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    Entries in Chicago Courier (17)


    BBC News Examines Sainsbury's Take on Its' Same-Day Grocery Delivery

    When same-day groceries becomes a service that shoppers begin to find attractive, retailers begin to take notice and try to find how to get it done. In the past, the barrier proved to be technology, but not any longer. The advancement in ways to utilize technology to maximize profit from volume is what is making the difference. Sainsbury is one of London's largest grocery chain retailers that has initiated same-day grocery delivery in 30 stores, anticipating positive results.

    BBC News discussed with Sainsbury and examined the new pilot program. In the discussion, Sainsbury mentioned the driver behind same-day groceries stemmed from the demand and success of its' next-day delivery. When it began to test Same-Day Delivery, customer sales indicated that they wanted the service. Sainsbury stated its' focus is on giving its' customers what they want. Essentially, if their customers wanted it, they were going to give it a try.

    At one of Sainsbury's stores, BBC examined with the processes behind same-day grocery delivery from beginning to end that impact the success of it. A same-day grocery employee there talked about the importance of the picking aspect of it. She would have to go around the store and pick all of the items for the online order and put them in a storage bin for delivery later that day. This part of the service is time consuming. Also, when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, the employee couldn't just pick anything. She had to make sure they were ripe, not rotten. This is just one of the aspects of same-day grocery delivery that isn't seen daily that customers don't see, but retailers are fully aware of.

    After the items were picked and stored for the day, the time came when the orders had to be delivered. The store had 45 orders to complete later that afternoon, and BBC went with Sainsbury to deliver them. At one of the homes, BBC spoke with a customer about the service and their opinion of it. The customer stated he used it before and he liked it. The convenience of same-day grocery service was the core driver for him, and for 5 pounds, it was worth not having to go himself.

    Three out of the big four grocery retailers in the London area, including Sainsbury, have all implemented a model of the service. Tesco has its' "click-and-collect" service in London and the South-East in over 300 locations. Morrisons has partnered with Amazon Fresh, which Amazon continues to expand beyond the US. The e-retailer has Amazon Fresh in several major US cities and is probably in pursuit of a high level of growth in London. Grocery retailer Asda is the exception, being the only one that currently has not decided to engage in same-day grocery.

    The same has occurred in the US in which some grocery retailers have jumped into same-day delivery, such as Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. Yet, others have not. Either way, customer demand is driving the quest for more convenience wherever they can get it. For grocery stores seeking to roll-out a same-day grocery program of their own, a Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express is a viable option to optimally fulfill online orders in no time. The Chicago Courier has the delivery expertise nationwide that retailers can take advantage of and start literally meeting their customers right where they are.

    Reference: 1.25.17, BBC News, Why same-day online food shopping is the next big thing


    PetSmart Launches New Same-Day Delivery in Eight Cities

    It doesn't take retailers long to understand that if Amazon continues at its pace of growth, they will lose their relevance in the coming years. Google, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Best Buy, Ace Hardware, and others aren't the only retailers implementing Same-Day Delivery to compete with Amazon. Now PetSmart has decided to do the same and has announced it will roll out the service in several areas this November, right before the holiday shopping season begins.

    Flagship.com recently reported that PetSmart will offer same-day and scheduled deliveries in eight US cities in an effort to push against the growth of e-retail leader Amazon. The cities will include Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Yonkers, Northern New Jersey and Washington DC, most of which are the same cities that Amazon provides free same-day delivery in. Like Macy's, the pet product retailer has partnered with start-up delivery company Deliv to establish the program and perform the actual deliveries. Deliv utilizes a crowd-sourcing model to execute its' pick up and deliveries.

    PetSmart is hopeful relative to creating efficient omnichannels to generate online and brick-and-mortar sales. Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer at PetSmart, said in the article, "As the trusted partner to pet parents and pets in every moment of their lives, we are continually looking for ways to make the shopping experience easier and more convenient for our customers. Our omnichannel strategy is aimed at giving pet parents options tailored to their needs and desires".

    Its main driver for taking their online retail to another level via same-day delivery is because of the pressure Amazon is putting on all retailers. Prime Now is in 27 major city markets, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Indianapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Baltimore, Washington DC, Orlando, Nashville, Raleigh, Richmond, Tucson, Atlanta, Seattle-Tacoma, San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. Amazon also has free same-day delivery in Toronto and Vancouver, showing the e-retail leader is very aggressive when it comes to same-day delivery. For anyone to compete, they will have to do the same with last-mile deliveries, utilizing their store locations as warehouses.

