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    Friday
    Apr172015

    Will EBay Turn From Same-Day Delivery?

    It's eBay and a few other e-retail giants that all started a hot pursuit for same-day delivery. However, eBay could be turning away from it. Yahoo Finance discussed how eBay isn't interested in the sought-after service any longer.

    EBay acquired UK-based delivery start up Shutl late last year with growth plans to oversee its same-day operation, but not to perform its US city deliveries. However, in December last year, eBay pulled it's same-day service eBay Now and officially pulled eBay Now from the app store. The app allowed mobile customers to shop with it from local retailers and have their online purchases delivered same day for $5. The e-retailer was planning to integrate the stand alone app within eBay’s main mobile app and website instead. Now, eBay may have decided to pull away from same-day delivery altogether, rethinking what model really works for it.

    Now, eBay has signed a deal with Woolworths in Australia, where eBay shoppers can make a purchase on its' site and then pick up the goods from Woolworths supermarkets. The article mentions how this is not the first time for eBay, partnering in a similar way with Argos in the UK. This could be a pattern to come for eBay within the US. One reason for the shift is eBay feels customers will buy in to faster delivery without paying for shipping. It also believes this model is beneficial for returning defective items directly to a physical store, instead of eBay.

    The report revealed stats suggesting that customers are indeed more interested in free shipping than same-day delivery. A Harris Interactive survey of 2,241 US adults shows that 70% of consumers don't want to pay extra for overnight or same-day delivery. This could mean customers are more apt to simply go to the local store and pick it up, rather than pay to get their online purchases quicker. Shoppers without the time to pick up, can also turn to a same-day courier like A-1Express to perform same-day delivery and return items to stores for them.

    Some of the best outfits for same-day delivery are physical store retailers implementing same-day delivery themselves. Wal-Mart has same-day delivery in a number of major US cities. Wal-Mart's "Wal-Mart To Go" is also in Canada. Regarding pricing to compete with heavy hitter Amazon, the retail leader even has opted to offer same-day service free in some Canadian areas to attract enough shoppers to gain a good share of the market. Macy's and Bloomingdale's have launched same-day delivery in 8 major US cities. Petco has also joined up with Instacart to perform same-day deliveries of pet items also.

    Amazon has put in its' share of investment into the service. As a web-based retailer, it has built more than 50 fulfillment centers nationwide, which act as its own locations for distributing same-day. It opened its very first physical store location in Manhattan, New York last year before the holiday season. The location is being utilized for same-day delivery and online customer store pick ups. Being as close to shoppers as one can get could be the long-term objective for Amazon.

    As eBay shuffles into its optimum model for quick deliveries, Google and Amazon continue to expand same-day delivery. Other physical store retailers will continue to at least test the service to see if it will pick up their sales, especially with mall retailers. A-1 Express is a Houston courier with a nationwide footprint, able to partner with any web-based or store retailer seeking after last-mile deliveries to meet their online shopper demand.

    Reference: 3.9.15, Yahoo Finance, Patricia Garner, Why eBay is not interested in same-day delivery

    Thursday
    Apr022015

    Ace Hardware Announces Launch To Test Same-Day Delivery

    Many retailers are going same-day delivery, and even now you can get your tools fast. Ace Hardware has decided to branch off from just being a brick-and-mortar tool store and test some last-mile deliveries of its' own.

    Ace announced that it will be testing same-day delivery in 33 of its' 4,400 stores in select cities in the US, including Arizona, Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, Texas and Florida. Express delivery service will be available for customers to customers within 5 miles of a participating store and place their online order by 1pm. For an additional $5 fee, an Ace store associate will fulfill the online order and deliver it. The new program, which began January 26th, is an extension of Ace's online order and pick up in store service, which is currently available at 1,600 Ace stores. Retailers are being more innovative to get their products to the customer, since maybe there is a probability shoppers will spend more if they can get their products to their front door instead.

    Per the Chicago Tribune, the hardware store does have one pilot store in Chicago for same-day delivery. This is one of the popular cities known for the demographics necessary to implement the high demand service. Malls such as Woodfield Mall and Water Tower Place were mentioned in the article as providing an on-demand car service for shoppers last year. Customers can make their purchases at the store, and instead of dropping them of to their cars, they can have them delivered to their homes, as they continue to shop.

    A wide range of well-known companies have launched same-day delivery. To position itself for last year's holiday season, Macy's launched the service in 8 major US cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, Washington DC, and New Jersey. Sister company Bloomingdale's followed suit in some of those cities as well. Macy's same-day delivery fees are comparable with other big name retailers. It's service is priced at a flat fee of $5 for orders over $99. Shoppers with smaller orders pay standard shipping rates, plus the flat rate.

