29.09.2016

Pilot project launched: Media Markt to test delivery to the customer by a delivery robot from Starship in Dusseldorf effective immediately

Ingolstadt/Düsseldorf, 29.09.2016: With the widespread introduction of its express delivery service (Same Day Delivery), Media Markt set a new standard for the retail industry at the end of 2015. Now the number one electronics retailer is taking the next logical step in terms of customer proximity and speed of service by launching a pilot project that is unique in Germany to this day. The Media Markt located in Düsseldorf's Grafental district will be delivering online express orders to customers with the help of an autonomous delivery robot. The futuristic vehicle on six wheels is part of a large-scale, global development program of the Estonian technology startup Starship Technologies that supports the Media-Saturn Group in Germany.

“We are delighted that Media Markt is the first company in Germany to put the delivery robot to use with its end customers,” explains Volker Barth, Managing Partner of Media Markt Dusseldorf-Metrostraße, the test partner for the pilot project at Media-Saturn Group. “Thanks to the new housing area Grafental that is located right next to the Media Markt on Metrostraße, we have the perfect conditions for testing the robot under real life conditions together with Starship within a manageable delivery area. We are excited to see how our customers react to the robot and how well it performs in actual use,” he added.

Media-Saturn considers the use of delivery robots to be an excellent way to offer its customers deliveries in near real time in the future in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. “Delivery on the desired date and speed are becoming increasingly important to our delivery process. For this reason, we 2 / 3 constantly test new and innovative services that offer our customers the highest possible added value,” said Martin Wild, Chief Digital Officer of Media-Saturn Group. “The delivery robot marks yet another step in our strategy of continually improving the shopping experience with digital innovations and making the customer journey even more appealing to the customer. As with other innovations, we include our customers and employees in pilot projects early on in order to incorporate the first practical experience in the possible further development of each topic,” he explains.

Starship also hopes to be able to gain extensive insights from the test with Media Markt. “We look forward to starting with the first deliveries in Dusseldorf together with Media Markt. Our goal is to better understand how our delivery robot can assist people in everyday life. In the long term, we want to become the most popular delivery option for customers of Media Markt, of course,” said Helen Karleep, Head of Testing and Operations at Starship Technologies.

How delivery by delivery robot will work in Dusseldorf

Customers in Dusseldorf who order via the Media Markt online shop and choose express delivery will have a good chance of having their product delivered home by a delivery robot. The prerequisite is that their delivery address is inside the catchment area of the test zone; the product they have ordered is available immediately at the store and the customer provides his cell phone number. The cell phone number needs to be provided so that the robot can inform him of when it will deliver to his door. In addition, the recipient receives a message on his smartphone for verification purposes so he can unlock the lid and remove the product he ordered. 

The robot can transport anything that weighs less than 10 kg and fits into the delivery compartment comfortably, regardless of whether it’s a digital camera just before the start of the holiday vacation, the cell phone battery charger the customer lost or the new printer cartridge for the office. The delivery robot will 3 / 3 bring the order to the customer’s home within 30 minutes to three hours of it being ordered. Alternatively, delivery at a desired time on the same day or on a preferred day up to four days after receipt of the order and within a period of two hours is possible.

The robot also sets a good example when it comes to safety. It drives at walking pace and uses sidewalks to get to its destination. Thanks to nine cameras and ultrasound sensors, it can always detect obstacles and stop immediately, if necessary. It is particularly polite to pedestrians and moves to the side to allow them to pass when the sidewalk is too narrow. 

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