In comparison to other industries, the eCommerce industry is fairly new. But, with industry giants such as Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and so on, it’s hard to remember a time before next-day deliveries and reliable on-time service.

Shopify states that global eCommerce is at $2.8 Trillion as of 2018 and will climb to $4.5 trillion by 2021. As we can see, the eCommerce industry is rapidly growing, and with that growth so does the demand for faster delivery services beyond human possibilities. But, will this growth bring about a huge shift in the way we are receiving our goods?

Most likely, yes. With the thousands of deliveries that need to be sent out daily, companies must find the perfect solution to this growing problem. And, that’s by providing customers with a range of delivery options.

With futuristic technologies becoming a reality, it’s safe to assume that alternative vehicles will reshape the eCommerce delivery industry and prove to be the solution to this eCommerce explosion and the problems that arise with it.

Let’s take a look at some of the possible alternative vehicles we may find at our doorstep in the near future.

Delivery Robots

Picture this: miniature robots driving around town carrying your small deliveries. Sounds very futuristic, right?

With all the human replacing technology arising lately, is it a stretch to consider robots as the next step in delivery services? Well, Starship, a robot delivery startup is a few steps ahead of us, already providing customers with this service. As they so nicely put, “we are a company building a network of robots ready to serve you anytime, anywhere.”

At the moment, they can be monitored and controlled by humans if needed, but they are already autonomous. Carrying small packages and food deliveries, they use cameras and GPS to avoid driving into humans, and other obstacles that may be in their path.

Another company that has jumped onto this trend is, Marble. With their robots, companies can securely transport the goods that people have ordered in a reliable and timely fashion. Making it easier and faster for people to get the things that they want.

Who knows, maybe one-day robots will be showing up at your doorstep delivering your orders.

Autonomous Cars

We’ve heard a lot about autonomous cars lately, especially with Uber’s ongoing testing to create driverless cabs. Of course, this is a surefire way to increase profitability for cab companies, but what about for eCommerce purposes. With the eCommerce growth, too many deliveries and serious driver shortage, retailers can’t keep up.

But, fortunately, they don’t have to, as technology is doing the hard work for us.

A self-driving car would be the perfect solution to any delivery problems. Whereas human drivers are limited and highly impacted by working hours, autonomous cars can deliver any time of the day, and even night – increasing the efficiency of same-day deliveries. These autonomous cars would hold only delivery cargo, therefore removing and human-related limitations from your delivery service, and bring about an immense cut in delivery time. Round the clock deliveries will become the norm, eliminating 3-5 working day deliveries.

These cars will also maximize your ROI, as you’ll have no need to make room for passengers. You’ll maximize space in the car, carrying more cargo, and deliver 24/7, saving you not only valuable time but also money.

However, these cars are still in the testing stages. Fully driverless, we’re not, but Jensen Huang, CEO of automotive technology supplier NVIDIA predicts “It will take no more than four years to have fully autonomous cars on the road.” The prediction is perfectly in-line with promises by automakers such as Ford that would put self-driving cars on the road by 2021.

This level of autonomy eliminates the need for human intervention, we’ll find these cars not only driverless but passenger less too. With so much investment and interest around the world, it’s safe to assume that in line with Huang’s predictions, autonomous cars are imminent.

Route Planners

An empty highway with markers and fences on the side

In recent years, the demand for personalized delivery has grown rapidly. More and more, we find ourselves with jam-packed schedules, and no time to waste – making it extremely hard to find enough time to wait around for a delivery to arrive. Thus, we have found ourselves in a situation that calls for services to adapt to us and our schedules, rather than the contrary.

To add to the mix, as next day delivery -or even two-hour delivery- seems to be a favored trend. Retailers are finding themselves not only, attempting to meet consumers busy schedules, but also, a large number of deliveries. According to a survey from Temando, 80% of consumers demand same-day shipping. Now, we are faced with more deliveries than we can possibly manage and retailers are finding themselves unable to meet consumer expectations.

With little possibility of change, retailers must adapt by opening the doors to helpful tools.

Consumers decide whether to buy from one company or their competitor based on delivery services. So, it would be very unwise to keep your consumers waiting. It’s critical to find a way to fit in all your delivery destinations to accomplish all your same-day deliveries.

A perfect solution is to pull out the most useful tool in the shed and invest in a route planner. Let’s take, for example, MyRouteOnline, their tool enables you to add up to 350 addresses and receive an optimized route based on location, as well as navigation directions, to ensure you arrive at your destinations hasslefree. Avoid backtracking, wasting valuable time, resources, and losing any consumers, by using this as the solution to your increased delivery demands.

Delivery Drones

As of January 2018, there have been over 1 million drones registered in the U.S. for personal use. So, it only makes sense that they would be developed for eCommerce purposes.

Big delivery industry fish such as Amazon, UPS, Google, and DHL have already started experimenting with delivery drones. Forget those awful diesel-powered trucks and embrace electric-powered drones. They not only reduce costs, but also greenhouse gas emissions.

Take a look at Flirtey, the first drone delivery service in the world that aims to make delivery instant for everyone. They believe that “soon delivery drones in the sky will be as common as delivery trucks on the road.” Guaranteeing that eCommerce delivery will be changed for good.


Whether you prefer airborne delivery technologies, or to stay grounded, the possibilities alternate vehicles are endless. Far off technologies are becoming our new reality, making it very easy to deliver thousands of goods to thousands of consumers every day – all day. So which alternative vehicle will you be using?