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    Entries in Boston Courier (7)


    Amazon's Prime Air Same-Day Delivery Via Drone Is Done

    There isn't a retailer in the country that is in front of Amazon, especially with its' latest announcement of its first successful drone flight for Same-Day Delivery. It isn't something that CEO Jeff Bezos just had for an idea in 2013. It is now a reality.

    Fox News has reported that Amazon has officially launched its' Amazon Prime Air via drone in Cambridge, England. This first drone delivery was actually performed on December 7th last week. The drone completed the delivery in a matter of 13 minutes, which even Amazon mentioned in the article that none of them will take no more than 30 minutes. For this level of fast delivery, drone use can revolutionize the way same-day services are used to expand online retail globally.

    The article stated that the drone delivered an Amazon Fire TV and some popcorn, which weighed less than 5 pounds. Guided by GPS, the drone is unmanned and able to be loaded with the purchased items, then flies direct to its destination. Amazon's drone flew no higher than 400 feet, as well as drones have to occupy separate air spaces to avoid planes. When Amazon first began to test drone use, there were several FAA regulations Amazon had to contend with, but Amazon Prime Air is proving to be able to literally take off.

    Amazon does only have a few customers in the UK that is privy to using drones. However, the e-retail giant has hopes to expand it to a larger demographic. The article also mentioned how Amazon is careful not to use the drones in rain, snow, ice, or other types of inclement weather. The weather can definitely impede drones flight patterns, and most importantly, harm the drones themselves.

    "One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road," Amazon says. This means that we could potentially find drones flying in various parts of the country at one time making deliveries. Shoppers will be able to have their online items delivered right to their front door within 30 minutes. Drone delivery will be satisfying for the customers, however, it may have an adverse affect mall traffic and other physical store retailers without a heavy focus on e-commerce.

    Until Prime Air expands, even into using them in the US, Amazon will continue to utilize its' current same-day delivery option--Amazon Prime. The fast delivery service is working, not to mention Prime members have it as a free service in a total of 27 major US cities. These cities include San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Seattle-Tacoma, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Washington DC, Nashville, Raleigh, Richmond, Tucson, Orlando, Tampa, and Atlanta. Amazon has free same-day delivery in Toronto and Vancouver as well. The inevitable is that Amazon will be using drones in every major city nationwide.

    There is no telling where drone delivery is going to catapult e-commerce to. What retailers can currently do to compete is to partner with a Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express to shift their e-commerce into more of a core competency to generate sales. The Boston Courier has the courier expertise to create the level of same-day logistics needed to attractive customers and compete online, especially as Amazon continues to spearhead e-commerce innovation.

    Reference: 12.14.16, Fox News, Lulu Chang, From high-flying dream to reality: Amazon fulfills its first order using a drone


    Roxbury Prime Members Want Amazon's Free Same-Day Delivery

    It takes a big retailer with all the right pieces to successfully implement Same-Day Delivery in major US cities, not to mention being capable to offer it free. No other than Amazon has cracked the code and is moving at a fast pace, adding one market area after another. Before long, the e-retailer is going to be providing free same-day delivery nationwide.

    Yet, there is one area in Boston full of Prime subscribers inquiring why same-day delivery hasn't come their way. The Boston Globe reported that Amazon offers free same-day delivery in every Boston neighborhood--except Roxbury. One of the findings by Bloomberg compared US census data that showed that minority neighborhoods in several cities have not been included to offer free same-day delivery. Roxbury is 59% African-American and is the "most striking gap" found from the data. The retailer's service stretches from Boston city limits to many suburbs and nearby communities, but for some reason, not in Roxbury.

    The article stated that per Amazon to Bloomberg, Roxbury’s circumstance is “an anomaly" and nothing else. Amazon gave Mattapan as a example, which is 85% African-American, as well as nearby majority-minority communities like Lawrence and Chelsea. There are no demographics that play a role in deciding where it delivers same-day. “Yet in cities where most of those paying members are concentrated in predominantly white parts of town, a solely data-driven calculation that looks at numbers instead of people can reinforce long-entrenched inequality in access to retail services,” said Bloomberg writers. Amazon spokesman Scott Stanzel responded in a statement, “We will continue expanding our delivery capabilities and are adding more zip codes rapidly”. Either way, the free same-day service is popular and Roxbury Prime members want it available in their city.

    For orders $35 and over, Prime members are able to receive same-day delivery free. This is very impressive, as well as attractive for shoppers that probably order from Amazon regularly above the threshold. They also pay a $99 annual fee to be a Prime member, which also includes Amazon's two-day free shipping as well. Prime is what Amazon is pushing more than ever, as the e-retailer increased the free two-day shipping threshold from $35 to $49 to qualify for free two-day shipping for Non-Prime members in hopes to convert them into annual subscribers.

