Same-day delivery without the drones and without the hassle
When Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes that drones might one day be able to deliver packages the same day Amazon shoppers ordered a product, the rumor mill was set on fire. How would it work? When would it start? What about the regulations? What about the cost?
Regardless of the oodles of questions and comments coming from said rumor mill, Amazon’s drones were nothing more than a vision for the future. But as it turned out, Amazon’s same-day delivery was in the works for today. Forgot about a friend's birthday or a colleague's work anniversary? No problem. If ordered in time, Amazon can get a package to them and in short order.
But same-day delivery isn’t just for the procrastinators of the world, and it’s not just for the sci-fi dreamers, either. It’s for folks who are looking for the ultimate in convenience, meaning that it’s well-suited for online retailers looking for higher conversion rates and increased sales.
If an online shopper can have the choice to receive a product today instead of tomorrow or instead of three to five business days from the time they place a purchase, chances are, they’ll opt for the quickest delivery method available and they'll also opt for the retailer that offers it. If the price of quick turnaround isn’t astronomical, that is.
With the ever-growing options for same-day delivery that doesn’t break the bank, more and more retailers are offering the service. And the list of online retailers that do is quite impressive. It includes Banana Republic, Foot Locker, Crate & Barrel, Kate Spade, Kiehl’s, Neimann Marcus and Sony. And that’s just scratching the surface.
So how are they doing it in a way that is affordable for them and affordable for the consumer? Well, for the list above, they’re partnering with a company called Deliv, a recent startup, which just received $4.5 million in a round of funding from some of the nation’s biggest mall operators.
Deliv is based on a crowdsourcing model that works with local drivers to pick up items at brick-and-mortar locations to deliver to shoppers in the nearby area. The Deliv website explains that the shopper must be within 15 miles of the brick-and-mortar store.
Deliv also explains to online retailers how the integration of their service into eCommerce sites works:
It’s easy. We’ve made integrating the Deliv option into your online, mobile, and in-store checkouts as simple and seamless as possible.
Your IT team will appreciate that our API uses RESTful principals and resource-oriented URLs for our web services integration.
Deliv efficiently leverages your existing "Buy Online Pickup in Store” or “Ship from Store” capabilities to rapidly speed deployment of same day delivery.
Our Deliv engineering team is resourceful and available during every step of the integration process. Whether it is to assist with the design, development, testing or the overall user experience, we’re here to help.
Keeping with the simple, hassle-free theme, Deliv also mentions on its website that the company will handle every aspect of the delivery. Deliv oversees the drivers, the reporting, the customer support and the quality control. The retailers who use the service will be responsible for handling the new flood of orders they’ll be receiving. And the retailers that use it will also be able to check yet another aspect of omni-channel retailing off of their list: bringing the instant gratification that happens in-store to online.
And as far as the rumor mill is concerned, word on the street (or rather, word at IBM’s Smarter Commerce conference this past May), is that IBM is working with Deliv in a way that could benefit Websphere Commerce users wanting to integrate the service into their sites, as well.
To learn more about the potential relationship, stay tuned to the NetSphere Strategies blog where we are constantly working to keep readers in the know regarding happenings in the eCommerce industry.