From the transformation of how goods are delivered, with the move towards smaller, last-mile urban distribution centres and the rise of self-delivery ‘bots,’ to the opportunities for retailers to partner with mobility providers and provide travellers with en-route entertainment, the future of mobility presents enormous opportunities for the consumer goods & retail sectors.
Click on each of the sections below to understand how emerging mobility trends could impact the consumer goods & retail sectors in the near, medium and long-term future.
Migration to smaller, urban distribution hubs: Consumer demand for faster and more flexible last-mile delivery is driving a transition towards urban distribution hubs, which are more costly. Autonomous vehicles and shared distribution models could help deliver better customer service at a lower cost.
Transitioning logistics fleets to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV): Regulation and social expectations are driving the transition to ULEV delivery vehicles. Retail fleets and logistics will need to invest in both vehicles and suitable refuelling infrastructure.
Subscription delivery models for regular delivery of goods: Some online retailers are introducing subscription models for the regular delivery of goods, facilitated by the availability of last-mile delivery and direct-to-consumer models.
Real-time freight brokerage: With many goods transport fleets often running partially full or empty for part of a journey, freight brokerage emerges as a form of shared economy for goods transport. Brokerage platforms could sell excess space on planned deliveries in order to deliver additional revenue and reduce the environmental cost.
Reverse logistics chain optimisation: While a lot of attention is focussed on the delivery value chain, mobility could also improve the reverse logistics chain for returns, waste and recycling. Adaptable autonomous delivery vehicles could facilitate two-way deliveries, and redistribute goods and returns locally rather than to central distribution centres.
Automation in warehouses: Increasing autonomous vehicle and robotics technology doesn't just help cars on the road. In factories and warehouses, increasingly sophisticated machines are expected to pick, transport and package vehicles with limited human intervention, increasing speed of delivery and reducing cost.
Bundled EV charging on retail sites (replacing fuel stations): Increasing proportion of electric vehicle (EV) drivers will demand on-site charging for retail parking. There is an opportunity to bundle EV charging with other on-site services (e.g. coffee, shopping, deliveries) based upon the anticipated dwell time.
Retail partnerships with mobility providers: Consumer goods companies could partner with mobility providers for in-journey consumption and advertising opportunities. For example, organisations could sell on-board refreshments, allow users to order food en-route to a restaurant, or have drive-bys with fast food and groceries.
Non-fuel retail during EV charging: While EV drivers wait for their cars to charge, they could grab a coffee, take a call, surf the internet, or indulge in some food or light retail while at EV charging hubs and locations. Retail sites are already installing EV chargers as both a sustainability initiative and to attract footfall.
Shared transport for passengers and goods: If future autonomous vehicles can be shared and modular, the same fleet of vehicles could be used for both passenger and goods transport for efficiency.
Direct to boot delivery: Tie-ups between delivery companies, retail and even OEMs have led to trials involving deliveries that can be made directly to your car boot - while parked at the office or in your house, with your permission. The continuation of this in the future might be vehicles that directly drive themselves to pick-up centres to collect your shopping or food - saving you the need to be in the car at all.
Long-haul Autonomous Vehicle (AV) trips provide more time to consume: If AV journeys can free up several hours of driving time for consumers, there could be ample new consumption and retail opportunities, including in-car shopping, food and refreshment services on long-haul trips.
Sidewalk delivery modes: Low-speed sidewalk robots could use sidewalks to deliver food and small goods directly to consumers. Similarly, aerial drones could facilitate light deliveries through windows or ceiling ports for high value items such as medicines, electronics or documents.