UK shoppers have doubts over drones being used for deliveries, according to new consumer research.

Less than one-third (30%) of British shoppers said they plan to use drones if and when they become widely available, a study by charitable shopping website Give as you Live has found.

The top concern about unmanned aerial vehicles being deployed in the home shopping delivery process, cited by 36% of respondents, was the issue of product theft. In fact, 5% of respondents even admitted that they would consider stealing a package when a drone is landing and the same percentage also said they would be tempted to break a drone that they notice delivering a package.

Despite concerns raised over the issue of difficulty with large items and deliveries going to the wrong place, 42% of the 1,000 people questioned for the survey said the biggest benefit would be faster deliveries, while 42% suggested drones will help with delivery to isolated and remote places.

Amazon is seemingly the most vocal retailer in terms of its support for drone usage in the fulfilment process, and Give as You Live's research found that the online retail giant is the company UK consumers would most like to see offer the service, followed by Argos and Tesco.

Meanwhile, last year saw DHL Parcel launch a pilot project on the North Sea island of Juist, which involved medications and other vital goods delivered at certain times of the day by a drone-like DHL parcelcopter.

Greg Hallett, managing director at Give as You Live, commented: "It's clear that people are still very wary of drones delivering their online goods.

"The main drawback is the security of their purchases and at the moment the majority are planning not to use them despite knowing the benefits of faster and wider spread delivery."

He added: "This is very much a case of shoppers becoming more comfortable with the technology. As online shopping continues to grow steadily, which we see through our website data, there will continue to be innovations in delivery to deal with the demand."

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Give as You Live