Online seller of everything, Amazon have announced they will begin delivering packages on Sundays. This adds to Amazon’s Prime membership which sees many customers receive their goods delivered for free the next day or in some cities, the same day. Later this month, the United States Postal Service and Amazon will team up to add Sunday to the delivery schedule to Los Angeles and New York. Given that most people work during office hours, deliveries during the week isn’t always practical and often leaves customers with the annoying task of having to arrange pickup of the goods.
Amazon’s delivery network is perhaps the most impressive part of their business. To create an army of machines and humans that turn a checkout click into a knock at the door in a matter of hours is absolutely stunning. Better yet, it’s exactly what Australia’s impulse buyers thirst for.
How is it that Australia is left in the dark ages when it comes to the delivery of goods purchased online? Despite many courier companies offering tracking of parcels, these are really fake tracking in many ways. The reason customers want to track items is not to see a history, but predict the future. The most important step in the process is not when the goods were scanned in the docks after arriving in China, but rather the time you need to be home to collect them.
Thanks to GPS trackers, delivery companies know exactly where their trucks are at all times. Thanks to electronic barcode scanning, they know exactly which parcels are aboard each truck. In decent sized delivery companies, the driver’s optimal routes will be calculated for efficiency.
This means it’d be easy to track and predict very accurately what time the goods would arrive at your house that day. Sure things happen, but a live update would let you know if a delay occurs so you can adjust your plans to compensate. An automated SMS, email or tweet, could also be generated when the driver enters a geofence at a distance you specify.
Sometimes the issue isn’t about the notification or lack there of, sometimes its just the simple fact of the time taken to deliver the goods. As someone who lives in regional Victoria, I’m very familiar with the up to a week delivery times for some items. An expensive next day delivery is possible, but sometimes costs more than the value of the goods being shipped.
So now I propose to Amazon to come to Australia.
While it’d be exceptional for them to bring their entire catalogue of electronic and physical goods to Australia, it’s really their efficient delivery networks that I want to see revolutionize the delivery companies of Australia. We can and should be doing better in 2013.
More information at The Wall Street Journal.