Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sidecar Launches Same-Day Delivery

Courier ServiceA lot of companies have leaped into providing same-day delivery besides well-known Google and Amazon.  The latest to join in is Sidecar.  The ride-sharing company has announced that it will be officially launching same-day delivery. Sidecar Deliveries is a new program that offers third party companies to use Sidecar vehicles to deliver their goods.  For the past six months, Sidecar has been testing the service within the San Francisco Bay area and it has gone well there.  With the success, Sidecar knows its’ business model works and will be rolling out the service.

Sidecar stated in the article, “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 idea makes sense, however, it was even more sensible to test their model first.  Sidecar has researched and developed a same-day delivery solution that fits the company, which must be done.  Without it, only estimated financial decisions, making for sub-par operational investing and the service won’t last long-term.

Founded in 2012, the San Francisco-based Sidecar is also available in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston and Washington, DC.  It has figured out the formula for same-day delivery in which it rents out its’ cars for third party deliveries, working with companies in the e-commerce, hot food, flowers and groceries spaces, rather than becoming a delivery service itself.  The report stated that Sidecar’s same-day delivery space has spiked upward, representing 10% of its’ current ride volume in San Francisco.  A San Francisco courier can assist an e-retailer quickly test same-day delivery and find whether it will produce growth also.

“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 said.  Having items delivered within an hour is not only Sidecar’s vision, but a number of e-retailers and physical store retailers are striving to consistently offer same-day delivery within one hour.  A same-day courier like 1-800 Courier specializes in fast, on-time deliveries and can be a viable nationwide courier to implement this level of last-mile services.

San Francisco is just the beginning, as Sidecar plans to roll out the service nationwide this coming year.  This will put the company in a better position for more market share from competitors; namely Uber, which has decided to not offer the service.  There are numerous big name e-retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers that are expanding into multiple US cities and will probably go nationwide also. Google and Amazon are launching same-day delivery in several cities, yet Macy’s is the retailer that launched same-day delivery late last year, including San Francisco, San Jose, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, New Jersey, and Chicago.  Retailers are all pushing to make same-day delivery a viable and everyday way we do business.

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

Potential Delivery Delays In Northeast, Use A Same-Day Courier

Courier ServiceWith plenty of snow that barreled down on the Northeast, many delivery companies are announcing that normal package deliveries will be delayed in those areas.  Internet Retailer discussed a number of delivery updates were provided by big name companies to address the issue with their customers.  The US Postal Service posted on its web site “strong winds and near-blizzard conditions will continue to make travel and mail delivery nearly impossible.”  A number of plant operations were suspended yesterday, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

FedEx warned its customers on its site that there will be possible delays and service disruptions throughout the Northeast.  It stated, “A winter storm is causing hazardous conditions in the northeastern U.S. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our team members, as well as providing the highest level of service to our customers. Although contingency plans are in place, some service delays and disruptions can be anticipated for inbound and outbound shipments…”.  The delivery company listed states being affected, such as New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and others.

It’s major competitor, UPS, cancelled deliveries and pick ups in six states due to the storm, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.  UPS also cancelled the service in parts of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.  More specifically, UPS stated about 4,200 zip codes are being affected by the service cancellations.

Delivery company services are directly affecting online retailers also, especially those that perform same-day delivery.  Online grocery retailer, FreshDirect, had to cancel Tuesday deliveries and says it will only have limited deliveries today.  A number of New England-based retailers have closed their offices due to the weather, such as Karmaloop, Rhode Island jewelry retailer Alex and Ani, Ross-Simons, and others.
Karmaloop is using the storm as a marketing opportunity, offering shoppers 25% off almost everything in the store using certain online promo codes that relate to the storm. Boston-based online shoe retailer is offering shoppers 25% off plus free shipping and returns using an online code.  This is an innovative way to essentially generate business sales after the storm to make up for business closures and delivery delays.

The Grommet, an online marketplace company based in Massachusetts, closed its’ offices.  “We anticipate a day or two delay caused by the overall disruption to freight carriers,” stated co-founder and CEO Jules Pieri in the article.  Pieri said its’ employees are working from home. The Grommet has a warehouse in Pennsylvania and does not expect too many weather-related delays from their own order fulfillment.  This attests to some online retailers may or may not have the functionality to navigate business and transportation needs with a storm such as this.  A same-day courier like 1-800 Courier may be a viable option for online retailers to turn to for package and box deliveries after the storm.

