'Predictive' delivery drones, anyone?

07 Dec 2017  |  Ellen Hammett 
'Predictive' delivery drones, anyone?

Look up to the sky: Tom Ollerton at #FTVads

How's this for a prediction about predicting things: tech businesses could soon be sending us packages via drones with things they think we need - before we realise we even need them.

Or so thinks We Are Social’s innovation director Tom Ollerton, who forecasts a not-too-distant world where Amazon gets so good at guessing what we want it’ll be able to deliver products straight to our door without being prompted.

"The even more weird thing to think about is predictive shipping, where Tesco or Amazon send you a package on a drone every week going ‘We think you need these things’ and you open it up and go ‘Oh yes! Toothpaste, carrot, I need those kinds of things," Ollerton said at the 2017 Future TV Advertising Forum on Wednesday.

“I think there will be a period of time where we think ‘I need some carrots...Alexa, get me some carrots!’ but that will be a momentary blip before Amazon gets so good at pre-guessing what we want, it will, because of land-based drones, have the ability to make that work."

But before we get to that stage, Ollerton says there is a huge opportunity for brands to get consumers to use voice assistants - and that traditional media has a key role to play.

"I think we’ll see brands start to use print and TV, stuff that’s going to be in the home, to drive voice usage," Ollerton says.

"So for example, you’re reading the Sunday paper and you see Jameson’s 20% off, only on Alexa...So if you really fancy some Irish whisky, and Jameson’s is in your head, and you say ‘Alexa, I want a big bottle of Jameson’s’, there’s no competition.

"You go to Tesco.com and have hundreds of different options and I think we’re going to start seeing more traditional forms of advertising nudge us to make voice purchases when there isn’t any other competition."

However, brands might have their work cut out on the consumer side, given that less than a third of Brits say they would actually like to own a device such as Google Home or Amazon Echo in future, while 61% say they are reluctant to hand these companies more data than they currently hold.


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