Automated delivery is still a thing of the future for most consumers

You know those time when you’re standing at the fridge,  pulling out the things to prepare dinner, and realize you’re missing a key ingredient?

Frustrating, right?

But here’s the thing: nowadays all this could have been avoided with a little planning and the automated delivery services now available.

And make no mistake: grocery delivery services are popping up everywhere. Some of straightforward online grocery services, while others are increasingly relying on order automation enabled by subscriptions, while some replenishment programs are starting to use scanning devices to monitor use/replacement needs.

But as online replenishment services become more commonplace, the question is will people using them? The answer for now is…maybe not so much. According to a recent survey of over one thousand US Households conducted by NextMarket Insights and The Spoon, it appears most people at this point still prefer the old standard – the grocery store – to procure the groceries they need.  In fact, when asked why people are not using  some form of automated delivery, over half (56%) of respondents said it was because they would prefer to go to the grocery store.

So why would a person prefer going to the grocery store over the clear convenience of automated delivery?

The short answer is a lack of familiarity with new services that are different than traditional services. According to the NextMarket Insight survey,  consumers cite privacy concerns (21%) over having companies using  in-home sensors such as those used with Amazon’s Dash.  Many also feared being charged for unwanted products (11%).

Concerns over automated services do differ by age group.  Respondents under the age of 30 were most concerned about money—having to pay for items they didn’t want.  Older respondents (60+) said privacy was more of a concern, that they felt uncomfortable with sensors in their home being monitored by some company.

The good news is that while consumers may still be unfamiliar with these services, comfort levels can change.  As automated delivery services become more widespread, more common, comfort level will rise.  As with many things that technology brings us, at first there is a great deal of skepticism and hesitancy.  If the product or service, however, is shown to improve on some aspect of our lives, then it will transcend that skepticism and achieve wide scale adoption.  The challenge for automated product delivery services will be to streamline the grocery procurement process, delivering the right goods, when needed, and at minimal cost to the consumer.