AUTOMAKER Volvo has some reasonably compelling evidence that suggests people want groceries to appear at their car when they need them most.
The firm said that 60 percent of people "experienced delivery problems" with online shopping last year, and that €1bn is spent on re-delivery. Its solution is a set of digital keys that will link punters to products and only exist as long as there is a delivery requirement.
The keys and the cars and the shopping will appear at Mobile World Congress (MWC) under the banner "roam delivery". Volvo said that it has already tried this out and found that 92 percent of people preferred the curbside delivery option to one that greets them at their own front doors.
"By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys, it's now possible to deliver the goods to persons and not just places. The test customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time," said Klas Bendrik, CIO of Volvo Car Group.
"And the same thing is valid for delivery companies as well! Because failed first-time deliveries cost the industry an estimated €1 bn in re-delivering costs. We are now further investigating the technology of digital keys and new consumer benefits linked to it."
Closer to home Tesco CIO Mike McNamara has already mooted a local car-related shopping experience, and envisages a world where people will order their shopping while driving to the supermarket.
"I can genuinely see in the next few years - I don't know whether that's three or five or seven years - being able to get into my car, talk to my car, and tell Tesco through my car that I want to have some marinated chicken, salad and fresh bloomer bread and I'll pick it up on the way home," he told V3,co.uk.
"I can see that happening in the not too distant future. BMWs of the world have internet connections, and this will filter down to lower-end cars soon, and as we roll out 4G in the United Kingdom, that will be the mobile connectivity required." µ