4 Startups Helping Local Retailers Offer Same-Day Delivery

Companies are swooping in to help local retailers meet the new demand for same-day delivery spurred by online giants like Amazon.
July 15, 2014

Whether you like it or not, consumers are falling in love with getting things delivered to their doorstep within hours—not days. And large companies like Amazon, Google and Wal-Mart are upping the ante by rolling out new faster, same-day delivery options.

For local retailers, this trend toward super-fast e-commerce is scary, and rightfully so: Many small retailers count on the slowness of Internet shopping to draw consumers into their stores. How’s a small retailer to compete if people don’t need to leave their house anymore to buy that last-minute birthday gift or even donuts for today’s breakfast?

The answer may be rolling out its own same-day delivery option.

A crop of new startups have sprung up to help local stores compete on same-day delivery. Many of these services are currently only available in limited areas, such as within certain cities or even neighborhoods. But many hope to expand in coming months. Here’s a look at four such services and how they work:

UberRUSH. A delivery service offered by rideshare company Uber, New York City retailers can drop a pin on their location and have a local messenger pick up an item for immediate delivery within minutes. The delivery can then be tracked on the Uber app. According to recent pricing information from Uber, delivery costs a flat $10 within the same zone of Manhattan, while the average delivery in the area costs $17. (Brooklyn and Queens service has a flat rate of $30.)

Deliv. The San Francisco-based company allows local retailers to offer same-day delivery to their customers for as little as $6.25 per delivery (within 15 miles). The service, which also offers an app that retailers can use to track deliveries, hires part-time drivers to deliver packages that shoppers might not want to lug home. “Participation in same-day delivery gives retailers the opportunity to take full advantage of their brick-and-mortar stores in a way that provides a true omni-channel experience,” the company’s website says.

WeDeliver. This app connects merchants with local “delivery specialists” who deliver packages within hours by foot, bike or car. Customers and retailers can track their deliveries in real time using an online tool, and can get accurate quotes of how much the delivery will cost. Currently WeDeliver is only offered in Chicago. One upscale grocery store, Plum Market, uses WeDeliver to deliver groceries to customers staying in downtown hotels or living in high-rise buildings.

Shutl. Bought by eBay last year, Shutl uses local courier services to deliver packages from retailers to homes—sometimes in less than an hour. Shutl is currently only available in Manhattan and Chicago, but the company has said it plans to expand to new cities. Merchants that partner with Shutl can offer their customers the option of same-day delivery by paying a small premium or even for free.

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