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From Store to Door - Delivery Services Continue to Grow

Lan Bell Lan Bell , 6/27/2018
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Maybe it was the Millennials who began the quest for faster and faster delivery of their online purchases, but there’s no question that the trend took off in a huge way. At one time two-day delivery was almost unheard of, yet today, companies are touting two-hour delivery on many items.  How is this even possible?

 

In a word, it was all due to logistics. It started when companies like Amazon regionalized their warehousing activities to make a two-hour delivery possible. Now, everywhere you look you see cargo vans, utility vans and a variety of commercial vans, with a multitude of different company logos zipping around cities to deliver everything from breakfast items to the stoves that people cook them on.

 

Retailers are Ramping Up

 

No matter what you’re looking for, ordering online is easier than it’s ever been. Just point, click and ta-da! - Your order is on its way. And it isn’t only about delivering goods to your home and leaving it on the doorstep anymore.

 

Thanks to “porch pirates” stealing packages almost as soon as they’re delivered, companies are now offering to deliver to “lockers,” where you can pick up your package, delivery to your trunk, if you have OnStar service, and even inside your front door if you have Ring or other smart video doorbells. According to research and tests that were conducted by Amazon and shown on national television, drone deliveries aren’t far behind.

 

But retailers are ramping up, and the war against Amazon is on. Walmart and Target are knocking on Amazon’s door. Now, consumers can order at a Walmart kiosk and pick up the order themselves. Uber is getting in the game with their UberRush service, and is partnering with Walmart for on-demand grocery deliveries. And their service now offers tracking thanks to GPS. Walmart is also expanding its grocery delivery to over 100 markets across the country by year’s end.

 

More Retailers are Joining the Fight

 

Meijer is located in the Midwest and is going full-bore on home delivery of groceries. They recently surpassed 500,000 home deliveries with their door-to-store service. Based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Meijer serves customers in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

 

What sets Meijer apart from other retailers is their selection of fresh produce, groceries and general merchandise under one roof. Their combination of a retail store coupled with digital, on-demand shopping is what has helped them become so successful so quickly.

 

But there are new names on the march. Shipt, the country’s fastest growing online marketplace works with major retailers and local stores alike to deliver goods, using conventional phone apps and personal shoppers. Since they started in 2014, they’ve grown to 30 million households in over 70 markets across the country. They’re working in Southwest Florida with Publix, Costco and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits.

 

So what’s the “secret sauce” to all of this rapid growth and amazing success? Convenience. For many people, shopping in a grocery store is pure drudgery. It’s the same with shopping at a retail store inside a mall. In just 20 years, the retail landscape in many instances has done a 360 from thriving to barely hanging on. Major retailers have been forced to shutter many stores or some cases, like Toys R Us, close down all together.

 

There’s Plenty of Opportunity Available

 

For many delivery startups and e-commerce retailers, there is still plenty of room for growth and profitability. All it takes is a cargo van upfit and a business model that allows a company to get goods to customers quickly and cheaply. The key is quickly - because customers want it, and want it now.

 

The boom in delivery services has been a blessing for companies that do upfits and van conversions, because those vehicles are in high demand. Cargo vans are the perfect size for package and grocery delivery companies and offer an array of upfit options for customizing the vehicle to best serve the delivery company’s needs.

 

As the VP of Design at Walmart stated, “Customers don’t want to shop, they want things that help them live a better life to magically appear.” And with store to door delivery, customers will get just what they want.