    Unexpected Petco launched a few same-day delivery pilot programs for pet food items last month, one in San Francisco and another in Boston. Petco has teamed up with food delivery company Instacart, as other retailers partner with a same-day courier like A-1 Express to perform the actual deliveries. Instacart will pick up and deliver items for Petco, such as dog food, birdhouses, kitty litter and more. Petco's service will deliver to their customer's front door as fast as an hour for fees between $3.99 and $5.99.

    Wal-Mart is another retail leader that offers same-day delivery in multiple US cities and also in Canada. In some areas in Canada, Wal-Mart's service is free, as it competes heavily with Amazon. Wal-Green's, Toys-R-Us, American Eagle, Banana Republic, and more have all decided to deliver their products to their online shoppers. This allows product to move, even while the consumer doesn't. Online retail is expected to increase to $500 billion by 2018, which many . A-1 Express is assured to be a Dallas courier retailers can partner with now in the beginning stages of this same-day service growth.

    Reference: 2.17.15, Chicago Tribune, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Ace Hardware tests same-day delivery near some stores

    Friday
    Mar272015

    Uber Dropped Same-Day Delivery, Will Sidecar?

    While some companies have found what they are looking for, others simply missed the mark. It just didn't work as expected, and an even robust online retailer eBay stopped to rethink its model for same-day delivery. Ridesharing companies are jumping into same-day programs, like the latest Sidecar. It has been testing out same-day delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last six months and it has been successful.

    In a Vantor News article, Sidecar stated, "During our test period, Sidecar drivers earned 75% more when they delivered both people and packages. Riders also reap the benefits of this people and packages combo because there will be more drivers available, lower wait times and even lower prices." The company expects the service to be 50% of their business this year. Sidecar touts that it has found the model is the fastest and lowest cost approach. Deliveries are even cheaper then other providers due to application programming interface, which cuts the cost down to a fifth of the price, and delivery time by half.

    Within the article, Sidecar mentions EAT24, one of its pilot partners, utilized the service and experienced double in revenue. The restaurant's food delivery time was also cut 50% and in the end, Sidecar drivers even made more money. In essence, it's as simple as Sidecar put it in the article, "By combining people and packages, Sidecar offers companies same-day delivery at prices that are 80% cheaper than traditional services, and cuts delivery times in half."

    With these testing phase results, Sidecar Deliveries has been launched, a new program that allows third party companies to use Sidecar vehicles to deliver their items. "Same-day delivery will represent half of our business by the end of 2015. Our vision is that one day any business will be able to take an order and get it to the customer in an hour, and Sidecar will be the service that powers this capability," Sidecar stated. Sidecar currently has ride-sharing services in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston and Washington, DC. More than likely, these are the first cities to experience the roll out.

    Uber, another ride-sharing transporter company, tried its' hand at same-day delivery. Uber currently offers car service in 250 cities in 50 countries. It's app is available in Asia, North America, and Europe. The easy-to-use app links drivers and customers that need rides, acting as a convenient taxi service. Uber ESSENTIALS was launched August of last year in parts of Washington, DC, offering shoppers over 60 items, such as chips, deodorant, batteries, and popcorn. It was only an experiment in the area, which didn't not last. Uber pulled back on the service. Same-day delivery helps retailers move their products online and even partner with a Washington DC Courier to perform fast deliveries for them.

    Uber didn't last, yet will Sidecar? Time will tell whether Sidecar will have the same results any where. There are many key performance indicators Sidecar has located, namely costs, to help the service be sustainable. Every city offers new demographics and economies of scale as well. Sidecar has its' model. Some e-retailers and brick-and-mortar companies use a same-day courier like A-1 Express for same-day delivery also as a service model. Regardless, same-day delivery will continue to boom as long as online retail thrives.

    Reference: 2.9.15, Vator News, Steven Loeb, Sidecar launches its own same-day delivery service

    Thursday
    Mar192015

    Postal Service Expands Metro Post To Washington DC

    It may be a long shot for the Postal Service or it could be the best move for the mail company with expanding same-day delivery. The Washington Post recently reported that the US Postal Service has announced expansion of its' same-day delivery service Metro Post into Washington DC. Currently, Metro Post is being tested in New York and San Francisco. Both are cities that many big name same-day programs such as Google, Amazon, eBay and others roll out the service.