    Also like Amazon, PetSmart will be launching a subscription option for shoppers. Others have done it as well, such as Wal-Mart, which is testing its' new service ShippingPass for a $49 per year subscription. E-retailer Google also offers shoppers a $95 annual subscription fee for its' same-day delivery service Google Express, partnering with companies like Costco, Whole Foods, Walgreen's, and others.

    Instead of Deliv, other retailers have chosen to partner with a Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express to develop a same-day delivery solution for them. The Chicago Courier has an abundance of service areas, having a nationwide footprint and has a driver fleet to perform deliveries as well. Whether it is in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and more, A-1 Express can pick up and deliver within a few hours, making for a superior option for same-day delivery. Companies like PetSmart and Amazon, can call on A-1 Express anytime for same-day services, especially to capture online shoppers during the holiday season.

    Reference: 11.12.16, www.flagship.com, PetSmart Launches Same-Day Delivery


    Google Express Expands to 13 More States

    Google isn't just sitting by and allowing Amazon to expand Prime nationwide without implementing a Same-Day Delivery program of its' own. Now, Google has announced that it is going to expand too, right before the holiday shopping season begins.

    USA Today recently reported Google Express is now available in 13 more states, as it seeks to gain momentum and compete on a more aggressive scale with Amazon. The new states will include Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Utah, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming and Washington. The Midwestern states of Montana and Wyoming aren't two of the most popular states that same-day delivery is heavily established in. Yet, with the type of retail partners that Google has, these big name retailers have store locations in practically every state. As the holiday season approaches, sales will be high and Google Express may be profitable.

    Google Express General Manager Brian Elliott said in an interview with The Tennessean, “We think of ourselves as a technology platform because that’s what we’re really good at. We’re trying to build a platform that lots of merchants can participate in.” Google partners include retail leaders like Costco, Whole Foods Market, Kohl’s, PetSmart, Road Runner Sports, Sur La Table, Fry’s, Walgreens, L’Occitane, Payless ShoeSource and Guitar Center. All of these retailers have taken on the strategy of creating effective omnichannels to bridge the gap between e-commerce and physical store sales. In today's business climate, this emerging trend could be what helps store retailers, especially malls, actually survive and thrive.

    Elliott also talked about in the article how Google Express is beneficial to the very customers that shop at these stores. He stated, “At Google Express, our job is to make people’s lives easier. What we really are trying to do here is make it easier to shop from merchants you love”. Online retail is projected to grow $500 billion by 2018 and there is a reason why. Customers are comfortable with shopping online and enjoy the convenience of being able to buy online from anywhere. Coupled with same-day delivery, online retail is and will continue to exceed growth expectations.

    Just in October alone, Google has 14 states where their express service is available. Earlier this month, Google Express was launched in New York, a key big city for holiday shopping. Now, roughly 70 million people in all of these states, including the tri-state areas, and Google appears to picking up the pace to challenge Amazon at its' own game.

    This shows that same-day delivery is no longer a trend, but a viable option to compete online. Retailers can partner with Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express that can get your store items to your customer's front door in no time. From your retail store or business location, the Chicago Courier can pick up and deliver nationwide, creating the same-day delivery solution that you're looking for. Google has expanded this month, and the question will be will the e-retail leader take its' program into other states as well.

    Reference: 10.25.16, USA Today, Lizzy Alfs and Brad Harper, Google Express adds delivery service to 13 more states


    Amazon Expands Same-Day Delivery to All Service Area Zip Codes

    There has been recent speculation that minorities have not been treated equally relative to Amazon offering Same-Day Delivery in certain service area zip codes. To stamp out any allegations, Amazon has decided to fix it.

    Bloomberg recently reported that Amazon has announced that it will now offer same-day delivery in every zip code within its' service areas. The largest e-retailer in the US has been expanding its' same-day delivery program rapidly in various US markets. It provides the service free to Prime members, which pay a $99 subscription cost per year. This issue arose last month, as the service was being offered in certain areas in Boston, yet not in Roxbury, which was in the center of the city. Service boundaries by Amazon were said to not have to do with race, but rather other factors, such as the concentration of Prime members in each area, proximity to warehouses and the company’s ability to find delivery partners to serve that area.

    Amazon made a statement obtained by the caucus and shared it with Bloomberg News, which said, "Very shortly, we will be expanding Prime Same Day Service to every zip code of the 27 cities where Prime Same Day delivery is currently launched. We will further not launch the service in any new regions, until we are able to secure a carrier for every zip code. We are still figuring out the details and procuring last mile delivery for each of these zips, but we should have 100 percent coverage shortly."

