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Drone Delivery Gets Sky-High Approval

Shoppers are overwhelmingly high on having their purchases dropped off by drone, a new Field Agent poll shows.

According to the survey of 2,010 U.S. consumers, fully 83 percent consider fulfillment by air either moderately, very, or extremely appealing, and 84 percent would be inclined to request a delivery by drone.

What’s more, shoppers are willing to back that up with cold, hard cash. For purchases of $100, respondents on average said they’d pay more than $15 for a drone delivery (15 percent of the purchase price), and would shell out nearly $7 on a $20 purchase (35 percent), and more than $3 for a $5 order (60 percent of the purchase price).

There are, however, caveats: for those extra fees, 75 percent would want their order to arrive within one hour or less, and 44 percent would expect to have their item in hand in 30 minutes or under.

As to which types of products they’d be inclined to have delivered by air, most (57 percent) said gifts delivered to others, followed closely by hot, ready-to-eat meals (56 percent).

Tech products were tied with apparel and footwear for eighth place on the list (41 percent), due perhaps to shoppers’ No. 1 concern with drone deliveries: security of packages, cited by 63 percent of respondents.

Other top concerns included delivery cost (58 percent), and malfunctions, shipping mistakes and human interference (56 percent each).

Only 40 percent expressed general safety concerns, while 38 percent specifically cited concern for air traffic interference.

Conversely, the majority (63 percent) cited “faster delivery of everyday products” as the chief benefit of drone deliveries, followed by 55 percent who consider the aircrafts’ ability to serve shut-ins as their most significant benefit.

As to where they’d be most inclined to place a drone-delivered order, the overwhelming majority cited Amazon (82 percent), followed by Walmart (65 percent), Target (59 percent) and Walgreen’s (47 percent).

7-Eleven placed dead last with 15 percent of the vote.

Field Agent, a mystery shopper and marketplace intelligence service based in Fayetteville, Ark., drew the consumer sample from its panel of nearly 1 million U.S. smartphone users.