    Amazon has been expanding free same-day delivery throughout this year, adding 11 more major US cities to its' free same-day delivery program, which included Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Cincinnati, Louisville, Raleigh, Nashville, and others. Boston was among the first large implementation of Amazon's free same-day delivery last year, which consisted of San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle-Tacoma, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Diego, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, Orlando, and Atlanta. Amazon's free service is now in 27 major cities and more are likely to come.

    Whether in Roxbury or not, it's clear that Amazon is being relentless in its' pursuit to offering same-day delivery nationwide and other retailers are turning toward offering it also. A Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express is a provider that retailers want to team up with to quickly implement an effective same-day delivery model. The Boston Courier can develop same-day solutions nationwide and generate the market share online that companies are looking for.

    Reference: 4.22.16, www.boston.com, Trefis Team, Adam Vaccaro and Allison Pohle,Amazon offers same-day delivery to every Boston neighborhood, except Roxbury


    Kohl's Joins In, Launching Same-Day Delivery In Six More Cities

    When it comes to same-day delivery, it appears that popular department store leader Macy's is not going to be having all the fun. Another well-known retailer has decided to make a go of it right before the holidays.

    Kohl's released on Monday that it's rolling our same-day delivery in several major US cities in the coming weeks, adding to the list of its' current service areas in San Francisco, the Bay Area and Chicago. NBC reported that Kohl's will add six more, which includes Los Angeles, Boston, Brooklyn/Queens, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Miami. Having same-day delivery up and running in this time frame will mark it ready for shoppers before Black Friday in November.

    "The consumer's expectation is clearly shifting increasingly to the "I want it now" model, and department stores that are able to oblige will see significant increases in sales," said Giulia Prati, a senior research analyst at L2 Inc, citing an eMarketer report. He mentioned in the article that e-commerce sales account for 15% of a department store retailer's revenue. However, this number does spike up during the holidays.

    There are figures to back that up as well. According to an August emarketer report, e-commerce sales are expected to increase 13.9% in November and December, and overall sales are expected to increase 5.6% in the same period. Therefore, retailers will miss out on potential sales because more than likely some of those shoppers will want their online items the same day. Retailers can partner with a Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express for quick implementation of a same-day delivery program and the Boston Courier performs the actual service for them.

    Koh's is partnering with Deliv to get the new endeavor off the ground. Deliv is a start-up company, similar to Uber, in which it contracts drivers to pick up and deliver online orders to shoppers. Whether from malls or physical retail stores, Deliv will act as a courier for Kohl's, in addition to Macy's now. Macy's aggressively launched same-day delivery late last year for the holiday season. Currently, Macy's has 17 major US cities in which it offers same-day delivery. Other retailers like Google, Wal-Mart, BestBuy, Toys-R-Us, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, and more have a same-day deliver service also.

    The front runner that many retailers are competing against is Amazon. The robust retailer not only has an efficient fast delivery model, but also is starting to make it free. Amazon rolled out free same-day delivery in 14 Los Angeles metropolitan cities this year and this could expand into the other cities that it has service in. It services are offered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas-Fort Worth, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Baltimore, Boston, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Washington DC, and in hometown Seattle-Tacoma.

    The expansion of same-day delivery by Kohl's is needed to compete with Amazon, Google, and Macy's that already are meeting the demands of this market. Whether a retailer joins with A-1 Express or another provider for same-day delivery, more than likely, others will begin to launch the service this year too.

    Reference: 10.14.15, www.nbcnews.com, Reuters, Same-Day Delivery Wars Heat Up As Kohl's Adds Six More Cities


    Gas Prices Lowest Since 2010, Save With Same-Day Couriers

    In this season of the year, shoppers have been looking for discounts anywhere that they can get them. Yet, it is a plus when you can save on gas also. Gas prices have been dropping drastically over the past few months, and it can't get any better for consumers than the latest news regarding prices.

    Gas prices are at their lowest since 2010, reported the Daily Advocate. There are 33 states with at least one gas station in which prices are even below $2. Triple A also announced that the US has broken the record for the longest streak of daily declines of gas prices. The current national average is $2.29. Alabama gas prices have dropped $.10 cents in one week, putting the state average at $2.18 a gallon. Multiple gas stations there also have gas below $2 per gallon. One station had gas available for $1.95.

    Oil production is driving the gas prices down, as good, old fashioned supply and demand in the global market is having positive effects. Another factor is that US energy companies have found it useful to start extracting oil from difficult-to-drill locations inland. Many new techniques such as fracking and horizontal drilling, have lead to the US extracting oil from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas. The US is now producing its' highest level of oil in 30 years. It makes sense for the US to take the leap and pursue oil itself after the tremendous rise in gas prices in recent years.