Big name e-retailers such as Google and Amazon may have to improvise to perform deliveries during the storm also.  Amazon announced last year its’ one-hour same-day delivery service and Google performs same-day delivery in New York as well.  1-800 Courier is a New Jersey courier that has a national footprint, and depending on the area, may be able to assist various companies with flexible delivery needs.  Call 1-800 Courier and see where the courier is operating for delivery assistance today!
Reference: 1.27.15,, Matt Lindner, The Northeast storm causes package delivery delays;

Could US Postal Service Turn to Same-Day Grocery Deliveries?

Courier ServiceThe Postal Service isn’t pleased with it’s financial state and hasn’t been for quite some time now.  It is indeed looking for change and the outgoing US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has mentioned some innovative measures for growth.  Reuters reported a few weeks ago Donahoe stated that not only can overcoming health burdens make the US Postal Service more profitable, but same-day delivery of groceries can too.  He will be leaving the Postmaster General position as of February 1st, yet he states the service needs greater control of its’ workforce and more flexibility in pricing and developing new products.

He stated the USPS could be profitable if it changes its’ business model and experimented with same-day delivery of packages and grocery deliveries as forward-looking tactics.  He stated, “There’s plenty of interesting opportunities going on, we think, from the standpoint of delivery, many different things.  The grocery business could be a multi-million-dollar business from our perspective … You can’t limit yourself to what you’re doing now.”  There are a number of retailers already involved in same-day delivery of their products that outsource to a same-day courier like 1-800 Courier to pick up and deliver items.

The USPS took a hit last year to make sure it financially covers the health retirement benefits for its’ workers decades ahead.  It is government required and has led to default in recent years, in addition to union opposition to the deals the USPS can make with retailers.  The report mentions the Postal Service has been losing billions of dollars for years, including $5.5 billion in fiscal 2014, despite cutbacks in the workforce, consolidation of facilities and other cost-cutting moves.

The mail giant strongly desires to get away from the hands of Congress, deeming it doesn’t have the autonomy to get itself out of the deep hole financially.  The article quoted Donahoe stating at the National Press Club, “Congress needs to look at the Postal Service as a business that is going to be a lot different in the coming years and it should view this as a positive, desirable outcome”.  With the way technology has morphed business done online, all it takes is the right innovation for the USPS to make become strong, i.e. delivering groceries same day.

Online retail is estimated to increase to $500 billion by 2018.  It is a viable avenue for the US Postal Service to take because it has the operational facilities and vehicle fleet to deliver a wide range of items within major US cities.  It already delivers our mail, therefore, delivering online products and groceries makes sense.  Metro Post, the USPS’s last-mile delivery service, already partners with Amazon to perform same-day delivery on Sunday’s in New York.  Expansion of Metro Post is a matter of partnering with more web-based and physical store retailers.

For online shopping, the company delivered 28 million packages on December 22nd last year, which was a one-day record for the USPS as a whole.  Time will tell whether the mailing company will be able to operate like a Dallas courier and see how it can thrive with same-day grocery deliveries.

Reference:  1.6.15,, Jason Reed, Outgoing U.S. postal chief hails grocery delivery, seeks innovation  

In-Store Pickup Services Creating Challenges For Retailers

Courier ServiceIn-Store pickup is one of those popular new online additions retailers have added to the web, and shoppers love it.  However, Forrester Research recently released an article regarding findings that a high level of efficiency is required to keep store pickups operationally and logistically feasible.  Forrester Analyst Brendan Witcher wrote a new report, “Nailing In-Store Pickup” discussing how customer expectations are on the rise when it comes to in-store pickups.  From a survey of 3,000 online U.S. adults, over 53% of them expect notification in two hours or less that orders are ready for pickup.

This means customers are sensitive when it comes to their time, which is why they’ve opted to select in-store pick up.  Those expectations are likely to have some retailers’ setting aggressive promises over their heads. An example the article mentions is Best Buy Canada, which guarantees orders placed online will be ready for in-store pickup within 20 minutes.  This is impressive if they can consistently deliver this level of efficiency.  Other retailers may not be able to have accurate inventory and the staffing to pull this off.

