With 4,000 U.S. stores serving as product depots, same day delivery holds great potential for a retailer with an unrivaled retail footprint, assuming a strategy can be developed to profitably unlock the opportunity.
Walmart has experimented with same day delivery on the west coast where order are fulfilled from stores and a broader rollout of the service would seem inevitable at some point in the future given online shoppers desire for immediate gratification.
One company looking to satisfy that demand is called Shutl. The U.K.-based firm will begin offering the same day service it already provides in its home market to retailers who operate in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Thanks to $6 million in funding from partners such as UPS, e.ventures and Notion Capital, plans call for the firm to expand the delivery offering to 17 additional metropolitan areas later this year with the goal of enabling conventional brick and mortar retailers to realize their multichannel potential.
According to Shutl, its service allows retailers to offer delivery of online orders either within minutes of purchase or within a convenient one-hour window of choice. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and typically costs less than $10 per order. Currently, one third of Shutl's orders are delivered within an hour.
The company’s business model leverages underutilized capacity of courier services by providing a platform for retailers to connect with couriers to fulfill orders. The company’s service has been operational in the U.K. for three years.
As a part of the U.S. launch, Steven Chien joined Shutl as vp and general manager of North America. He previously served as COO at social shopping site Kaboodle and VP of business development for price comparison shopping engine Nextag.
"The ecommerce industry is about to take another giant step forward with the launch of Shutl's innovative delivery solution," Chien said. "I'm thrilled to be joining Shutl. There is a clear, growing need for consumer-centric options and Shutl will meet this. Shutl will be a great partner for those multi-channel retailers looking to better compete with Amazon and provide new ways to delight their customers."
Following New York, Chicago and San Fran Cisco, plans call for entry into Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa, Dallas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, Montreal, and Toronto.
"We shop online because it is fast and convenient, two things that delivery is not," said Tom Allason , CEO and founder, Shutl. "Shutl is bringing delivery up to speed by giving shoppers what they want, when they want it."