    “It’s normally $80 plus to fill up my tank, and yesterday it was just $40,” stated Michelle Miller, a Greenville resident that the Daily Advocate interviewed to discuss the prices of gas. She went on to say, “Although I don’t expect prices to stay this low for long, I think they will slowly begin to rise, I will probably take advantage of the drop and travel out of town for more activities while I can.”

    Some states, however, are not jumping for joy yet over lower gas prices because they aren't seeing the current averages at their own pumps. Hawaii and Alaska both still have an average price over $3.00 per gallon. In the lower 48 states, drivers in the Northeast are paying least than $3, led by New York ($2.88), Vermont ($2.81) and Washington, D.C. ($2.80). The average price at the pump is below $2.50 per gallon in 30 states. Missouri is at ($2.07), Texas ($2.16) , Oklahoma ($2.09), and Kansas is at ($2.17). Businesses are taking advantage of the lower gas prices, including to keep costs down when it comes to same-day delivery.

    Low gas prices doesn't just mean savings for consumers, but also for a same-day courier like A-1 Express. With gas prices going down, the Boston courier has a national footprint and can pass along lower courier costs to its' clients. It's a great time to utilize a courier. Retail giants like Google, Amazon, Wal-Mart and more are all involved in same-day delivery. With lower gas prices, this aids in keeping the costs for the service low, which in turn, will ultimately encourage more companies to at least test same-day delivery.

    Reference: 12.28.14, www.dailyadvocate.com, Stacie Ward, Gas prices at their lowest since 2010


    Google Express Expands Same-Day Delivery Into More Cities

    It has been a race to the finish line for a number of big name web-based retailers in regards to same-day delivery. In the recent two years alone, Amazon has made great strides with the service, from having strategic distribution centers to now unleashing its' plan for same-day delivery throughout the US. Although Amazon didn't let the cat out of the bag too soon, most experts knew it was coming. Amazon has been launching expansion after expansion, pursuing to gain huge segments of the retail market. However, another e-retailer stepped into the game on last year and has not looked back. Google has been aggressively expanding its' service, now called Google Express, and yet expands again to compete.

    Fortune Magazine reports that Google has now expanded Google Express into Washington D.C., Boston and Chicago. These are all three major US cities that have all of the demographic factors needed for same-day delivery to thrive. Formally Google Shopping Express, the service involves a partnership with several physical store retailers, including Target, Toys-R-Us, Wal-Green's, Barnes & Nobles, BestBuy, and more. Within the new expansion cities, other merchants join the team. Boston's Stop & Shop, Giant Food in D.C., and Wrigleyville Sports in Chicago, all become the new partners of Google, delivering all types of online items to shoppers.

    The items Google Express can deliver to shoppers includes everything, from electronics, flowers, books, toiletries and more. This type of service includes items which are the everyday consumables that customers need, yet may not necessarily have the time to get them within their busy day. Also, Google offers items that shoppers are much apt to use technology more with the added convenience it brings, creating the opportunity to make purchases from everywhere they are. Online retail continues to grow 16% annually, and as the holiday seasons arrives, it is no surprise that Google is establishing same-day delivery for a big return this year.

    Google Express works much like Amazon with an attractive membership model base. A membership with Google currently costs only $95 a year or $10 a month. For orders over $15, members have the opportunity for free same-day or overnight delivery on eligible orders and being first in line for delivery availability options. Shoppers also can simply pay as they go for $4.99 per order. For one customer, this may not seem like a lot of revenue, however, when the economies of scale enters the picture, the volume for profit appears to work. With the new additional cities, Google expands its' reach to servicing over 7 million more people, creates the shopper volume the retailer is looking for.

    Fortune also quoted Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt from the Wall Street Journal in an article regarding who the e-retailer is really competing against. “Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo, but, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon”, stated Schmidt. Google is distancing itself from the brand of only being a search engine, useful for information only. Google Express is heavily involved in the retail industry and it appears with the big investments and innovation, will be here to stay. Amazon is indeed not only Google's competitor, but probably every retailer's opponent as well.

    As the race continues, more and more physical store retailers that do business online are taking note of Google's model to increase sales. Many are partnering with a same-day courier like A-1 Express to pick up items from their stores and deliver to their customers wherever they are. The Boston courier has a national footprint that can help any web-based or brick-and-mortar seller advance within the e-commerce world.

    Reference: 10.14.14, Fortune, Lauren Lorenzetti, Google Express expands its same-day delivery reach