A lot of the time our blogs focus on the innovation and predictions of other organisations in the industry. Sometimes it’s futuristic transportation methods like jetpacks and Hyperloops.
Okay, a lot of the time it’s futuristic transportation methods like jetpacks and Hyperlooks.
We thought it was finally time to turn the tables, put our industry chops on the line and make some bold predictions for 2015 ourselves. So, without further ado, here are three things we expect to come to the fore over the next nine (ish) months.
Inflating Domestic Demand
In the last five years, online shopping has quadrupled its market share. Of all retail sales 15% are now conducted online.
This growth has been particularly steep over the past couple of years. Demand has grown at an incredible rate, driven by the proliferation of broadband internet, improvements in eCommerce systems and the widespread growth of mobile browsing.
This Christmas period saw the domestic delivery sector endure an unbelievable spike in demand. Industry stalwart City Link failed to cope with the rush and buckled under the pressure.
With an expectation of cheap delivery firmly ingrained in consumers’ minds, we cannot see demand in the domestic sector doing anything but increasing.
Rise of the RFID
Since the barcode’s widespread commercialisation in the ‘60s, it has quickly become a central pillar of numerous industries. The delivery industry quickly adopted the technology and it has remained central to our infrastructure ever since.
In an age of human-powered sorting, the barcode, an automated way of reading information, was a unbelievable technological leap forward.
Until recently the industry had been concentrating on improving existing technology. Designing faster readers, improving the accuracy of scanners, allowing simultaneous scanning. Today’s barcode technology is a mile away from its starting point, but it’s still fundamentally barcode technology. A reader still had to see the barcode and optically read it.
It’s a very passive way of acquiring information.
What’s set to usurp the barcode’s position in the industry is the radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. These work in a very similar way to barcodes but instead of being read by a reader, they transmit their data to the reader via a teeny tiny antenna.
Think of the improvements. Instead of opening a truck and inspecting the contents, you could scan it Star Trek style. Instead of processing packages one by one, you could process them en masse.
And it gets better!
RFID tech is now so cheap that supermarkets are security tagging large bars of chocolate. When supermarkets can security tag their £1.31 Dairy Milk Caramels and still turn a profit, widespread adoption of RFID tech must be just over the horizon.
Death of the Signature
A decade ago, the banking industry abandoned the signature as a means of identity verification, replacing it with Chip and PIN technology. According to the Association of Payment Clearing Services (catchy name, I know), Chip and PIN tech cut plastic card fraud by 13% overnight.
Meanwhile, the delivery industry opted to retain signatures as a means of proving delivery. Yes, the signature system has evolved and developed over time, but really it’s still just a signature. It doesn’t prove the correct person received the parcel. It just proves that someone signed a pad.
A handful of delivery companies are trialling PIN-based based systems at the moment. To receive a package, the recipient must key in a number they set when ordering. If they can’t provide the right PIN number, they simply don’t get the package. Faking a signature is easy, correctly guessing a four-digit number is not.
If the trials go well, it won’t be long until you see it hit the mainstream.