Property Australia

World-first shopping centre drone delivery

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal October 11, 2021

Vicinity Centres has partnered with Google’s sister company Wing to pilot a new drone delivery service from the rooftops of Grand Plaza shopping centre in Logan.

 

  Why we love this project:

  • Customers can order from participating businesses with the help of the Wing app, and a drone delivers packages of up to 1.5 kilograms to their doors in just minutes
  • The partnership provides a last-mile delivery solution that is fast, inexpensive, low emissions
  • Drone delivery is part of Vicinity’s broader distribution and fulfilment strategy and unlock the value of physical stores to optimise omnichannel retail.

 

Since Vicinity and Wing began piloting the service in mid-August 2021, more than 2,500 contactless deliveries have made their way to customers in suburbs surrounding Grand Plaza.

131021 - Project of the Week - Vicinity Centres drone deliveryCustomers can order from the centre’s participating businesses – Sushi Hub, Boost Juice, Chatime, and Terry White Chemmart – to receive deliveries in minutes.

The partnership with Wing, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, will help retailers to use their physical stores to “get their products into customer hands quicker and more efficiently,” says Vicinity’s chief innovation and information officer, Justin Mills.

131021 - Project of the Week - Vicinity Centres drone delivery 2Almost 17 million Australians – 66 per cent of the national population – live within 30 minutes of one of Vicinity’s 61 centres. This places Vicinity in the driver’s seat to scale its drone delivery service and provide a sustainable last-mile solution.

“Research by Vicinity’s data science and insights team and Quantium shows 71 per cent of Australian retailers have adopted an omnichannel approach, and physical retail is critical to that success, driving an uplift in online market share of up to 40 per cent from customers who live nearby,” Mills says.

“The drone delivery service will help our retailers drive incremental sales, leveraging the value of their physical store and attracting new customers to engage with the centre. It also helps solve delivery-based pain points identified in our customer research.”

Mills says Vicinity is employing a “test and learn approach”.

131021 - Project of the Week - Vicinity Centres Wing“Exploring new technologies like drone delivery means our retailers may provide customers with game-changing product deliveries in minutes rather than days, while also reducing their carbon footprint,” he adds.

Jesse Suskin, Wing Australia’s head of policy and community affairs, says this is the first time Wing is co-locating drones with businesses at their premises, rather than local businesses co-locating goods at a Wing delivery facility.

“With the increase in consumers’ desire for convenience and speed, on-demand drone delivery can help address the costly last-mile delivery challenge, reduce road congestion and emissions, and create new economic opportunities for businesses by utilising their existing retail space as logistics hubs and fulfilment centres,” Suskin says.