deliveries will be part of the future. That’s the case whether they personally like the idea or not. And there was a certain level of  “being unfamiliar with drone deliveries” in the qual answers.

With all that in mind, there is room to make drone delivery more familiar to consumers. Perhaps run a campaign to explain how it works, explain it through marketing materials in packages that come through traditional truck deliveries and on other channels where you can reach those consumers.

From there, you could easily follow up with a study asking consumers:

  • How familiar they are with drone deliveries now – if they haven’t used drone delivery, yet.
  • Ask consumers who have had items delivered via drone: How was the experience? What worked well, what didn’t?

Especially the second question – involving consumers who have used drone delivery –  can give you eye-opening insights into how to message drone delivery to consumers who have worries or questions about it.

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!



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