Same-Day, Crowdsourced Delivery Options to Penetrate, Not Disrupt Next-Day Models
If “crowdsourcing” companies like Deliv, Uber, Roadie and Lyft offer merchants pricing that's similar to UPS and FedEx, or if retailers subsidize and price same-day shipping costs in line with standard shipping, I anticipate market adoption especially for younger, more affluent consumers living in major metropolitan areas.
However, initial announcements are that UberRUSH will charge $20 to $25 per delivery in New York City. At that pricing, outside of a small percentage of luxury items and perhaps some electronics, I don't forecast disruptive adoption any time soon. Multiple surveys of online shoppers conclusively indicate that they're willing to wait multiple days in exchange for low cost or free shipping.
Other concerns of a crowdsourced delivery model include package security, delivery agent image and quality control, regulatory concerns (including taxi regulations), and handling attempted deliveries and product returns. Moreover, trust becomes an important factor. Uber’s alleged driver-related sexual assaults and robberies are likely to instill doubt with retailers and consumers alike.
A data point worth mentioning: Shipware works with hundreds of retailers to optimize their parcel delivery pricing and services options. To date, only one has asked us to include crowdsourced delivery providers in our recommendations.
Same-day delivery will grow significantly in the next few years, but not enough to significantly disrupt UPS and FedEx's next-day business models.
Rob Martinez is the CEO of Shipware LLC, a professional services firm that transforms businesses through intelligent distribution solutions and strategies. Rob has helped some of the world’s most recognizable brands reduce parcel shipping costs an average of 25 percent through contract negotiations, rate benchmarking, modal optimization, invoice audit and other savings vehicles. A cum laude graduate of UCLA, Rob has 20 years of transportation industry experience, including executive positions at DHL and Stamps.com, in addition to his work as an outside consultant since 2001.