Through the continued adoption of mobile and wearable devices and, more recently, smart home devices, the ‘always-on, always-connected’ lifestyle of consumers offers numerous opportunities for logistics optimization. Secured, real-time access to the consumer’s ecosystem of connected devices can enable a variety of innovative pick-up and delivery services, as well as improved customer service support and valuable insight generation for logistics providers.
Key Developments & Implications
Growing adoption of mobile and smart home devices reflects ever-connected consumer lifestyles both at home and at work. For logistics providers, integrating with these connected lifestyles can enable a whole host of optimized and new logistics services including improved pick-up and delivery and automated replenishment services. This can decrease operational costs and increase customer satisfaction through ‘first-time’ delivery and enable better planning and optimization through customer insights. Looking ahead, effective data privacy and security will be critical to successful adoption as well as the integration and management of various smart devices within logistics processes.
Smart home delivery and pickup utilizes smart, interconnected home and personal devices to remove the traditional inconveniences of missed deliveries and costly re-delivery attempts. This has enabled the relatively recent realization of new IoT-based delivery concepts, such as secured in-home pick-up and delivery services using smart locks as well as parcel delivery into the trunk of smart cars while the car owner or user is at home or at work.
Automatic replenishment services are emerging to meet the growing demand for convenience logistics. By 2020, it is estimated that over 50% of everyday essential household consumable products will be automatically replenished from the connected home.1 Connected devices such as a smart fridge can trigger an automated grocery order on detection of low stock. Smart appliances can monitor usage and predict when a reorder should be placed (e.g., Kwik). This concept can also be applied to businesses that require rapid stock replenishment.
Digital logistics service agents embedded as conversational interfaces in smart home devices (e.g., Amazon Alexa) can assist customers with real-time updates on the status of package deliveries, enable rescheduling, and notify of any delays. Interacting through voice allows users to seamlessly access logistics data. This can result in reduced customer support costs, increased user attention, and wider adoption of IoT (particularly among the elderly or disabled).
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