Forrester also states 70% of shoppers say they use in-store pickup services to primarily avoid shipping costs.  They also select it for other popular reasons such as its’ level of convenience, to ensure the product is available and reserved for the shopper, to get the product the same day, and to avoid taking the time to find a product in the store.  Convenience is valuable, as shoppers could be visiting that retail store anyway, so it makes sense to order online and pick it up.

Retailers have implemented same-day delivery to meet the shopper demand for items the same day.  Google, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and others have made huge investments into this online delivery option.  Amazon launched its’ service in 8 more major US cities late last year, including Atlanta.  Surprising newcomer Macy’s rolled out same-day delivery in Seattle, San Jose, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, and New Jersey.  Sister company Bloomingdale’s launched the service in select cities also.  Web-based and physical store retailers are partnering with a same-day courier like 1-800 Courier to perform deliveries.  The Houston courier can be an option for store returns also.

Inventory is key with in-store pickups and the communication of those available products.  Witcher also stated real-time inventory information should be within the product description or product listing pages on the retailer’s online store.  Nationwide brick-and-mortar stores have much more volume than a smaller retail store or e-retailer.  It makes it more imperative to meet customer expectations or pull back participating stores that don’t meet the efficiencies.  Loyalty is valuable for retailers and they don’t want to give good reason to turn to another retailer for the same product because it wasn’t there when they were told it would be.

In-store pickups will rise in the future, as online retail is projected to increase to over $500 million by 2018.  Shoppers even have mobile devices creating convenient and easy online ordering.  As technology innovates more logistical solutions to enable retailers to meet the challenges and put all the pieces together.

Reference:  1.13.15, Internet Retailer, Allison Enright, While shoppers like in-store pickup, it is tough for retailers to do well

Macy’s UPS Web Investments, Will Boost Delivery Program

Courier ServiceMacy’s has recently announced it is beefing up its web investments and making some additional moves to swing revenue into it.  The department store’s multiple adjustments include the merger of its online and store merchandising marketing teams.  It will hire 150 more employees for its digital center specific to San Francisco, in addition to closing 14 stores while opening two new ones, with less workers in each store.  Merchandising is key with any online retail growth.  Shoppers know what they want and retailers’ merchandising channels must respond quicker in today’s e-commerce.
“Our business is rapidly evolving in response to changes in the way customers are shopping across stores, desktops, tablets and smartphones,” chairman and CEO Terry J. Lundgren said in the article.  ”We must continue to invest in our business to focus on where the customer is headed—to prepare for what’s next.”  Years ago online retail wasn’t in the same league with brick-and-mortar stores, yet technology has made shopping so easy.  Consumers in fact enjoy the convenience of looking for deals and buying items wherever they are—evening the plain.  E-commerce is no longer a distant second, making business sense for Macy’s.
Lundgren went on discussing details behind the new web investment technology to come.  “Going forward, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s will be better able to move more quickly and nimbly to select merchandise, assort inventories and serve total customer demand, no matter how, when or where the customer shops. Some redundant activity also can be avoided to accelerate speed to market, partner more effectively with vendor resources and ensure the merchandising organizations are more responsive to the marketplace in making and implementing decisions”.

Since online retail is growing, retailers are presenting convenience to shoppers with same-day delivery.  Multiple big name retailers have implemented it, including Macy’s, which aggressively plunged in with 8 major US cities before last year’s holiday shopping season.  Those cities included San Jose, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, New Jersey, and Chicago.  Sister company Bloomingdale’s launched the service in select cities along with Macy’s.  More probably will follow with its’ breadth of web expansion.

Online growth will translate into improved delivery programs.  The web technology alone positions retailers and delivery companies to partner to achieve profit and cost savings, something years ago couldn’t be done.  For example, Instacart now can do what Webvan did without multimillion dollar distribution centers with only 70 employees.  Made up of engineers and administrators, Instacart’s model is smarter and exact with last-mile deliveries, partnering with a same-day courier like 1-800 Courier to service them.  Macy’s has partnered with Deliv to meet their same-day delivery demand.
Google, Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, and others have invested heavily into their respective online markets, as well as same-day delivery for order fullfillments.  Many retailers invest in partnering with a courier like 1-800 Courier to boost their delivery programs. The New York Courier has a national footprint as most large web-based and physical store retailers are in need of an agile partner.  Macy’s fast track with e-retail will certainly increase its’ same-day delivery options.

Reference:  1.8.15, Internet Retailer, Don Davis, Macy’s steps up its online investments