One of the hottest trends in e-commerce this past year was same-day delivery services. Packages are being delivered on the same day by cars, trucks, planes and bicycle couriers. Amazon is even piloting drones for last mile deliveries. The same day delivery trend is driven by companies of all sizes. Large companies that are in the same-day delivery space include eBay (eBay Now),Google GOOG -0.99% (Google Shopping Express EXPR -2.82%) and Walmart (Walmart To Go). There are also a number of startups that are leveling the playing field for local LOCM -0.53% businesses.
Garrick Pohl, the founder of zipments, told me that his company offers same-day delivery for large retailers, e-commerce and local mom/pop shops to stay competitive. Fortunately, many companies have found that same-day delivery with zipments to be a more affordable option than two-day delivery with the U.S. Postal Service or UPS.
Currently zipments operates out of New York City and has pilots in other major cities. One of their clients in New York City is Midtown Comics, which is a comic store franchise that delivers brand new comics to enthusiasts on the same day that they are issued. zipments originally started off as a peer-to-peer courier connection website, but the company evolved into a larger service as demand grew.
“Today zipments works with 1,000 clients across the country. zipments is used for making local pickup requests through their mobile app, API, and the zipments website,” said Mr. Pohl in an interview with FORBES. “After a courier accepts a delivery request, the status can be tracked with real-time updates such as pick up times and the final delivery time.”
Tech companies have been expanding the availability of same day delivery services at a rapid pace. Currently Amazon offers same-day delivery in 11 cities and eBay Now plans to be available in 25 cities by the end of 2014. Last week, Google announced that they would be offering their same-day delivery to Los Angeles after piloting the program in the Bay Area. Some of the other startups that offer same-day delivery include SixDoors, Instacart, Deliv and TaskRabbit.
The pursuit of same-day delivery has not been an easy road though. Online grocery business Webvan went bankrupt in 2001 after hitting a valuation of $1.2 billion at one point and offering their services in 26 cities. Other same-day delivery services that shut down in the early 2000s were UrbanFetch and Kozmo. These companies may sound like cautionary tales, but many of the same-day delivery services today have been much more practical and scalable. There is also a belief that same-day delivery services that existed back then were ahead of its time.