As amazing as e-commerce is in general, what with its opening up the wider world no matter where you happen to be, it has one critical flaw in its systems: specifically, getting the product to the person who bought it. And for one company, Postmates, they’re rapidly discovering the value in the immediate.
Postmates, you see, started out as an idea to augment local businesses by offering them a short-range courier service to deliver their various goods in the immediate area. In this case, the immediate area was San Francisco. And while that worked out pretty well for Postmates, they decided to kick things up a notch by providing pre-paid debit cards for their couriers. These weren’t a performance bonus for the valiant couriers, but rather, a way for them to purchase goods, and then deliver them promptly to the person that purchased them.
The result was the Get It Now app, recently launched in private beta. And considering how well the private beta’s doing, it looks like Postmates is going to have to get hands on a lot more prepaid debit cards. The app has so far brought in a thousand users so far, in just the four weeks that the private beta has been online. And those thousand users are, on average, spending $116 a month.
The big market for this service, so far, has been other tech companies, and counts users in Twitter, Square, and Yelp, among others, as their primary user base. And considering that the average time from order to delivery for Postmates’ Get It Now service is about 30 minutes, it certainly implies possibilities.
For instance, there’s the great possibility for restaurants to suddenly offer delivery without the need to hire delivery staff or otherwise maintain a vehicle–or pay for staff to maintain theirs. How about the prospect of businesses that formerly weren’t delivery ever–gift shops, hardware stores and the like–to suddenly add an important new service? Imagine being able to receive parts for your car without going into town, or have that very last-minute holiday gift–Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, the recently concluded Mother’s Day–in hand in a matter of minutes.
But it’s not just about speed. It’s also about a quality customer service experience. And if your small business is planning to offer delivery, then a set of cloud-based telephony tools for easy contact will be a smart move indeed. Things like a toll-free number or hunt groups can make sure your customers can contact you as rapidly as you can then in turn get them the things they’ve ordered.
With people wanting what they want in the least amount of time possible, an opportunity has emerged in the retail sector for businesses to do something they may never have done before. And in the process, they can take advantage of the need for speed in retail.