    It was also mentioned in the article that U.S. Representative George Kenneth Butterfield, a Democrat from North Carolina and chairman of the black caucus, said the group "is anticipating the results of Amazon’s plan to expand its delivery services to previously excluded zip codes." Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush called for an FTC investigation, in addition to speaking about the issue on the House of Representatives' floor. Shortly afterwards, Amazon pledged in a letter to Rush to serve Chicago’s South Side in within weeks.

    Same-day delivery is forecasted to reach $987 million by 2019, and it seems that Amazon knows its' potential. Last month, Amazon adding 11 major US cities to its' current free same-day delivery program. Those new cities included Sacramento, Stockton, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Fresno, Louisville, Tucson, Milwaukee, Nashville, Raleigh, and Richmond. This brought its' total service areas to 27 cities so far, and more than likely, the retailer is far from being done. Many experts believe Amazon's goal is offer free same-day delivery nationwide.

    As Amazon continues to outpace its competition, other retailers are implementing same-day delivery in order to keep up. A Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express can partner with any business or retailer to successfully develop last-mile deliveries through the US. The Chicago Courier has the courier expertise, technology and nationwide footprint to perform same-day delivery in various service areas and zip codes. Taking Amazon seriously by engaging in same-day delivery is the wisest move for any big name retailer to make.

    Reference: 5.6.16, Bloomberg News, Spencer Soper, Amazon to Fill All Racial Gaps in Same-Day Delivery Service


    Nordstrom Shifts To More Online Selling, Same-Day Delivery Could Boost Sales

    It takes a lot of e-commerce strength to take your online sales to a high level in today's market, especially with the way Amazon is spearheading many new business trends. Macy's is another retailer that has boosted online sales with Same-Day Delivery, as well as online order store pick up. Nordstrom has made several strategic moves to increase online sales; however, its' shares fell 30% last year, which tells the company it may be time to make a pivotal shift once more. From a recent article from Internet Retailer via Bloomberg News, the shift will have to do with online selling.

    Chief financial officer Mike Koppel explained in the article what is hurting Nordstrom's bottom line. It has to do with the entire retail industry turning from running fleets of bricks-and-mortar stores to also selling their goods online. The article said, "He explained that the "old model"—big physical stores located mostly in malls—came with high fixed costs, but high leverage. In other words, you had to pour a lot of money into literal bricks and mortar to build stores and train staff, but once your sales reached a sort of break-even point, all the rest was gravy. In essence, the money from a banner sales year could flow straight down to the bottom line once those initial costs were paid for. And that became pretty easy to anticipate and plan against."

    One benefit of online sales is that it comes with low fixed costs, but the price tag was high variable cost. His conclusion is that the more Nordstrom sells online, the more it has to shell out to pick, pack and deliver those goods. In his own words, Koppel stated as a result "business has been flattening in malls and growing in e-commerce, and so the two strong trends are impacting operating margins". It appears that Luxury retailer Michael Kors is having a similar issue, even mentioning in the article that e-commerce isn't as profitable as business at physical stores. Koppel said if there is "anyone out there" who has figured it out, because "we have a lot of work to do."

    Nordstrom raised its' promotions in order to try and keep pace with Amazon. The robust e-retailer is making strides within the online retail industry that is puzzling a number of retailers on how they can compete. Amazon even has implemented same-day delivery in a number of major US cities nationwide. It provides same-day delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle-Tacoma, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Diego, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington DC, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Boston, and Atlanta. It also launched free same-day delivery last year in 14 metropolitan cities the US, starting with California cities, recently adding Orlando and Chicago as well.

    To attract more customers and to establish a deeper loyalty with current Prime members, Amazon raised its' minimum order size for non-Prime members from $35 to $49 to qualify for free shipping. This threshold increase could be used to steer customers into becoming Prime members, which pay an annual $99 fee and receive unlimited two-day shipping. This is just one example of what innovative direction Nordstrom may have to go in to thrive online.

    With the growth of same-day delivery in the US, partnering with a Same-Day Courier like A-1 Express may be the move to make for Nordstrom. The service will attract luxury apparel customers via more shopping convenience. The Chicago Courier has all the right delivery technology and courier expertise to compete online.

    Reference: 3.14.16, www.internetretailer.com, Bloomberg News, E-commerce eats into Nordstrom’s profits, and that’s OK