    With Metro Post, shoppers can place orders from participating retailers by 2 pm and receive their items between 4 and 6 pm the same day. This is essentially what other web-based retailers offer with same-day delivery and the products vary. Google offers same-day courier service for hundreds of retail products, as does Amazon, in New York. EBay scaled back its service to retool, yet it launched the service in New York a number of weeks ago. Uber delivers same-day groceries, which Amazon does as well.

    The article discussed how e-commerce companies can leverage the scale of the USPS, as it has the greatest access to consumer mailboxes. This is what sets it a part from other big delivery companies like FedEx and UPS. This is by far a huge advantage against its' competitors. Only the USPS can utilize residential mailboxes for delivery. It would behoove the mail giant to innovate and see how it can capitalize on something only it can provide.

    Many companies are utilizing same-day delivery to gain an advantage within their business markets. Whether a physical store retailer like Macy's, or a web-based e-retailer like Google, the goal is creating a seamless offer of product and service online. Omni-channel commerce merges the two and many retailers are engaged with same-day delivery to make this happen. Even if online retailers can't perform the actual deliveries, they partner with a same-day courier like A-1 Express to do it.

    It has been losing billions of dollars for quite a few year now, especially $5.5 billion in fiscal 2014, even with workforce cutbacks, facility consolidations and other cost-cutting decisions. Former US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe talked about in a government meeting receiving the permission for the USPS to seek after delivering within other business sectors like groceries, because the opportunities are there. Delivery innovation is what the USPS has its' sights on and it is a legitimate avenue for it.

    With expanding into Washington DC, Metro Post is proving to be what the US Postal Service is banking on for growth. More than likely, more US cities are to come if it works. Another plus is it has the operational facilities and vehicle fleet to deliver products anywhere. It's a matter of changing what its' driver puts in the mailbox or at the front door, from electronics to household items. If Metro Post achieves like the USPS expects it to, competitors will need an optimal delivery system. A-1 Express is a Washington DC courier that retailers can use to contend to the mailing company on a national scale and deliver quickly.

    Reference: 2.6.15, Washington Post, Tige Savage, The U.S. Postal Service is throwing a Hail Mary: Same-day delivery

    Tuesday
    Mar102015

    Amazon's Limits One-Hour Delivery Service Due To Storm

    As a big storm approaches the northeastern coast of the US, companies that provide same-day delivery are informing customers of service limitations. Amazon has announced its' Prime Now service will be on a "limited schedule" due to the massive storm headed towards New York and other nearby states. Prime Now is Amazon's new one-hour delivery service that just rolled out last month in Manhattan. The storm is being stated by the National Weather Service to be historic and government officials are admonishing residents to stay home.

    “We are seeing a great response from customers who want to stay inside during the wintry conditions and get the items they need delivered right to their door,” stated Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman. She went on to say, “We’re watching the storm also, and will be operating on a limited schedule. Customers can get updates through the Prime Now app on delivery availability.” Airports are being shut down as well.

    Prime Now program covers shipments of tens of thousands of household goods, including shampoo and paper towels. It is available to Amazon Prime members who pay $99 annually for fast delivery and they pay an additional $7.99 for one-hour service. This is the fastest delivery option Amazon has deployed since it began its' steady implementation of same-day delivery throughout the US. Last year before the holiday shopping season began, Amazon launched it in 7 major US cities along with New York City, including Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington DC, and Atlanta.

    Other competitors offer fast last-minute deliveries, like Google Express, which charges $4.99 per order or customers can pay $10 per month and $95 per year. Same-day delivery newcomer Macy's has fees of $5 for orders over $99 and shoppers with smaller orders pay standard shipping rates plus $5. Macy's has it's landmark store right in the heart of New York and will be affected by the storm also. Wal-Mart offers same-day delivery in multiple US cities, even in Canada. Walmart To Go is a flat $10 fee, regardless of the customer's order size.

    Amazon opened its very first physical store location in Manhattan, New York. The store was said to serve as a small hub for same-day delivery from its' inventory, and at the same time, a location for customers to pick up online orders. With the blizzard in affect, it will no doubt have an impact on Amazon's physical store and online retail.

    With Amazon not being in action, customers may have to resort to another viable option for same-day delivery after the storm. A same-day courier like A-1 Express could be operating in various areas with a wide range of vehicle fleets to perform deliveries. The blizzard could affect the New York courier as well, however, service may not be as limited and/or will begin providing deliveries sooner than Amazon. A number of businesses and corporations may be at a stand still, yet A-1 Express may be a plan B alternative.

    Reference: 1.26.15, Internet Retailer, Bloomberg News, Amazon.com limits one-hour delivery in New York as big storm approaches