Amazon and Walmart Create a Buzz With Drone Patents


Drone technology has been introduced into the retail industry, and it is has created a buzz.

This technology has the potential to change customers’ shopping experiences by integrating efficiency and precision through delivery options and warehouses.

Less Error

Drones are operated by control centers which enable them to fly hundred of feet above ground, without the need for humans to drive the machine internally.

The way drones execute delivery services reduce human error and eliminate common occurrences that happen through traditional ways of delivery such as accidents or traffic delays, which have been known to hinder customer service.

By terminating these common themes through the use of the drone, efficiency grows greater and a positive customer experience enhances.

Using an aerial view, drones can also capture up to 30 images per second using a camera, providing precise and accurate information for retailers.

This information that the drone collects can become a crucial component for checking warehouses for low inventory or incorrectly stocked items, which is not possible by relying solely on human employees.

The elements of the drone reduce the need for humans to work in delivery and in warehouses, ultimately diminishing human error and increasing technology.


Drones are predicted to be used in retail security departments to patrol properties as well as to provide a precise perspective about what occurs in store locations as well as surrounding areas.

Drones will be used to scan parking lots and the inside of stores, providing real-time, accurate video footage which can be transmitted into manned control centers, giving retailers constructive information that can further be used to execute strategies based on the data found.

Tracking outside movements on a daily basis will provide efficiency for companies and give retailers concrete footage about what is happening when humans aren’t around to look.

Drones are also predicted to be used for security in warehouses and distribution centers to scope out any potential threats to product inventory.

This increases high security for companies and diminishes theft by creating awareness and increasing performance.

Shopping Patterns

Drone technology can give companies an insight into the shopping patterns of their customers by offering an aerial view of traffic flows and parking lots.

Understanding where traffic is going, along with what stores customers are gravitating to, allows companies to measure where to accurately place signs or entrances in order to effectively target their audience.

Knowing customer’s shopping patterns also makes it easier for companies to understand who is using delivery services, compared to who is shopping in the store, eliminating the common guessing game by using precice data.

Warehouses also benefit from understanding customer’s shopping patterns, because the proper inventory will be chosen to meet the customer’s needs based on the data driven from the drone.

Since drone technology offers such positive virtues, Amazon and Walmart have expressed interest by requesting patents that will ultimately adapt their services to meet the needs of the innovative world of drones.


Walmart has received a patent that allows drones to deliver products from different departments in its stores, with the goal to accommodate costumer’s convenience.

News reporters were briefed on how drones would work by Walmart’s Vice President of Last Mile and Emerging Sciences, Shekar Natarajan during an information session in one of Walmart’s regional distribution centers.

It became clear that the drone will become an efficient way to deliver and transport goods which will ultimately reduce labor costs.

“Finding ways to more efficiently warehouse, transport and deliver goods to customers has taken on new importance for Wal-Mart as it deals with wages costs while seeking to beat back price competition and boost online sales.” According to Reuters.

Walmart also has plans to use drones in its warehouses in order to efficiently check inventory using aerial views, which puts the company in a position above the digital transformation curve.


Amazon has patented bee-hive like depots that are designed to be used to house and dispatch drones for delivery.

The bee-hive depots will offer a variety of landing locations that will be accustomed to meet the needs of unmanned aerial vehicles by using 9 stories of facilities.

These facilities will be considered the base for the drones, offering charging stations after drones execute delivery paths which will require them to fly 45,000 feet above land.

These depots are a component of the delivery service Amazon has created called “Prime Air”.

This service is predicted to deliver products in under 30 minutes to Amazon customers and is set to emerge on the retail market within 4-5 years.

“Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system.” Amazon has stated. 

Amazon’s vision for incorporating drone delivery is more complex and futuristic than its competitor, Walmart. Experts predict that it will be harder to execute due to FAA regulatory rules.

Using drones for product delivery is an untraditional method of transportation and will change the way customers shop forever by impacting in-store purchasing and traditional delivery services such as UPS and FedEx.


Digital Retail Transformation AssemblyAmazon and Walmart are both powerhouse retailers that are constantly adapting to innovative and digitally advanced technology. By integrating drones into their services, their business strategies will be impacted by accuracy and data that sets them above other competitors.

Retail industries are conforming to new technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence that connects companies to the online customer.

Retail CDOs and CMOs are finding themselves at a unique time in the retail industry and are constantly looking to take full advantage of the tools that technology has to offer in order to deliver consumer experiences that benefit their brands.

North America’s most prominent digital, marketing, technology, and business leaders from the Retail Industry are coming together October 19-20, 2017 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, for the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly. This event is designed to challenge attendees in order to anticipate the highly complex digital retail marketing that is constantly developing.

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