It’s three years since I last wrote a post on the importance of a sound ecommerce delivery proposition. In this time we’ve seen a significant improvement in online delivery propositions; better communication around the proposition, more choice on when the order can be delivered, better delivery pricing etc Some retailers have listened to their customers and responded to their demand for more convenience. Customer concerns with timings is driven by their increasingly hectic lifestyles – “I need something in time for the party”, “I’m only at home between 1 & 5 as I need to pick the kids up at 5:30” …
Many online etailers offer more choice to meet the demands and growing expectations of online shoppers with delivery options such as same day, named day, weekend delivery & in store collection. Despite these improved delivery services, surveys regularly show that customers still feel that retailers are not delivering on convenience. Not enough retailers are providing flexible delivery options, and even those that do could offer more. And in many cases delivery choice is regarded as a premium service, accompanied by a hefty price tag.
Along comes an ambitious Start-up, Shutl, that could be a game changer in the way that it offers fast delivery without the price tag. Shutl is the brainchild of Tom Allason the founder & former CEO of eCourier.co.uk in 2008. Shutl will allow online shoppers to receive their orders within 90 minutes of placing the order as well as 1-hour delivery windows. And the best bit for the customer is that Shutl says that in many cases the cost of a Shutl delivery will be similar to cost of the ecommerce site’s standard delivery.
How does Shutl work?
Shutl acts as the middleman between retailers and customers, connecting retailers with local courier companies that collect the order and deliver direct to the customer. The Shutl platform applies a complex proprietary algorithm to determine the courier and quotes a price to the customer.
When & where does Shutl launch?
Initially this service will be launched in London only. The plan is to roll out this service to the rest of the UK by end of 2010.
It launches early 2010 with some smaller shops, although a larger store has signed up to use this service. The first businesses to trail Shutl include StartLondon, Alexandalexa.com, Georginagoodman, Lily and Lionel, Something and Zuneta.
It will be interesting to see which retailers can support this as this service is limited to retailers that keep their stock on-site, so more suited to smaller retailers.
Let’s hope Shutl’s vision to ‘redefine commerce’ is realized. This has the potential to be a real game-changer. Keep up with announcements by following @shutl
Could the challenge of buying that last minute present without paying through the nose for same day delivery soon be a thing of the past?