The 'crowd' can bridge the gap until drone delivery's affordable

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Robots and drones to execute the last mile for retailers may well be our future, but how do we solve the delivery challenges we have today? That’s where crowdsourcing comes in.

Crowdsourcing lets retailers leverage existing resources already on the road to make delivery faster, more efficient and more flexible. While others are making big bets on drones, crowdsourced delivery handles a wide range of items, including temperature-controlled medicine, groceries, luggage and hardware.

Some of the biggest brands in retail are investing in crowdsourcing, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 1000 retailers.

Businesses across virtually every industry are solving today’s delivery challenges with an asset-light strategy that allows them to experiment and learn. They’re addressing delivery demand today, without making new capital investments or locking themselves into a futures that bet on complex hardware systems.

And most importantly, they’re not disrupting their existing supply chain in a way that can’t be undone without a huge cost if and when the autonomous tech winners begin to emerge over the next decade or two.

And that’s really the point. Retailers need optionality. Customers want to personalize their delivery for each and every purchase at the point of sale. A great customer experience means having a delivery solution for every customer delivery problem, whether you’re scheduling a sofa delivery on Sunday or sending a rescue inhaler right now. Making that work in the real world means having an arsenal of tools in your delivery toolkit.

Crowdsourcing solves problems retailers are having today, at scale – not iterating on solutions that may work at a required scale years in the future. Crowdsourcing is a sustainable solution that ensures we’ll all be around to see what delivery looks like in the future.

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